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Old 10-24-2010, 9:28 AM   #1
sbuswell
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Headlight off and on problem

Here is the problem. My drivers side HID and sometimes even the passenger side (but rarely) will go out while I'm driving, but will always come right back on when I switch them off and then back on. It will usually go out while I'm braking or turning, but recently has started going out when going over even a mild bump in the road. I have a deep cycle battery, stock alternator and a powerful system (1170wrms total w/5farad cap). I had this problem before I had my system put in and I ended up changing the bulbs which seemed to help for a short time and now it's back to the same. I'm thinking it's the ballast on its way out as they are both original (11years old, 211k miles of use). I have not pulled my bumper off yet, but will probably do that today just to see if there is something obvious. I have very little experience with repairing HID systems so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:09 AM   #2
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ck all your ground wires
the stereo may be part of the problem
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:44 PM   #3
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mine is doing the same but on the passenger side - although i have stock stereo system. started when making left turns over rough surfaces. now flickering and going completely dark. always comes back on when i turn them off and back on again is not very consistent. swapped the bulbs to see if it was a bulb issue, but the problem persists. had the alternator checked at 3 different places - the first test showed an output failure, the other two, including my volt meter, show normal operation. i checked the grounds and everything looks fine. ordered a brand new set of oem ballasts and ignitors on Friday - should be delivered this coming wednesday or thursday and planning to swap them in this coming week or weekend. will let you know if it solves the problem or not.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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i suspect yours is a ballast issue like i think mine is. i'll know very quickly once i install the new ballasts though.

i got the ballasts and ignitors off ebay - $380 for the pair - still in the original packaging and free shipping.
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Old 10-24-2010, 1:06 PM   #5
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Sounds almost that some connection is bad...


When I replaced my battery this problem went away for me.
In my case, the passenger bulb failed to light sometimes...
I replaced my battery with the highest amperage Optima RedTop I could find.
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Old 10-24-2010, 2:15 PM   #6
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my battery has checked out fine each time the alternator was checked. it was replaced less than a year ago - well before these problems reared.
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Old 10-24-2010, 4:12 PM   #7
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i suspect yours is a ballast issue like i think mine is. i'll know very quickly once i install the new ballasts though.

i got the ballasts and ignitors off ebay - $380 for the pair - still in the original packaging and free shipping.
Did you get yours in already? or still waiting? Let me know how it goes when you get them all in.
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Old 10-24-2010, 4:35 PM   #8
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my battery has checked out fine each time the alternator was checked. it was replaced less than a year ago - well before these problems reared.
maybe its the connection? when you it a bump it disconnects and shuts down?
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Old 10-24-2010, 8:19 PM   #9
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Well I checked everything. Grounds are good. Ballasts looked good. Actually looked very good. Bulbs looked OK, but one of them had a yellowish color in the balloon looking part in the middle of the bulb. I swapped bulbs from side to side and took a drive and well guess what happened. The passenger side light goes out and the drivers side stays on. I got home and swapped the passenger side out with another Kaixen 5000k. We'll see if that solves the problem.
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Old 10-24-2010, 9:55 PM   #10
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Did you get yours in already? or still waiting? Let me know how it goes when you get them all in.
not yet - just ordered it friday night. should be delivered this wednesday or thursday. will let you know if it solves my problem.

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maybe its the connection? when you it a bump it disconnects and shuts down?
yes and no. not every bump and now it doesn't even require a bump. instead of just a flicker, it now flickers and then shuts down. always comes back on after turning lights off and back on again.
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Old 10-25-2010, 7:24 PM   #11
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Drove to work today and had headlights on the entire to and from work and no issues at all. We'll see if everything stays that way. I tested them by putting my highbbeams on tonight, pounding my stereo and no issues at all. By the way my headlights don't dim while at a stop with my stereo up quite a bit.
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Old 10-26-2010, 8:30 AM   #12
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Did you get yours in already? or still waiting? Let me know how it goes when you get them all in.
ballasts and ignitors came in yesterday. probably install this week, but definitely by this weekend. that being said, its been raining here the last 2 days - had no flickering or cutting out issues with them at all since this weekend. install will happen regardless.
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Old 10-26-2010, 8:45 AM   #13
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Ah nice nice. I just saw on USPS that mine just cleared customs in 10 mins which means I wont have to pay duty anyways :P. Hopefully I'll get mine this week, but I'm probably going to have to wait till next week to get the bulbs in.

Are you replacing bulbs as well? Which did you go with?
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Old 10-26-2010, 4:02 PM   #14
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no, my bulbs were/are fine. I have kaixen 6000K and a set of stock 4300K sitting on standby.
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Old 11-07-2010, 7:51 PM   #15
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Headlights acting up again. This time it is the passenger side going out. It goes out during bumps sometimes (not braking or taking a turn), it will go out when taking a sharp turn almost every time, it will go out when braking more than lightly a lot, it will go out if I turn on the hi-beams almost everyt time. Today while I was idling I start to turn on accessories and watch what the lights did. Even turning the map light over your head it would noticably dim the headlights. The passenger side was the most noticable. After doing that test 4-5 time the headlight proceeded to turn off again. I was not cranking my stereo at all. The last time I took the bulb on the passenger side and swapped it to the drivers side and it's been working fine, but now its the opposite side after putting another used bulb in better shape than one I had replaced from the drivers side. I am no electrical wizard at all, but I believe I may not be getting enough juice to sustained my cars electrical system. I've upgrade most of my grounds, but not to the alternator. I have a 1500CCA deep cycle battery and alternator is stock. Is their a good chance I just need a new or beefier alternator and some new cable to make the problem go away?
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Old 11-08-2010, 9:27 PM   #16
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I have the exact same problem and have had that problem for about 3 months or more. My passenger headlight goes out when I hit a minor bump. Once I turn off and on my headlights it comes on again and its ONLY my passenger headlight, never my drivers side.

I haven't checked to see what happens when I turn on my high beams.

Whats the update FirePR2002...I really really wanna fix this I'm tired of checking the reflection of other cars to see if both my headlights are on. I hate seeing one side with white light and the other side with just orange :/
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:04 PM   #17
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does this sound like 2 bad ballasts?
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:19 PM   #18
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I have the exact same problem and have had that problem for about 3 months or more. My passenger headlight goes out when I hit a minor bump. Once I turn off and on my headlights it comes on again and its ONLY my passenger headlight, never my drivers side.

I haven't checked to see what happens when I turn on my high beams.

Whats the update FirePR2002...I really really wanna fix this I'm tired of checking the reflection of other cars to see if both my headlights are on. I hate seeing one side with white light and the other side with just orange :/
ok - here's the deal. i replaced both ballasts but f'ed up a bulb on the reinstall. Long story short, I had to order a new set of bulbs because the one i f'ed up kept going out on me - I cracked the ceramic coating on the upper electrode wire coming out of the base and it twisted a 1/4 turn around the bulb (don't ask). So, after new ballasts and new bulbs, I have no problems, BUT I can't tell you with 100% certainty what the problem was (ballast or bulbs).

Have you guys tried new bulbs yet at all? What about switching them from side to side?
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Old 11-11-2010, 7:10 PM   #19
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I switched mine side to side and then the other side was going out not the drivers side light as before. Then I swapped that bulg (pass. side) with a another good bulb I had. It worked good for 3 days now the pass side keeps going out. Bulb problem or not? I will probably get new bulbs again and see WTF happens. I don't want to replace the ballast it looks like a PITA to remove from the headlight assembly. I had the whole headlight assembly out and removed the bolts from the bottom holding the ballast and it's got a small pass through for the lines going into the assembly and the part that connects to the ignitor appears to be too big to fit through that hole. How do you even change the damn ballast?
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Old 11-11-2010, 7:51 PM   #20
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I switched mine side to side and then the other side was going out not the drivers side light as before. Then I swapped that bulg (pass. side) with a another good bulb I had. It worked good for 3 days now the pass side keeps going out. Bulb problem or not? I will probably get new bulbs again and see WTF happens. I don't want to replace the ballast it looks like a PITA to remove from the headlight assembly. I had the whole headlight assembly out and removed the bolts from the bottom holding the ballast and it's got a small pass through for the lines going into the assembly and the part that connects to the ignitor appears to be too big to fit through that hole. How do you even change the damn ballast?
i didn't take photos, but the igniter wire goes behind the shield and outer housing. the outer cap covers it though - or it should if correct part #s. compare what you have with diagrams from here: www.rockauto.com.
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Old 11-12-2010, 1:21 AM   #21
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I had this same problem with my driver side. I bought a ballast off eBay and installed it and everything worked great. I made sure thaat the bulbs and ignitors were fine before ordering the ballast
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Old 11-12-2010, 7:17 AM   #22
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try bulbs I'm having this issue now. must be a winter plague. I think firepr gave it to me. (nohomo)
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:29 PM   #23
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If you want to just replace everything it will cost you roughly 500 dollars off ebay. I paid 190*2 for ballasts and igniters then 100 for new OEM bulbs. So I guess thats the most expensive you should get.
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Old 11-12-2010, 1:38 PM   #24
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bulbs can be found cheaper on ebay as well - look for user hidconcept.
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Old 02-07-2011, 2:17 AM   #25
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my 02-tls just to start with this problem now, i noticed my driver side headlight is off while i am driving but it is on when i shut the engine and parked. i will buy a new bulb to start with and see what happened, what is this thing call ballast.? it would be great if someone has a DIY instruction.

also where can i purchase this replacement headlight bulb, is this something i can pick up from the local autozone.? what is the spec of our headlight bulb.?

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:26 AM   #26
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you need to order special D2 bulbs online, see any website and enter car info to get right ones
get a pair for as cheap as 30 bucks, up to 200 a pair at dealer
for diagnostics; I would go with the cheapies and see if that fixes the prob,,before spending on ballast

our mega mod fsttyms1 is having the same prob with left turn issue added
I am just having random which side quits while driving but comes back on if you cycle the switch
Anyone decide if its ballast?
11 years old and gets lot of use,,I would be ok with that

currently on kaixen bulbs with a few years on them

cking aftemarket sources for complete replacement package bulbs and ballast
Any suggestions from actual users of those items- thanks
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:26 AM   #27
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use wikipedia for explanation of HID system and parts
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Old 02-10-2011, 7:03 PM   #28
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Just one more to add to the tally.

My lights intermittently went out as well. But I believe I found what triggers it: Every time I make a hard right hand turn, my passenger bulb goes out; every time I make a hard left hand turn, the driver's side goes out (when I mention a "hard" turn, I am referring to those that are >15-20 mph). I also noticed one of the bulbs going out while driving on the highway (I suppose this may be also due to my proffered centrifugal theory). In every case, however, the light comes back on if I flip the switch off and then back on, though sometimes it may take a few tries. I only began noticing this problem after buying new bulbs from Excelerate. But let's not forget that my car is 11 years old.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-10-2011, 7:14 PM   #29
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I've had it. I'm getting new ballasts and ignitors for both sides and replacing the damn bulbs soon. They are 12 years old and likely just dying slowly.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:38 AM   #30
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I do have a Bosch battery that has already died on me after less than 2 years. And I have an iPod connection that may be sucking the juice out of the battery. Could a poor battery be a factor towards the headlight problem? I have my doubts, but just throwing out some ideas and seeing which one sticks.
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Old 02-11-2011, 9:02 PM   #31
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its possible voltage spikes -regulator problems may be involved
still trying to figure out mine

many new batts are lucky to last 3 years
any growth of crud on the battery terminals?
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Old 02-11-2011, 9:02 PM   #32
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parts stores will test your system for free
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Old 02-12-2011, 2:16 AM   #33
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I've been having the same problem.

I'm going to try a pair of new OEM bulbs. I'm currently using Kaixen.
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Old 02-12-2011, 3:35 AM   #34
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hope you found a source besides the dealer!! they want 125 each!

quick survey
anyone have this problem on OE bulbs, other replacements,
or just Kaixen bulbs
new, more than 1 2 3 years old?
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Old 02-13-2011, 1:39 AM   #35
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This is my second pair of Kaixens with the same problem. The current pair lasted fine for six months before turning off randomly. The first pair lasted about one year.

I'm going to try Philips bulbs. If they have the same problem then I'll look at ballast/ignitor.
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Old 02-13-2011, 1:48 AM   #36
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I found new Philips bulbs on ebay for $88 a pair! This was a few months ago. I bought them just in case these kaixens failed.

Id be surprised if its the bulbs. I always hear such great things about Kaixen.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #37
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I PMd Excelerate about this issue- had hadnt had reports of early bulb failures.
mine have 3+ years on them,,approx 1000 hours use and prob just started with the alternating off light
Doesnt seem like thats a bulb-in my mind

aftermarket ballast and bulb kit users- speak up about your experience on which product!
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Old 02-13-2011, 4:45 PM   #38
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New ballasts will fix it!
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Old 02-13-2011, 6:20 PM   #39
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I installed new Philips bulbs today. I'll go for a test drive later tonight.

Chuck, did you have the same problem?
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:01 AM   #40
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note: new HID bulbs need approx 50-100 hours of use to `burn in` and reach full brightness and color stabilty
meaning they get even better with some use,,daytime `lights on for safety` will speed the process
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