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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2010 with bixenons is giving me an intermittent low beam failure message. Sometimes the light works just fine, sometimes it runs for a few minutes after I start the car, and sometimes it just never comes on.

From what I have seen, that usually means the ballast is bad, but I haven't been able to figure out if that means the igniter that is in the headlight housing or the actual ballast that is somewhere near the wheel well.

I know there have been a bunch of threads that mention this, but they are all older and any links to pictures are broken so I can't tell what they are talking about or what the process is to fix it.

There is also the option of saying f these and swapping to LEDs.

Thanks!
 

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Xenon bulbs are not like conventional bulbs - they can fail intermittently before dying completely... had a similar issue to that you describe with my S60 soon after I bought it and since anything beyond a bulb wasn't in the budget for a week or two I just bought a new bulb, popped it in and all has been good for almost six months now...

I'd start by swapping bulbs from one side to the other - if the problem switches sides it's the bulb, otherwise try swapping the igniters, again if the problem swaps sides you've found the culprit, if not then the ballast becomes the prime suspect
 

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Xenon bulbs are not like conventional bulbs - they can fail intermittently before dying completely...
I concur...

Same issue with my c30. Went on for years until finally I had a pretty consistent 50% strike failure. Changed both bulbs and that resolved the issue as well as increased the brightness. Xenons get quite dull as they age.

Be careful when you replace the bulbs, there is a tab on the retention ring that needs to be pressed back. It will break off if you don't press it back with a screwdriver.
 

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Remind me never to post about the longevity of my bulbs or any other consumable... my driver side headlight went out on my way home this evening barely two hours after my post above :/
 

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I'd bet money that the problem is your bulbs. As mentioned, xenon bulbs don't just go out, they can start to work intermittently.

When your bulb goes out and you get the message, switch to the parking lights (where the low beams are off) for a few seconds and flip them back on. That should fire the bulb back up.

One other item to consider is if any of the wiring inside the headlight housing is becoming frayed and shorting itself out. But what you described is the exactly what to expect with xenon lights near the end of their life.

Don't cheap out on bulbs. A good set of D2S bulbs will run you between $60-$120.
The main thing is making sure you don't get Chinese knock offs of a name brand. Quality bulbs should last you 50k+ miles of use before they start to dim.

I've been driving these cars for over 10 years now and I've only seen two cases of ballasts going bad and one instance of the xenon igniter going out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys!

I will swap the bulbs when I get home from work today and see what happens.

As far as replacing goes, I have thought about going LED instead of stuffing with the xenons. She's anyone know what kind of process that would be or if it would even be worth it? I plan on doing all the other outside lighting in LED so if headlights are a reasonable option I might as well do it now when mine are dead anyway.

For xenons though how do we feel about Morimotos? I've seen mixed reviews.


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As far as replacing goes, I have thought about going LED instead of stuffing with the xenons. She's anyone know what kind of process that would be or if it would even be worth it? I plan on doing all the other outside lighting in LED so if headlights are a reasonable option I might as well do it now when mine are dead anyway.

For xenons though how do we feel about Morimotos?
I'd love to say that it's impossible, but someone will chime in and say they've done it. Personally I don't see the point. Xenons are excellent.

No idea about Morimotos. I bought Osram bulbs from Germany. They weren't too expensive either.
 

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Halogens can be upgraded to LEDs with a kit, but you will get a bulb failure message at all times.
Xenons cannot be downgraded to LEDs or Halogen without extensive rewiring and a software alteration that may not be possible.

Morimoto makes the best HID kits and they're bulbs are good too. Even Philips D2S bulbs have been great for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I appreciate the help. And that you can decipher the posts that I clearly didn't proofread...


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