: Headlight out... Bulb or Ballast?



stevenriz
12-03-11, 12:29 PM
Hi all, I noticed a headlight was out the other morning and when I shut the lights off and put them back on, that light seemed to start. I believe they are HID. They are very white and when they start up, they seem like a florescent type of bulb. Like they flicker a little at first and snap on. So just last night, the same low beam was out and I tried the off and on trick and it didn't come on. That light is dead. I read that there are ballasts for these bulbs. How do I knw what would be wrong here? Is the ballast easily accessible? I know the headlamps themselves are not :( Now that it's winter and cold out, I'm inclined to just go to the dealer.

ddalder
12-03-11, 12:57 PM
The ballast is contained in the headlamp housing as well and is accessible by removing the side cover. It's more likely the bulb is at fault than the ballast. Be very careful be cause the ballast generates very high voltage. Not something to mess with unless you know exactly what you're up to.

stevenriz
12-05-11, 08:30 AM
ok thanks ddalder. How do these bulbs work? Just this morning driving to work, all of a sudden the headlight popped on and stayed on for an hour. Can that happen with a failing bulb? Traditionally bulbs are either good or they are bad. Hence why I was questioning the ballast. Thanks!!

ddalder
12-05-11, 09:29 AM
That is not unusual. The high voltage ballast ignites a gas in the bulb which generates the light. There is no "element" to burn out. What you describe is typical when these start to go bad.

stevenriz
12-06-11, 10:22 AM
Ahh I see. I'm curious what actually goes bad on these bulbs? Do they leak the gas? Since right after I started this post, the headlight has been working. I'm lost... (which doesn't take much)

Does anyone know the part number for these bulbs? So happens my father in law works at bulbs.com but their search program returns only the Halogen bulb.

nathanjax
12-06-11, 11:04 AM
Does anyone know the part number for these bulbs? So happens my father in law works at bulbs.com but their search program returns only the Halogen bulb.

The bulb is a D1S bulb. I don't know the specific GM part number

stevenriz
12-13-11, 08:32 AM
Hello. Well the low beam has been working about 90% of the time but still thought I'd call the dealer to check the cost to replace it since it is now cold outside. The bulb alone is $290. What makes this bulb worth so much????? I mean seriously? With installation it will be $377. Residual repair costs for this thing is really outrageous to say the least. But that's beside the point. The D1S bulb Nathan mentioned is about $50 for the Philips brand. My question is this. I see many different D1S bulbs. Some brighter than others. If I am reading it all right, which brightness do I get to match the other low beam? Should I just replace them both? Or shall I do like my girlfriend said last night? "If I had to pay $377 to replace the headlight bulb, I'll strap the kids on the hood with flashlights!" So I am going to try and do it myself. As long as the bulb lasts, I may try to wait until Spring!! Thoughts? Is DS1 just a single brightness? Thanks all!

nathanjax
12-13-11, 12:20 PM
Hello. Well the low beam has been working about 90% of the time but still thought I'd call the dealer to check the cost to replace it since it is now cold outside. The bulb alone is $290. What makes this bulb worth so much????? I mean seriously? With installation it will be $377. Residual repair costs for this thing is really outrageous to say the least. But that's beside the point.

That's a serious markup from the dealer



The D1S bulb Nathan mentioned is about $50 for the Philips brand. My question is this. I see many different D1S bulbs. Some brighter than others. If I am reading it all right, which brightness do I get to match the other low beam? Should I just replace them both? Or shall I do like my girlfriend said last night? "If I had to pay $377 to replace the headlight bulb, I'll strap the kids on the hood with flashlights!" So I am going to try and do it myself. As long as the bulb lasts, I may try to wait until Spring!! Thoughts? Is DS1 just a single brightness? Thanks all!

the brightnesses your looking at are measures in Kelvins. from 3,000k to 30,000k (or more). It's basically the temperature of the gas inside the bulb. See image below. I would replace both bulbs from eBay, somewhere around 4,300k and 4,500k. Unless you want to be cool, then you do colors like 12000k or 20,000k. Just know, the further you get away from the 4,300k to 4,500k range the worse the light output is.

If you're a tech guy or really want to know more about HIDs, I suggest going here to learn more... http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?41334-Read-First-FAQ-and-Useful-Links-%28Work-In-Progress%29

http://www.darksydetint.com/images/hid/chart.jpg

stevenriz
12-13-11, 12:29 PM
GREAT INFO! Thank you. Yes I am a techie but only am interesting in learning deeply as my needs change and now that my needs change I'll need to know everything about it! I for one do not like the blue/purple output all the cool kids are installing. It's very distracting in my opinion and should be outlawed. I just like a nice pure white or natural light output and according to your chart, the 4300-4500 output you suggest here. I greatly appreciate it and since the bulb is still functioning I'll get the new ones and hold them for the warm weather or a heated garage or whichever comes first. I just hope after doing all this it isn't the ballast causing the problem!:hmm:

nathanjax
12-13-11, 02:57 PM
It's very distracting in my opinion and should be outlawed.

It is illegal. It's the enforcing part that's not done enough



I just hope after doing all this it isn't the ballast causing the problem!:hmm:

One thing you could do is (which will be a pain) is swap the bulbs form drivers side to passenger side. That will tell you if it's the bulb or not. then it's possible it's the ballast. Heck, it could even be the wiring or ground. Usually when I've seen bulbs go bad, they change temperature (color) and then go out for good. If I was a betting man, first thing I'd do is make sure all your grounds are clean and tight. If you can get to your garage when it's happening, test the wires to make sure your getting a positive and negative signal.

stevenriz
12-15-11, 12:15 PM
Hi again. Well I think the driver side low beam finally STB. Is this the bulb I need? http://www.bulbs.com/espec.aspx?ID=14075 It doesn't look like what I need... The lumens are low and the life of the bulb seems way low...

Product Details Brand Philips Automotive
Energy Used 35 Watts
Volts 85
Bulb Shape T-3
Base PK32d-2
Diameter (in) 2.190
Length (in) 3.200
Average Rated Life (hr) 1000 (Average Rated Life (hr)A measurement of the average length of time, between first use and the point when 50% of the lamps tested have stopped functioning)
Light Output 3200 Lumens

stevenriz
12-19-11, 08:21 AM
Hi everyone. Got the front end taken apart in the garage. Not as bad as I thought. Having worked at a body shop for a few years helped but I think in this case anyone could get to the lights. My biggest trouble was figuring out how to unplug the wiring harnesses from the headlight and foglight assemblies. Broke the blinker wire on the right side in doing so but put a wire patch in place. I hope it works when I'm done :|

Anyway, here are my observations so far.

- the bumper does yes have two bolts that need to come out BUT I didn't see anyone mention the two nuts that need to get loosened before the bumper slides forward; not a biggie...
- I bought bulbs for the headlights, fog lights and the little marker lights inside the headlight housing
- The light markers were 194 I believe and were way too yellow so I am on the hunt for 194B I guess...
- the D1S bulbs were "sort of" correct. The back clamp that holds the bulb in place didn't fit these new bulbs perfectly like it did on the originals. Is it me or should all these be standard? So I cranked the screws down enough to force the bulb housing into the clamp
- The headlight bulb that I thought was out turned out to be the ballast. So I tapped the ballast and sure enough the new bulb popped on. I changed bulbs around to make sure I was right and they all work. I am sourcing a ballast right now to get to my house overnight. Oart number for the ballast is 16531935. Let's hope I can find one less than $300!!

All in all it is a good experience to go through.

Anyone have any other thoughts on this? If not thank you for the tips so far!

EChas3
12-19-11, 10:59 PM
Go OEM for the 194B for the 'peanut' bulbs in the headlights. The B is for Blue for color-matching.

stevenriz
12-20-11, 12:06 PM
I got these instead. They are clear finish. We'll see... http://www.bulbs.com/espec.aspx?ID=13494 They say part number 194B2. Putting them in tonight. I'll report back the color.

stevenriz
12-21-11, 08:27 AM
Well the 194B is actually GM part number 25763464. I picked up two at the dealer yesterday as the 194B2 at the store were still yellow. Hope that helps anyone looking for that bulb. So what I have so far is this...

fog - H3
lowbeam - D1S (the oem part has a little indentation for the "cup" that holds the bulb in place better then say an aftermarket part. I jammed it in there anyway :)
peanut - 25763464

I didn't change the blinker or the high beam bulbs...

MARSTS
12-21-11, 05:40 PM
I hope I'm not too late. Unless you have replaced the "peanut" bulbs yet, BE CAREFUL. You need to be careful twisting out those bulbs due to the very fragile tabs that are part of the headlamp assembly. They seem to break very easliy, as I discovered. At least one of these tabs breaks off on one or both sides. I simply changed out the bulbs with LEDs, put them into position and ran a bead of RTV from the headlamp mounting area to the bulb harness. This worked out great and they don't move at all. Good Luck.

sts2007northup
07-02-14, 12:15 PM
I am also having trouble with my driver side headlight. They are standard bulbs (sts4 2006 3.6) none of the lights work on that side. Also I have had to jump my car 4 times recently. Not sure if it is related