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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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  #1  
Old 01-07-2008, 10:50 AM
mrjoshua79 mrjoshua79 is offline
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xenon lights flicker on and off

I have a 2011 BMW 330i with the sport package and am having head light trouble.

Has anyone had a problem with the xenon headlights flickering on and off. I was told by the dealer that there is module that controls the head lights and it needs to be replaced to the tune of $200-300 dollars plus labor, is this something that some one with mechanical know how can change?

Last edited by tim330i; 08-19-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2008, 11:55 AM
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SocalZHP SocalZHP is offline
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What they're talking about is the ballast. This unit plugs in between the factory headlight harness and the bulb and sends the several thousand volts needed to start a xenon bulb. These parts are always expencive at stealers, have you checked indipendant shops or even ebay?
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2008, 07:00 PM
biserker1 biserker1 is offline
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I had the same problem. Check this web site out!

http://www.bigpatsfans.com/hl/headlight.htm

This guy goes through step by step. I replaced my ballasts and added angel eyes from umnitza. It's not the shortest process, just follow it slowly...
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2008, 01:07 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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It could also be a loose connection at the ballast, or the light even. I had a similar problem with aftermarket HID's that the previous owner of my 325Ci installed (rather poorly) and my problems went away after correcting the poor connections at the input to the ballast. Way cheaper than replacing parts w/o troubleshooting first...
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2008, 03:17 PM
alaamuq alaamuq is offline
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Question: my xenon headlights flickering on and off, even when the switch is on the off position. Moreover, when I turned them on, the headlights keep moving up and down. What do you guys think the problem is? Thanks in advance.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2008, 12:13 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaamuq View Post
Question: my xenon headlights flickering on and off, even when the switch is on the off position. Moreover, when I turned them on, the headlights keep moving up and down. What do you guys think the problem is? Thanks in advance.
Sounds like your problem is different from the O/P's... I'd start another thread with your Q's...
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:12 PM
nashqureishi nashqureishi is offline
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Flickering Xenon lights

Hi, This is my first post to this bulletin.
I came to get answers but actually writing to give a solution to the flickering problem that I stumbled on and solved it by chance.
My xenons were flickering for about 2 years. As I was changing a bulb in the back light that went out, I noticed that the socket that clicks into the backside of the light assembly has a burnt pin. I further noticed that the bulb was not bad and the burnt pin was shorting the connection and everytime it shorted, it caused the headlights to flicker. The delaer could not figure it out and all the mechanics in the city could not figure it out in 2 years that I was able to fix by fixing a short in the electrical system of the car. I think BMW servicemen should be trained to figure this thing out.
Anyway LOOK for any shorts in your electrical system and resolve it, to fix your flickering problem.

thanks
Nash Qureishi
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:49 PM
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SmokedE46 SmokedE46 is offline
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I only have this problem if I hit a serious bump. does anyone else have this problem. When you go over a big bump ur lights cut our for a sec then come back on?
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:57 PM
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iskoos iskoos is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaamuq View Post
Moreover, when I turned them on, the headlights keep moving up and down. What do you guys think the problem is? Thanks in advance.
Are you sure you don't have self leveling system on your car.
I have never heard of Xenons went nuts and move on their own unless they are dynamic Xenons and have self leveling feature...
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2009, 04:52 PM
CrazeUK CrazeUK is offline
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Ok Damn i am ANNOYED.
Ok i had a Xenon head lamp (drivers) that i used to have to turn on an off numerous times to actually get it to come on. Then i took it to a 3rd party garage who had a spare ignitor unit to replace, unfortunately it turned out to be the wrong one. So they reassembled it all, and found that the headlamp no longer works at all.

Some months on it still doesnt work, but i found a new problem today.

On my console display it shows i have one passenger side light out (they all actually work) and now my passenger side xenon comes on, then flickers a few times then goes out.

PLEASE someone help me..and please dont say its going to cost me to fix?
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2009, 06:00 PM
magbarn magbarn is online now
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Have you tried swapping passenger side parts for diagnosis with the broken side?
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2009, 01:06 AM
CrazeUK CrazeUK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magbarn View Post
Have you tried swapping passenger side parts for diagnosis with the broken side?
Hi Thanks for your repsonse.
To Be honest ..i dont know much abour cars so was wayy too scared to swap the parts over.

I guess i will try that today. But i dont think that will help seen as the pasenger side xenons have stopped working now as well.

:S
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Problems: where do i start lol..Main one..Xenon lamps!
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2010, 11:23 PM
command command is offline
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Bmw xenon ballastb

you need chage the oem ballast (don't choose aftermarket PNP,is not same oem)

oem ballast like this

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  #14  
Old 01-09-2011, 01:02 AM
turlock1 turlock1 is offline
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If both xenon lights are flickering than you have a short somewhere. I had the same problem, the short was in passenger tail lamp. As soon as I replaced the tail panel, the flickering went away.
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  #15  
Old 03-10-2011, 05:34 PM
Pulga311 Pulga311 is offline
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I have the same problem and just like a few of you, today I checked my rear driver side turn signal and sure enough, one of the pins is completely burned out...does anyone know where to get the wire connector, I found the part where the bulbs go, but I need to change the small part the connects the actual wires to the bulb assembly, both have pin # 3 burnt out. I'm confident that will solve the flickering problem. If anyone know the part number for that connector or where to get it, it would be very helpfull
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  #16  
Old 03-10-2011, 05:37 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Sometimes xenon bulbs flicker when they're dying too... since yours have 10 years on them, I think that's a very real possibility. Of course the bad ground is an issue that causes weird things too
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2011, 11:26 AM
tony orani tony orani is offline
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Okay so from what I am reading my question is ;
Is there anything I can do to troubleshoot this bulb problem before buying more bulbs?
I bought a bulb replaced it and nothing still
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2011, 09:38 PM
nate13 nate13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokedE46 View Post
I only have this problem if I hit a serious bump. does anyone else have this problem. When you go over a big bump ur lights cut our for a sec then come back on?
I have this same problem, except for it doesn't come back on. I flick the switch off then on, and they both come back. Only one side though (from memory, I believe it's only the right).
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  #19  
Old 08-14-2011, 06:18 AM
abdecal abdecal is offline
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I have had this problem before. A friend of mine was sliding the headlight switch back and forth quickly (thought it was funny?) and it started to cause the headlights to flicker when I drove. I pulled the switch out of the dash and put in a new one, fixed the issue. Cost about $30 and was really easy
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:18 AM
happyandyv happyandyv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulga311 View Post
I have the same problem and just like a few of you, today I checked my rear driver side turn signal and sure enough, one of the pins is completely burned out...does anyone know where to get the wire connector, I found the part where the bulbs go, but I need to change the small part the connects the actual wires to the bulb assembly, both have pin # 3 burnt out. I'm confident that will solve the flickering problem. If anyone know the part number for that connector or where to get it, it would be very helpfull
I have had random shorts occur on the driver front corner blinker on both of my e46s. Anybody not finding their short will likely find that same socket burning slowly to a crisp. I will see if fixing my corner again fixes my flashing and repost.
If it doesnt work ill change my switch and check other short.

Other symptoms: more flashimg in fog, bumps have some effect, additinal draw from stereo and from heater also seem to bring the flashing. Worst on drivers side.

Auto leveling projector headlamps
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  #21  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:39 AM
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moiz21 moiz21 is offline
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Just so you know happyandyv the person you are quoting posted in this thread 8 months ago.
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:42 AM
cehlers cehlers is offline
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Smile Quick fix...

1. Run down to Radio shack or local parts store and pick up a pack of wiretaps (http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103500) and a pack of quick connectors (http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103313)
2. find a peice of standed #16 speaker wire (lamp cord will do) about 6" long.
3. Strip back about 1/2 in from one end.
4. using a crimper or pliers, put a blade connector on the stripped end of the wire.
Remove the 'circuit board' from the tail light, find the offending pin and wire. Will be easier to unplug the connector also.
5. install the blue wire tap and the unstripped end of speaker wire on the offending (read shorted pin) wire behind the plug.
6. follow the offending pin on the board, to a suitable location and slip the blade under a metal strip (:urgent: Make sure it is not shorting between 2 strips!!!).
Reinstall the board, and presto! No more flickering HIDs.

or, you could plop $50+ on a new board, I like my idea better...
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  #23  
Old 08-20-2012, 04:07 PM
Milton A, Canas Milton A, Canas is offline
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Thumbs up xenon lights flicker

To: celers
Thanks for your Help i will try it wich me luck
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  #24  
Old 10-19-2012, 04:27 PM
DMac05 DMac05 is offline
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$8 Fix

I was having the same problem with my headlights. Took it to my nearest authorized mechanic and he wanted $600+ to replace the entire headlight system. Knowing that he was trying to rip me off, I sought out other options. After much research, I found exactly what I needed to solve the issue of the flickering. I purchased HID capacitors from ebay for a total of $8 with shipping. Problem solved. No flickering and took only 5 minutes to install. Best of luck!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110906421995...84.m1497.l2649
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  #25  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:33 AM
Trp2003 Trp2003 is offline
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Lightbulb Little late byt might be useful

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoshua79 View Post
I have a 2011 BMW 330i with the sport package and am having head light trouble.

Has anyone had a problem with the xenon headlights flickering on and off. I was told by the dealer that there is module that controls the head lights and it needs to be replaced to the tune of $200-300 dollars plus labor, is this something that some one with mechanical know how can change?
Dear mrjoshua79,

I have a 2003 325i which I have pretty much owned since it was built. I had the same problem with my passenger side Xenon headlamp since the day I bought the vehicle. It used to randomly flicker or some times just go off by activating the "head lamp malfunction" indicator in my dash. I have taken the vehicle to the dealership multiple times and the changed the lamp and even the control unit during the vehicle was under warranty. I stopped messing with it after it came out of warranty.

My wife's mechanic, who is a car enthusiast but not necessarily own an upscale facility, wanted to investigate the issue. After a few searches on the web on other vehicles, he was certain that it could be faulty wiring in the tail lamps. This did not make any sense to me. I did ask my BMW technician to take a look at the tail lamps when I was there for my subsequent oil change. Lo and Behold, there were burn marks in the wires and they replaced the entire wiring. The lamp did not flash after that. When the flashing started a couple of years back, I had the wires checked and they were again completely burnt. I have not had that problem since they wires were replaced (touch wood!)

The only bad thing that came out of this is that my wife still gives me pain that her "side walk" mechanic Tom diagnosed what the German auto engineers could not detect. I am just happy it seems to have worked out.

You might want to check if the tail lamps are ok

Good luck my friend
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