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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-18-2013, 06:05 PM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

I have a 2002 530i and one HID Bulb blew and my regular headlights aren't good enough according to the police officer that pulled me over. I need a quick fix and I was wondering if I could swap them out for LED lights instead. Or is there somewhere I can go to gets them. Please help.


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  #2  
Old 10-18-2013, 07:20 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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E39 HIDs are superior to anything else available. I'm not aware of any LED-based headlight retrofits.

I suspect your adjusters are broken. That allows the headlights to point down.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2013, 07:23 PM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
E39 HIDs are superior to anything else available. I'm not aware of any LED-based headlight retrofits.

I suspect your adjusters are broken. That allows the headlights to point down.
My passenger side HID works. Just not the drivers side


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  #4  
Old 10-18-2013, 09:51 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Originally Posted by 530iGuy55 View Post
My passenger side HID works. Just not the drivers side


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What do you mean? That the passenger side lights up, and the driver's side does not? If so, it could be the ballast. You can swap ballasts side-to-side as a test.
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2013, 04:35 AM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
What do you mean? That the passenger side lights up, and the driver's side does not? If so, it could be the ballast. You can swap ballasts side-to-side as a test.
Yea. Drivers side doesn't. Only the passenger. I heard someone saying something about to computers that control them


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  #6  
Old 10-19-2013, 05:03 AM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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It could be a bad bulb, a bad ballast (the little squarish metal box mounted to the back of the headlight), a loose plug/connector, bad wiring, or a bad LCM (lighting control module).

You need to troubleshoot to determine which is causing the problem. Easy things first. Unplug and replug the connectors. Does that solve it? If not, swap the ballasts. Did the problem move to the other side? Check for voltage at the light. Etc.

You should be able to buy D2S xenon bulbs at the dealer or auto parts store, if a bulb is bad.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2013, 06:58 AM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Whoa -- slow down OP. Don't do anything that will make the situation worse.

1. Could just be the bulb. You can purchase here for pretty reasonable prices. www.retrofitsource.com The OEM style bulb in your car is D2S

Yes, HID cost a lot more than bulbs at parts store but also far better and last longer.

Here's a good tutorial on replacement: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...highlight=bulb

2. If not bulb, could be ballast as caryalon says.

If you can do this yourself you'll save a lot of $$.
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2013, 08:30 AM
richking34 richking34 is offline
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Will the ballast fry the old wiring?
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2013, 05:08 PM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

I know it's just the bulb. It went out after I flicked them on. So all I need is a new bulb. I need to know the min and max brightness it can take. I heard it was somewhere from 6000k to 8000k


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  #10  
Old 10-19-2013, 08:49 PM
John in VA John in VA is offline
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6000k & 8000k is the color temperature, not the brightness. All color temperatures emit the same number of lumens but remember, the higher the color temperature, the darker the color produced. This progressive darkening of the light with higher color temperatures results in fewer visible lumens on a dark surface. A 8000k bulb will emit roughly 20% less visible light than a 4300k bulb.

http://www.hidlighthouse.com/hid-xenon-lighting/

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  #11  
Old 10-19-2013, 10:59 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iGuy55 View Post
I know it's just the bulb. It went out after I flicked them on. So all I need is a new bulb. I need to know the min and max brightness it can take. I heard it was somewhere from 6000k to 8000k


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It could still be the ballast unless you removed the bulb and inspected it. Stock is 4300K
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2013, 07:20 AM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

So stock is 4300k?


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  #13  
Old 10-20-2013, 01:54 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Yes. Don't handle the bulb with your bare hands; use clean cotton gloves.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2013, 09:31 AM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

Would 8000k or 10000k be good for my car or is 1000k to much?


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  #15  
Old 10-24-2013, 07:04 PM
530iGuy55 530iGuy55 is offline
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HID bulb.

So my HID that wasn't working finally worked last night. And if course tonight it won't work. And thoughts as to why?


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  #16  
Old 10-24-2013, 07:11 PM
ameiurus ameiurus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iGuy55 View Post
Would 8000k or 10000k be good for my car or is 1000k to much?


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It's a personal preference. Around 6500K will give you the most light but it still looks a teeny bit yellow to me. I perfer 8000K myself because it looks really white and it brings out the road better for my eyes. I've never drove a car with 10000K or higher but I've seen them on the road and to me it starts getting way too blue.
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  #17  
Old 10-24-2013, 07:15 PM
ameiurus ameiurus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iGuy55 View Post
So my HID that wasn't working finally worked last night. And if course tonight it won't work. And thoughts as to why?


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I had a 740i that I fought that very problem. I narrowed it down to the input to the ballist(sp?). I never did find out why it was dropping. I ended up wiring the ballist input from the other side. Had to live with the dash telling me I had a bad light but at least I had headlights.

Have you checked the voltage going into the ballist to see if you have input?
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  #18  
Old 10-24-2013, 07:30 PM
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Fudman Fudman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iGuy55 View Post
So my HID that wasn't working finally worked last night. And if course tonight it won't work. And thoughts as to why?


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It sounds more like the ballast is failing than the bulb since it lit up.
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2013, 11:21 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iGuy55 View Post
So my HID that wasn't working finally worked last night. And if course tonight it won't work. And thoughts as to why?


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Could be the plug to the back of the bulb. Until you do some diagnostics, it is all purely speculation. I had a problem with the plug connection, it was actually melting from resistance. Of course BMW does not sell replacement plugs, only the entire ballast with plug and cable. I bought replacement plug and cable on Ebay...spliced it in, and it has been working great for over three years. Oh, and get two, if that is what you need, the other side failed a month or two later...
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2013, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameiurus View Post
It's a personal preference. Around 6500K will give you the most light but it still looks a teeny bit yellow to me. I perfer 8000K myself because it looks really white and it brings out the road better for my eyes. I've never drove a car with 10000K or higher but I've seen them on the road and to me it starts getting way too blue.
There is personal preference and there are facts. The facts are the 4300k factory bulb balances the various properties. Higher color temperature reduce lumens (output) and reduce CRI (color rendering index). People like the look of higher color temperature, but they do not actually perform better.
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