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Factory Fit Xenon issue after replacing bulb

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by steveatpipex, Mar 1, 2009.

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  1. steveatpipex

    steveatpipex Member

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    Following a previous post and kind help from Television with some notes on removing bumper bar etc, I identified a bulb on my factory fitted Xenon lights (W209 CLK) as being faulty. I replaced both bulbs with same temperature bulbs and fired them up. Both came on (The original fault has gone) but my r/h side xenon flickered slightly. I thought nothing of it and went for a short drive. During the journey i received a warning that my right hand dipped beam was faluted - it has stopped working. Thinking it might be a faulty replacement bulb, I swapped over - still nothing. I replaced the original working bulb, still nothing.
    I imagine that either the Ballast has faulted or the HID lead to the bulb (is it fragile inside or standard copper wire?). It all seems too coincidental of course!
    Looks like I'm going to have to remove the bumper and light fitting to replace it after all, are there any special precautions i have to observe like disconnecting the battery? The replacement ballasts I have seen online appear to be simple replace and plug in - is that right?
    Any advice appreciated please before I start!
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Nothing to worry about on disconnecting the battery, just re set window etc.


    I do not know about the plug in Ballast, but would be pleased to know the outcome
     
  3. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    Personnally don,t think it will be the wiring to the lamp as this is normally very high quality multi strand cable with thicker insulation due to the high voltages involved in xenon headlights.
    I personally think its more likely to be your ballast, but on my xenons i also have another unit which on mine (W202) is actually in the headlight itself i believe its called the igniter.
    Once you have gained access to it you could just exchange the units over from one side to the other to you can eliminate it.
    Can i ask where you have found replacement ballasts? As i may have to be replacing one of mine.
     
  4. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    I thought ballast and ignitors were the same thing?
     
  5. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Well I just posted that and deleted it , as I thoght that
    I must do a proper write up on how they work in a car.

    Their real name "Halide" has been around for years
     
  6. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    Checked on EPC and there is only one module, A2028207026 Xenon control unit for each headlight
     
  7. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    I think that has to do with halogen (in some way)

    edit - it's to do with discharge lamps of all types
     
  8. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    Hi,
    In the xenons headlights of my 202 there is a sealed electronic box behind the ballast cable socket where the said ballast cables appear to terminate. I did originally think it was non removable but saw one on the workbench in Merc man and was told it was an igniter pack for an MB xenon.
    Though you are quite correct that it doe,snt appear on the EPC i presumed this was because it was part of the headlight itself.
    I,ll post a pic tomorrow when i get home from work.
     
  9. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The automotive HID (high intensity discharge) headlight lamps are often referred to as xenon lamps but they are more of a specialized metal halide lamp than anything else.

    Metal halides - salts - are also in the arc tube. The formulation in automotive HID lamps includes sodium and scandium halides (probably iodides) and maybe traces of others such as lithium and thallium halides.
     
  10. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    They are refered to as xenon lamps because they use xenon gas as the inert atmosphere inside the tube
     
  11. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    All MB xenon lamp have a control module that is built into the lamp and is replaceable. out of this module you have the igniter or ballast(after market term)

    Also on MB lamps the igniter or ballast is not replaceable on its own, and this comes complete with the lamp holder.

    These lamps must never be run with the lamp removed, if you do turn the lamps on with a bulb removed, the 25kv striking voltage will arc between the contacts and set it on fire. We have had 2 cars now where a garage has removed a bulb, did not have one and sent the owner away with the bulb in their hand,( the owners both said the with the bulb out it was still glowing red in the lamp, this was the igniter on fire) if the lamps are turned od it will burn out the igniter (ballast) and render it US.

    Aftermarket kits sell the units seperatly
     
  12. vijilants

    vijilants Senior Member

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    Depending on models and systems, the ignniter and the ballasts are separate.

    As Andy said earlier, W202 ballasts are independent to the igniter. The ballast connects into the igniter and the igniter connects to the bulb.

    The ballast unit usually is an item that sits externally to the headlamp and connects back into the headlamp by a separate cable and plug. The reason for this is the lack of space in the headlamp unit to house both ballast and igniter.

    The igniter is usually fitted inside the headlamp unit next to the fog lamp and is held in by two screws and can be removed if you strip the headlamp down. They are normally sold as part of the complete headlamp but there is a Bosch number on them so it may be possible to order them separately.

    Follow the leads back from your bulb connector and that will either lead you to the igniter or a combined igniter / ballast unit.

    Aftermarket HID units usually combine the igniter and ballast in one unit.

    If it is the ballast, its going to be expensive, but to save costs, get the bosch number and go to a bosch agent. It will save costs by a third.

    This unfortunately is one of the downfalls of Xenon lights. A problem with normal halogens usually costs no more than £10 and 5 min to fix.

    Xenons.....well....can run into hundreds and a lot of messing about to get to the components.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  13. OP
    steveatpipex

    steveatpipex Member

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    This is getting more complicated than i thought then!
    I identified the bulb (obvioulsy!) which has a red socket plug over the back and two black leads that lead down into the headlamp unit. I have not got any further than this because i have to dismantle the bumper bar to strip the light out and had hoped to have the parts in my hand before doing so, and i do not know where those two black leads terminate.

    I assumed the black cable would lead to the ballast (which i too thought was the same as the ignitor) and I have identifed a pattern part here at £29.99:

    http://www.convert2xenon.co.uk/product.php?id_product=12

    which i have been told by convert2xenon is a suitable ballast. Obviously it is a pattern part rather than original MB but I feel my MB part has only lasted 3 and a half years, so much for MB quality.
    I was also going to consider one of these at £9.99

    http://www.convert2xenon.co.uk/product.php?id_product=21

    but i need to clarify this is suitable for Factory fitted xenon (which mine are) first.
    From what i have read in this post, it may be another part - the ignitor - that is the problem, is that right?

    I'm open to any advice suggestions here as to the best way to proceed (I'm avoiding the obvious dealer route at present due to the costs involved! I have just asked MB dealer for a price and they did not know what the "Ballast" was but said it would be the "control box" which was priced at £327 plus VAT - is this the same thing does anybody know?)
    Thanks for your help so far.
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  14. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    To avoid confusion with after market systems, on a MB the contril unit and igniter are only supplied as one lump, the reason being that plus and sockets are not very good for handling 25kv,particularly as they live in a hostile environment the voltage required to strike an arc in a xenon bulb.

    I am sending the OP the instructions for changing the control unit
     
  15. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Your Email address please, why not activate it in your user CP and save changes
     
  16. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    Hi,
    Looking at those parts in your link though i have no doubt that these would work but you will have a bit of wiring to do as your original Ballast has only one lead which will plug into the back of the headlight, you will have to bypass the unit in the headlight (Igniter) as the units you have posted in the link are combined ballast/Igniter packs, also you will have to identify the correct light feed on the main headlight plug and cut/splice this cable to give the new ballast/Ignitor pack the correct feed.
    Your Ballast if the pt. no. is correct that Whitenemesis posted (which i have no doubt is) it looks like the pic below.
    Personnally I think I would be going straight to Bosch like Selsdon500 said.
    If the pt. no. quoted is correct for your car I can supply you with the equivalent Bosch no. the only thing that "might" be different would be the mounting bracket which looking at mine appears to be removable.
     

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  17. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The only snag here is that I do not think that they are made by Bosch, its hard for me to see, but it does not look like a Bosch label
     
  18. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    As promised a pic of the unit in the headlight (Igniter).
    "If" your Ballast has the same Pt. No. as quoted in the previous post, you will have one of these units fitted on your car as well as the Ballast, probably in the headlight (refer to Selsdon500's post). In the pic you can see a red and blue cable connected to it plus the heavier cable which goes off to the lamp.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  19. vijilants

    vijilants Senior Member

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    They are made by Bosch. If the car is as described in the first post is a W209 CLK, the MB part number is 203 820 25 26

    The Bosch number is 1 307 329 072.

    If you wish to know how HIDs, ballasts etc work, this is a very good link:

    http://faqlight.carpassion.info/headlamp-faq.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  20. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    The units in the first two pics are MB pt's, with Bosch numbers as well.
    MB no. A 202 820 70 26, Equivalent Bosch no. 1 307 329 039.
    MB no. A 202 820 69 26, Equivalent Bosch no. 1 307 329 038.
     

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