Xenon bulbs durability ?

mfl

Registered User
Did a search but no luck, how long do the Xenon bulbs last ? My car is just over 2 years old (not much night use) and the driver's side headlight is just a dim yellow on normal and high beam. Going to the dealer on Wednesday.
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Forester XT - lasted 3 years until I sold it (plenty of night driving, 80,000km)

VW GTI - lasted 3 years until I sold it (plenty of night driving, 70,000km)

Golf R - lasted 4 years until I sold it (plenty of night driving, 60,000km)
 

WarwickL

Registered User
I seem to remember that the expectation for xenons from VAG was a minimum of 5 year life.

However, I see no reason why they shouldn't last much longer. Auto headlight function does shorten life as they are continually heated and cooled.

I'm sure there are duds like anything else.

Could well be a faulty ballast or similar, not the bulb.
 

mfl

Registered User
I seem to remember that the expectation for xenons from VAG was a minimum of 5 year life.

However, I see no reason why they shouldn't last much longer. Auto headlight function does shorten life as they are continually heated and cooled.

I'm sure there are duds like anything else.

Could well be a faulty ballast or similar, not the bulb.

This is my first car with Xenons and was interested in other people's experience before chatting with the dealer on Wednesday, yes there could be other issues and while driving the car last night the headlight would alternate between normal white and dim yellow.
 

KenL

Registered User
That sounds like it could be a power supply problem and not the bulb?

This is only my second car with Xenons. The first, a Copper S I had for about 35k miles and they were perfect at the end of that.

This has made me think to stop using my auto lights. The dipped beam comes on when it is almost full daylight. I have the delay set to max too.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Sounds like a loose connection mate, with the light switching between low and high light output?

I use the full dip beam only when it's necessary, as light output from any bulb will diminish with use
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
These lights use a high voltage discharge technology that's essentially a scaled down version of that used in streetlighting.

Sudden colourshifts are symptomatic of a failing lamp. As the lamp fails it's internal resistance is reduced, putting more load on the ballast. Eventually the ballast fails too, increasing the size of the repair bill dramatically.

Expected lifespan of these lamps is a guideline based on MTBF. Like all lamps there are those that last a lot longer than average, and others that last a lot shorter.

The lamps are considered consumable items these days, and they're not super expensive like they used to be. Might be worth buying a pair.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
These lights use a high voltage discharge technology that's essentially a scaled down version of that used in streetlighting.

Sudden colourshifts are symptomatic of a failing lamp. As the lamp fails it's internal resistance is reduced, putting more load on the ballast. Eventually the ballast fails too, increasing the size of the repair bill dramatically.

Expected lifespan of these lamps is a guideline based on MTBF. Like all lamps there are those that last a lot longer than average, and others that last a lot shorter.

The lamps are considered consumable items these days, and they're not super expensive like they used to be. Might be worth buying a pair.
They are expensive or can be, over a £90 for one for the best make and it's best to replace both at the same time for colour match and brightness output
 
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WarwickL

Registered User
A few of the Golf R guys had ballasts go. Not many but caused similar issues to that mentioned.

Actual units were ok but ballast failure

Dealer will look after you.
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
They are expensive or can be, over a £90 for one for the best make and it's best to replace both at the same time for colour match and brightness output

That's not truly awful. I bought my first car with Xenons in '07 and looked into the cost at the time as you're supposed to have spare lamps in the car when you drive in France. I was quoted well over £300 for a pair. Now you can buy decent lamps like Osram Nightbreakers for about £30 each.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
That's not truly awful. I bought my first car with Xenons in '07 and looked into the cost at the time as you're supposed to have spare lamps in the car when you drive in France. I was quoted well over £300 for a pair. Now you can buy decent lamps like Osram Nightbreakers for about £30 each.

Yeah the more cars that are manufactured with xenons the cheaper the bulbs have become

Fake osram night breakers.... for :£30 lol
 

cemerson

Registered User
High or dipped beam makes no difference... It's the same bulb, hence 'bi xenon lights'. There's a lens/reflector that moves on a motor to change where the beam is projected.
 
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simonali

Guest
^ My biggest disappointment with the car is this fact. All my other xenon equipped cars have had an auxiliary halogen high beam that added to the light output considerably. Much better than just tweaking the lamp shade a bit!
 

KenL

Registered User
^ My biggest disappointment with the car is this fact. All my other xenon equipped cars have had an auxiliary halogen high beam that added to the light output considerably. Much better than just tweaking the lamp shade a bit!

My MINI did not have this. I think the Xenons on the Audi are excellent. If you are using full beam, try using the all weather function to light the verges and improve the near field lighting.
 

cemerson

Registered User
^ My biggest disappointment with the car is this fact. All my other xenon equipped cars have had an auxiliary halogen high beam that added to the light output considerably. Much better than just tweaking the lamp shade a bit!

I'm surprised at that - I find the light output really good in high beam. Perhaps not all there in dipped beam though. Combined with the static cornering lights that I have on mine (which are really very good), I've not had a problem with the lighting on my A3.

I'll see how I get on with the matrix LED lights on the next one...
 

h5djr

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
I'm surprised at that - I find the light output really good in high beam. Perhaps not all there in dipped beam though. Combined with the static cornering lights that I have on mine (which are really very good), I've not had a problem with the lighting on my A3.

I'll see how I get on with the matrix LED lights on the next one...
My A3 2.0 TDI 184 Sport s-tronic quattro has Xenon headlights and also has an H8-12v-35w halogen bulb in the headlights to provide the static cornering light.
 
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simonali

Guest
I only have the basic jobbies. They're not bad, just not as good as the others...
 

mfl

Registered User
ended up being the globe, replaced under warranty - but having to remove the bumper to replace the bulb, will certainly make any future bulb replacement - rather expensive.
 

Wibbly

Registered User
but having to remove the bumper to replace the bulb, will certainly make any future bulb replacement - rather expensive.

Saw a Youtube video (that I now can't find) that shows someone doing this via moving the wheel arch liner, which might be easier for DIYing
 
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