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HID Headlight Out


Rusty

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This past Spring the right headlight stopped working, and the Caddy dealer gave me an estimate for 1K, including new ballast, bulb, a 'redesigned' harness, and labor.

Reluctantly I said to go ahead and fix it. After waiting 3 weeks for the harness - which I was told was not available anywhere in the GM parts system - I was out of patience. I ordered a pair of HID bulbs from the internet, installed them, and all was well. Under 100 bucks… total.

This week, the right headlight went out – then came on - then went out and stayed out. I had another mechanic ( not the Caddy dealer) take a look. I had purchased an aftermarket ballast - in anticipation that it might be required. The mechanic stated that the OEM ballast was suspect, and after installing the new ballast, putting the original bulb in, and replacing a fuse, I had a working headlight. The next day the right headlight is out again. Took it to the local Caddy dealer today to take a look, because they could get it in right away - and I'm a glutton for punishment. After a couple minutes the technician comes back and says that all the lights are working fine, and that he can't find anything, and can't fix what isn't broken… He didn't offer a clue other then to mention that sometimes the computer f**ks up.. so I still haven't got a definite answer. I suspect there might be a loose wire somewhere. Now I'm thinking I may have installed a bulb(s), and a ballast unnecessarily.

Has anyone chased a similar problem ?

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Latest development. This morning I start the car (in a dark garage) with headlight selector switch on automatic / sensor mode position and the right headlight is still out.... but when the switch is moved to 'manual' position both headlights are on. This takes me in a new direction. I'll have to see if maybe a new relay makes any difference.

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I'll have to see if maybe a new relay makes any difference.

In the event you don't have the wiring drawing for your headlamps I've included it.

You can see both headlamps are powered by the same set of contacts on the Low Beam Headlamp Relay. I think that rules out the relay as a cause of your problem since it is isolated to the right headlamp only. Similarly, the relay doesn't much care whether it is activated by manual or automatic control. Is it possible it was just a "fluke" your right headlamp activated when you switched to manual on/off?

I'd be looking for a wiring difficulty. You mentioned you had to replace the fuse for the right front headlamp. Fuses blow for two reasons:

1] Excess current was drawn due to a short circuit (pinched wire etc.).

2] A high resistance connection at the fuse itself caused enough heat to be generated to melt the fuse in the absence of a short circuit.

If the contacts/wiring at the fuse block are "solid," I'd be inclined to look for a pinched/open wire.

Regards,

Warren

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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I'll have to see if maybe a new relay makes any difference.

In the event you don't have the wiring drawing for your headlamps I've included it.

You can see both headlamps are powered by the same set of contacts on the Low Beam Headlamp Relay. I think that rules out the relay as a cause of your problem since it is isolated to the right headlamp only. Similarly, the relay doesn't much care whether it is activated by manual or automatic control. Is it possible it was just a "fluke" your right headlamp activated when you switched to manual on/off?

I'd be looking for a wiring difficulty. You mentioned you had to replace the fuse for the right front headlamp. Fuses blow for two reasons:

1] Excess current was drawn due to a short circuit (pinched wire etc.).

2] A high resistance connection at the fuse itself caused enough heat to be generated to melt the fuse in the absence of a short circuit.

If the contacts/wiring at the fuse block are "solid," I'd be inclined to look for a pinched/open wire.

Regards,

Warren

Thanks for the reply.

I appreciate the schematic and agree with your reasoning . I haven't really seen a predictable pattern yet.

Last night I started it up and after the RH light failure tried to use the manual setting - and the RH light still didn't fire up. Second startup worked fine - on the auto sensor setting, as have 3-4 additional times I fired them up, on auto and manual. It may take a little longer to pin down, but I think the cause is getting narrowed a bit.

Thanks, again.

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Don't forget that the "early failure" symptom of a bad HID lamp is a failure to ignite or a "winking" on/off of the lamp. Your history description would seam to exclude this, however.

Just the same, as a test, might you consider swapping the left/right lamps?

Regards,

Warren

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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Don't forget that the "early failure" symptom of a bad HID lamp is a failure to ignite or a "winking" on/off of the lamp. Your history description would seam to exclude this, however.

Just the same, as a test, might you consider swapping the left/right lamps?

Regards,

Warren

That's not a bad idea. I have an extra lamp from the replacement set I bought . I returned it because the mechanic said it didn't work. Vendor said otherwise. This time I'll install it.

Regards,

Rusty

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Please don't forget to let us know how this works out for you. The "endgame" solution helps all of us and adds to the forum's knowledge base.

Regards,

Warren

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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  • 3 months later...

Success!

I finally broke down and bought an OEM ballast ($ 262.00) and wiring harness ($ 18.00) from GMPartsdirect. Headlight working fine now.

The D1S systems on Cadillacs have a mind of their own, and for some reason after market ballasts don't seem to work reliably on that system. ( bulbs work fine) I found that out after much trial and error.

Rusty

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There used to be a guy on this board that stressed GM designed and VALIDATED parts only should be used when repairing these cars. He often put the validated part in capitol letters, and I often wondered why. I think that I just found out.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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