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Old 12-12-2011, 06:18 AM   #1
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Default 01 bonneville se blowing headlights

Guys I didn't see anywhere else to post an electrical issue so I decided to post here. If any admin thinks it belongs elswhere by all means please move it.

I have an 01 bonneville se and for some strange reason I keep blowing my head light and high beam on the passenger side only. At first I was thinking it was a ground issue but I question that because my marker lamp and fog lamps share the same ground as well. Right? To futher complicate things I have h.I.d headlights. I have voltage going into th ballast but none coming out so I bought a new one and it still didn't work. Another funny thing is if I pull the bulb out and turn on the headlights for a milisecond the headlight will blink on and then g right out. To further further complicate things ivenoticed last night that when my stereo is cranked my voltage gauge drops a ton. I have a HO alternator but it needs highr rpms to prduce that output. This made me wonder if it was a voltage drop issue but if so, why hvent I blown that marker light or turn sigal? Any advice would be much appreciated
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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If the voltage is low, it shortens the life of a gas discharge lamp.

The ballast spends most of its time in start mode. It'* starting that wears out any gas discharge lamp.

Low voltage lengthens the life of an incandescent bulb, and has no effect on an LED bulb.

The vibrations from a cranked stereo can affect any kind of lamp. The passenger side lamp mount might have a resonance that matches the output of the stereo.

Check the connections first. It might have a marginal connection somewhere that, combined with the low voltage at idle from the stereo, lowers the voltage enough to throw the bulb into starting mode. Low temperatures can exacerbate this.

Check the voltage regulator.

Try it for a while without the stereo and see if the bulb life goes up.

One strange possibility: The right headlight assembly is completely ungrounded, and is making its ground connection through the unlit left headlight or high beam. This provides enough voltage to start, but not run the lamp.

If this is the case, try substituting incandescent lamps for all 4 headlight and high beam lamps. If they come on dim on the right side, their grounds are tied together, but are not connected to the car ground.

Note that this unusual loss of connection can reverse the voltage polarity on an electronic ballast, damaging it.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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It just seems strange that the problem is isolted to one side. As a matter of fact I'm pretty sure that even if I swap them from left to right neither side works. I think today ill put my stock alt back on because it actually does a higher output at low rpms and put in some sylvanias and see if they last. I don't want to use them forever though lol! Its just strange the ballast shows voltage in but none coming out. I can do anything with car audio but this problem is just flat out confusing
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
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Check the electrical connector at the bulb for any heat degradation, or to see if it is compromised in any way.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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The plug from the car is in perfect condition and so is the one from the ballast. I'm gonna lose my mind on this one. If the low voltage from the stereo and alterntor are the culprate why d they keep targeting that side. If I'm not mistaken the don't share the same power circuit or are at least fused seperately. Right?
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:51 PM   #6
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you may have to use the headlight control wire to operate a relay so you can ensure full power. some of those hids mention that. which is used for DRL low or high?
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfirebird View Post
you may have to use the headlight control wire to operate a relay so you can ensure full power. some of those hids mention that. which is used for DRL low or high?
On a 2001 the high beams are the DRL.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
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so the highs come on at some power less than 100% for drl'* usually, which is no good for HID'*. if you run a relay you should be good.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:07 AM   #9
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Yeah, that'd be a good reason why.

He could probably do the DRL delete, and just run his fog lights as his DRLs and that would solve his issue.

It'* what I do.
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