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  #11  
Old 01-06-2016, 12:19 AM
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Having same issue, thought it was the halos, it's either the driver side bulb or ballast.

Flickering occurs more during cornering, any reason to believe bulb over ballast based on that?
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2016, 12:59 AM
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Any recommendations on bulbs.

How are these

Amazon.com: D2S - Osram Xenarc 66240CBI HID Bulbs: Automotive
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:50 AM
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CBI's are amazing bulbs, 5K bulb color temp but no loss of lumens compared to a 4300K bulb.

However I would be wary of Amazon for Philips/Osram bulbs. Stick to HIDbulbsRus | Home as he is 100% guaranteed for genuine bulbs, or Headlights, Car Lights, Headlight Bulb, Car Bulbs, Car Light Bulbs | PowerBulbs as well.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2016, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyX5 View Post
I am having this problem with my driver side headlight. As soon as I turn the headlights on, it will start flickering. I am not getting any error codes and I already switched the bulbs. I need to swap the ballast. I know this is an old thread, but I am hoping that these guys found the cause of the problem.
I've got similar headlamp problems which started with the low beam warning. Offside headlamp would start but went off after a couple of minutes. I swapped igniters, and the problem stayed with the offside light. Swapped bulbs, and it stayed. Checked the physical condition of the LCM - water ingress can be a problem for the connectors - all good. Scanned for errors, took a log, then removed bumper and swapped the ballasts. The problem moved to the other side, so I've had a replacement ballast shipped (from a Mercedes dealer, as it was the cheapest route and these Hella ballasts are generic). Will fit in the next day or two and post some pictures.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2016, 09:31 AM
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^ Thanks for the reply. I am now more convinced that my issue is a ballast going bad. I am experiencing the same problems and did the same troubleshooting as you did. The only thing that I have not done yet is the switching of the ballast because it requires the remover of the bumper. I am performing that task today.
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2016, 10:22 AM
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Apologies in advance for the volume of this post

So I took almost all of the bumper fittings out and removed the nearside headlight again to replace the ballast. I left the two 8mm screws in on the offside - there's enough flex in the bumper to not have to fight the plastic fittings at each side of the car.
There aren't a lot of pictures that I could find so here is the story starting with the location of the ballast:

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I never found a good picture of the inside of the lamp unit, showing the igniter. So here's my attempt! To get the igniter out, release the wire from the side opposite the black cable, and that retaining wire allows the black cable - which seems highly unconvincing as a connection, it feels awfully loose - to fall free. Once done, rotate the igniter a few degrees like you are unscrewing it and out it pops. (The bulb has a pair of wire retainers that need unclipping if you want to take it out as well).

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Where the headlamp used to be shows the cooling slot for the ballast. Presumably it's also a water/salt intake too:

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The new ballast is a generic Hella part number 5DV 008 290, bought from a Mercedes stockist in the UK for 70 (US$102 at today's rate). It seems slightly healthier in appearance than the ten year old predecessor:

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The new ballast fixed the problem with the headlamps. So I wanted to take a closer look at the failure mode. As only one of the T9 case screws came out easily, it was time to unleash the angle grinder to take the heads off the other three and prise the case open - which took some effort. The failure mode is self-evident:

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Now this, in my mind, is to some degree a classic BMW problem of mixed metals - the Aluminium/Aluminum (delete as applicable) ballast case and the steel retaining screws will encourage corrosion. Add in some salt and moisture, from UK winters, and this will corrode enough to produce salt that will press through the red seal inside the case. That corrosion has in this case spread to the circuit board which is bonded (presumably for thermal reasons) onto the bottom of the ballast case, and it has bridged across enough to influence the performance of edge components, this is the worst affected:

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I'm pretty impressed that this ballast even worked, albeit for a couple of minutes at a time!

Job done - thanks for your patience and apologies again for the heavy imagery in this response.
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2016, 08:59 PM
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Hey Moments,

Did you have to reset the LCI after replacing the ballast? I replaced mine and it worked at first and now the low bean bulb is out. I put the old one back and it didn't came back on. I replaced a ballast before and it did the same thing. It was a long time ago and I believe that I disconnected the battery in order for the LCI to reset it self.
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2016, 06:38 AM
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I didn't need to reset anything - the check control error cleared down and I left the lights on with a battery charger connected while putting everything back together. I'll scan the LCM later today and clear down the shadow codes, I'm assuming all is well.

There is a TSB on this which is all I can add right now:
====================
SI B 63 07 05
Lights
April 2006
Technical Service

This Service Information bulletin supersedes S.I. B63 07 05 dated November 2005.

[NEW] designates changes to this revision

SUBJECT
Headlight(s) are Inoperative After Parts Replacement or Coding

MODEL
E46 (3 Series) with SA 522 (Xenon lights)
E53 (X5) with SA 522 (Xenon lights)
[NEW] E83 (X3) with SA522 (Xenon lights)
[NEW] E85 (Z4) with SA522 (Xenon lights)

SITUATION
After replacing a headlight(s) assembly, Lamp Module (LCM), Lamp Switch Center (LSZ), Stepper Motor Controller (SMC), Active Headlight Control (AHL) or coding the LCM/LSZ the headlight is inoperative.

CAUSE
The System has not been initialized.

PROCEDURE
The headlight has to have a calibration sweep in order for the LCM/LSZ to recognize it.

Use the following procedure to calibrate the headlights:
^ Select - Control Module Function Screen
^ Select - Active Headlight Control (AHL)
^ Select - Activate Components
^ Select - Reference run with senior
^ Select - Control module reset

WARRANTY INFORMATION
Covered under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
====================
This looks to me to be forcibly 'reminding' the LCM of the state it should be in.
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