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syaufu 07-21-2013 09:31 AM

xenon headlight out
I have a 2005 bmw x-5 4.4i. The driver's side xenon headlight is out. I checked (by switching with the passenger side) and the light bulb and igniter are good. Does that mean that the ballast is bad? The ring around the headlight (I think that is the daytime driving light) still works.

There isn't a relay or fuse for this that I need to check is there?

If it is the ballast, how do I change it?
BTW, I now have a new pair of Morioto D2S 3Five (35w) 4300k bulbs that I bought and do not need.

Also, I thought that the outside light was the low beam and the inside light was the high beam. But when I turned on the high beams, the outside light gets brighter, but the inside light doesn't light up. The inside light only comes on when I "flash" the high beams. Is this the way it should work? The "flasher" light is working on the driver's side, but neither the high nor low beam setting is working on the driver's side.

Thanks for any help!:dunno:

syaufu 07-21-2013 11:50 AM

Ok, so I found the answer to my question re: high beam/flasher:
The flasher is just that - a flasher not high-beam mode.

The Bi-xenons have a lid that covers it in low-beam mode. When you actually engage the high-beam mode the lid retracts - that is why its called bi-xenon.

Still trying to figure out if I have to remove the bumper to change the ballast....

QSilver7 07-22-2013 09:13 AM

Subscribed...keep us informed to your progress...and pics if possible. :)

syaufu 07-23-2013 10:54 PM

So now I have learned that in deed the front bumper needs to be removed to replace the ballast/control unit. I am now exploring buying the OEM Hella ballast, then having a mechanic replace it for me. If you get the part from BMW, it costs around $500. I think I should be able to pick one up myself for $150-$200.

TOOT77 09-30-2013 07:14 PM

Hello, where did you get your parts from. Do you know or have the part numbers? I'm a female and I'm trying to find the best deal and not to be taken advantage of. I was told it was the bulb and it wasn't the bulb and I was told its the Hid computer/transformer. Is that the same as ballast control unit? I'm unable to drive at night because its the drivers side!:cry: Thanks

syaufu 09-30-2013 07:56 PM

Toot77, I am also female, so I understand where you are coming from. At first I thought it was my light bulb, so I bought a pair from The Retrofit Source Inc.(see my first thread), which I now do not need. I'd offer to sell you this pair of bulbs, but they're in Utah, and I am in Arizona until mid-Oct. I figured out, after I bought them that it wasn't the bulb because I put the new bulb in, and it didn't help. The best ting to do is to take the good bulb and put it on the bad side to see if that makes a difference. This isn't too hard to do, but you have to be willing to get your hands a little dirty and move some parts around. Best to go onto Youtube for a video on how to change the xenon bulb.
If it's not the bulb, then most likely it is the ballast (which is the computer/transformer). I got this part on ebay: NEW Hella Xenon HID Ballast OEM Germany 5DV 008 290-00 Headlight Unit Igniter from "genuinexenon" for $145. I found a mechanic that was willing to just provide the labor for changing the ballast. If you have to buy the part from the BMW dealer or if the mechanic gets it for you, it's about twice as much.
Good luck, hope this helps!

Scott ZHP 10-01-2013 06:48 AM

If you have an E53, you should be able to change the ballast by removing the complete headlight assembly. The bumper doesn't need to be removed, but the trim piece under the headlight does. There are two screws on the top of the headlight, and two more underneath it. The bottom two are a challenge to remove (1/4 socket extension with a u-joint will do it).

The trim strip under the headlight is removed by GENTLY pinching the mounting tabs together on the inside end (the end nearest the grille) with a pick or small screwdriver. You need to pry the rubber seal back a bit to see these little tabs. If you break the tabs off, the trim strip will rattle. Once the clip is free, carefully pull it back at a slight angle and remove the other end from the slot (no clip on the outer end). There are two more tabs on the bottom of the strip, these usually pull right out.

Once the assembly is out, you need to remove the headlight itself from the mounting bracket and then you can R+R the ballast. I ALWAYS replace the turn signal bulb when the unit it out, as preventative maintenance (the light has to come out again to replace these bulbs). The bottom seal on the trim strip usually needs to be reglued with some silicone seal.

QSilver7 10-01-2013 10:23 AM


Originally Posted by Scott ZHP (Post 7869050)
If you have an E53, you should be able to change the ballast by removing the complete headlight assembly. The bumper doesn't need to be removed, but the trim piece under the headlight does...

The facelift E53 (2004-2006) doesn't have a removable trim piece below the headlight. :( Which makes this DIY a little more complicated. If you don't have the headlamp may be able to finagle the headlamp assembly out...but I believe most 04-06 owners usually remove the bumper due to the slight change in how the front bumper, front fenders, and headlamp assemblies are designed and fit together.

(2004-2006) e53 X5 (note front bumper/fender/& no removable trim piece below headlight)

pre-facelift (2000-2003) e53 X5 (note front bumper/fender/trim piece below headlamp)

Scott ZHP 10-01-2013 12:14 PM

Ah right. Thanks; I have an 01 and forgot about the facelift changes.
I've had my bumpers off to retrofit PDC, it's only another 30-45 mins to yank the front bumper as I recall.

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