Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:20 PM
webwiz webwiz is offline
Registered User
Location: NJ
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
I Need Help with a 330i Headlight Problem

I'm about 800 miles from home and my driver's side headlight and high beam have gone out (I've got the little warning lamp on the dash). Turn signal and driving light is fine, but the main light is dead. It might be my fault - I drove the 800 miles yesterday pretty much non-stop and with the headlights on the whole way. I started in the dark, arrived in the dark, and it rained hard most of the time in between. So I'm wondering if having the light on that long just blew it out somehow.

My problem is that I'm not quite sure what I need to replace. I *think* I have some kind of xenon / non-filament headlight, but I'm not sure. It's a 2003 330i (e46) and I recall upgrading the headlights when I bought the car. I would *love* to just find a local auto parts store, buy a bulb, and slap it in there. But I fear I'm looking at a $500-700 replacement instead. I hate to be at the mercy of the nearest BMW dealer I can find, but I'm also wary of driving the 800 miles home, part of which will be in the dark.

Any suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:26 PM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,642
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
If you have xenon lights (the surrounding of the projector inside the headlight housing visible from the outside will say "XENON" or "BI-XENON" if you do), you can first start by swapping the left and right bulbs to make sure it's a bulb problem.

If it's not a bulb problem, next step is ballast or igniter.

Bulbs are ~$100, check out jlevisw.com. There are lots of threads on the other problems, use the SEARCH function to find them..
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-29-2009, 10:31 PM
rockafello1 rockafello1 is offline
Registered User
Location: toronto
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 32
Mein Auto: 2004 330ci
bulbs burned out-if you can afford too change both-make sure not too touch the bulb with your fingures only handle it buy the plastic part
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-29-2009, 11:26 PM
TrippinBimmer's Avatar
TrippinBimmer TrippinBimmer is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ridgeland, MS
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 666
Send a message via AIM to TrippinBimmer Send a message via Yahoo to TrippinBimmer
Mein Auto: ZHP Custom Stage 3.5
Mike at F1 AutoHaus got some GE Hid Bulbs and Mtec HID bulbs... They are high quality better then the cheap one Jlevis sells....

-TrippinBimmer
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:57 AM
webwiz webwiz is offline
Registered User
Location: NJ
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
I Need Help with a 330i Headlight Problem

(I'm the OP.) I guess my first step is to swap the left and right bulbs to confirm it's the bulb, and not the ballast, ignitor, control box, or something else. Someone mentioned access via the wheel well, but I'd like to find an online guide for replacement, hopefully with pictures. I can't find one, though - does anyone know of such a guide?

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-01-2009, 03:45 PM
E92-Lighting's Avatar
E92-Lighting E92-Lighting is offline
info@e92-lighting.com
Location: Walnut CA
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,511
Send a message via AIM to E92-Lighting Send a message via MSN to E92-Lighting Send a message via Yahoo to E92-Lighting Send a message via Skype™ to E92-Lighting
Mein Auto: 335i
we have been fine with mtec hid bulbs, fully stocked with D2s, h11, 9006, etc.. too many to list




Last edited by E92-Lighting; 09-01-2009 at 03:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-01-2009, 04:06 PM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is online now
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,803
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
To get an idea of what you're up against, have a read thru this thread. Follow it all as wingspan went on a journey to fix his...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=324090
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-01-2009, 07:58 PM
Solidjake's Avatar
Solidjake Solidjake is offline
The one and only
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 17,668
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
BTW, you can get replacement HID bulbs from DDM Tuning for $25

http://www.ddmtuning.com/index.php?p...=264&parent=85

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:24 PM
ThreeTwoFive ThreeTwoFive is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Minnesota
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,540
Mein Auto: B25
I have the DDM ones, they work fine. Dont waste your money
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-20-2011, 03:24 PM
Cbodden Cbodden is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Question Right head lights

During the day my lights work but during the day the right one doesent
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-20-2011, 03:31 PM
Cbodden Cbodden is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Question Right head lights

During the day my lights work but during the day the right one doesent
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-20-2011, 10:50 PM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
Supporter of Bimmer Lore
Location: Mexico
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,192
Mein Auto: 2006 325Ci
You can try swapping bulbs and see if the problem follows the bulb. Else it is either the igniter or the ballast, both much more expensive issues.

BTW, for those using the $25 DDM bulbs: do they perform (in all respects) as well as the standard $125+ bulbs? And I mean in terms of the load they put on the electronics.

Sure, I'd love to spend just $50 bucks on the HIDs when the time comes; saved cash can happily be used for other desirable mods like AE's or preventives. But I would not want to risk the ballasts or igniters just to scrimp a bit on bulbs either.
__________________

2006 325Ci
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-21-2011, 05:16 AM
Scott ZHP's Avatar
Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is online now
We want the Lion!
Location: PA, USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 7,446
Mein Auto: 03 ZHP, 01 X5, 73 MGB
If you have HID/xenon lights, the *last* thing to suspect is the bulb. The ignitor is normally the first thing to fail, followed by the ballast (aka control box). Some dealers won't even bother to diagnose which part is bad, they replace both ignitor and ballast while the light is out/apart. You can try swapping bulbs side to side, but that's not normally the issue. Designs vary by year, but the ignitor is about $100, the ballast is about $250.

In my experience, BMW's HID headlights leave alot to be desired from a reliability perspective. Between my E53 and my E46, I've lost count of how many times I've had mine out and apart. I can probably extract a headlight in 10 minutes. And it's not unique to manufacturer, my E53's are made by Hella, the E46 by Bosch/AL. And don't even mention ZKW.
__________________


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
JUST...LOOK...UNDER...THE...CAR....for Chrissakes....it`s like checking to see if a dog is male or female....
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
A bimmer with forced induction should have a proper manual gearbox. Anything less is like french kissing your sister.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms