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Stuart in Houston
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751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife drives a 2013 X5, 55,000 miles. It's loaded, so probably has whatever headlights are upgrades.

Her left headlight quit working. BMW dealer says (see attached) almost $5K to repair: $3100 for assembly, $1550 for module. Unrelated repair, also wants $640 to replace left fog light.

Do these sound right? What headlight can cost five thousand to replace? She's going to tell them no, but I'd like to be able to tell her if it's legit or a ripoff, and what her alternatives might be.

Thanks.

[PS: Ignore the "approve" checks, that was the only way to get this to load on my phone. She also had some misc repairs, which added another $900 or so to the bottom line.]

 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 121K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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24,008 Posts
Search RealOEM.com for the current part number, then general search engine search for that PN. I saw $1500 for the assembly for my car. Why change the module? I didn't see labor.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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26,385 Posts
You let **her** take it in?!? They are raping her, time to get a second opinion.

The prices for all these things are WAY high-- AND, most importantly, you have no idea if this is accurate!

Foglight is $126 and maybe an hour: https://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com...5iX/Fog-lights--left/3485300/63177224643.html

Not sure what is wrong with the headlight...there is an LED repair kit for $250: https://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com...r-kit-for-LED-module/3485206/63117263051.html

Finally, what is wrong with the 'module'??

This just feels like a total ripoff, where the person will come back to the SA and 'negotiate' to 'well, lets only do XYZ'... SA just shotguns a quote that is 4-5 TIMES what it should cost.

Also, sorry to say- guys get ripped off less than women do.
 

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Stuart in Houston
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751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Search RealOEM.com for the current part number, then general search engine search for that PN. I saw $1500 for the assembly for my car. Why change the module? I didn't see labor.
I just talked to the service rep. He said the headlight unit failed, and moisture got in. There is condensation inside the unit. That leaked onto the electronics control module, causing it to fail.

He also said those prices include labor, but if I did both at the same time, it would drop to $4200 from $4600, as there is some labor savings.
 

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Stuart in Houston
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751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ard, our replies crossed. I'll take it to an independent shop I know, and see what they say.

It seemed crazy high to me (hence my post), but I've learned to not be surprised with BMW repair costs. The first time I had to replace a windshield that had HUD, and it was 3 times what a normal windshield should cost. So I thought, maybe there's something weird about headlights I don't know.

I think we've both bought our last BMWs. And I don't say this lightly, as you can see from my car history signature. But I'm just tired of every repair costing 2-3 times what any other brand costs. I love the car, they drive superbly, the techno is great, but who wants to spend thousands to repair a hundred dollar part?
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 121K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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24,008 Posts
Headlights are fogged over

Repair notice for assessing condensation in the headlamp

The images show the difference between mild and severe condensation in the headlamps of various vehicles.
Note:

A headlamp with substantial condensation can be recognized by the formation of droplets on the inside of the headlamp unit.
The appearance of moisture immediately following cleaning in an automatic car wash or after the vehicle is driven in heavy rain can point to severe condensation and possible indicate a headlight that is not effectively sealed. (Usually occurs only on one side)
The condensation phenomenon is promoted by damp, humid air that penetrates into the headlamp from the outside by entering through the ventilation system. This then evaporates in the headlamp while it is still warm, and when the unit cools it then precipitates to form condensed moisture of the inside of the headlamp lens.
This neither causes corrosion damage to the headlamp, nor does it exercise a negative impact on the intensity of the light that it emits.

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/...uctions-at6305-mech/fogged-headlights/YFcTUkX

I remembered this because nearby are instructions for installing bug-excluders into the ventilation ports and I had never heard of such a thing as bug-excluders. They appear to be wire bottle-brush sections jammed into the headlight vent holes.

I think I noticed that the module inside the HL assembly cost $100+.

BMW HUD glass is non-parallel surface. BMW windshield glass is integral to body stiffness and MUST be installed with proprietary jigs, and the special adhesive requires 24 hours without strain due to pressure difference (windows open, no drive), temperature differential expansion (indoors climate controlled), body flex (no drive, no doors). Mechanics are ALWAYS smarter than the engineers writing the requirements and instructions.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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If you are within 1 year and 10k of the expiration of the 4/50 warranty, the dealer CAN do a 'goodwill'.

This dealer seems like they are one of the bad guys, and would probably demand 50% anyway- which is still more than it is worth

Any explanation as to how a foglight cost 640?
 

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Rip off. If this were replaced as part of a collision loss. Insurance company would pay $1911 for new headlamp assembly in BMW branded box, but more likely slightly under $1200 for aftermarket or used one.
Body shop would be compensated for 1.4 hours of labor if the headlamp were the only thing that got damaged.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest
 

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Stuart in Houston
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751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I've got a local independent that I use, I'll take it by there and see what they say.
 

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Unless the headlight is damaged, the ballast may have gone bad. Def a total rip. Had a headlight on my e53 go bad, I changed the bulb and the ballast myself and still didnt wrk, turned out to be the module... so money spent for nothing. Find a good indy. If you truley need a new headlight def scan ebay.
 

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I am in the same boat for a different set of reasons . . . still working it, will post my outcome after I have sorted it out.

Question - is ballast and module the same thing? I know there is an igniter that is integral to the bulb . . . then there is a ballast that retails for about $450 (BMW) and about $250 (after market) . . . what is a module? Did you mean the whole headlight unit?

Also is the adaptive headlight control (the system that makes the headlight follow the steering movement) a completely separate mechanism - search was not very successful, didn't know what its name was.

Thanks.

Unless the headlight is damaged, the ballast may have gone bad. Def a total rip. Had a headlight on my e53 go bad, I changed the bulb and the ballast myself and still didnt wrk, turned out to be the module... so money spent for nothing. Find a good indy. If you truley need a new headlight def scan ebay.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 121K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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24,008 Posts

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 121K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
Joined
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24,008 Posts
I'm surprised the modules aren't potted. Anybody know whether they are or not?
I don't know. Potting is problematic for moisture that does get in can't get out. Effective venting is better.

In my experience I had one circuit component which function was compromised by any moisture's conductivity. It was a diode assembly of discrete components (a couple of diodes like rice grains) at micro-Amps, leads soldered to stand-offs in an aluminum box of about a cubic inch. After assembly it was washed in ethanol and freon and baked and dried with dry nitrogen and then the gasketed cover was bolted on.
 

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Registered
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I am in the same boat for a different set of reasons . . . still working it, will post my outcome after I have sorted it out.

Question - is ballast and module the same thing? I know there is an igniter that is integral to the bulb . . . then there is a ballast that retails for about $450 (BMW) and about $250 (after market) . . . what is a module? Did you mean the whole headlight unit?

Also is the adaptive headlight control (the system that makes the headlight follow the steering movement) a completely separate mechanism - search was not very successful, didn't know what its name was.

Thanks.
On my e53 I think it was actually the lcm, which is the light control module. I did have a green light or something come up when i turned on the headlights, mechanic scanned and knew right away. And I did have adaptive xenons on that which did not work as a result.
 

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Registered
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I am in the same boat for a different set of reasons . . . still working it, will post my outcome after I have sorted it out.

Question - is ballast and module the same thing? I know there is an igniter that is integral to the bulb . . . then there is a ballast that retails for about $450 (BMW) and about $250 (after market) . . . what is a module? Did you mean the whole headlight unit?

Also is the adaptive headlight control (the system that makes the headlight follow the steering movement) a completely separate mechanism - search was not very successful, didn't know what its name was.

Thanks.
I find using the online part databases as ways to figure out what all the parts of things are...in this case...the adaptive xenon headlamp assembly. You can see where all the control modules are located and what their names are (plus what their 11 digit BMW part number is in case you need to order one. You can shop using the correct part number):

FYI (to help answer some of your questions): The "igniter" is #8 in the diagram below and is attached to the back of the bulb. It supplies the power to the bulb & "ignites it".


The ballast (aka ballast resistor)...or control module for xenon bulb...is #4...its purpose is to maintain constant current to the xenon bulbs. I used an e70 with a DEC/2011 build date because I didn't see any model year/build date info in your signature of car info to go by. If you don't have the LED corona rings (or angel eyes)...then you won't not have #17:

Click the following link for more info about control modules #4, #5, #18...and #7 the LWR servo motor. If there's a small camera icon in the far right column (under notes)...that means if you click the icon, you can see an image of that part:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...9_E70N_BMW_X5_35iX&diagId=63_0992#63127194449

 
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