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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 08-03-2014, 11:30 PM
I CORNER I CORNER is offline
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Don't the 2014 335i's use a 4 Headlamp System

OK, we bought our first BMW a week ago Saturday. It is a 335i M-Sport in Estoril Blue. It is mainly my Wife's car, but will serve as our main car as well, as my C6Z06 is not a daily commuter and my Silverado SS drinks gas.

It was a run-off between the Infinity Q50, Audi S4, Lexus IS350 F-Sport and Lexus GS350 F-Sport. Final runoff was between the GS350 F-Sport and the 335i M-Sport, which are just different mission cars.

Other than the sweet responsive 335i motor, one of the things I liked was the 4 headlamp system (I like lights) and I was told that the both the low and high beams were HID. So as I have not driven the car in the dark yet, I was checking it out in the garage on Saturday and noted that the 2 inboard headlamps do not illuminate when the hi beams are switched on, but the outer beams switch to more of a high beam. Am I missing something or are the inboard headlamps (with daytime ring surround lights) fake? Even our Maxima, that the 335i replaced had separate high-beams (halogen) to go with its HID low beams, and fog lamps as well, that the M-Sport loses. Are all 335is this way in this generation?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2014, 05:54 AM
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bocabimmer bocabimmer is offline
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You may get a bit more help in the F30 forum, but I do know that BMW uses a bixenon projector lens where essentially a mechanical shroud lifts up when you turn the high beams on revealing more light. That's pretty standard for most German cars these days.


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  #3  
Old 08-04-2014, 07:03 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I CORNER View Post
...
Other than the sweet responsive 335i motor, one of the things I liked was the 4 headlamp system (I like lights) and I was told that the both the low and high beams were HID. So as I have not driven the car in the dark yet, I was checking it out in the garage on Saturday and noted that the 2 inboard headlamps do not illuminate when the hi beams are switched on, but the outer beams switch to more of a high beam. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bocabimmer View Post
You may get a bit more help in the F30 forum, but I do know that BMW uses a bixenon projector lens where essentially a mechanical shroud lifts up when you turn the high beams on revealing more light...
As Boca mentions, there are only two HID lamps - they use a shutter to switch between high and low. This is different than early E46 setups where the high beam was halogen, and the low beam HID was always-on. On E9x cars, the inner halogen bulb was used for flash-to-pass and cornering illumination.

On F3x cars, there is no inner "lamp" on xenon-equipped cars, the foglights are used for corner illumination. Only halogen headlights have an inner bulb for high beams.

Note that BMW uses only one housing for both halogen and xenon headlights, now - cheapskates.

Further note - no car uses 4 xenon bulbs, as they would be far too bright to meet any worldwide standard.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2014, 07:39 AM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Welcome to the 'Fest.
I'm moving your question over to the F3X forum where you will definitely get more help.

Congrats on the new car!
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:05 AM
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This has been the case with US-Spec BMW's for many years. AFAIK there are some markets that still get 4 halogen bulbs. But with Xenon's or LED's, the outer bulbs serve both high and low beam purposes, while the inner bulbs have the halos, but only serve a secondary purpose: cornering lights, daytime running lights, etc. A decade ago the inner lights also served the flash-to-pass function, but with the quicker reaction / cycling time of modern xenon's, that is no longer needed.

Other than the bad info you got from your dealer, I think you will love how the lights work. Take that sucker out for a drive!
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:12 AM
cleaver cleaver is offline
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I've been trying to figure this out also. I have the xenon Lighting Package on my F31. The outboard lights are bi-xenon (both low- and high-beam, and flash-to-pass, actuated by a shutter) and the fogs function individually as cornering lights (but only when the light switch is in automatic mode, which is also the only time the headlights swivel). As far as I can tell, even by trying to peer inside the projector lens, the inboard lights of a xenon-equipped car are cosmetic only. A bit disappointed, but the bi-xenons definitely work!
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2014, 01:50 PM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Others have given the same response I would have: Xenon/HID use a shutter to adjust the same lamp between normal and high-beam. It doesn't actually get brighter, just the area of lighting increases vertically.

However, I didn't realize the F3X cars did away with the inboard lights being used for high-beam-flash-to-pass. What's used now? Does the car just quickly flip the shutter on the HID projector instead?
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2014, 02:10 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
This has been the case with US-Spec BMW's for many years. AFAIK there are some markets that still get 4 halogen bulbs. But with Xenon's or LED's, the outer bulbs serve both high and low beam purposes, while the inner bulbs have the halos
On E9x, the halo is a separate bulb. There are two halogen bulbs per side for Xenon headlights: one flash/cornering, one halo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBS3SSION View Post
...However, I didn't realize the F3X cars did away with the inboard lights being used for high-beam-flash-to-pass. What's used now? Does the car just quickly flip the shutter on the HID projector instead?
As I mentioned, the foglights are used for cornering at low speeds.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2014, 06:40 AM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
As I mentioned, the foglights are used for cornering at low speeds.
I'm not asking about cornering lights. What lights are used when you flash your highbeams? Used to be the only thing the inner hallogens were used for on HID cars. So if the inner housing is just a dummy with a corona ring around it...
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2014, 12:45 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OBS3SSION View Post
I'm not asking about cornering lights. What lights are used when you flash your highbeams? Used to be the only thing the inner hallogens were used for on HID cars. So if the inner housing is just a dummy with a corona ring around it...
The shutter flips up on the Xenon beam.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2014, 12:56 PM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
The shutter flips up on the Xenon beam.
How does that work when your headlights are off? HIDs generally take a few seconds to "power up". Not something you can quickly flash from being off.

Even when the headlights are on, I liked the old way of having dedicated halogen bulbs in the inner housing for highbeam-flashes/flash-to-pass because they were different from any other light on the car and more noticeable when you used them.
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:11 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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You're living in the last decade. Modern HID's "power up" instantaneously.
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Prior BMW's
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2014, 10:52 PM
I CORNER I CORNER is offline
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Thanks. I would have preferred at least halogens for inboard lights. I was told that with the auto-leveling, that the Hi beams can be HID too. I never questioned further and who test drives a car in the dark during long summer days, when it is still light out when the dealer closes.

I upgraded the lights on my 2008 Corvette Z06 to HID and Fog 55w HIDs, as when driving home at 3AM from work, I was concerned I would not see a raccoon, amarillo or opossum. Live or dead they can do a lot of damage to Carbon Fiber splitters and front ends just 3.5" off the pavement. As commented by another those take almost 10 seconds to reach 100% output from cold.

Last edited by I CORNER; 08-07-2014 at 11:01 PM.
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