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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
H11,6000k, 55W Canbus ballasts: My driver's side low beam doesn't come on more frequently, when the engine is started, than it does come on. When it does come on, it is noticeably brighter than the other / passenger side bulb. I've replaced the bulb, and wrapped he connection point where the bulb connect with the ballast cable after cleaning and using dielectric grease, thinking that water may have corroded the contacts. The bulb stayed on for a while the resumed the same behavior. I replace the bulb again, started the car and the bulb came on, for about 30 seconds then turned off as I was watching it. I put the first bulb back in and it worked until I stopped the car and restarted it.

So, I checked the ballast which is a 1 piece unit. The cable leading from is insulated and does not screw off so, at this point, I don't know if the problem is the ballast or not. Any suggestions ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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you need to make a hard reset to the ECU, i didnt know until i few days ago that the ECU will inspect the current on each headlights, when there is a problem, short, etc...it will shut off completly or will make something weird to it. It happen to me. I did that and also try to remove the kit and connect directly to a 12V source so any carbon or yellow parts inside the capsule can be burned for about 30 min. Install again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It looks like I'll have to do the reset. I got a pair of canceler's which did nothing the resolve the problem. I tried both of the pair on the affected bulb. I'll try swapping the ballasts before the ECU reset just to be sure. I found this in another thread as a description of the reset procedure : "Disconnect both battery cables (negative first) and touch them together for 3 minutes. Then reconnect them (positive first)." So touching the + and - cables together results in a reset of the ECU ?

I see there is also a fuse for the ECM and the low beams. I guess I should check the fuse for the low beam since it's not coming on at all now.

Do I need the radio code after doing this ? If so, how do I get it ?

TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did the ECU reset on my way to work and the bulb came on when I started back up. This was truly an annoying problem... I dropped 15 bucks on the cancelers so I'll leave them in place, I guess. Maybe they will be of use someday. one light is still brighter than the other so maybe the wiring harness is needed ?

volvo60t5x, thanks for the tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it turns out that I spoke too soon. When I started my car after work, no light. I'll replace a fuse since that's one thing I haven't tried. Since the light came on after the reset, I'm officially stumped. If it was a bad ballast, I would think the reset would have had no affect but it did. It's especially puzzling since the cancelers are still on... Back to square 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I replaced the fuses for the low beam and no luck. I recall that last week, for about 4 days, I was getting a position bulb out warning whiich was then a 'multiple bulb' when the headlight was out. It was the rear fog light when I visually checked. It went away and the bulb has been coming on with no intervention. I wonder If I have some sort of electrical issue. My front fog lights won't come on but I need to replace one to be sure it's not both bulbs (H1, i believe)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Update : This morning I swapped ballasts and used new 55W resistors / cancelers (just to be sure) and on the first start the bulb came on. Feeling good, I was still cautious so it turned off the engine, pulled the key and went into the house for about 10 min. I came back and started the car and BAM! There was the error again and the same (driver's side) bulb did not come on.

Since both fog lights are out I believe it's fuse 34 in the passenger fuse box. The fuses in the passenger box are not as wide as those in the engine compartment fuse box. Anyone know where I can grab some on a sunday ?

To date, in chronological order, I've:

-Replaced the bulb with new one, twice
-Put on 55W resistors / cancelers
-Hard ECU reset via disconnecting battery cables and touching them for 10 min before reconnecting
-swapped fuses 30 and 31 in the passenger compartment fuse box
-Swapped the passenger side ballast over to the driver side ballast


The driver's side bulb came on after the ECU reset and the ballast swap but only during that driving session. After turning off the car the bulb does not come on the next time the car is started. I'm wondering if I don't have a short somewhere. How does the headlight assembly ( and the low beam bulb ) get power ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I replaced the 30 and 31 fuses with no change in the bulb outage BUT after changing fuse #34 the front fog lights are working again. I'm down to a short or relay so I'll stop by a volvo dealer parts counter tomorrow.
 

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Ismthe fuse blowed everytime?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Fuse 34 was bad but 30 and 31 were fine ( when I swapped before, I just took 30 and put it in 31 and vice versa). I replaced them anyway just to erase it off the list of possible factors.

Very strangely, several hours after the fuse change this after noon ( which followed the ballast change this morning), I went go look at some TV's at best buy and was halfway there before I noticed neither of my low beams were on. I toggled the switch ( the one just above the fuel door release) and the passenger bulb came on as I was driving. I get to the store do my business and start the car to go home and low an behold. The driver side bulb comes on and the passenger side bulb is out.... LOL. This is one trippy problem.

Mind you, I swapped ballasts this morning but after the swap both lights came on on the first start and the following start resulted in the same driver's side bulb being out... until i left best buy. I haven't started it again but I will in the morning. I'm thinking it may be the ballast but the logical progression of observable behavior ruled that out until I left best buy. Maybe it is or maybe it's the relay ? If it was a short in the driver's side harness then the outage should not have changed sided.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After a day of running around town, the problem is as clear as mud. I had the left bulb out, both bulbs on, the right bulb out. It must be the relay switch or a gremlin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I picked up a relay today, Volvo part # 9441161. I had to pull relays from the board until I found the one that affects the DRL's. It was on the left side of the board, 1 row up on the left edge orientated 90 deg, from the bottom edge. After I replaced the relay, both lights came one. I stopped and started again and they held. On the 4th start I got the BOW error but not since. So far 6 of 7 good starts as I've been driving around running errands. I'll see what happens as time passes. The parts guy told me that if the battery has been disconnected for a while, sometime the s/w has to be reloaded. I disconnected the battery to replace radio illumination bulbs last year a few months before I got the HID's. The relay change is promising, though. A picture of the CEM is in the following discussion URL. The part was $20.

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=45973
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So for today, I had some consistency in the DRL performance. The left / driver's side bulb did not come on 4 out of 5 starts...

The only thing left to look at is the wiring. Does anyone know how the headlamp gets it's power when an HID kit is installed? I've read that a wiring harness, sold by HID kit makers, 'goes directly to the power source'. Is anyone familiar with these ? I'd like to know how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is going to sound crazy... But maybe not so much : I've noticed ( as people notice things and then think there is a connection ) that when I close the door put on my seat belt and then start the car, the driver's side bulb comes on.... every single time, even after I don't do it then start the car and get the bulb out condition. I tested it several times. Rather than go out and drop $20 per on more relays, has anyone seen anything remotely resembling this issue ?

I could try to trace the existing wiring harness / relays / etc. If it's a physical issue ( wiring short somewhere behind the driver's headlamp and before where it terminates) then I can trace that or just get a replacement headlamp unit that includes the harness since my headlamp is already in bad shape cosmetically

An alt solution may be to just bypass it altogether with an HID wiring harness ( I think ). I have a coupon for a free s/w update ( with any service) from the dealer but don't think a s/w update will solve this. Who knows, it might. Any suggestions ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I checked the wiring harness. It looks fine. Except for 2 wires that go from the inside of the headlamp assembly and connect to the HID ballast wire connector. I can't see where it goes to inside of the assembly. I didn't put the kit on so I don't know if it part of the OE assembly or was added as part of the kit install Anyone know ?:

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I looked closer and see the wires that feed into the canceller-->ballast have a plastic tie down inside the headlamp assembly that looks 'factory' and it terminates at the connector / plug on the assembly where the halogen (factory) wiring harness plugs into. So it looks like it's part of the headlamp assembly. Since the same side (drivers) is the problem and I've swapped bulbs, ballast and relay, the issue point to the remaining elements on that side: either the wires coming from the socket to the canceller+ballast, Factory wiring harnes (which works fine for the other factory bulbs in the assembly), or headlamp socket. Are there any ways I can check and isolate the issue to one of those components ?

Ballast connection to Headlamp socket :


Tie down inside headlamp assembly:


Wire to headlamp wiring harness socket:



Another angle:
 

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Did you ever get this issue resolved. I seem to have a similar but maybe not the same problem. I just installed HID light last week purchased from company called KENSUN off Amazon.

My issue only appears in the morning, seems it's related to the car sitting for a long period of time. Only happens to the left bulb, originally I thought it was a bad ballast and I had the company send a new kit. Swapped everything and I thought it was working until the next morning. It lights up and once the bulb comes up to the temperature it shuts off and I get a dash message bub is out.

Site that sell HID kits suggest, this is an issue with the autolight/drl.

I recall reading that there's no way to turn off the drl function on the xc90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Success !!!

I ended up replacing the headlight with a TYC unit since the oxidation was so bad. And, since having 1 clear headlight and 1 cloudy one don't look right, I ended up replacing both. The oxidation was well into the inside surface of the lens so it was time.
 
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