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Old 02-25-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
rbaggett1
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Default Way to tell if a HID bulb is bad (visually)?

My HID bulb on the passenger side stopped turning on about a month ago on my 2003 Z. When I originally noticed this, I called a few dealerships to see how much they charged to replace the bulb. They both said around $450. Over half of that price was labor. They mentioned they needed to take off the bumper to access the headlights.

After reading a few posts, I knew that you should be able to go in through the wheel well. I finally got sometime this evening to finally give this a shot.

I finally got the bulb out and was wondering if there was a way to visually tell if a HID bulb is bad? I know with standard bulbs, they tend to be blackened if they went out. After I took the bulb out of the car, I noticed that it had a white spot on both sides of the bulb where the black strips were.

I thought about taking out the other bulb from the other headlight and testing but didn't have enough time to do so. Any help would greatly be appreciated.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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so you want to know if it's the bulb that is bad and not the ballast or something else? I would swap the bulbs, its the only way to really tell. Although if your ballast is bad and that lead to your bulb being burned out, you'd end up with 2 bad bulbs so it's a gamble you'd have to take. Bulbs aren't too bad a price though I just saw some in the marketplace for 50 a pair.

How on earth do they charge 450 to change a bulb???! I can take off the bumper and get to the headlights in under 10 minutes and I don't have the fancy air tools and lifts like they do. Dealerships are getting ridiculous these days.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by island03z View Post
so you want to know if it's the bulb that is bad and not the ballast or something else? I would swap the bulbs, its the only way to really tell. Although if your ballast is bad and that lead to your bulb being burned out, you'd end up with 2 bad bulbs so it's a gamble you'd have to take. Bulbs aren't too bad a price though I just saw some in the marketplace for 50 a pair.

How on earth do they charge 450 to change a bulb???! I can take off the bumper and get to the headlights in under 10 minutes and I don't have the fancy air tools and lifts like they do. Dealerships are getting ridiculous these days.
Agree.

The white spot is a sign of excessive heat. It may just be normal life of the bulb. No way to tell if the bulb is operational except to swap with a plug that you know is operating properly.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I'll test with the good bulb and see if it's that or the ballast. I've checked out some HID bulbs on ebay but will also check out the marketplace before making my purchase.

Courtesyparts wanted $150 something (plus tax) for the OEM HID bulb and the remainder was the labor. Another dealership wanted over $200 for the bulb and charged less for the labor but it was about the same. I think it's excessive for the work involved but at the same time I don't want a dealership taking apart my car. While taking apart my car, I noticed some fasteners were missing and another loose bolt was pinned in between the wheel liner and the items behind it. Sloppy work from them.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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www.ddmtuning.com has replacement bulbs for $15/pair. Even though they aren't OEM, I had great luck with them on my BMW.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:39 AM
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350z, bad, ballist, bulb, bulbs, buld, burnt, check, defective, headlights, hid, install, kno, lights, race, sport, wrong



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