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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Replacing Lights



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      01-10-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
FitzPower
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Replacing Lights

Hey enthusiasts,

Just blew out my right light this morning: dash indicated that it's out. I'd like to replace it myself, but unsure which light/how-to to purchase and install. I have a completely stock '07 E90 sedan with Xenon lights. Called my local dealership to price a replacement, they quoted me $1300.00!! This seems a bit extreme. can someone direct me to a more cost effective DIY option?

Cheers
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      01-10-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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That sounds like the price for a headlight. You are talking about a bulb, right?
Pre LCI e90 goes through the wheel well for that. D1S is the size.
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      01-10-2014, 11:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitzPower View Post
Hey enthusiasts,

Just blew out my right light this morning: dash indicated that it's out. I'd like to replace it myself, but unsure which light/how-to to purchase and install. I have a completely stock '07 E90 sedan with Xenon lights. Called my local dealership to price a replacement, they quoted me $1300.00!! This seems a bit extreme. can someone direct me to a more cost effective DIY option?

Cheers
Okay, there are a few options here. But before I get into possible replacements, let me cover briefly how a xenon headlight works.

Cars have 12V electrical systems. Xenon bulbs require over 20,000 volts to "ignite" and then about 85 or so to maintain the light output (those numbers may be slightly off). Something called a ballast ramps up the 12V of electricity into the necessary voltage for the bulbs.

So things that could be broken

1) your car is almost seven years old, it's possible that the igniter in the base of the D1S bulb has gone kaput. HID bulbs are usually replaced in pairs because the color output shifts and the brightness decreases over time. You can do this yourself.

I would use the Osram CBI bulbs, as they are the best bulbs on the market. They put out a nice clean pure white color through a different salt mix inside the bulbs rather than using colored glass to tint the color. So they're silly bright. And TRS is a great website for HID-related parts, guaranteed not to be counterfeit like some other vendors here

TO TEST: I would take the bulb from your other headlight, install it in the "dead" headlight, and see what happens. If it blows out your second bulb, that sucks, but it's better than blowing out one of your new bulbs.


2) If your broken headlight blows out your other old bulb, then you need a new ballast. This is also DIY-able. Here's an example of one. So you will need the new ballast, and a new bulb for each headlight.

I would take those steps and report back.


Any further questions? Confused with anything I have said? Feel free to send me a PM, I'll do my best to clear things up!
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      01-10-2014, 12:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by e90Mark View Post
That sounds like the price for a headlight. You are talking about a bulb, right?
Pre LCI e90 goes through the wheel well for that. D1S is the size.

You're right. It's the bulb. I should have specified this with the parts dept.
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      01-10-2014, 12:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinstone157 View Post
Okay, there are a few options here. But before I get into possible replacements, let me cover briefly how a xenon headlight works.

Cars have 12V electrical systems. Xenon bulbs require over 20,000 volts to "ignite" and then about 85 or so to maintain the light output (those numbers may be slightly off). Something called a ballast ramps up the 12V of electricity into the necessary voltage for the bulbs.

So things that could be broken

1) your car is almost seven years old, it's possible that the igniter in the base of the D1S bulb has gone kaput. HID bulbs are usually replaced in pairs because the color output shifts and the brightness decreases over time. You can do this yourself.

I would use the Osram CBI bulbs, as they are the best bulbs on the market. They put out a nice clean pure white color through a different salt mix inside the bulbs rather than using colored glass to tint the color. So they're silly bright. And TRS is a great website for HID-related parts, guaranteed not to be counterfeit like some other vendors here

TO TEST: I would take the bulb from your other headlight, install it in the "dead" headlight, and see what happens. If it blows out your second bulb, that sucks, but it's better than blowing out one of your new bulbs.


2) If your broken headlight blows out your other old bulb, then you need a new ballast. This is also DIY-able. Here's an example of one. So you will need the new ballast, and a new bulb for each headlight.

I would take those steps and report back.


Any further questions? Confused with anything I have said? Feel free to send me a PM, I'll do my best to clear things up!
This is fantastic information thank you! I'll try to catch them before they do any work. Just got a call back saying they would call me back with an estimate. I'll let them know that I've found a replacement solution.
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      01-10-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FitzPower View Post
This is fantastic information thank you! I'll try to catch them before they do any work. Just got a call back saying they would call me back with an estimate. I'll let them know that I've found a replacement solution.
Not a problem.

Now, I don't want you to think that this is "guaranteed" to work. Perhaps an adaptive motor has gone out, or the adaptive control unit, or something of the sort. Of course, the advice and prices I give aren't to be taken as factual estimates, yada yada...

But I would be surprised if replacing the ballast and bulbs didn't fix the solution.

Just remember, most important--when you order new bulbs (because that's pretty much a given at this point) do NOT use a new one to test on your broken light, use the other working old one first!!!
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