Xenon Headlamp problem - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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#1 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 01:04 AM
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Xenon Headlamp problem

OK so heres the scenario, I have an '05 330CI with adaptive xenon headlights, after going through a car wash, both headlights now show as failed and do not turn on. I looked and a gasket that is supposed to cover the lights is missing on both sides from the previous owner who had installed after market Halos then removed them and the cover. So i am assuming water got in there, I took the lights out and the igniters out and let them dry for a few hours I still get nothing.

The high beam shutter is still working, and I can see the adaptives moving but no light. With the headlight setting on auto it has no lights on for about 10 seconds then the light out indicator lights, and the fog lights kick on. What do you guys think the problem is (the bulbs look fine btw) Also are there any leads to test to verify I am getting current?
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 01:16 AM
OMFG another one!?
 
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witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice witeshark is just really nice
Have a look at the relays. realoem.com < can help

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 01:23 AM
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I looked at the relays located under the hood but all I saw on the diagram was automatic transmission, ignition coil, and wipers nothing about the headlamps.

RealOEM.com BMW E46 330Ci Relay positioning, engine compartment
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 09:00 AM
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My friend had a simular issue with a 99' 528i with xenons. I also took apart my lights and did research on them throughly before installing some after market ccfl angel eyes. What I noticed is that if ANY form of moisture touches the actual black projecter beam ( that projects and magnifies the light from the bulb ) will cause it to malfunction. Especially if it's hot. ALso my inverters for the angel eyes are very sensitive to moisture, as they sit underneath the headlamp assembly.

Lets just take some time to analyze the sequence of events. I suppose you went to an automatic car washing system. So the question is how did the water get from the car wash to the lights in some form? Well think about this. The water run off from the windshield and around that area run into two long, skinny, and narrow "channels" located underneath the hood on either side of the hood. You probably already know this. So if the headlamp unit is not sealed properly along the back plastic ( where it is holding the ballasts or so ) , some traces of water will either drip into it, or settle there and produce moisture which will still mess with the lighting. Check the ballasts, and the backing area.

Also, when you dissasembled the lights did ANY moisture seem apparent? Would you mind taking at least three pictures and posting them here. One with the actual headlamp assembly, one with the headlamp sealed and angled directly above the unit. ( Open the hood and take the pic so I can see the back of the housing ), and one with the after market halos.

Keep us poted

I spend at least 2 hours a day cleaning my car
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 10:14 AM
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There was some water that got into the headlight housing for sure, last night I opened it up and got a paper towel to soak up as much as I could and then had a fan on it for a few hours as well. The weirdest part to me is that it is both headlights, the odds of both being affected exactly the same just seems unlikely I am leaning towards some sort of fuse or something that has control over both.

I know how the water got in,

just look at this diagram
RealOEM.com BMW E46 330Ci Single components f headlight Xenon/ALC

Part number 8 that seal on top is missing from both sides.

I'm just worried it killed the control unit (Part 16) since it sits at the bottom.
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 04:37 PM
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So I as I have been looking around people have been saying no flicker at all usually is the igniter and not the control unit. Am I correct in my assumption?
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 07:33 PM
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I mean, it sounds like a pretty logical assumption to me. If water got in a lighter it's as good as trash so to speak. If the control unit were faulty, then none of your lights would respond in my opinion. I think you should take your car to a place that specializes in electrical work in order to test the igniter for workability. And after reading your original post over again im almost certain it's your igniters.

I spend at least 2 hours a day cleaning my car
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 07:41 PM
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Well I got it solved (once the part comes in) I removed the headlights the ECU at the bottom of the lights were completely waterlogged, standing water in both, Took them both off covers off and dried them out with a hair dryer. One of the lights came back to life (somehow) the other is still out. So i swapped bulbs and igniters and it switched sides so it has to be the ECU. On the AL lights at least each xenon has its own control unit in addition to the central control.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 08:18 PM
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wow man, i know this sounds a little bit wierd, but im actually happy for you. Its nothing like getting a problem solved by yourself. Excuse my answers, I dont know about your car just trying to brainstorm. Anyways, you have a great car as what I see from your sig column a 330i zhp pckg. Let me know how they work after the part comes in bro.

I spend at least 2 hours a day cleaning my car
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 08:26 PM
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Happy is an understatement for me, as I was investigating there were 2 $450 parts, 2 $200 parts and 2 $120 parts that all could be killed by water. Lucky for me I have a friend that works at the local BMW service center and he had the part I needed (one of the $450 parts) and since they recalled the 01-03 version of that part, every time a car that the light was in (regardless if the car needed it or not) he would order the part anyways since BMW would just send him the part and not charge. So freebies are good. That is the key to owning a BMW, either having too much money to know what to do with, or have friends who know BMW like mine do.

So what potentially could have cost me $1400 in parts alone ended up being free.
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#11 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 08:16 PM
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Sigh, so close. Replaced the other ECU now I have lights. They auto level correctly too. NOW the adaptives no longer move side to side. I am assuming it is the control module that is next to the Xenon ECU but my question is does anyone happen to know if one of the adaptives fail does it lock both in place, or are the independent?
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#12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 01:57 PM
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Unhappy problems with my headlights

Hi There, I have a 2003 BMW 325i and 1 of the xenon bulbs burnt out on the passenger side, so i order the after market d2c 35w 60000 bulb and had it installed on both side by my mechanic, it worked for 1 day then suddenly the next day both light indicator light up on the dash board inside and then both the headlights wont work any more, please help!!!!

Country: Canada
Make: BMW
Model: 325i
Year: 2003

Already Tried:
put in any other set of new bulbs and still won't work. Pls help
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#13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Chow View Post
Hi There, I have a 2003 BMW 325i and 1 of the xenon bulbs burnt out on the passenger side, so i order the after market d2c 35w 60000 bulb and had it installed on both side by my mechanic, it worked for 1 day then suddenly the next day both light indicator light up on the dash board inside and then both the headlights wont work any more, please help!!!!

Country: Canada
Make: BMW
Model: 325i
Year: 2003

Already Tried:
put in any other set of new bulbs and still won't work. Pls help
So 2003, not adaptive you have either AL lights, or ZKW. I think you have the ZKW's because they do not like the 35W xenons, my uneducated, but halfway experienced recommendation would be to get yourself an OEM bulb (BMW Part No. 07119904790) and try it out, if not it may be the igniter or the control module...if it is the control modules I would be surprised and you better hope its not cause those are about $450 a pop.
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#14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 06:02 PM
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Cool xenon headlight problem

Sorry so what is AL lights, or ZKW
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#15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Chow View Post
Sorry so what is AL lights, or ZKW
It is the maker of the light. There should be a label that shows who made it, but I am guessing it is ZKW.
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