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HID Conversion....Any Good?

Discussion in 'General Technical / How To' started by big.buoy, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. big.buoy
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    big.buoy New Member

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    [Sep 26, 2007]
    Hi,

    I am looking to update my halogens, I recently sold my B6 A4 with Xenons and found them to be reall great during winter nights especially around the country roads of Cornwall!:cold:

    I have just changed to a B7 variant A4 with standard halogens and would like to replace them with HIDs. I know there are lots out there on the market, but which ones are better and non-interfering to the electronics and obviously OBD warning would be an issue.

    Would this also affect my warranty should I have them fitted?.....bearing in mind that when lights fail it's not exactly a trip to the dealers to replace type job!

    Any thoughts would be really appreciated....I would be a little wary of Far Eastern makes of HID...I think their quality is a little low.

    Thanks and regards

    Jason
    #1
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  3. spike
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    spike New Member

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    [Sep 26, 2007]
    Hi Jason
    I dont have any first hand experience of the company or the kits but these are best sounding HID's I have seen advertised - see link
    http://www.hid-online.com/hidonline/applications/carkits.htm
    The only time fitment of non standard parts would affect warranty is if they directly caused a failure of a related Audi part, If for example you fitted 100W bulbs and they melted the hedlamp units then obviously Audi would not be interested. If a wheel bearing failed then it would be covered. Hope this makes sense.
    As you probably already know, HID kits are not officially legal unless they are self levelling and the car is fitted with headlamp washers.

    Cheers Spike
    #2
  4. big.buoy
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    big.buoy New Member

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    [Sep 27, 2007]
    I appreciate your reply, I will have a look at the link.

    It is a shame that HIDs aren't offered as a standard like ABs is now, since I found that driving along country roads at night HID's provided much more safety.

    Oncoming traffic would be able to see the lights much earlier and of course for my field of view it wqas much better.

    Trying to justify the £750 for this is absurd really so I am looking into after market lights.

    I will also look into the legalities since I have also read that the DOT enforce the washers/levellers only from the factory. Aftermarket conversions maybe not so stringently enforced.....I will take a trip around DVLA's website!

    I guess as long as the glare issue is ok where the design of the bulb is such that it can direct light uniformally....I might feel comfortable enough to change them over.

    Anywa thanks again for you link and comments and I hope to also hear from others.

    Kind regards

    Jason
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  5. Neil_S
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    Neil_S Member

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    [Sep 29, 2007]
    The linked kit from HID-Online is pretty much the kit I have ordered to do a retrofit on my Audi A4 (B6).

    I got the kit from here though...

    http://www.xenondepot.com/product.php?product_id=75

    Actually I am still waiting for it to be delivered, but when I do the fit I shall have to post my thoughts.

    Basically I wanted a kit as close to OEM as possible and this fits the bill, proper Philips ballasts and bulbs.

    Should work well with the Valeo projector unit in the headlamp.
    #4
  6. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Oct 15, 2007]
    £100-150 kits should be fine, no point in spending a fortune on £750 kits etc.

    most give 5 year warranties etc now on the ballasts etc so should be easily sorted if there is a problem.
    #5
  7. Stringster
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    Stringster Missed gear

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    [Oct 15, 2007]
    You will also be fine with one of the £50 kits from eBay.
    Quite often they are the same parts as the more expensive kits and at £50 it is worth risking anyway.
    #6
  8. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    #7
  9. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    imHo thats a biased report, typical really.

    - the volvo is pointing away at an angle where the megane is pointing almost at the camera

    - the megane has NOT got projector headlights

    Ive been using HID kits for years and as long as you get the headlights aligned after fitting then there should be no problem.

    Ill also add Ive NEVER been flashed once.
    #8
  10. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    Not what the DoT says, not sure of your arguement stands up really.
    Its like a burglar saying "i've never been caught in the act of burglary" does that make it right then?
    #9
  11. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    well its hardly distracting then is it? people dont need much encouragement to be on the horn or flash the lights.

    you seem to have made your mind up (maybe after paying £700 Id be wanting to convince myself too) but in my (HUMBLE) opinion they dont cause a distraction if fitted properly.
    #10
  12. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    700 quid really wasn't a big addition when the car was 23 grand, I paid 900 quid for the stereo upgade (symphony and BOSE). Horses for courses.
    #11
  13. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    good for you, my car didnt have hids when I bought it so I retrofitted them.
    #12
  14. Stringster
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    Stringster Missed gear

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    If your car has projector lenses then there will be no issue as they are the same lenses used for the factory option anyway.
    #13
  15. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 26, 2007]
    Retrofit HID light kits are NOT legal and have the potential to land you in trouble with PC Plod. You can't just change lamp type and expect the reflectors to cope with it.
    #14
  16. andybnwc
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    andybnwc Member

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    [Oct 28, 2007]
    #15
  17. Von Maximo
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    Von Maximo The Damned

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    [Oct 30, 2007]
    Just change the VAG.com coding. That'll sort that problem out
    #16
  18. Bellic
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    Bellic Member

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    [Oct 30, 2007]
    what coding can you do?
    #17
  19. axelfols
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    axelfols Member

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    [Nov 8, 2007]
    Chocolate watch for sir?
    #18
  20. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    [Nov 8, 2007]
    Nah i prefer a wispa
    #19
  21. andyccr
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    andyccr 2003 1.8T Sport Ebony Black A4 Cabriolet

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    [Nov 10, 2007]
    I'd keep an eye on ebay, I've seen a couple of sets of B7 genuine Xenon headlamps sets lately. I managed to get a genuine set of B6 cabriolet for £300 !!!!!
    #20
  22. waveform2
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    waveform2 * J e d i *

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    [Nov 12, 2007]
    I just ordered an MTEC set and my mate has them installed and they are better than my other mates B7 factory fit lights imho so guess its all down to opinions, as for the legality i think your right they can get you into a bit of bother, but only IF you dont get them alligned using the machine the MOT centres use, if you do that you've no probs, set the level to 0 and get them set and your off. my 2p worth.

    Cheers

    Del
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  23. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 13, 2007]
    Nope, they are illegal fullstop aligned or otherwise. There's a long section all about this on the DfT website that goes into great detail. If the cars lamps were designed for halogen lamps you cannot legally retrofit HID lamps without jumping through an awfull ot of hoops that would just make selling the car and buying one with HID lamps a whole load simpler
    #22
  24. waveform2
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    waveform2 * J e d i *

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    [Nov 13, 2007]
    If only i could afford that one i would agree.
    #23
  25. Rob_k
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    Rob_k Member

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    [Dec 9, 2007]
    i had hid's in my b5 withn the old h4 units and they didi glare a fair bit. i fitted a set of projector headlamps off a facelift got them aligned and i passed my mot fine. ive also been pulled by the fuzz and quired my lights which they said where fine.
    #24
  26. Nelson15
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    Nelson15 Member

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    [Dec 10, 2007]
    I'm a cop and my after market HID have never been commented on at the station. Mind you, my A4 already has projector lamps. MOT passed fine as well, so I'll take the £600 saving spend it on something more useful, like repairing the large dent a deer just created in my bonnet!
    #25
  27. MgHart
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    MgHart Member

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    [Dec 10, 2007]
    Ooops Oh Deer.....
    Thats a bummer......

    Mike
    #26
  28. Andy D
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    Andy D Member

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    [Dec 11, 2007]
    Fair cop though!, I'm with Nelson
    #27
  29. Marcyboy
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    Marcyboy Member

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    [Dec 12, 2007]
    #28
  30. maxlbrown
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    maxlbrown Deep Blue

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    [Feb 6, 2008]
    From the DFT

    However in the audi factory fit there is no difference other than ballast and bulb that i can see between halogen and xenon bulbs as far as the lenses and excuse for reflectors is concerned.

    I have just checked on elsa win they are the same unit so you could argue that the lights are already type approved else audi cant factory fit xenon when specifying parts the only difference is the bulbs and ballasts etc not the light fittings themselves they are shown as part of the same assembly just differentiated by there descriptions.



    Fact sheet: Aftermarket HID headlamps
    December 2006
    In the Department's view it is not legal to sell or use after market HID lighting kits, for converting conventional Halogen headlamps to HID Xenon. If a customer wants to convert his vehicle to Xenon HID he must purchase completely new Xenon HID headlamps. The reason for this is that the existing lens and reflector are designed around a Halogen filament bulb, working to very precise tolerances. If one places a HID "burner" (bulb) in the headlamp, the beam pattern will not be correct, there will be glare in some places and not enough light in other places within the beam pattern.

    The following is the legal rationale:

    The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 regulate the situation in the UK.
    Under these Regulations, HID/Gas Discharge/Xenon headlamps are not mentioned and therefore they are not permitted according to the strict letter of the law.

    However new vehicles have HID headlamps. This is because they comply to European type approval Regulations. The UK cannot refuse to register a vehicle with a European type approval. These are to ECE Regulation 98 (for the HID headlamps which are tested on a rig in a laboratory) and ECE Regulation 48 (Lighting Installation on the vehicle).

    For the after market, a used vehicle cannot obtain type approval because it is only applicable for new vehicles. However we feel that saying "HID is banned in the after market" would not be reasonable. Instead we should make analogies with new vehicles. It would be reasonable to require HID in the after market to meet the same safety standards as on new vehicles. The same level of safety should apply.

    Therefore a HID headlamp unit sold in the after market should:

    1. be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component.

    2. when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place).

    3. Comply with RVLR as far as "use" is concerned.

    In practice this means:

    1. The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.

    2. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.

    3. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.

    Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which are not legal.

    In summary it is not permitted to convert an existing halogen headlamp unit for use with HID bulbs. The entire headlamp unit must be replaced with one designed and approved for use with HID bulbs and it must be installed in accordance with the rules stated above.
    #29
  31. bigdavie
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    bigdavie please speak slowly so i'll understand !

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    [Feb 29, 2008]
    so how do you convert the headlights to auto self levelling ?
    #30
  32. bigdavie
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    bigdavie please speak slowly so i'll understand !

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    [Feb 29, 2008]
    no one know ? surely someone somewhere on this massive site does ! come on ...dont be shy !
    #31
  33. MgHart
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    MgHart Member

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    [Mar 3, 2008]
    Haven't done this Davy but it looks like two sensors, one for the front and one for the rear, and a additional control module. Apparently the wiring to the headlight allignment motors in the headlights are 4 wires as opposed to three in the non auto version so there will be additional work there as well. You will also have to consider fitting headlight washers...which would be more obvious to the causal observer.....
    Hope this helps

    Mike
    #32
  34. bigdavie
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    bigdavie please speak slowly so i'll understand !

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    [Mar 6, 2008]
    i'll look into it a bit more , i already have the washers so i only need the auto adjusters really .
    #33
  35. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!! VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 14, 2008]
    i havent read the thread...... just fitted a £45 kit from ebay to my misus mini, 6000k bulbs so gives a nice crisp white light rather than the chavvy 12000k blue type....the base of the bulbs was plastic so i assume this would help towards making your mind up about the reflector melting...not conclusive but worth considering......

    hope this helps
    #34
  36. razza1
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    razza1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 10, 2009]
    The majority of guys on the Supra forum had HIDs, without either the self levelling or the washers, and none had any issues with MOT's or the old bill

    Question for people, where do you put the ballasts, doesn't seem to be an obvious place for them in the audi's engine bay...?

    Also I take it you have to cut a hole in the back covers of the headlight unit in order to fit them?
    #35
  37. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 10, 2009]
    The kits come with a rubber grommet (22mm or so) and you use a hold saw to cut a neat hole in the cover that clips over the back of the headlight. I just fitted the ballasts "temporarily" with cable ties onto pipes in the rear of the engine bay (ABS pipes on the nearside, and aircon pipes on the offside), that was a year ago and I errr haven't changed them yet!

    Legally as long as you have projector type headlights and the lights are well adjusted you shouldn't have too much trouble.
    #36
  38. etronic
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    etronic TDI VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 22, 2009]
    In A6 C5 ballasts can be fitted to lamps as even halogen lamps got special bay on the bottom to mount ballast with clamp ( should be supplied with kit). Looks almost good as original....

    Also a small advice. If you own C5 it's better to change geometry of beam to flat ( for continental journeys) with special shutter implemented in lamp. I use them like that and have no problems with glare.
    #37
  39. razza1
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    razza1 Well-Known Member

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    [May 31, 2009]
    mine are now up for sale as they were blinding people due to the reflector lenses...£70 delivered, see the Misc classified section for details
    #38

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