How to Install D1S and D3S HID Xenon Bulbs
Installing HID Xenon bulb can be daunting at first, but it is not as hard as some mechanics or auto dealers make out to be. Some rules are just obvious, such as "Do not handle the glass of the bulb," or "Never use a bulb with cracked glass." However, replacing HID Xenon bulb does not always require trained technicians. Given ample time and some patience, the steps to installing the HID Xenon bulb can be quite enjoyable at times.
In this blog, we will cover the installation of D1S and D3S type of HID Xenon bulbs. The base of D1S and D3S HID Xenon bulbs is the igniter, and the bulb plugs into the HID ballast controller in the vehicle. In that matter, the installation is relatively simple. However, depends on the headlight assemblies, you may or may not need the HID bulb retainer ring. For some vehicles, different types of retainer rings are used in installing D1S and D3S HID bulbs. but the below retainer rings are three of the most popular ones. For some other vehicles, the bulb inserts directly into the assembly without the retainer ring.
First thing first, turn off the ignition and turn the light switch to the off position. There is a school of thought that you should also disconnect the battery altogether, but we find that somewhat unnecessary. However, for some vehicles, this action may be necessary to get to the low beam area.
There are two routes to getting to the low beam. You can reach in and switch the bulb on some vehicles with enough clearance. For others, you will need to disassembly the headlight assembly unit. There is plenty of Youtube videos to show you how for your specific vehicle. Couple of things to remember. 1) The parts are mostly made with plastic, so be gentle. 2) It's a good idea to have a soft cloth to lay the headlight assembly down.
Behind the low beam, there should be a rubber or plastic cover.
If you are uninstalling an HID bulb that is still working, make sure to turn it off and wait about 5 minutes or so. The bulb gets extremely hot, and the last thing you want is to toast your digits. Uninstall the old bulb by either twisting the bulb counterclockwise until you feel it lose. Gently pull the bulb straight out. If the bulb has the retainer ring, you will need to remove it and reinstall it to the new bulb. Again, gently insert the new bulb into the low beam straight in. The bulb must go all the way in tightly with the return wire facing the 6 O'clock direction. Place the cover back on, turn on the ignition, and the light switch to turn on the bulbs.
One of the common problems is a bulb inserted in a slightly angled position. It usually happens from relying solely on the feel of the hands. Since the bulb installation felt correct, this would be hard to detect. However, when this happens the beam pattern would look out of place or have uneven dark spots.
Below are few of the examples that shows the beam pattern of the bulbs that have been installed improperly.
Fortunately, it is easy to fix. Just pull the bulb out and reinstall the bulb in the correct position. The other common problem is the bulb not turning on at all. This is due to the failure of the HID ballast controller. Just like everything, HID ballast also has a lifespan (Approximately 2,000 hours). If one side is working, but the other side is not, perform a simple "Swap test. Switch the working bulb to the bad side and the bad bulb to the working side. If the bad bulb works and the working bulb does not, it is most likely that the HID ballast has gone bad. Typically located underneath the headlight assembly, remove the bad ballast and switch with either the genuine OEM ballast or better yet, HIDCONCEPT.COM's brand, "OE-PART." Finally, what about if you made a mistake and crack and broke a part of the return wire ceramic casing? (INSERT PIC) The ceramic casing is to protect the thin return wire and does not have any functioning purpose in lighting the bulb. So, the bulb is perfectly fine with it broken. It may be a problem if the bulb is a part that shows exteriorly. However, the bulb goes inside, and no one will notice and the bulb will work just fine. It will be our secret...
As you can see, installing D1S or D3S bulb is not rocket science. Just need some tools, time, and patience.