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HID & Auto lights


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My question is for all the people that have converted over to HID, do you leave your headlight setting on auto?

I have found if in auto mode, when starting the car at night light comes on first when ignition is switched on; then when you crank the motor the lights dim sometimes either or both lights will be switched off by the ballast due to current drawn by the starter motor. Is there a way around this?

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That's one of the reasons I don't have my lights set to auto mode. HID's will live a better life when they are run for as long as possible at the correct power. If you have them on when you start the car, the starter motor takes a good chunk of the power and even though the ballast can still feed power to the lamp, it is not overly healthy for it. That said though, you should be relatively safe but I still like to be on the safe side (considering I do have a cheap HID kit).

The only way around it is to either get a HID kit that has decent ballasts with voltage stabilisation for engine startup, or to build in an isolated voltage stabiliser. These circuits mainly consist of capacitors to help fill in the gap when the engine is starting, but you'd need something fairly decent as it needs to cover the couple of seconds that are required to start the engine.

For what it's worth though, I would either turn your Auto lights off if your concerned, but otherwise you'll be fine.

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I'm not concerned about the lights blowing, I'd rather the convenience of auto lights. Accordingly to what you've just said, my ballast doesn't have voltage stabiliser built in.. so what's the easiest way for me to leave the lights on auto and have both lights come on everytime after starting the car?

I guess I can buy ballast with voltage stabilisers but how do I tell? Or what other easy way is there?

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Usually the generic ballasts that offer this feature have it advertised. There aren't too many out there now with this feature, and most of the ones that don't have it advertised are the OEM ones like Philips and Bosch (the real ones).

The only 'simple' way around this issue that you have would be to turn the lights on after you start your engine. Of course this is not practical as it defeats the purpose of the auto feature.

If you really wanted a way to do this, and know your way with electronics, you could solve this for about $10-15. All you have to do is put a relay with N/C contacts in line with the power for the HID ballasts. Then you have the relay trigger from the 'charge' indicator in the speedo cluster. When the engine is off, the dash cluster gets a connection to ground to activate the 'charge' indicator. If you have a constant +12v on one side of the relay coil, and the other side connected to the ground point on the dash cluster, this means that when your engine is off and the charge light is on, the contacts on the relay would open up and the HID's won't turn on.

Once the engine starts however, the charge light will turn off and therefore the relay would deactivate and the HID's would operate. Obviously you can see though that if your alternator fails, then your HID's would turn off, but you can easily create an override for that.

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Usually the generic ballasts that offer this feature have it advertised. There aren't too many out there now with this feature, and most of the ones that don't have it advertised are the OEM ones like Philips and Bosch (the real ones).

When these blow, I will get better ballast, had no idea what I was buying the first time round but now I will know!

The only 'simple' way around this issue that you have would be to turn the lights on after you start your engine. Of course this is not practical as it defeats the purpose of the auto feature.

That's right, I also like my car to tell me when I should turn my lights on or off!

If you really wanted a way to do this, and know your way with electronics, you could solve this for about $10-15. All you have to do is put a relay with N/C contacts in line with the power for the HID ballasts. Then you have the relay trigger from the 'charge' indicator in the speedo cluster. When the engine is off, the dash cluster gets a connection to ground to activate the 'charge' indicator. If you have a constant +12v on one side of the relay coil, and the other side connected to the ground point on the dash cluster, this means that when your engine is off and the charge light is on, the contacts on the relay would open up and the HID's won't turn on.

Once the engine starts however, the charge light will turn off and therefore the relay would deactivate and the HID's would operate. Obviously you can see though that if your alternator fails, then your HID's would turn off, but you can easily create an override for that.

How about if I just keep a LED torch in the car, when I turn on the reds and headlights switch on, grab the torch shine it over the light sensor to turn the headlights off, start the car then turn the torch off!

Or maybe I should just keep starting the car with it in Auto mode so either bulbs/ballast will blow then I get proper set which will save all this mucking about!

Thanks Daryl for letting me probe your gray matter.

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Knowing your luck, now that you want a new set, this set will last forever. I guess if it lasts, it lasts... and if it doesn't, then you can get a better set.

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ive run HID in a car with auto lights for over 2 years without a problem...just gotta make sure u run a relay and also get a good brand, a good brand is from www.gadgetmaster.com.au he has some wicked lights, just tell him jason with the Dodge sent you, ive used his lights in 5 cars now and still running like the day i got them.

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