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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, All:

New owner. Bought a one-owner 2003 330xi with 80,000 miles, in near mint condition less than two weeks ago. The driver's side low beam went out. I hastily ordered a new set of bi-Xenon D2S bulbs. Turns out it's not the bulb. When neither of the new bulbs worked, I knew it wasn't the bulb. I swapped the bulb from the driver's side to the passenger side, and it worked fine.

I've located a diagram of parts to my model's headlight at:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=EW53&mospid=47726&btnr=63_0550&hg=63&fg=05

However, I'm not sure which part to replace. I don't want to keep ordering parts that aren't needed. Is there a test I can perform? I think it might be the control unit or the ignition element.

Any advice?

Thanks!

Stollystyle
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sneaky:

I keep hearing reference to the "ballast," but that's not one of parts as defined on the diagram posted above. Does it go by another name? Also, any idea how much a ballast runs and where to get one?
 

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stollystyle - I have the same problem as you - however mine does actually come on now and again. When it does turn on though it is a lot brighter/whiter light than the passenger side.

I was thinking along the lines of it being the ballast as well - anyone know where to but a replacement suitable for the OEM setup on a '02 M3?
Assuming the BMW dealers will try ripping me off to buy and fix it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I took out the driver's side headlight and completely disassembled it. Given the roughly 1.5 hours it took, I decided against taking out the working light and swapping parts. Too much time considering the price of parts I found through eBay. The dealer quoted $225 for the ignitor and $430 for the control unit (i.e., ballast). I found both for $117 on eBay. The parts should be arriving midweek. I'll let you (i.e., any interested members reading this thread) know how things turn out.
 

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I had my passenger side low beams behaving like a prick a few months back. It would come on sometimes when I start the car(in dark garage), other times, it would not come on for 10 minutes. But the one consistency was that when it came on, it stayed on. If I shut off the car and turned the car back on, it would come on just fine.

The dealership changed the ballast, but I came back 2 days later with the same problem. So they changed out the igniter and I have not had a problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Problem solved! The control unit and ignitor came in 3 days from the eBay seller. I installed the parts last night and headlight is working perfectly! I used the following DIY thread to help take about the headlight. It was very helpful. $117 and a couple hours of labor sure beat what the dealer would have charged.

Good luck to the rest of you dealing with headlight issues!

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=609558&highlight=diy+replace+headlight
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
factory_xenon ( 12971 [Feedback score is 10,000 to 24,999] )

That is the seller I bought from on eBay. Highly recommended.
 

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Yeah I'm having the same problem. My driver light turns on every now and again. I'd have to flip the switch on and off a few times then it turns on and stays on. So does that mean the igniter is bad?
 

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Having somewhat of a similar issue...passenger side turns on fine, but the light output is very weak compared to the driver side (Currently have 8000 K bulbs installed, and it only looks like a weak halogen bulb). Then, while driving, it sometimes turn off completely and the warning light comes on...but, flick the switch to off and back on, and it comes back on and the warning light goes off.

I am guessing that it might actually be the bulb about to give out. But just wanted to get some opinions from you guys before putting in an order for some replacement bubs.

Thanks ahead of time for the help guys.
 

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Having somewhat of a similar issue...passenger side turns on fine, but the light output is very weak compared to the driver side (Currently have 8000 K bulbs installed, and it only looks like a weak halogen bulb). Then, while driving, it sometimes turn off completely and the warning light comes on...but, flick the switch to off and back on, and it comes back on and the warning light goes off.

I am guessing that it might actually be the bulb about to give out. But just wanted to get some opinions from you guys before putting in an order for some replacement bubs.

Thanks ahead of time for the help guys.
Well my bulb went out on my driver side. I got new bulbs and the driver side bulb is still having issues with it turning on. So i doubt its the bulb.
 

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yup could be ballast or ignitor.

waiting for updates
 
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