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Old 12-31-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
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Default Do HIDs lose brightness over time?

My kids refuse to drive the C5 at night because they say the low beams are worthless(their words) especially in rain. Picked up the other car from service tonight and they followed me home. I must say, the beams were not bright at all. With a line of cars behind and me looking in the rear view, it was really apparent. Driver side was definitely not as bright as passenger side.
Even with a proper adjustment, still didn't seem to improve things and driver side does seem less bright. Definitely not as bright as the C6.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Yes they do and the pink start up color means the end is near.

I noticed last year the same thing but I lost one so I replaced the original nine year old lamps with new ones and the brightness was on the money again.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:32 AM   #3
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Yes they do and the pink start up color means the end is near.

I noticed last year the same thing but I lost one so I replaced the original nine year old lamps with new ones and the brightness was on the money again.
Haven't seen the pink start up color yet, but both give a brownish yellow edge to the top of the beam. Since my adjuster screw gears are stripped, wondering if I should replace the entire unit?
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
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Haven't seen the pink start up color yet, but both give a brownish yellow edge to the top of the beam. Since my adjuster screw gears are stripped, wondering if I should replace the entire unit?
If your adjuster screws are stripped, aren't your headlights dropped pretty much all the way down? That will give you next to nothing in visibility.

New headlights are very expensive. You may try Bryan from audis4parts.com or Shokan for used ones.

HID bulbs do lose their brightness over time. Depending on usage, but noticeable after 6 years on average.

Another thing that can happen is the reflector will burn out its chrome and will have black spots inside. It will greatly reduce the output of the lights. In this case your option is to replace the headlight or buy a new projector with a reflector and retrofit to yours.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:47 AM   #5
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If your adjuster screws are stripped, aren't your headlights dropped pretty much all the way down? That will give you next to nothing in visibility.

New headlights are very expensive. You may try Bryan from audis4parts.com or Shokan for used ones.

HID bulbs do lose their brightness over time. Depending on usage, but noticeable after 6 years on average.

Another thing that can happen is the reflector will burn out its chrome and will have black spots inside. It will greatly reduce the output of the lights. In this case your option is to replace the headlight or buy a new projector with a reflector and retrofit to yours.
I set them up manually and drove it around a bit (just push and pull the adjuster pins) and it helped a bit, but not much and yes, they do drop as I hit more and more bumps. Looking at the HIDs through the plastic outer cover with lights off, the interior glass (I'm guessing) is almost black on both of them. 10 years 198k miles, very much driving at night, guess it's time.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
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I set them up manually and drove it around a bit (just push and pull the adjuster pins) and it helped a bit, but not much and yes, they do drop as I hit more and more bumps. Looking at the HIDs through the plastic outer cover with lights off, the interior glass (I'm guessing) is almost black on both of them. 10 years 198k miles, very much driving at night, guess it's time.
Isn't there something like eve90 or sumsuch that can be retrofitted for the projector lamps?
Someone was touting it a few weeks ago IIRC..lot less expensive than new assemblies.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:59 PM   #7
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I set them up manually and drove it around a bit (just push and pull the adjuster pins) and it helped a bit, but not much and yes, they do drop as I hit more and more bumps. Looking at the HIDs through the plastic outer cover with lights off, the interior glass (I'm guessing) is almost black on both of them. 10 years 198k miles, very much driving at night, guess it's time.
Are you talking about the pin where the plastic crown gear is? (see pic) The bottom white round gear..

If it is, I removed that gear completely and used a small Internal tooth lock washer to secure the post and used grip pliers to turn/level it. never had a problem after that.

HIDs do go "burn out" eventually. The main reason for that perceived reduced output is the fact that over time, the color temperature of the arc/light output shifts due to changes in chemistry inside the bulb (halides & electrodes etc.). A stock Phillips bulb will be around 4100kelvin and it goes up after use. The higher it goes, the less our eyes can see. That's why those people with 7000k etc. aftermarket New HID bulbs will have less "visible" light than the stock bulbs. Nothing to do with wattage here. Best bet is to replace them.

Another reason, the polycarbonate outer lens becomes opaque due to UV. Headlight sanding is the best option. Lastly, like it was mentioned, the projector lens is dirty or reflector bowls have dull/lost chrome. If you are handy, you can replace them. Otherwise, replace headlight.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:11 PM   #8
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Are you talking about the pin where the plastic crown gear is? (see pic) The bottom white round gear..

If it is, I used a small Internal tooth lock washer to secure it and grip pliers to level it. never had a problem after that.

HIDs do go "burn out" eventually. The main reason for that perceived reduced output is the fact that over time, the color temperature of the arc/light output shifts due to changes in chemistry inside the bulb (halides & electrodes etc.). A stock Phillips bulb will be around 4100kelvin and it goes up after use. Best bet is to replace them.

Another reason, the polycarbonate outer lens becomes opaque due to UV. Headlight sanding is the best option. Lastly, like it was mentioned, the projector lens is dirty or reflector bowls have dull/lost chrome. If you are handy, you can replace them. Otherwise, replace headlight.
That's the one. Can pull both of the lower gears right off. Pin moves in and out with just finger pressure and lights go up and down. I tried super gluing the gears on, but won't hold. Just sanded the lenses and they are very clear. If the reflector bowls are replaceable, I may just have a shot at that. The washer is a great idea! Kudos. And will replace the bulbs. Just looked at replacement unit price on GAP - phew!
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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Just looked at replacement unit price on GAP - phew!
Yeah, ebay is your friend here. Beware, tons of chinese counterfeits are sold as well. And, get genuine Phillips bulbs.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:00 AM   #10
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And, get genuine Phillips bulbs.
Or Osram...

Agree though - chinese make lots of fake bulbs. Price is normally the best indicator.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:00 AM
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a4, audi, b8, brightness, color, headlights, hid, hids, lights, lose, lost, louse


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