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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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HID headlight question.

Last night I was driving to Walmart and there is a place on the road that is a real sharp "S" shape. I went to hit my high beams by pushing on the turn signal stalk. Well in my panic I didn't get it pushed forward far enough and all my headlights went totally out. Then I hit the stalk again and they came back on with high beams. But the quickness of them being off for literally a second or two and then back on caused my driver HID to burnout, or I am assuming it is burned out. It doesn't work, so the old adage of HID's not surviving in the high beam side because of flashing is correct. My question is when an HID burns out does the bulb look black? There's no filament to check for continuity. Does anyone know what the voltage to the bulb is supposed to be? I just want to check the ballast to be sure it is operating but not even sure if the voltage output of the ballast is AC or DC. I also have the added antiflicker Can Bus error protector thingy, so it could be that. But anyay does anyone have any experience of troubleshooting aan HID ballast and bulb? DCO
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:01 PM
 
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HID headlight question.

Quickest convention is to swap bulbs left right. I was just reading and output from ballast is very high at startup and levels off to 8000V, or something like that. Will probably blow any average Joe multimeter to smitherines...

I think up to 23kV on startup if I recall seeing somewhere correctly....
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:08 PM
 
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Or maybe if easier swap ballasts left right.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:08 PM
 
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I carry a spare bulb AND ballast...................;)
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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JZ....Just swap the bulbs ! Why didn't I think of that? (cause I'm a dummy). Thanks Jesse.
And Chieftmc, I just ordered another set of ballasts and bulbs that are identical and from the same ebay seller as the ones I have installed now. On top of that I ordered 2 more extra HID bulbs.

55W HID Xenon Bulbs Headlight Conversion Kit H1 H3 H4 H7 H10 9005 9006 880 9004 | eBay


Now I do remember someone on the forum saying don't buy the cheap HID systems, but in it's defense if I hadn't fumbled with the high beam switch it would have never happened. And on top of that driving after night with only the passenger side headlight, it lights up the road almost as good as having two, so there must be alot of overlap in the 2 beams.
JZ if those little digital ballasts run at 8000 volts I'm gonna connect some welding leads to them and use the Fortwo as a gigantic arc welder!.....Not really, I know it's all voltage and only milliamps in the current department.
I installed the ballasts and the anti-flicker Can-Bus error canceller right over the top of the headlight assembly with the provided doubled sided sticky tape. And I have a blurry picture to prove it. lol

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 05:13 AM
 
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I'm not sure if you know, but I think the bi-xenon lights use a mechanical "eyelid" that opens wider to function as a flasher/high beam....

I tried to bench test a window roll up module once with a multimeter. I could not get a voltage reading on it. When I put it in it worked. Must have some resistance sensor to measure whether to give output or not. (Just some foresight into your electric window future....). I believe this tells the unit/switch to stop giving power once the widow is either completely closed or open lest you burn out the motor or break something....

You're not a dummy. You just want to know how exactly things work. But I guess in this case it is like a spark plug, except the electrodes are inside a special gas mix which gives the electrons jump some unique properties. Hard at first but real easy once flowing from what I understand. Non-linear resistance is beyond me..... I suspect you already knew to swap but was curious if someone knew a way to test them. You could try testing the resistance difference (Ohms) between the working side and the non-working side to see what you can see.....
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 05:21 AM
 
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I had a strange thought. Why did switching, or moving the switch, on the way, to high beams cause every light to turn off? Seems like a safety hazard that should't be happening. (If I wasn't scared there might be a coyote outside I might just grab my key and go out and check mine...). Is this normal, that transient switching between modes causes the lights to go out?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:04 AM
 
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In my smart the low beams stay on all the time, including while the high beams are on (stalk forward) or being flashed (stalk pulled back).
If yours turned off there is something else wrong...
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:03 AM
 
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I think DCO had it turn off in the middle of switching, the transient state while he was moving the stalk from low to high beam mode. I tried this Saturday morning in the parking garage at Kaiser and it did no such thing on mine....
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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I was driving with my low beams on and I very quickly reached up and haphazardly pushed the stalk forward to engage the high beams. It felt as though I didn't get it pushed all the way forward as though it was "in between" low and high beam and the headlights went completely out, but the parking lights were still on. In a split second I grabbed the stalk again and pushed it forward and the low and high beam came back on. It all happened very quickly in just a second or two. Then after I rounded the "s" turn I pulled the stalk to me to return to low beam because a car was coming towards me. That's when I noticed the low beams seemed dimmer. When I got to Walmart I got out and looked and sure enough I had the driver side out.
Been too busy to check it out. I took on a job doing some house remodeling for a lady friend and I have had no time to check out the problem, just drive it right now. I need to switch out bulbs to see of it is the ballast. I hope driving it with the headlamp out doesn't ruin the ballast. Guess I should unplug the ballast until the new bilbs come in. I don't know if the ballast continues to fire at high voltage to try and start the lamp. Seeing how a HID lamp is a glass cylinder with 2 electrodes in it and filled with gas, I don't see how it could just burn out all of a sudden even from the a quick shot of "startup voltage" after it's heated up and working. There's no filament to break. It seems as one would die it would get dimmer as the bulb uses up the gas in it. And they tout that HID's last alot longer than halogens. I even have the anti flicker modules which I presume is some sort of a capacitor that smooths out the voltage spikes to keep the bulb from flickering. It seems that those should have protected the bulb a little. Gonna have to read up on it when I get a chance.
I'm afraid to try and duplicate what I did with the stalk for fear that I would blow out the remaining headlight. Using the top adjuster that raises or lowers both hi and lo beams, I have the low beams right where they need to be, but now the high beams are almost in the trees. I need to adjust that 5 sided stud on the bottom back side of the assembly, but need to cut a slot in it to use a screwdriver on it. The driver side 5 sided adjuster I have already replaced with a threaded rid and wing nut, so adjustment on that side will be easy.
Ordered extra ballast and bulbs kit just like I installed and even bought a couple more extra HID bulbs but they won't be here for a couple of weeks. I'm afraid of getting pulled over for a dead headlight. Driving with my green LED DRL's and green LED's glowing through the grille is bad enough. DCO
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