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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > HID Xenon - Ballast or control unit?

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      11-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
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HID Xenon - Ballast or control unit?

Hello all.

I am in the process of troubleshooting and repairing a dead Xenon headlight on my '06 E90 330i. Is this part # (63126948180) for the ballast or the control unit? I am trying to track down a dead headlight and read on many threads to swap the ballast. I thought this part was the ballast, but I have also found a parts diagram located here


that lists the part as the control unit. I have already swapped the bulbs and ruled that out, so I read the next thing to replace is the ballast, but now it looks like the bulbs come WITH a ballast (ignitor). Does anyone have any experience with this setup who can provide further clarification.

Thanks in advance guys!

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      11-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #2

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Yes, according to realoem.com, that's the correct part number. You can buy used (and sometimes tested) units on Ebay for about half the price of a new unit. One thing to know is that the number on the part label on unit itself is not the same as the BMW part number, so don't be thrown by that. Also, if you buy a used unit, check the listing to make sure it's right. There weren't many for my car (also a 2006 330i). To clarify, the bulb sits in a metal base. That base is the ballast. Typically, when you buy a bulb, it comes with the ballast attached. The unit, whose part number you listed, is the xenon control unit. On my '06 330i, it was mounted on the inside side of the headlight assembly. There is a small black box on the underside. That controls the adaptive light functions and you don't need to touch those. If swapping your control units doesn't work, you may need to check the plugs. I swapped both bulbs and control units and the driver's side stuff, which worked pre-swap, no longer worked post swap and the passenger's side which didn't work pre-swap worked post-swap. There is a cable that connects the control unit to the ballast and a plug with two wires which connects the light wiring to the control unit. On my passenger side light, the plug seemed out of whack, but I wasn't sure so I took it to my Indy. They confirmed the plug contacts were loose. They tightened the contacts and my headlight has worked ever since. To swap the control unit, you need to remove the bumper. I also removed both wheel well liners. It's really easy to remove the bumper. Here's link to a DIY for the bumper removal: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...bumper+removal
On my car, the headlights only had 6 torque bolts holding them on. Good luck. It's not that bad of a job.
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      01-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #3
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What exactly did they tighten?
My 07 has a xenon out and I swapped the bulbs. The problem didnt follow the bulb.
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