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Old 04-20-2019, 04:38 PM   #1
velocast
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Default Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs (Part 1)


Saturn Astra Headlamp: From Bi-Halogen To Bi-Xenon HID

Watts = Volts x Amps W = V x A

It is dangerous to drive at nights with precarious visibility! Highways were designed for lower speeds than people drive today. When I had my 9005 Halogens running, throwed light under 130 ft. Going at 65 mph it was virtually impossible to stop safe. According with the transit authority total stopping distance needed is about 350 ft. So, I installed a 35W HID CAN-bus Kit that works ok with our Bi-Halogen Headlamps.

Because our Bi-Halogen Projectors are not designed for HIDs, I decided to upgrade them with a pair of aftermarket Hella’s Bi-Xenon HID 1EL 008 700-311/321. HIDs throws light further distance than any other headlight alternative at affordable cost. I may have now time to react up to 0-5 seconds more than a Halogen. Total visible light is about 500 ft.

If you do not drive much at nights, another option to upgrade our headlamps may be LEDs. It is easier! Make sure the LED bulb’s length is the same than the Halogen 9005 bulb. The beam pattern of a LED is similar than a Halogen meaning the spherical illumination that way we can retain our Bi-Halogen Projector.

A LED bulb will throw more near field illumination lumen (lm) but shorter directional focus distance than a HID candela (cd). Lumens measure the total amount of light. Meanwhile, Candela is a measurement of luminous intensity in a given direction. It tells you how bright from far away an object you can be able to see it.

Other important light measurement ratio to know is called Luminous Efficacy lm/W that basically is the amount of visible light (lm) emitted for a given amount of power used (W). LED lights are by far the most efficient! A 35W LED Headlight easily will output above 5000 lm using a luminous efficacy of 150 lm/W. Our Halogen 9005 bulb can output approximately 1,100 lm using a 20 lm/W; a 35W ballast HID can produce above 3,000 lm using a 80 lm/W. Most reviews confirm LEDs are better near field but lacks further path projection. HIDs on the other hand appears to throw further because in the Kelvin (K) color spectrum our eyes respond better. For our human eyes yellow (warm color) is the most visible color of all the colors, meantime blue is know as the hardest (cool color). There are tons of HID bulbs in the warm area, but headlight LEDs most of the time are above 6000K meaning within the cool area. If LEDs output way more lumens, where the light goes? The problem is our eyes cannot process effectively cool area colors to the point our eyes see glare more than ground vision.

Shocking, there are other headlamps types that goes from Matrix LEDs to Bi-Xenon HIDs brands like Depo, YTC, Q1-parts, etc., under $400 shipping included. Like I do, you can find them at UK based online stores.
Note: In this DIY guide I am focusing only to replace our “Bi-Halogen Headlamps with a Bi-Xenon HID Headlamps” instead of a comprehensive step by step HID system installation.

Going from Bi-Halogen to Bi-Xenon

The easiest, and economical way to upgrade our aging Bi-Halogen is going Bi-Xenon HID. That way we can use the same wiring configuration. No other way around!
Other way around going from Bi-Halogen to Single-Halogen or Single-Xenon HID is pure headache because the wiring configuration is entirely different to each other.

Our Saturn Astra Bi-Halogen Headlamp has only 3 bulbs:

High/Low Beam/DRL…9005/HB3…65W (Bi-Halogen Projector)
Parking…4157… 29W (Incandescent Bulb)
Signal…3157… 27W (Incandescent Bulb)


We do not have a Halogen Bulb for High Beam, like an Opel Astra H does. For High Beam all we have is a Solenoid Shutter in the projector. Our headlamp socket loom connector shows only 7 wires vs an Opel Astra H will throw you from 5 up to 10 wires. We do not have a fuse or relay for High, and Low Beams. No magic options here!

The good news is that the wiring configuration of our Astra’s left and right headlamp socket loom connectors are exactly the same than an Opel Astra H does. Meaning, the pin order of the 7 wires that we use to plug each headlamp are suited to work with any aftermarket Bi-Xenon HIDs. No need to swap pin positions, cut, or add additional wires to our headlamp socket loom connectors. AWARE: The wattage, and lumen output are totally different! So, it is not a plug and play situation (Please see the attached file: Headlamp Socket Loom Connector Diagram).

Our Halogen Low Beam and DRL share the same circuitry that are controlled by the highlight switch, ECM, sensors, and our CAN-bus are programed in that way. The former Saturn dealership can NOT program our DRL. On the other hand, most Opel Astra Hs do have the DRL function build in all ready with 1-5 versions to be programmed or enabled to an incandescent or LED. For example, using the aftermarket OP-COM software it can be enabled. The OP-COM does not support programing our Saturn Astra. It works only with non-programing functions like clock set up, clear faulty codes, refresh, read codes, etc.


Hella Headlamp Bi-Xenon HID comes with 4 bulbs:

High/Low Beam…D2S (Bi-Xenon HID Projector)
High Beam…H7…55W (Halogen Bulb)
Parking…W5W…5W (Incandescent Bulb)
Signal…PY21W…21W (Incandescent Bulb
)

In an Opel Astra H, the D2S HID is the Low Beam! The Halogen H7 will work together with the Solenoid Shutter to make High Beam illumination, with the most light output coming from the HID projector. The Halogen H7 will complement that with more light intensity. Notice: Each have their own circuitry! In a Saturn Astra, we just cannot put them together H7+Solenoid Shutter (in one circuitry). It may be fine in an Opel Astra H, but in ours is a big NO. Nobody wants to set an Astra in fire! That way will overload and may burn other electronics. I tried, my Connects2 stalk become the first victim, and probably my ECM become unstable likely to crash since then. Our High Beam switch cannot handle the power needed for both. It may burn right inside our steering near the recalled Takata air bag.

Hella Headlamp Housing

At the bottom of the Hella Headlamp housing there is an exterior socket-plug that will dock in an OEM Hella Ballast. It is from there an OEM Hella Igniter will feed the D2S bulb. An OEM Ballast, Igniter, and Bulb are about $200-$700 additional. I am NOT going to use none of that! Nada! How many amps will draw? Probably runs only between 12V-14V. Does our wire harness support it? What would happen to our CAN-bus? Does support our DRL’s low voltage? I am not going to address none of that!

Other notices: Opel’s Parking is only 5W vs ours 29W, Opel’s Signal is 21W vs ours 27W. All we have to do is to match that lumen output.
It is a challenge to upgrade to Bi-Xenon HID because it is not a plug and play situation. There is salvation, most aftermarket Bi-Xenon HIDs will have the same wiring configuration, and there are many aftermarket retrofitting alternatives that will make it work.

The case to keep our OEM DRL live

With the OEM DRL deactivated, we have way more upgrade choices: Matrix LEDs, OEM ballasts, angel eyes, aftermarket DRL, mods, you name it, etc. There are not available plug and play voltage dumpers below 10V or, at least technical diagrams. So, the DRL can be deactivated.

Our Astra has a 9V DRL (daytime running light) on the Low Beam. Most aftermarket HID ballasts can run from 9-14V. Check specifications before buying! That way we do NOT need a boost voltage converter, a relay, turn ON the Low Beam so it can run above 12V, or remove the DRL’s resistor, PWM, etc.

The biggest downside is the 2x time doubling the stress of our HID system will have to withstand because always will be ON from hot summers to cold winters. So, I am aware to replace them often. Heat and low voltage are the worst enemy of HID ballasts. The ignitor should be as close as possible to the D2S bulb. That way the spark pulse is close to ignite the D2S bulb. I had ignitor problems using 3ft AMP extensions.

My HID Ballasts are installed in an easy to remove area right behind the bumper frame across the A/C condenser. I personally set my headlight switch in the AUTO position without any problem. It never flickers!

BIG PLUS! The Hella aftermarket HID Low Beam looks dimmed in a daylight because the deepness and the thickness of the glazed projector glass. In a day light, our original OEM Halogen Projector does glare way more when retrofitted to HID. Most people including myself will believe it is a real DRL. Yes, it is! On the other hand, our OEM 9005 Halogen DRL has a mild mellow color against our glazed (ice like) HID projector.

Continuous to Part 2 ...

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Old 04-20-2019, 04:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs (Part 2)


Retrofit Plan For:

1) High and Low Beams

I am going to bypass the Hella OEM Ballast and Hella OEM Igniter all together to install an aftermarket D2S 35W HID Ballast CAN-bus (a regular 35W ballast with an added electrical decoder capacitor for our CAN-bus network). A HID Ballast that can draw under 5A at start then drop amperage down to 3A (our 9005 65W Halogen Bulb draws steady just under 5.5A). Check ballast specifications before buying. That way: No need to use a relay! No CAN-bus warnings! A regular D2S bulb 4300K is suitable for me.

2) Front Position or Parking Lamp

I am going to convert the H7 High Beam Reflector Lamp into a Front Position Lamp using a true H7 4W LED CAN-bus bulb. A High Beam Reflector Lamp is designed to maximize illumination. Meanwhile a Front Position Lamp is for twilight environments or when the sun is on the horizon, causing obscurity, refraction, scattering, or a bad weather day. And, a Parking Lamp is for parking visibility. For example, Transport Canada by 2021 will require new rules to stop “phantom vehicles” – cars operating without light in the dark. So, our retrofit meets that rule.

Our Parking 4157 bulb eats about 29W, draws under 2.4A and outputs somewhere under 400lm. To match the 400 lm output, we need a H7 LED that will consume under 4W. There are tons of H7 LEDs with misleading specifications! Also, LED bulb manufacturers do not mention the luminous efficacy (lm/W) of their products. With the help of a multimeter measure the amperage draw to make sure, we comply the lumen output. We need a LED bulb that will draw under .28A.

The LED bulb I bought comes shielded all over with a clear plastic lens. With a 14V battery, it does draw .28A. That is about 4W. Using the average luminous efficacy of 90 lm/W, it outputs about 360 lm. That is only in theory but in real life that little thing shines way a lot more probably it does output at least 600 lm. So, 600lm/4W = 150lm/W. Only God knows! To reduce the glare, I sanded the clear lens. So, now it outputs a glossy cloudy light instead of a bright shiny one.

AWARE: DO NOT use Headlights High/Low Beam type of bulb on this one. No other way around, we rather stay in compliance with our Astra’s lumen output and the state law.

3) Signal Light

The Signal Bulb I will leave as is with the PY21W Incandescent bulb (5-7watts less than our 3157). Shorter life? Yes! Probably 1500 hours vs 2000 hours. Our CAN-bus does not show any warning! Let’s move on!

Retrofitting in 7 easy steps:

Please have handy the attached file: Headlamp Socket Loom Connector Diagram

Saturn Astra Headlamp Socket Loom Connector:


1) Nothing to do! Leave as is!

Working from Inside the Hella Bi-Xenon HID Headlamp Housing:

Notice: All wires connected to the socket bulbs are of black color. There are not polarity color codes.

2) Cut H7 and W5W +positive wires (to find the -ground wire: trace the same wire that will connect both H7 and W5W socket terminals).

3) Take the Parking W5W +positive wire and connect to the +positive H7 bulb socket terminal (swap +positive connections). The H7 +positive wire will NO longer be used (SAFETY, insulate it). In an Opel Astra H it is used to turn on the halogen 55W high beam. Whenever, we switch on our high beam it will be energized!

4) Other, the W5W socket and bulb are no longer needed (optional: keep it if you want to use, or remove it). Use liquid tape and close end cap terminals to properly insulate no needed wires.

Working from Outside the Hella Bi-Xenon HID Headlamp Housing:

5) Push inward the OEM ballast power socket-plug connector’s push in tabs. It will leave a hole. Then, cut and connect the headlamp’s power wires (+Yellow and -Brown) with the aftermarket Ballast’s +/- power wires. Remove the socket-plug and the attached D2S cord. It is from that hole my power wire is passing through to connect the aftermarket ballast! To seal the hole, I am using a thick foam rubber that fits tight just fantastic waterproof (Picture: Retrofit).

6) Make a 1/4" half hole at the bottom of the HID projector cover. The D2S cord will pass through at the bottom of the projector cover. Use a grummet rubber washer, it will fit tight and waterproof (Picture: Retrofit)!

7) Install your new headlamps and ballasts using HID installation guides.

Our Final Bulb Setup:

High/Low Beam/DRL…D2S…35W (Bi-Xenon HID Projector)
Position & Parking…H7…4W (LED Bulb CAN-bus)
Signal…PY21W…21W (Incandescent Bulb)
Optional Mods…W5W…2-10W (Multiple Alternatives)


Optional Mods for W5W

Aftermarket DRL module: I have purchased a DRL module with a 10W maximum output that can be used with so many mods alternatives, going from Angel Eyes Halo Rings, Chip Multicolor Silica Bulbs with remote control, Single LEDs, to regular Wedge Bulbs. Notice: This mod W5W is totally an isolated circuitry from our Astra CAN-bus network. So, we have to run +/- wires separately for both W5W socket terminals.

To feed the aftermarket DRL module’s +power wire, I am using an Add a Circuit Mini Fuse Holder plugged to a “not-used fuse-SLOT.” Inside our engine fuse box are constant (hot) and switched (cold) not-used fuse-SLOTS neighboring one next to another. The switched or cold ones can be found in positions 3, 9, 11, 12, 23, 25, 31, 33, etc (see our owner’s manual booklet). So, I am using fuse position 23 to Add a Circuit Mini Fuse Holder. Fuse position 23, in an Opel Astra H is used for headlight range adjustment.

WARNING: We do NOT want to set our engine on FIRE: We do NOT want to “bridge” or connect the two old pins of the not-used fuse-SLOT 23 and cross connect, alter our CAN-bus, crash the ECM, or destroy other internal circuitries. We ONLY want to add an EXTERNAL +wire, or exterior ACC 12V cold switched power +wire that will connect our aftermarket DRL module. So, we plug in the Add a Circuit Holder’s top slot a 3A (color purple) mini fuse that will bridge or connect our aftermarket DRL module +wire.

All fuse slots have two pins: One pin connected to the +terminal that can be hot, or cold, and the other pin that is connected to the device (our aftermarket DRL module). So, we have to bridge or connect using the right orientation from power IN to power OUT.

The Add A Circuit Fuse Holder method to add circuitry is suggested for less than 5A. If you want more power that will draw above 5A, use a relay. Unless you have the understanding and the tools like a service dealership does.
To have a 100% complete control and turn manually ON/OFF the aftermarket DRL module. I am running a small toggle switch with a LED amber color located in our dash panel just next to our headlight switch knob. Looks OEM!

Protective Film

Our BIG headlamps are extremely vulnerable to damage from road debris and the sun’s UV rays. To protect them I am using a film by WeatherTech. It is very thick so I was afraid that may not work.

People in the film cover business highly recommend protective film over coating spray because protects better and last way longer time. They suggest to install wet and slippery both surfaces. You will need a heat gun, a spray bottle of water, Johnson baby shampoo, isopropyl alcohol (rubbing), a squeegee tool, and lint free cloth. There are tons of installation instructions on the Internet.

My suggestion: This is not a quick task. My film trimming is not that desirable. If you look very close the contours, you can see is not cut that nice. If you don’t have the patience needed, I suggest to take to a professional film shop.

You expect several hours, days, weeks, even months for the air spots trapped by the film to dry. It is self-breathable! To get the training how to install buy a film under $10. It does require patience! When installing, you may feel the film adhesive compound was washed away. As long you keep your hand clean from contamination, do not panic! The film’s adhesive compound is in there waiting for you for weeks even months! It does not cure and dry quickly. A heat gun is your best friend on this one. My huge advantage was to have my original old headlamps installed on my Astra. So, I never had or have time pressure. No hurries on this one! As time goes by it gets better and better. The air bubbles are going away. Probably I did use too much shampoo in the compound… Using the heat gun, I can reseal the air spots left. Please patience, and take it easy! You won’t regret!!

After a nasty winter your headlamps will be covered by dusty salt that will blurry light output. So, clean them with warm or cold water spray. It takes less than one minute.

Leveling Actuator

Other, optional gift is the Leveling Actuator that comes in the headlamps. Most Bi-Xenon Headlamps will come with 10 male pin connectors. Out of 10 pins, 3 pins are for the Leveling Actuator. Do not bother or try to swap those pins. For more we try nothing will happen. Our Astra’ socket loom connector does not have wires to connect them. Nevertheless, we can make it work with any aftermarket Leveling System all we need are sensor, and modules. As long you start driving, the Levelling System adjusts automatically the height of the cut-off line.
Continuous to Part 3 ...

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Old 04-20-2019, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs (Part 3)


Universal Retrofit Components

At eBay and Aliexpress both great markets, we can find a myriad number of HIDs retrofit alternatives from good to bad ones. Thanks to that I made it possible!

For our headlamp project its suggested to use universal fitment type of components because it gives way better flexibility for replacement, size, fitment, specification, etc., in adapters, bulbs, connectors, igniters, cords, extensions, bulbs harness, tapes, sockets, etc.

State Law SAE / DOT compliant

I have a 2009 Honda Civic LX with an OEM Halogen Reflector Lamp that was quickly converted to 35W HID for night travel. It does put more illumination near field but our retrofitted Astra throws light further distance. When driving in downtown, sometimes people get annoyed due to the glare it creates. Obviously, it does not look OEM.

On the other side, our Astra’s looks OEM, it will pass the state inspection! When I was filling gas there was a police interceptor on the other gas pump. The interceptor was pointing in the same direction to the wall than my Astra. The wall was about 200 ft away so I can see the police poor light on the wall. It was throwing a pointed narrow beam. My Astra’s beam was wider clearly with more light output on the wall-surface (lux measurement) without the off-road thing!

Lux (lx) measures illuminance, which is the amount of light on a surface per unit area. A single lux is equal to one lumen per square meter.

Water Leaking Problems

I was looking for a heavy rain to test: HELLA! After, two hours of heavy rain I saw significant “water condensation” inside both headlamps on the lower front side right across the HID projector. Water was filtering from the lower front side were the headlamps meet our Astra grille and hood. The condensed water was already blocking the HID projector path blurring light output. TOO BAD! Also, on the top of each headlamp there is a kind of U shape deflector facing straight forward the front. Our old Bi-Halogen never had or have this problem.

I had to reseal the entire upper part of both headlamps using 2 x 8oz Permatex Adhesive Black Silicone! After another rain test, I saw very small water condensation in only one headlamp, the next morning it was dry. So, I had to reseal the defective one. Both headlamps are fixed good! Time will tell!
My film cover just stands very strong and solid without any kind of moisture. Always ready to take a beat! Good quality! My retrofit modifications also are water proof solid. No problems whatsoever.

Final

Hopefully this guide will help you to upgrade our aging Bi-Halogens to Bi-Xenon HIDs. I tried to retrofit with the DIY mentality and easy access. I do not want to pollute making people temporary blind-disable and seen dark dots for few seconds due to the excessive glare, or trying to make the darkest canyon into a well illuminated amphitheater.

It looks pretty much like an OEM upgraded headlamp in compliance with the safety standards. It will not let you down!

The HID projector is just lovely! It does not glare! Sometimes I think is too dimmed! People, including myself will confuse the 4W LED parking light as the true Low Beam. The HID projector probably throws up to 500 ft of light (cd candela). Because the far light output, people get curious to know what projector is that! Of course, we do not want to be number one: We only want a reliable headlamp with safe vision for nights.

On High Beam mode, it is a big plus to see dark spots in an emergency situation! It will flash it with a massive output of light, but I notice the original H7 Halogen 55W output is missing to complement that luminous intensity. Tremendous difference! Parking, and Signal are working pretty good! Wow! No CAN-bus warnings whatsoever! Seems our Astra loves it! The miniature wedge W5W is an Amber Sylvania 168NA Long Life Bulb.

OPEL IS FOREVER!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_Installing (Medium).jpg (201.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_Headamp_Retrofit (Medium).jpg (186.6 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_Halogens (Medium).jpg (116.5 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_Halogens_Cutoff (Medium).jpg (85.1 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_HIDs_Cutoff (Medium).jpg (94.8 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_HIDs (Medium).jpg (153.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_HIDs_HID-100WFOGS (Medium).jpg (161.7 KB, 18 views)
Attached Files
File Type: doc Headlamp Socket Loom Connector Diagram.doc (12.5 KB, 24 views)

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Old 04-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs (Part 1)


Here is the Headlamp Socket Loom Connector: Pin Order 1-10
In case the word doc does not open the picture ...

Attached Files
File Type: pdf PIN ORDER 1-10.pdf (73.0 KB, 14 views)

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Old 04-20-2019, 09:15 PM   #5
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2009 Astra XR
2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs (Part 1)

After reading all that I am still unsure if you actually replaced the projector in the car? The coles note version of this is; swap our halogen projector for a EVO-XR HID projector, put a d2s hid bulb in, plug in your d2s to amp connector, get a amp canbus ballast - plug that in to your original wiring. Profit!!

...
09 Vauxhall Astra XR3/STD
18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
Eibach Sportline, Whiteline BHR75Z swaybar and EBC Rotors
CD30 Mp3, Insignia jets, vxR surround, sharkfin antenna, Spoiler, Tint

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Old 04-20-2019, 10:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs


It’s a brand-new HID Bi-Xenon Headlamps for Opel Astra GTC H. The brand is HELLA with part numbers 1EL 008 700-321 (right) and 1EL 008 700-311 (left). It is quite expensive I got in a deal for $600 delivered from buycarprts.co.uk. It comes from Germany but is made in an Eastern country.
It has already built in the HELLA HID Bi-Xenon Projector not need for an EVO-XR Projector. I was told the EVO outputs further distance than the Hella’s. I don’t want to keep spending more money …

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Old 09-12-2019, 08:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Headlamps: Bi-Xenon HIDs



I just come back from the Division of Motor Vehicles due to a mandatory state inspection. At almost 140K miles on the ondometer my Astra passed like when it was new.

The inspector found no complains in my HID Headlamps. Kind of notice at first he thought my DRL was a halogen at lower voltage. So, he told me to turn on lights, then high beam, signals, brake, no problem: PASS.

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