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    Thread: W8 HID Headlight Replacement Question & general info (calling "the Swami"?)

    1. 02-07-2006 01:38 PM #1
      Hi, I'm a new owner to the Passat forum, and picked up a 2003 W8 with 71K miles.

      I realize the mileage may have something to do with HID longevity,
      but here is the problem I'm having:

      The passenger side HID is out, or I thought it was, and after spending
      two hours trying to get into it to check (I had the airbox completely out,
      and got all the way to the inside cover housing the HID bulb, but for the
      life of me couldn't remove that cover & snapped off one of the torx
      bit plastic holders), put everything back together, and only THEN was it dark
      out enough for me to notice that the bulb actually flickers on but doesn't fully ignite.

      I checked several fuses that appeared to be tied to headlight functionality,
      but found none burned out. I even pulled the 178 relay for DRLs to see if that
      was the problem, but it wasn't (& that's a hard bugger to get plugged back in all
      cramped in there!!).

      FWIW, both HID bulbs were working for the first 60 miles I've driven this
      completely stock W8. I'm already in love with the car, and can't wait to
      add subtle mods to this black beauty (first thing to go were those 16" Atlantas).

      MOST IMPORTANTLY: I have been trolling passatworld.com & the vortex for as much
      info as possible on the W8 (sucks that vortex can't search for 2-letter terms like "W8"),
      but when I find info it's generally for B5/5.5 V6 & 1.8T , which far outsold the W8.
      Any headlight references typically say "For all Passats except HID".
      Any compilation of links and/or references--heck, I'll buy a Bentley manual on CD if I have to--
      would be GREATLY appreciated. Seems like "the Swami" has quite a bit of knowledge
      on this vehicle, so if you happen to read this, please e-mail me or reply to this post (jdap79 @ gmail . com)

      Thanks in advance!

      Pix for fun:





      Modified by jdap at 11:43 AM 2-7-2006


    2. 02-07-2006 01:46 PM #2
      It most likely wouldn't be a fuse because a fuse is either blown or not. Sounds more like the igniter is bad. Nice wheels.
      Dubs of days gone by -
      85 GTI - Black 5spd
      86 Jetta Coupe - White 5spd
      01 Passat GLX - Indigo Blue 5 spd
      03 Passat W8 6 spd - Pacific Blue

    3. 02-07-2006 01:57 PM #3
      Thanks, VWGUY. I just e-mailed you before seeing your response.

      Seems like there are just a handful of W8 enthusiasts ( or texers ) who stay active. The R32 keeps me much more intrigued for tinkering, but the W8 was bought for motoring, road trips, etc...

      Igniters easy to obtain/replace? Costly?


    4. 02-07-2006 02:11 PM #4
      I have a similar problem on my W8. The right
      side HID won't come on, unless I turn the
      car off and on a few times, or turn the car
      on once and then toggle the hand brake a
      few times, then it will come on. The dealer replaced
      the headlight control module and that fixed it for
      a few weeks, but now the problem is back.

    5. 02-07-2006 02:23 PM #5
      First thing I did when I got mine is deactivate the DRL's. Things related to HID's are too expensive to have them running constantly. No real idea on igniter cost.
      Dubs of days gone by -
      85 GTI - Black 5spd
      86 Jetta Coupe - White 5spd
      01 Passat GLX - Indigo Blue 5 spd
      03 Passat W8 6 spd - Pacific Blue

    6. Member The Swami's Avatar
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      Loaded 2012 BMW 550xi M-Sport, Previous owner of 5 Passat 4 Motions; including a W8 and 3.6
      02-07-2006 04:27 PM #6
      Sorry bro, can't help you with the lights. I just had mine repaired under the Extended Warranty. VWGuy4Ever, would be my absolute 1st resource for any issues dealing with the W8.

      Whatever you do, don't buy bulbs from the stealership! Replace them with a quality D2S 4000-43000K bulb. My favorite online bulb vendor is now out of business, but you can find these units on EBay for excellent prices.


    7. 02-07-2006 04:55 PM #7
      Thanks for all the info, guys.

      I will look into those bulbs, but I think mine probably falls under "igniter" issue.

      Any other interesting links or favorite review of the W8?


    8. Member
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      02-07-2006 05:22 PM #8
      What is the relay to pull to de-activate DRLs?

    9. Member Donuts's Avatar
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      02-07-2006 06:42 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by The Swami »
      Whatever you do, don't buy bulbs from the stealership! Replace them with a quality D2S 4000-43000K bulb. My favorite online bulb vendor is now out of business, but you can find these units on EBay for excellent prices.

      Will's right. I have HIDs on my '00 GLX and got replacement bulbs from Henry Lampa on eBay - (henrylampa or ADVANCED AUTO ACCESSORIES). He sells new bulbs and new/used ballasts/ignitors at excellent prices. If you can switch ignitors between left and right headlights that is the best way to check what is up. Fairly easy-peasy on my '00 but not sure how bad it is for the W8 crowd.


    10. 02-07-2006 08:17 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by gweedo »
      What is the relay to pull to de-activate DRLs?

      Pull the fuse panel cover off. Look a bit deeper passed the fuses and you'll see Relay #173. Just pull it out.

      Dubs of days gone by -
      85 GTI - Black 5spd
      86 Jetta Coupe - White 5spd
      01 Passat GLX - Indigo Blue 5 spd
      03 Passat W8 6 spd - Pacific Blue

    11. 02-08-2006 07:55 AM #11
      Quote, originally posted by VWGUY4EVER »

      Pull the fuse panel cover off. Look a bit deeper passed the fuses and you'll see Relay #173. Just pull it out.

      Not to turn this into a DRL rant, but I yanked mine on the dealer lot while the salesguy was pulling the plate off my trade.


    12. 02-08-2006 01:16 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by bk3104 »

      Not to turn this into a DRL rant, but I yanked mine on the dealer lot while the salesguy was pulling the plate off my trade.

      And get the Euro-switch - $35 ? And it takes about 25 seconds to replace.

      Dubs of days gone by -
      85 GTI - Black 5spd
      86 Jetta Coupe - White 5spd
      01 Passat GLX - Indigo Blue 5 spd
      03 Passat W8 6 spd - Pacific Blue

    13. 02-16-2006 06:05 PM #13
      wow. more ridiculous than i thought.
      needed new bulb. dealer charged $200 for bulb, plus $175 labor.
      before anyone gets irate, the place i bought this from is picking up the tab.

    14. 02-16-2006 07:33 PM #14
      I am having an issue with the Drivers side bulb as well. Turns out it is the control module. This is a warranty issue. when this is done I am pullig th DRL fuse or switching to the Euro switch.

      Cheers!


    15. 02-16-2006 09:55 PM #15
      Will the bulbs last longer with the DRL deactivated? I have heard that the Xenons will be weaker over time. Any noticable difference between new ones and ones with mileage on them? I also noticed that polishing the fog off the headlight cover plastic makes them a lot more effective, but doesn't seem to last too long...

    16. 02-17-2006 02:37 PM #16
      daytona955i (NICE!! I love triumphs... ),

      The new bulb on the passenger appears to be a shade whiter than the semi-blueish appearance of the driver side. This is why I now wish they had gone ahead & just replaced both bulbs at the same time while they had the bumper off (I figured you could get to the HID bulb without pulling part of the front end off but I guess not...VWGUY4EVER or Swami--care to comment on this? Before I took it in to the dealer I nearly had access to the HID bulb, but could not get the plastic cover out of that small space without it being blocked from the front quarter panel/fender). I know I know...you told me not to buy bulbs from the dealer, but since this is being paid for I was indifferent.

      As far as I know, the driver side bulb has 71,xxx miles on it since I didn't find any record of either bulb being replaced until now.

      As for polishing?? What are you guys using? Just some plastic polishing compound? Anyone have ideas for restoring the luster & smoothness to the fogs because mine look HORRIBLE (pitted)!!

      Lastly, ordererd my euroswitch today from another texer. $30 shipped!!

      Dayttona955i: I'm pretty sure you still have to pull that relay #173 to full disable the DRL, even with the euroswitch installed. You'll lose the green idiot light on the dash that says to push the brake pedal to engage the shifter. Oh well.

      Since I'm asking so many questions here, anyone know how to get the city lights to turn on?? I noticed mine inside the high beam halogen area & they are of a bluish color glass, so they might not be stock & the previous owner could have had a euroswitch in??


    17. Member GTI-DNA's Avatar
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      02-18-2006 10:23 AM #17
      Do you happen to know where the relay is on the new mk V GTI?? I just bought one and have simalar concerns with the DLRs I don't want to burn up the ballasts of the HID's during the day. Thanks
      "What the hell is that?"

    18. 03-12-2006 07:34 PM #18
      For people having problems with HID's coming on only intermittently, this is an issue I've seen a lot of on New Beetle Convertibles with HID's. But it applies to all VW models with xenon lighting.

      The factory wiring, for some unknown reason, did not take into account that xenon lights are unable to run at "reduced voltage", like conventional bulbs. So, with the daytime running lights active, there is a reduced voltage applied to the igniters. In order to confirm this is your problem, do this:

      Turn on your headlight switch BEFORE opening the key. If your headlamps both light up EVERY time, without having to cycle the switch, ETC. then it is the aforementioned wiring defect.


    19. 03-13-2006 01:53 AM #19
      So what does the bumper need to be pulled for? The HID bulbs or the ignitor? I would hope replacing bulbs sin't going to require a trip to a service center. Is there a write-up anywhere regarding replacing HID bulbs on a W8?

      One thing is for sure, I'm gonna pull relay 173 to conserve bulb life.


    20. Member -AKA-'s Avatar
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      03-13-2006 03:55 PM #20
      I am thinking about replacing my HID bulbs for some new ones. Ebay has a huge assortment of people selling them for great prices($60 a pair).

      As mentioned by Ed, is there a write up or quick DIY on how to swap HID bulbs AND the indicator bulbs? Thanks in advance


    21. 03-13-2006 04:21 PM #21
      Quote, originally posted by tedpollard »
      So what does the bumper need to be pulled for? The HID bulbs or the ignitor? I would hope replacing bulbs sin't going to require a trip to a service center. Is there a write-up anywhere regarding replacing HID bulbs on a W8?

      One thing is for sure, I'm gonna pull relay 173 to conserve bulb life.

      replacing/removing the headlight housing requires bumper removal.

      Dubs of days gone by -
      85 GTI - Black 5spd
      86 Jetta Coupe - White 5spd
      01 Passat GLX - Indigo Blue 5 spd
      03 Passat W8 6 spd - Pacific Blue

    22. Member -AKA-'s Avatar
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      03-14-2006 12:20 AM #22
      Do you have to remove the headlight housing to replace the HID bulb or indicator bulbs? I havent yet tried to get in behind the headlights...

      ~Ryan


      Modified by Akira at 10:22 PM 3-13-2006


    23. 03-14-2006 12:23 AM #23
      Quote, originally posted by Akira »
      Do you have to remove the headlight housing to replace the HID bulb or indicator bulbs? I havent yet tried to get in behind the headlights...
      ~Ryan

      No.. They can be replaced with skinny hands... lol.

      Dubs of days gone by -
      85 GTI - Black 5spd
      86 Jetta Coupe - White 5spd
      01 Passat GLX - Indigo Blue 5 spd
      03 Passat W8 6 spd - Pacific Blue

    24. Member -AKA-'s Avatar
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      03-14-2006 01:04 AM #24
      Thanks Ronnie!

    25. 03-14-2006 02:48 AM #25
      Definitely pull your 173 relays NOW if you've done an OEM+ Xenon upgrade. Mine acted funny as well until I pulled mine.

      My Euro-specs were also used, but well taken care of. I usually do not run them during the day (just the city lights, unless it's glaringly sunny) and even go so far as to not turn the key off before I turn the HIDs off first (or not turn the HIDs on before turning the key on). Probably doesn't make a difference, but I take every precaution I can to baby the ballasts and bulbs.

      I have yet to polish one of the lenses that is starting to cloud up, but I need to. Still not sure the best way yet.


    26. Member -AKA-'s Avatar
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      03-14-2006 03:01 AM #26
      This was just posted on PassatWorld. I am going to buy this kit. Looks awesome!

      http://www.lensrenew.com/index.htm


    27. 03-14-2006 12:06 PM #27
      Hey, Nice rims you got there. Are they AUDI rims with the centre caps rwplaced with VW caps or are they actual VW rims?????

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