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      10-24-2006, 04:00 PM   #1
ShereKhan
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Non Xenon E90

I've managed to clock 5k miles so far in my 320si company car. So far so good. The only gripe I have so far is the non xenon headlights & fog lights I have. I have driven many different cars and the lights I have are absolutely appalling.

I really wish I had spend the extra for Xenon lamps. The beam is useless and does not stretch far enough (my old Peugeot had much better headlights).

The fog lights are also very poor - they seem to light up more of the right hand side of the road than the left.

What do other members think of the standard non xenon E90 headlights?

Should I take in to be checked? Or is this normal?
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      10-25-2006, 02:33 AM   #2
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Hi - glad you are enjoying the 320si.

I have non-xenon lights on my car, and I have noticed the beam cut off seems quite low (just yesterday I checked I hadn't hit the levelling switch by mistake). However, I have only driven the car on motorways and lit A-roads at night so far, and therefore haven't had any problems.
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      10-25-2006, 02:44 AM   #3
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I must admit that I am in this camp too.

I also wish I had gone for xenon's & believe the standard lights are ok, but not great after having previously had a car which had xenon's.

BUT ... that's my only regret concerning the car and effectively "my" mistake for not speccing them, as otherwise the pup is fantastic
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      10-25-2006, 04:03 AM   #4
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I've got the xenons and they are awesome. I was driving through some unlit lanes the other night with my high beam on and they are so much brighter than the high beam halogen used for flashing your lights. I was pulling the stalk towards me for a holgen flash and pushing away for the xenon high beam and there was a big big difference. I'm sure most of you are aware that you can convert from halogen to xenon but its very expensive.
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      10-25-2006, 04:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beauforty
I've got the xenons and they are awesome. I was driving through some unlit lanes the other night with my high beam on and they are so much brighter than the high beam halogen used for flashing your lights. I was pulling the stalk towards me for a holgen flash and pushing away for the xenon high beam and there was a big big difference. I'm sure most of you are aware that you can convert from halogen to xenon but its very expensive.
Yep, i'll second that - it's a useful option. I do dread the day that all cars on the road will have them though, it's going to be dazzle-central
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      10-25-2006, 05:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beauforty
I've got the xenons and they are awesome. I was driving through some unlit lanes the other night with my high beam on and they are so much brighter than the high beam halogen used for flashing your lights. I was pulling the stalk towards me for a holgen flash and pushing away for the xenon high beam and there was a big big difference. I'm sure most of you are aware that you can convert from halogen to xenon but its very expensive.

is this something the dealer can do and if so are the costs similar to having them fitted as an option, or as i suspect much dearer ?
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      10-25-2006, 06:06 AM   #7
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I guess it could be quite expensive. Not only do you change the lights, but I believe under UK law they have to be self levelling and kept clean by headlight washers . If that is the case, I imagine BMW would charge the earth!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong re: what is required under law.
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      10-25-2006, 07:18 AM   #8
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Not sure about the law side of things
Most of the time it will be a clean rip-off to make the changes and Xenons are only relatively cheap when you order a car to be built up - to add them afterwards will be far too dear and probably not worth it...
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      10-25-2006, 07:27 AM   #9
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Yes, much more expensive to convert than if you had paid for the option. Appartently around 900 just for the parts needed (headlight units, washers, module and switches) and at least 5 hours of labour.

There's an interesting thread here on all of this:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...non+conversion

If you check out the DIY thread for the conversion, you will see how tricky the process is and can understand why it takes so long:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...non+conversion
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      10-26-2006, 03:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beauforty
Yes, much more expensive to convert than if you had paid for the option. Appartently around 900 just for the parts needed (headlight units, washers, module and switches) and at least 5 hours of labour.

There's an interesting thread here on all of this:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...non+conversion

If you check out the DIY thread for the conversion, you will see how tricky the process is and can understand why it takes so long:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...non+conversion



Oh well, will have to wait a couple of years and spec them on my next Bimmer

In the meantime ... lovin' the 330i m sport
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      10-26-2006, 05:57 PM   #11
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I'm sure our non Xenon cars will be modded by the next owner.
As i'm sure an OEM equivalent/after market part will appear.

Unfortunately i can't mod my 320si as its a company car. If I had paid 25k I would be really disappointed and kicking myself. I will definately get them on my next car......

I didn't spec them as I already hit my monthly budget for the 320si.

Xenon's do require a headlamp wash to be fitted. The reason for this is so that the beam can focus correctly. When the lens is dirty the beam pattern is distorted and it affects the quality of light. So its a requirement that the headlamp wash is present.
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      10-27-2006, 09:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShereKhan
Snake
I'm sure our non Xenon cars will be modded by the next owner.
As i'm sure an OEM equivalent/after market part will appear.
I may have a pair of UK Xenon's available in 18 months or so when I convert back to US. They won't have the ballast or other supporting electronics, just the headlamp unit as it bolts to the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShereKhan
Xenon's do require a headlamp wash to be fitted. The reason for this is so that the beam can focus correctly. When the lens is dirty the beam pattern is distorted and it affects the quality of light. So its a requirement that the headlamp wash is present.
Is it a legal requirement or a functional requirement. A dirty headlamp on any vehicle will distort the beam pattern and affect the light quality. Unless there is some fancy sensor on the lens that can detect a distortion then I think it is merely a functional need. And if it is a sensor then why do the washers only work with the windscreen spray?
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      10-28-2006, 03:42 AM   #13
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When the vehicle is presented by BMW for type approval it is part of the design that headlamp washers be fitted. Otherwise it fails its type approval.

By fitting aftermarket Xenons with no headlamp washers - you are effectively voiding the type approval.

Lets say you wrote your car off, If your insurance company wanted to they could claim that your didn't meet the type approval submitted by BMW.
If the accidet was caused by the other party not seeing you they would pay very close attention to your headlamps (if you were driving at night).

The xenon beam requires a cleaner lense than non Xenon as it can get distorted very easily. The driver needs to have the ability to clean the headlights at any time. The headlamp wash will always tend to be hooked into the windscreen wash as it reduces the electronic complexity in the car.
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      10-28-2006, 04:52 AM   #14
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Washers are only a requirement if fitted by manufacturer. Retrofitted xenons do not need them. Have a look on Egay and HID kits can be bought for less than 200 now, they come with bulbs, ballasts and connectors that fit to the OEM bulb holders, easy peesy.
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      10-31-2006, 09:58 AM   #15
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Don't know why anyone thinks the standard non-xenon lights are inadequate so long as they are adjusted properly. And here is the thing, about this time last year I picked up my E91 and the headlight aim was way too low, no where near enough range dipped or main beams. A few minutes on a quiet dark road with head lights on, bonnet up and screw driver in hand sorted the problem. Set the level adjuster knob inside the car so head lights are as high as they will go, then adjust the screw adjusters on the back of the headlights under the bonnet and watch the road until you get the headlights at the right level.
I thought my car was an isolated incident coming out the factory incorrectly set like this. Reading this thread I'm not so sure.

No one needs xenons, they are nice to have though.
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      10-31-2006, 12:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikem
Washers are only a requirement if fitted by manufacturer. Retrofitted xenons do not need them. Have a look on Egay and HID kits can be bought for less than 200 now, they come with bulbs, ballasts and connectors that fit to the OEM bulb holders, easy peesy.
Maybe in the UK but not necessarily in the US. The 2006 US version of the 330i and 330xi came with Xenons/Adaptive Headlights as standard but on the 330i the headlight washer system was only available if the buyer sprung for the cold weather package. On the 330xi, the headlight washers were standard.

This feature being an option seems to discount the implication that Xenon light gets unacceptably scattered when the headlights are dirty. Having said that, though, I realize I'm not in the US. However, if I had not opted for the cold weather package, the headlights would still have been changed for UK lights and the vehicle would still have passed its SVA. This leads me to think that there isn't a "requirement" that Xenons have the washer.
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      11-01-2006, 03:52 AM   #17
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Don`t really care what they do in the states.
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      11-01-2006, 03:58 AM   #18
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take a look at the information suplied by a major headlight manufacturer

http://www.osram.com/service_corner/...otiv.html#faq2

Hopefully you will understand why you need them after reading this below.

http://www.al-lighting.de/index.php?id=987
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      11-01-2006, 12:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShereKhan
Southern yank

take a look at the information suplied by a major headlight manufacturer

http://www.osram.com/service_corner/...otiv.html#faq2

Hopefully you will understand why you need them after reading this below.

http://www.al-lighting.de/index.php?id=987
Fair enough. Thank you for pointing this out although I'm not too sure how much I should trust a website that has no concept of spell checking.
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      11-01-2006, 01:14 PM   #20
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Did you guys with poor lights try upgrading to better aftermarket bulbs, such as Osram Silver Star or Philips Vision Plus?

I think I got mine from here (admittedly for E60) but it did help...
http://www.powerbulbs.co.uk/autoexpress.asp
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      11-02-2006, 03:23 AM   #21
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SoYank if you google the EU directive you should get a host of documents.

By the way German based companies tend to have a weird approach to their English based web sites. The German multinational I work for has some weird ideas on grammer. (To those German natives out there - no offence intended)

RedMax I have thought about - as my car is a company car. My lease company may not be too happy about me fitting other bulbs. I'd rather not risk the wrath, they may not know about them, but they may get checked by someone at somepoint during my service visits (I do 30k a year)

I have my car booked in to go to the garage to get a few things looked at. One of them is the headlights, foglights alignment.

I hope they carry out a MOT alignment inspection. I'll be chasing my lease company to sort most if it so I'll have to see what happens.
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      11-02-2006, 03:30 AM   #22
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Just found these two links below

http://www.hella.com/produktion/Hell...005_EN_HKG.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlamp

Like I said before if you carry out the Xenon mod and don't have a washer system you are treading on very thin ice. If you were the cause for the other driver to swerve and crash you could end in hot water. Its not unheard of for insurance companies to take away ECU's for examination, I'm sure they will check for non standard Xenon's being fitted.
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