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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:17 AM
Grouper Grouper is offline
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Location: Vancouver Island
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 33
Mein Auto: '04 530i
Please Help With Lots of Newbie Headlight Questions! -all easy ones! :)

Hey Guys! A couple years ago I owned a 02 530i for about a month but sold it right away for a quick buck. (always regretted it) But I just got a 02 325ci and am loving it! But I need some serious schooling on the lights on this car!

First off: I understand that halogen lights are just standard lights and bulbs more or less. But I was wondering if HID (-stands for?) and xenon are the same thing? Or are they different?

How do I tell what lights my car has from looking at them? I think I read somewhere that duel xenon was on option? Is that as simple as it sounds? You could have all 4 headlights Xenon instead of 2 xenon and 2 halogen? Could someone please confirm this for me?

From looking at my car, I am almost possitive I have 2 halogens on the inside and 2 xenons on the outside. Can this be confirmed?

I also read somewhere that self leveling lights were on option. Does this apply to both the inside 2 lights, and the outside 2 lights? or just xenons, or all 4 lights only if there all xenons(if that was actually an option) ( much googling can be a bad thing...)
How could I tell from looking if I have this option?

Now the driving lamps..... What the heck are these for? I would assume these are fog lamps, but there not yellow.... What is the purpose of these lights? when are you ment to use them? and when do people actully use them? AND! why cant they be on at the same time as the high beams! -Who doesnt like more light! come on!!!!

Now speaking of high beams..... I leave my Light switch on the dash in the far left position with the "a" on it. I am making the asumption this is auto on. Is there any reason to move the switch from that position, ever!?

Now for my last question I think... What combination of the 4 bulbs on the headlights are ment to be on/off durning daytime, nighttime low beam, and night time high beam. I am having headlight issues and thought if I had a solid idea of whats ment to be happening, It will be easier to ask questions and diagnose...

My one outside xenon on the drivers side will try and fire a couple times when I first turn the car on then it will die. only when I use my "flash to pass" lever on the colum do my inside halogens turn on. but of course they dont stay on. On high beam, the passanger side xenon turns to high, the drivers side stays dead but neither of the inside halogens turn on... But when I hold the "flash to pass" lever, the inside halogens seem to be REALLY bright... shouldnt these be coming on when I hit my high beams?

Thanks for all or any help guys! Im really look forward to tinkering with these amazing automobiles.

O sorry one more: I just read a post regarding ZKW Xenons. what are those?

Last edited by Grouper; 09-19-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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