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2011 C30 R Design, orange flame metallic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, not sure if this is the right spot for this or not, but I'm trying to see how bad I might have screwed up here. I got a "Bulb failure low beam" warning on my C30 (2011 R-Design with the active bending bi-xenons), so I pulled the bulb out only to realize it was a non-standard bulb (D3S?). Unfortunately, I cracked the bulb base a bit in the process (yes, I'm a moron), but didn't do any damage to the headlight assembly. The bulb does look like it's burned out- there's a brown residue inside the bulb. That said, I've read that sudden bulb failure isn't really a thing that happens to the bi-xenons, and that my problem might be the ballast and night the bulb (which I now broke anyway)?

On top of this uncertainty, I've also read that running the lights without the bulb installed might also be a terrible idea. I had to drive home last night without the busted bulb installed. Even if the ballast was working before, did I just blow that up too?

I'm ordering new bulbs tonight, but is there an easy way to test if it's the ballast or the bulb that's the issue? And, if I need to replace the ballast too, how bad a job is that?
 

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2011 C30 R Design, orange flame metallic
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And upon further reading, the brown "crap" in the bulb is probably just the normal salts. Crud. Guess it pays to Google *before* attempting even the "simple" fixes.
 

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Sudden bulb failure is VERY common with xenon lights. You'll actually see that message and 2 seconds later your bulb may be working again. But it's time to replace both bulbs.
If you're driving and the bulb goes out, turn your light switch to parking lights (to turn off your lowbeams) for 10 seconds. Flip the headlights back on and it should illuminate again.

Not sure if damage can be caused by running without the bulbs, but I imagine not. The bulb isn't present, so the circuit is not complete. But if this is of real concern, you can completely remove your headlight assembly and still drive. Just don't drive at night and use hand signals for turning.

Once you get the new bulbs in, hook them up and see if they're working. Or swap the good bulb or the known working ballast to the other side.

You had to have removed the ballast when removing the bulbs. It was that black red box thing that sat over the bulb and rotated to lock in place. Super easy to replace if need be, not sure about cost though.
 

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2011 C30 R Design, orange flame metallic
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138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, it was definitely the bulb. Replaced with a set of Philips Xtreme Vision bulbs and they're working better than ever. Also replaced the high beams with Silverstar zXe bulbs, and... wow. I can see the paint melting off of the cars in front of me!
 

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Good for you, It is usually the bulbs. If it was the ballast there would be a trouble code stored in the central electrical module for gas discharge module(fancy for ballast) signal too low. They are located by taking the front fender liner down there up towards the front upper portion of the fender. There expensive.
 
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