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3seriesbmw 10-11-2012 03:43 PM

Z4 Xenon headlights out!?!
I am looking at purchasing an 04 BMW Z4 but the one thing wrong with the car is the fact that the headlights do not work. One headlight went out and then the other did the same. Any ideas on what's causing this? I believe both bulbs have been replaced. I've searched and read a few posts on this but I want a straight answer or I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem?

3seriesbmw 10-13-2012 10:45 AM

Oh comon someone has to know something about this?!?

WestCDA 10-13-2012 11:10 AM

You're asking for a guess based on pretty limited information. Troubleshooting is a lot easier done with a meter, than relying on speculation.

How long between one light failing and then the other? You 'believe' the bulbs were replaced - were actually replaced? If so, did that fix the problem temporarily or have no effect?

Switched power goes to the headlight ignitors and from there to the bulbs. You've got a bad switch, bad wiring, bad connections, bad ignitors, or bad bulbs. If you've got power to the ignitors, and the bulbs were replaced without effect, that gives you a good starting point. Someone needs to check the circuit - carefully, as they operate at extremely high voltages.

3seriesbmw 10-13-2012 11:49 AM

Yes the bulbs have been replaced. I'd say the lights went out within a few months of each other as our friends own the vehicle and haven't had it long. They bought it with one light out and then the other went out after they purchased the vehicle.

3seriesbmw 10-15-2012 06:59 AM

When you turn the light switch on you can hear a click come from the front of the vehicle. The amber driving lights come on although the inner halogens didn't do anything even with the bright lights on. How do you get those to come on or should they come on when the bright lights are on? There's also a bulb warning on the dash.

rsutoratosu 10-15-2012 08:08 AM

My left one is constantly not turning on. I dont drive the car often so I'm gonna leave it till next spring. Im going to try swapping the bulb left to right and see if its bulb or the ballast.

I did see some bmw ballast on ebay for like 90 bucks. If its the ballast, ill try the cheap ebay route. Thats all I got...

3seriesbmw 10-15-2012 08:24 AM

I've noticed the ballast on there as well in that price range. Ignitors on ebay are only around $30-$40. It would almost have to be either the ballast or the ignitor if the bulbs were replaced right?

Mikey48 10-15-2012 10:34 AM

Can you see any moisture in the headlight globe ?

3seriesbmw 10-15-2012 11:53 AM

I haven't looked close enough at the globe but there is quite a bit of moisture in the drivers side headlight housing. I will look as soon as I get a chance!

3PointO 10-15-2012 05:40 PM

I had a similar problem on my Audi A6, the bulbs went first then the ballasts, luckily it was covered by warranty but it would have been almost $2000 for the whole lot. As mentioned above be uber-careful around the ballast circuits they're 20000 volts or something

Mikey48 10-16-2012 03:05 AM

Moisture is getting inside of the headlight housing. This happened to my Z4 a couple of years ago. I began to notice moisture inside of the headlight housing of my passenger headlight. It did not take long for the moisture to short out everything inside of the headlight housing. My car had just come out of warranty and it wound up costing me $1900.00 to replace the entire headlight housing and everything inside of the housing. It was a couple months later my headlight on the drivers side started to get moisture inside of it. I wound up taking the door off of the back of the housing and taking a blow dryer and sticking it up inside the headlight housing and letting it run on high until I was sure all the moisture had evaperated.Once the water was gone I took some silicone and ran a good thick beed all the way around the door gasket.I ran the beed right on top of the gasket inside the groove that runs all the way around the door that fits on the back of the headlight housing. I have not had any problems with moisture getting inside the headlight housing since. I hope this helps. Good luck !

3seriesbmw 10-16-2012 05:52 AM

It doesn't seem to have any moisture in the passenger side headlight..only the drivers side has moisture in it although it has quite a bit. How did you separate the headlight lens and the back cover/door? There isn't any moisture inside the actual xenon globe. Thanks for the replies!

Mikey48 10-16-2012 09:23 AM

There are 2 doors in the fender well of your car. One is for access to the fog light the upper one is for access to the back of your headlight housing. There is a bar on the back of the housing that you slide out the way . The door to the headlight housing will come off then. Good luck !

3seriesbmw 10-16-2012 01:22 PM

Haha thanks to all of the responses but I lifted the seat covers they had on the car and discovered that they dyed the tan seats black or at least tried to. The black dye has cracked revealing tan on the seats, gear shift boot, e-brake boot, etc.. You can see tan showing through where the carpet had worn as well. I think I might be better off finder a nicer Z4 at this point. This car was a 3.0i white, tan(&black) interior, with messed up xenons, 121,000 miles for $9500..

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