Thread: HID option
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 41,444

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: HID option

I completely understand your predicament and merely wanted to point out the differences between halogen and hid lamps. And thank you for clarifying (posting hid low beam lamps, not halogens). The smaller yellow bulb is a plain incandescent type. Whether or not the ballasts are faulty is the next step in troubleshooting. I do not know at the moment how to determine a faulty hid lamp or ballast. Apparently, Outlooks made available two lighting options, the video link showing halogens and yours with hids. With confusion comes uncertainty about dealer misrepresentation as these forums reported less than honest GM dealers. While I can understand your GM dealer stated yours came with HID low beam lights, I take a sceptical view until shown. I never assume different GM models carry over/share parts until proven. Yes, I've read and seen shared parts in various GM models.

I've toyed with the idea of switching my low beam halogen lights to HID but L300's use low beams for DRLs with a dropping resistor to reduce current/prolong lamp longevity. The resistor interferes with full voltage and current demands of HID lights. Since GM originally debuted daytime running lights in the USA, my L300 was my introduction to DRLs and I became fond of its ability to make opposing drivers aware of my presence. Since mine uses low beams for DRLs, night time lighting switches off the resistor to supply full power to each low beam. Long story short, after replacing low beams with Sylvania's UltraStar halogens, they lasted about three years and I decided to use HID's. They are plug n' play only because L300's use projector light housings with a metal cutoff plate inside to eliminate the upper beam (without it renders it simply as a high beam light and blind opposing traffic). All I had to do was install the HID kit, connect all premade connectors in correct polarity, make room for ballasts and bypass the resistor. I now have three times more light over stock low beams without the blinding glare when HID's are mistakenly put into non projector light housings, known as reflectors (creating a high beam light in low beams). Being conservative, I chose 35 watt HID lamps (stock halogens are 55W). 55W HID's output approximately 4X more light than halogens. Unfortunately, I thought I retained DRL's but sophisticated electronics is smarter than I am - DRL's do not light these HID's. I can manually turn on headlights or leave in auto lighting mode to turn on driving/headlights at night. Just no DRL's. I'm in the process of studying the wiring and technical explanation of daytime running lights but service manuals leave out detailed info so I'm left to search for more info to see if I can retain daytime running lights. I don't mind using these HID's in daytime and shortening their life if it allows avoidance of oncoming traffic wandering across the double yellow lines. The replacement costs for these hid lamps are very competitive to halogens. As you may know, I will eventually run into your problem a few years from now when either the ballasts or lamps fail and will have to determine which one failed.

The only suggestion I have at present for troubleshooting either a ballast or lamp failure; finding a similar vehicle model and swapping your lamp or ballast into a working HID light circuit. This way you know the other vehicle has operating HID's and you can swap your parts in one at a time to see which one failed. The only other suggestion might be Autozone or similar auto store testing ballasts and lamps. I noticed when replacing an alternator on a Nissan Sentra, the clerk in my local Autozone pulled open a drawer filled with custom wire harnesses to fit most alternators for bench testing. Impressed with Autozone's ability to bench test alternators and loan tools, I wonder if they can test HID ballasts and lamps.

Last edited by fdryer; 02-18-2017 at 09:16 PM..


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