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CodyItaliano 01-09-2010 08:54 PM

HID lights not working well when cold
my '01 E38 has the xenons. i've noticed that the bulbs dont turn on quite so easily when its cold. its usually in the 80s the majority of the year. right now its dropping below the 50s, this is the only time they give me problems. i wonder if its just the bulbs, or the ballasts. i have cheap Chinese bulbs, i have a few sets. they work well and are 35 watt. never had problems until the cold weather came around though. otherwise they work perfect. i have frequently checked on them too as i like to see that they arent messing with the wiring harness.

BTW, they will come on. but i sometimes will have to turn them on and off a few times, waiting a number of seconds in between so not to shorten the bulbs life too much.

M.Wong 01-09-2010 10:59 PM

I don't know the answer, but I can tell you I have OEM bulbs and never have that kind of issue. Our temperatures are usually mild, with some hot summer weeks in the 90s and some cold winter weeks in the teens and 20s.

CodyItaliano 01-12-2010 01:28 PM

i think its because mine are cheaper bulbs. i'm not having the trouble much anymore since its not below 45 degrees, thats mainly when i'll have problems. i of course just had to have the 8000k bulbs.

CodyItaliano 02-24-2010 01:45 AM

i believe the problem to be more so the amperage available at the startup of the bulbs when cold temperatures are present. there is a smaller, less powerful battery installed in the car. they put a new one in when i got the car, but this one is like for a 3 series or something. needless to say it already has insufficent cold cranking amps, not quite what this car calls for. i've just noticed that its only when the car has really sat for a good amount of time in the cold weather. so only when the battery hasnt been charged for a few hours. batteries loose a bit of amperage and charge while not being charged, so this makes sense. i will likely need a new battery so i think i'm going to put in a gel cell battery. i've had good luck with Exide Orbital line of batteries. IMO better than an Optima. i now remember this same thing happened on to my friends 350Z, problems with the lights at startup and the battery's cranking amps.

i can usually overcome the lights not comming on by turning the switch to the on posisition before i initially start the engine. little things like this arent too bad, easy to get around.

TxGr8White 02-24-2010 09:26 AM

First signs of an aging ballasts. Also 8000K bulbs throw out less light than the 4300K (which is OEM stock color for Xenons) The higher the bulb "temperature", the "less" (visible) light you have -remember you are headed towards the ultraviolet range.

CodyItaliano 02-28-2010 12:21 AM

yeah i have these bulbs for the looks factor. aging ballasts or amperage problem? i notice if i let the car start and run for more than a few seconds, like let it run 15 to 20 seconds, i do not have this problem. i'm usually having the problem if i immidiately start the car and turn the lights on. but yes, these would be the original ballasts with cheap-o bulbs on them. anyways, seems my method is working ok. i'll look into getting some replacement ballasts and better bulbs though. i just wont go back to the 4300k bulbs, i liked the 6000k and 8000k that i've had in it. the 12000k bulbs i have are just rediculous. seriously when other than maybe a race event would i use these. they are just for kicks i guess. i see a few people driving around sometimes with them, they are quite horrid and emmit little useable lighting.

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