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Discussion Starter #1
recently i had a few issues with my xenon lights flickering and even had one cut out on me completely, only to come back on at it's own leisure. i've also been generally unimpressed with the lighting ability of the HIDs over the past 2 years i've had the car. especially in comparison to the HIDs on my previous car.

well i took the car in to have the flickering issue checked and they said i had bad xenon control units (the metal boxes on the bottom of the headlamp). i guess these are aka the ballast? :confused:

anyway, they replaced the control units under warranty and recommended replacing the bulbs since they seemed to be dimmer than normal. so i talked with the parts guy and he offered a discount on two new bulbs so i took the deal. when it got dark later that evening i took the car out for a spin and WOW!!! the lights are so much brighter and crisp it's like they were previously covered with shades! they must be at least twice as bright as before. not sure which made the most difference, the control units or the bulbs, but i have renewed appreciation for the HIDs in this car.

i suspect both the bulbs and the control units were exhausted due to being run as DRLs by the previous owner, since the DRL function basically cuts the life of the bulbs in half because they're always on.

advice for those with HIDs: pull your DRL fuse. get your control units checked if you have the flickering issue. get new bulbs if you can. in my case it made a HUGE difference! very pleased with the lights now. :cheesy:
 

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When did your bulbs flicker? Mine have a slight flicker when I turn them off and I just figured this to be the burning of excess gas with them going off.

I too have an '03 I bought in June that had the DLR's on. Immediately pulled the DRL fuse and I will say the bulbs don't seem as bright as I would expect from xenons. Hopefully I will just need new bulbs down the road and not the ballasts, but these are an easy enough DIY since they are already in there.
 

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Thanks for posting that. I have the pass side HID flickering. They seem bright enough, but the flickering is annoying. You are saying that the flickering is the control unit and not the bulb?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
tmg19103 said:
When did your bulbs flicker? Mine have a slight flicker when I turn them off and I just figured this to be the burning of excess gas with them going off.

I too have an '03 I bought in June that had the DLR's on. Immediately pulled the DRL fuse and I will say the bulbs don't seem as bright as I would expect from xenons. Hopefully I will just need new bulbs down the road and not the ballasts, but these are an easy enough DIY since they are already in there.
they would flicker while driving down the road. they used to flicker when turning them off or on, but i haven't noticed that since the change. changing the bulbs are definitely an easy diy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
bringer said:
Thanks for posting that. I have the pass side HID flickering. They seem bright enough, but the flickering is annoying. You are saying that the flickering is the control unit and not the bulb?
i don't know for sure if the flickering is caused by the bulb or the unit. i swapped my bulbs from one side to the other and the issue remained. that would lead me to believe it was the unit since that is what sends power to the bulb...
 

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Did further research.

The Saab OEM HID bulb is a D1S (not D1R - as the D1R is designed for a reflector type headlight housing - bulb will fit but the R bulb has a stripe to reduce glare in non-projector housings).

There are 2 flavors of this bulb - the normal and the HC (high color - 6000K). Osram is the only one that sells the High Color for the D1S OEM assembly. It comes with the ignitor assembly attatched to it for $125 each. If you don't mind a 4200K OEM color temp you can get the normal Osram D1S for $110.

Here is the link I found http://www.suvlights.com/product_info.php?products_id=70&osCsid=5b89dacfb8b35824842ff2c0216caadb

If anyone knows of a cheaper place to get the Osram D1S-HC let me know.
 

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I had the flickering problem a while back. Occasionally the light would shut off completely while I was driving, which was quite annoying. Replacing the bulb fixed the problem.
 

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Update on this. Flickering lights are not entirely unfortunate. I have had several folks think that my flickering light were emergency lights and pull over.

It does not do it that often, but I am still going to replace them. Just not eager to drop more than $200 on light bulbs. I guess it beats going to the dealer.
 

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Fairly straightforward - headlamp assembly does not need to be removed.

1. Remove battery cover.
2. Locate access plate on back of headlamp assy.
3. rotate and remove round access plate on back of headlight assembly (there may be a retaining screw near top that must be removed - have a look with a flashlight).
4. Unclip headlamp and ballast (silver square with hinged clip holding it on) and swing hinged clip out of the way.
5. remove headlamp and ballast. Undo Quadro (not sure on name) connector on side (this may just pull out - having trouble finding out more about this connector)
6. Connect new bulb and reverse steps.
 

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Shameless plug

So I order the Osram Slvania HID bulbs for $110 each plus $20 to ship them and am getting ready for bed a few hours later (like 11PM) and my phone rings. It is the guy from Suvlights asking about my order. He asks me how I know I ordered the right bulbs and what kind of car it is and confirms that I needed 2. At first I was a little indignant about being questioned but I quickly remembered that he did not have to call me and possibly stop me from ordering the wrong bulbs. So I talk with him about my symptoms and how I know that the D1S bulb is what I need. We agree that is the right bulb but then he asks me if I have isolated m problem to the bulb or the ballast. I told him that I thought the ballast comes with the bulb. He corrected my ignorance and told me that the ignitor is on the back of the bulb but the ballast is likely mounted beneath the headlight and is not what I ordered.

He recommended that I swap the headlight bulbs to see if the problem follows the bulb or the ballast. That way I don't order bulbs if I actually need a ballast.

I wish every company I dealt with was considerate enough to lend me the benefit of their expertise instead of just taking my money and shrugging when I buy the wrong thing.

So I have swapped them and will watch to see where the problem goes. I can then call him and either have him send my order or cancel and order the right thing.
 
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Can I ask you guys how fast your HID will flicker?
Mine is likely something like 10 times per second.

I just want to know if that is similar to most of yours, or if my issue is different.

Thanks guys!!!
 

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SUVLIGHTS.COM has been around for a while and is known for their excellent customer service and knowledge of many different vehicles. They are the only site I've seen that carries the OEM 6000k D1S bulbs.
 

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If it is flickering all the time or just when you turn them off/on?

Is it one or both lights. If one then swap the bulbs.

UPDATE on my situation: I swapped my bulbs and my problem went away. I expect them to fail soon though as they are getting old. suvlights.com cancelled my order with no questions and was excellent to deal with. When do they do quit, I will buy my replacement bulbs there.

RE: SUVLIGHTS.COM - I spoke with John there about the 6000k HID bulbs. He recommends the 4250k for me because I do a lot of driving and the lower temp color will result in less color induced fatigue. The 6000k bulbs only put out about 90% of the light as the 4250k and look almost as blue. The only reason to get the 6000k bulbs is for looks, the lower temp color ones are superior in every other way...cheaper too.
 
G

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Mine only flicker at times... and it's never when I shut the car off, my lights go out when I remove my keys.

Maybe about 30% of the time my lights flicker. They can do it sitting in a parking lot or driving. If I smack the car around the light area it makes no difference.

I will try swapping bulbs this weekend.
Lots of good reading on this site!!

Thanks,
DaveH.
 

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Update:
When I was speaking with John at Suvlights.com I told him about the problem I was having with my High beam/low beam shutter sticking. He said that the headlight unit was manufactured by Valeo in Indiana and that I should call them to see if they could help.

Well I called them today and described to Marvin (manager of QA or Product) what is happening with my light. I told him that the warranty had expired. He agreed with me that it was a safety issue and said that I should not be having these problems with only 52k miles on the car. He said they would send me a replacement unit (Free). His assistant called me later to get my shipping address and warned that it may take a little while as they have no US stock for that part and must get one from Europe but when they get one in it will go to me.

With the assistance of suvlights.com and Valeo, I will have all of my headlight issues resolved for $0 and very little hassle.

How cool is that? :D
 
G

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Kind of humorous in a sad way...

I was going to swap my front lights to see if the flicker followed the bulb or the balast, but then the flicker swapped sides on me the day I was going to change them!!! So, bottom line, they both flicker on me now... sometimes...

arg!

I guess I will start with the cheapest parts!!

DaveH. :)
 
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