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Old 08-28-2010, 02:26 PM
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Angry Xenon headlights on new models - beware..||

Xenon or Bi-Xenon headlights on new model BMWs (2009?? / 2010)
( 23rd August 2010 ) To BMW UK via website query.
I recently took delivery X1 20d.
Being summer, I have not required use of headlights much but recently I noticed that the headlights are very weak compared to my recent X5. I checked further and fuses are OK but note that the innner pair of lights do not work at all.
I checked various vehicles with Xenons at our dealer and note that none have the inner pair working. I must assume that I paid around GBP600 for a fancy decoration on the front of the car ? Dealer sales were unaware of this.!!

( 28th August 2010 )
Thank you for contacting BMW Customer Information. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

I can advise that the inner headlamp on your vehicle will only illuminate when the full beam is required, for example when driving down a dark road. The function of this headlamp is to also provide charge to the outer headlamp whilst it is in use.

I trust this is of clarification to your enquiry and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

BMW Group UK

( 28th August 2010 )
Having been somewhat surprised by your answer to my query, I have opened up the headlights on my car and checked to see if my concerns were valid.

I can confirm that the inner headlights will not and cannot ever illuminate/work.

What I found was that the outer headlights are as they should be and have the Xenon discharge assembly fitted.

The inner "lights ?? " are dummies and have no bulb, discharge unit or anything else other than the low wattage halogen bulb for the sidelight/parking-light/daytime running light corona-ring.

I can therefore confirm beyond any doubt that the inner headlamps are totally non-functional when Xenon or Bi-Xenon headlamps are installed.
Halogen headlights are very different and function as would be expected.

I must assume that it is the same situation with all the other vehicles we have checked.

I have to admit that I am extremely disappointed.

BTW - my car is Reg No: XXXXXXX VIN No: XXXXXXXif you would like to check the specifications.

I shall be arranging to deliver my car to our local dealer to have various problems addressed and hopefully put right and will advise them of this subject as well so that they will be aware
( 28th August 2010 )
Thank you for your reply to BMW Customer Information. I am sorry to learn that you were disappointed with my response.

After further investigation I can advise that the inner headlamp functionality on xenon headlights varies from one vehicle to the next and for the X1 there will be no illumination from the inner headlamp. I apologise that I was incorrect in the previous email, however, I can confirm that the purpose of this headlamp is to conduct and provide charge for the outer headlamp. We would not fit a headlamp in a vehicle if it served no purpose, as this would add additional cost to the vehicle and would be a waste of resources.

I can advise that this issue will not require investigation by the dealership, as the mentioned headlamp is performing as it should be. If you would like additional technical information regarding this matter then the dealership are able to submit a technical enquiry to address any concerns you may have.

Your continued disappointment is acknowledged, however, I trust that this clarifies our position on this matter. If you have any further queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

BMW Group UK
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2010, 11:59 AM
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Same on the 2011 X6. The inner lamp on each side holds the bulbs for the Angel Eyes only and is not a headlamp, even though a projector lens is fitted there is no lamp or releflector.

Xenon HID in the outer lamps for all main front lighting. More than a few have been surprised by this, including my dealer.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:56 PM
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I dont see the big problem with this..? so what! your inner headlight is SUPPOSED to be like that. Your xenon lamps get brighter when you put your brights on..thats exactly how my 2004 X5 is. yes my inner lamp will go on, but only if i pull the highbeam lever towards me, when i push it forward (for permanent high beams) the xenons just get brighter..

completely normal. dont get too fussy over it!
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:25 AM
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There are some differences between the US and European versions in that the inner lights on European models only use the inner lamps as a High Beam. There is no change in the intensity of the Xenon HID lamp, only the movement of a shutter to move the beam cutoff from its low to high pattern. The inner lamps have always been a pair of long range driving lamps, or spotlights, augmenting the outer pair by putting a lot more light om the road ahead. Alas no more.

The new system no longer has these driving lights to provide a long range pattern in the centre of the lighting beams and therefore the lighting is actually worse with the new lighting systems than the old. The E53 in the UK with the HID option puts some 180W of light output on the road. The new vehicles a mere 70W.

It appears that the inner lens is just there as a signature rather than for function other than to hold and conceal the Angel-Eye light pipe hardware and lamp assembly.

Two local BMW Dealers were also completely unaware of this and went to have a look at their own demo vehicles with HIDs installed. Mind you, my own dealer did not know that my E71 40d is a twin, two-stage turbo boosted system rather than a single twin-scroll turbo. I think they are struggling with all of the changes BMW are hitting them with, but not telling them about.
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Last edited by X5Sport; 01-05-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:13 PM
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I'd have to agree that the Xenons I have on my leased 2010 X35d don't seem as good as the xenons I've had in previous BMWs. The adaptive lighting is still good but overall I'm disappointed that the lighting isn't better for the price of the option.

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