Saturday, May 1, 2010

Replacing HID ballast or computer control lighting for the Headlight

Just got a 2004 Sienna XLE limited with 60k. The wife noticed one headlight would turn on and then flicker and go out. So I was thinking 10 bucks and 5 minutes and I would have a fixed light bulb. Think again. Turns out my new fancy Sienna has a special light called HID (High Intensity Discharge) Xenon. Up until now, I did not know I had the option of seeing twice as far with Xenon. Also up to now, I am not sure that I cared to see that far. 

Bulbs costs 100.00 from Autozone and must be ordered. So I found some on ebay 20.00 with free shipping and replace both of them as advised.

http://stores.ebay.com/HID-Xenon-World

So I tried them out. Light comes on, light flickers then goes out, same problem. I search the internet a little more and found out I could have a bad ballast or a bad connection. I cannot see any connections, because the connections are buried under the housing assembly. So how much is a ballast? Or as Toyota calls them computer lighting control. From the dealer expect to pay $600.00 - $900.00. That's right, almost what I paid for my last two cars. All that, just to help me see 2X farther than I am probably capable in the daylight.

Back to e-bay. I ended up buying a used ballast about $40.00. The OEM is made by DENZO. The original was DLT002 but I read somewhere that you could use part# 'KDLT002'. On the part it is printed that it is only supposed to last 2000 hours. Hopefully not too many of those hours have been used.

I got the part and then checked out my repair manual. To get to the ballast out, you must remove the front bumper. That's right the front bumper cover must be removed to get to the screws that hold on the light assembly. The ballast is located on the bottom of this assembly.

To remove the bumper cover you must remove the 4 black plastic plugs at the top of the bumper. These have a solid black head that is pushed into a black nut. These can be removed by prying up on the head with a screw driver. Pull the head up about 1/4 of an inch and then pry the lower part out. It should come out very easily.

Next unscrew the 6 screws the bottom side of the bumper next to the splash screen. On the far sides of this bumper are square light colored plastic inserts that both capture the splash shield and provide a place for a screw. These need to be squeezed from the back if possible after the screws are removed. They should snap back through.

Also the fender well splash shields have 3 types of fasteners that must be removed. The fasteners toward the rear are black and square and have a screw in the middle. Remove the screw. The square must be pried out a little bit and squeezed from the back if possible. They have snap fits on the corner of the square shaped insert. I broke a couple of these.

There are a couple snap fit fasteners with the solid head black in color as described previously. These are located at the top of the wheel well. Toward the front of the wheel well is a fastener with a slotted head. The head seems to pry straight out.

Lastly there are a couple fasteners toward the back of the wheel well that simply unscrew.

Now the fun begins. A bolt between the front bumper cover and the fender must be accessed from the inside. I had to find a 10mm boxed end wrench that was slightly offset before it would move. Once this bolt is removed, release two square black snap fits with a small screwdriver to release the bumper from the fender. These are located midway between the center bolt and the edge. Use a small flat head head screw driver to depress the snap fit on both square snap fits.




Now the front bumper dropped far enough away to get to all the bolts on the headlight assembly. Remove all of the mounting bolts and the headlight wires.

After removing the assembly, I found out that ballast had been badly corroded. Probably, water was pooling the ballast area.



The new part fit nicely in the same location.  I cleaned out the corrosion from the housing and seal.



Install all the wires to the light assembly before installing the fixture.



In the end after buttoning everything up, the light did work fine.

If anyone figures out a way to switch back to the non-HID version please comment below. Hopefully this helps someone else avoid some headaches.  Also, feel free to add to advise that might help.

2014 Update: After several years the light on the other side is no longer working.  The side I replaced is still working.

Also it appears that in order to change back to Halogen lights I would need to buy a new light fixture.  This is still very tempting, as I have been less than impressed with the HID light fad and expensive Ballasts.

15 comments:

  1. Just talked to a friend and she had the same problem. I suspect that it is some sort of defect, given the low number of miles. She went to the dealer and ended up with a 1000.00 plus bill.

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  2. I have the same issue...

    Any one have any idea how to avoid this thing the future.... What a pain. I have also had issues with the run flats, but that is a different issue.

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  3. The problem is water got past the seal in the housing protecting the control module. Possibly someone was washing the headlight or engine with a high pressure spray. If I had thought about it while I had it apart, I could have put some RTV around the seal area. Great question maybe someone else has some ideas

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  4. http://www.theretrofitsource.com/product_info.php?products_id=161

    the part number is ddlt002

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  5. I wonder How many people have this problem. I had my Siena since 2004. The same bulb has gone out about 4 times now. First they said it was headlight. Second time the computer chip. Third time a loose connection. This time they say it's headlight again.

    Interestingly symptoms are the same every time. The deadlight turns off for some time. comes back on on next drive or sometimes in same drive. After a while it stops turning on. It is always the driver side headlight that has problems.

    I wonder if this is a widespread problems.

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  6. Good Idea for replacement of HID ballast or computer control lighting for the Headlight.
    Thanks for a great post.

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  7. Hey everyone,

    I too have a 2004 Sienna XLE limited with an HID problem. Bought it brand new for my wife in 2004, car currently has 139,000 trouble free miles on it until last night when we noticed the driver's side HID wasn't on at all. I don't have any flickering or stopping and starting issue, the bulb just never comes on. Hopefully I get away with just replacing the bulb. Mine is even Salsa red pearl like the one pictured! This forum has been very helpful thanks!

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  8. ebay hid lights your blog about is really good to read and for enjoying also i like it and also suggesting you for more blogs like this one so keep it up

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  9. That's a great and wounder full.I read and got latest info from you blog.It's related to autozone hid lights. I like your blog and shared with one another.Thanks for submission.....

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah this thing can help us about HID Conversion, thanks for the post

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. very nice blog you have written and the content which you have used , is awesome so i would like to thank you for sharing it with hid ballast repair

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  13. How do you determine if you have a HID or non-HID light?

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  14. Just repaired mine too. Replaced a blown ballast and disassembled and resealed the lens. If I had to do it over, I'd remove the expensive internal unsealed ballasts, and replace them with inexpensive external sealed ballasts (around $50 on eBay or Amazon), and add drain holes to the bottom of the leak prone housing... Placing an unsealed ballast inside and at the very lowest part of a fixture that could leak is a very stupid design. Very UN-Toyota...

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