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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple days ago, my XC90 displayed the "low beam failure" message, and indeed, it's time to replace the bulbs: the left projector shows the tell-tale pink-ish light, while the right one sometimes flickers like a fluorescent light on its way out...

My question pertains to the most cost-effective way to go about this. I'm aware the recommended way is to have the dealer do the replacement, as xenons need to be handled a certain way. However, the bulbs are $200+ each plus whatever labor they would charge...

Replacing them myself would be really easy and save me a significant amount on cash (no labor + Volvo OEM bulbs are much cheaper online), BUT I don't want to risk ruining the bulbs!

What do you guys opine – is this a low-risk DIY or in fact best left to the pros?
 

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I've installed plenty of hid systems. I wear rubber gloves and don't touch the glass. If you do just clean it with some rubbing alcohol.
 

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HID bulb, right ?
Bought a pair of Osram Sylvania D1S HID 4300k bulbs for $59 off the big auction site and replaced both a month or so back. Pretty simple job. (http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?186803-Xenon-(HID)-Headlight-bulb-replacement-2007), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsKzGsJIX3k (I did not remove my headlights, did them in place). Take your time and for sure wear gloves and make sure the bulb does not touch anything if you can. As Ou2mame notes, if it does, wipe with a clean cloth and alcohol.

I left my headlight switch in the on (far clockwise) position for a few days to season the bulbs as some have suggested. Probably not really needed but did it anyway.
 

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I picked these up earlier this year, SYLVANIA D1S High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulb, (Pack of 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00265FXTA/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_-HOdwbK4KQPTM, and have been happy. Made a noticeable difference.

Install is super easy, but a little nerve racking. Some pieces of the headlights seem delicate. ggleavitt is spot on. Take your time, and wear some gloves. All in it is a 30 minute job.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses, guys! I'll definitely be tackling the bulb change myself. :D

I want to order these but I'm conflicted as to the wattage – is the stock XC90 active xenon bulb supposed to be 35W or 55W? I ask b/c the projectors do both low- and high-beam duty in my car right now; the inboard halogen reflector lamps do nothing.

Seems the Volvo part number is 30763954, if that helps.
 

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First link in Subpost #3, all the part numbers noted are 35W, 4000k temp range or thereabouts (4150, 4300, that neighborhood). I coulda also sworn I saw somewhere that high beams are a function of the light assembly itself. Either assembly tilt up or a magnetic flap, something like that.

I believe the inboard halogens are supposed to be DRL, on in light switch position 1 (auto light). If you select position 3, the HID are on all the time and I don't think inboard halogens do anything at all. Can see http://new.volvocars.com/ownersdocs/2009/2009_XC90/XC90_OM_US_MY09-web.pdf, page 63 for more detail on the scenarios

And, as unsolicited advice, if you're replacing one bulb, replace both so they age the same. Keep the working bulb for a spare.

Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Of course! I always replace them in pairs anyway...though both have started flickering now, so it seems I wouldn't have a choice anyway. :D

Just confirmed on the car – the inboard reflectors are in fact on when the light switch is at position 1 (i.e. the one labelled as 0 on the switch itself).

Good to know that the high-beam function isn't down to the bulb. My VW has a single halogen that functions as both, but is 55W as a result (in its case, it's down to the bulb, not the assembly), so I wanted to make sure. Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Question regarding that red clip you need to take off (seen here) in order to unplug the headlight assembly. It seemed quite difficult to remove, and I didn't want to break anything...what tool is needed to get it off safely?
 

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I never pulled the assembly, got the metal pieces out, moved the assembly forward and did them in place. So I couldn't tell ya....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Would you say it's safe to replace the bulbs w/o unplugging the assembly? I'm just worried b/c of the whole "xenons are high-voltage" thing, otherwise I'd just replace them like I've done with halogens in the past – without unplugging anything.

Edit: NVM, just replaced the bulbs w/o unplugging the assemblies. Everything seems ok, just gotta wait for those 20hrs now hehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Following up for the curious and those doing the swap for the first time...

The clips that hold the bulb in place are quite strong. They'll require some extra muscle to seat properly – the right amount of pressure might feel like too much effort if you haven't done the bulb swap before. If the bulb isn't 'all the way in', you won't see more than a meter in front of you when driving.

The lightbulbs themselves are fantastic ! It also seems that they may have been broken in pre-purchase, though given mostly daytime driving during that period, I can't confirm.
 

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I picked these up earlier this year, SYLVANIA D1S High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulb, (Pack of 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00265FXTA/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_-HOdwbK4KQPTM, and have been happy. Made a noticeable difference.

Install is super easy, but a little nerve racking. Some pieces of the headlights seem delicate. ggleavitt is spot on. Take your time, and wear some gloves. All in it is a 30 minute job.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Purchased same bulbs, also very happy with light. Install simple under 30 minutes. Just google install instructions.
 

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Don't pull the red plug out. It comes out most of the way, then the electrical circuit comes out. I used a flathead screwdriver to get it started. Mine were caked with mud from the spring though. Don't force anything. The bulb itself has a plastic part that rotates to release the bulb. Mine took 10 minutes total. I didn't use gloves, just made sure the key was out of the ignition. Replaced mine with $79 10,000 kelvin bulbs. Also, I wired my DRL's (what you said were the inboard halogens) into my fog lights so they are constantly on. It helps fill the gap between the fog lamps and the HID's. They shut off with the fog lamps when I switch to high beams.
 
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