Xenon Headlamp Inoperative

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Xenon Headlamp Inoperative

E46 3 Series

Production dates from 3/04 to 2/05


Complaint

One or both of the xenon headlamps are intermittently inoperative.


Cause

The xenon headlamp bulbs and/or xenon control units are malfunctioning. The manufacturer of the headlamp will be Automotive Lighting. To determine which is causing the malfunction, the bulb or the control unit, install a known good bulb and test the operation.

If a new bulb isn’t accessible, use the bulb from the other headlamp if it is operational. If a new bulb doesn’t restore operation then it is safe to assume that the xenon control unit is at fault.

If a green sticker is present on the headlamp part sticker, then continue diagnosis by testing with a known good bulb. If operation isn’t restored with the known good bulb, the most likely cause would be a faulty xenon bulb igniter.


Note: If a headlamp failure has occurred on a vehicle outside the production ranges above or is manufactured by a different supplier, then the most likely cause of the failure will be the xenon bulb igniter.


Caution: When performing any repairs on the xenon headlamps, be sure to have the ignition off due to high operating voltages of the xenon headlamps. Serious risk of shock is present if repairs are performed with the ignition on.


Correction

When either replacing a xenon control unit or igniter, first the headlamp will have to be removed from the vehicle. Replacing the xenon control unit is simple after the headlamp has been removed from the vehicle; three torx screws hold it to the underside of the headlamp assembly. Replacing the xenon bulb igniter is a difficult DIY repair. It will require disassembly of the complete headlamp to gain access to the igniter. The igniter is installed just inside the access opening for the xenon bulb at the bottom of the headlamp.

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