Question about 1999 BMW 318 ti

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Xenon light flickering - 1999 BMW 318 ti

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  • gammi786 Dec 26, 2008

    hi, can anyone help i have fitted a hid kit to my e30 when its on low beam they flicker but soon as they are switched full beam they're fine




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You probably have to add a relay sometimes the power output from the stock wires isnt enough

Posted on Feb 15, 2009


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2001 BMW 325x1 - one out of two xenon headlamp

It is very common to have failures of bulbs and/or igniters on these BMW lighting systems. First thing I would try is to swap the bulb from one side to the other. If the problematic bulb works on the side that works fine and the bulb that does work fine doesn't on the other side, it is the bulb. If not then it is probly the igniter. Make sure the ignition is off and be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when working with this system, they put out high voltage and can hurt you if you are not careful. If all else fails, take it to a good technician WITH experience with BMW. Good Luck

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Left zenon low beam flickers and the left front bulb warning indicator is on

Sounds like the power ballast is failing - that's what takes the 12v signal from the car and amplifies it up to a level sufficient for driving the xenon bulb. Swap the ballasts between the headlights (they're easy to dismount) and see if the flicker goes to the other side (swap only the ballasts - leave the bulbs in their existing positions). If the flicker moves to the other side, the ballast is the problem. If it stays on the left side, the bulb needs replacement.

Search online for the bulbs - the dealer will kill you on pricing (the Audi dealership wants $200 each for my A4's xenon bulbs, but I can find them online for about $30 per pair (or less)). You'd want to order a D2S style bulb for an OEM BMW fitment, in 4300k color temperature.

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you can retroffit xenon light kits at a third of the pric ebmw lights are very expensive and customer tend to retrofit instead

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Xenon headlight problems

there are 3 things that make the xenon in your car work the bulb, an ignitor, and a control module, you know your bulbs are ok so thats good, now you will want to swap the control modules they are a metal box attached to the headlight assembly its roughly 4"x4" you will remove the hheadlight assemblys to get to the module, there are 4 8mm bolts and then it pulls out, it the light follows the control module then thats what you will need if not you will need an ignigtor, as far as the flickering that is moet likely the module going bad, the company that makes this system is AL (automotive lighting) there is an SIB from BMW about this that says under a warr claim both control modules are to be replaced and the bulb of the faulty headlight, however i cant count the number of times i have done all that and still have to replace the ignigtor, If it is the Ign that is alot harder to swap as you have to dis assembly the entire light assembly

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Well, I don't have a specific solution to your problems but I found a troubleshooting guide on ebay that might help...hope it helps...
Click Here

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1 Answer

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The ballasts take the 12v power of the car and amplify it to 22,000 volts to ignite the lights. After that, they run at a constant 85-95 volts to keep the lights on. You may have a weakness in the electrical system that is causing the battery voltage to drop just enough during startup that the lights won't ignite. Are you turning them on before cranking the engine? You shouldn't do that for a few reasons (if you are) - one, the life of the xenon ballasts can be severely shortened by flickering, and two, having the lights on puts additional strain on the battery while starting, as most of its amperage is needed to turn the engine over. Get a piece of 10 gauge wire (a stereo shop can sell it to you) a couple feet long. Put a ring terminal on each end and attach one to the battery's negative side, and the other to a bolt in the engine bay. This will give your car an additional ground point that can help its conductivity better and it may help to alleviate your problem.

If the problem is simply that the lights will not turn on, you may need either new bulbs or new ballasts. They're very expensive from a Mercedes dealership (on my Audi, the bulbs are over $200 each and the ballasts are even more) but you can find them online for a fraction of that.

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You could have a problem with the xenon light itself on the passenger side or the wiring running to the light assembly.You could unplug the connector from the light assembly and replace the fuse if it still blows the fuse, its in the wiring harness if it doesn't it problably is in the light assembly. I'm not sure how the lights are configured on the Z if the zenon lamp is replaceable by itself, you can try swapping it out. I haven't had any problems with my Z but those are a few suggestions on troubleshooting your problem.

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