Automotive VW HID question

BytorJr

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I've got an 09 GTI which runs HID's. After 17 months, my HID's are starting to look dim to me. When I first got the car, if I ran the fog lights, they weren't even noticeable. Now, I can clearly see the halogen footprint of the fog lamps.

As some may be aware of, VW uses the HID for the Daytime Running Lights (DRL) instead of the H7's right beside it.

I've asked the dealers to shut off the DRL system or move them to the fogs or H7's. No go. Now, since I've moved back to central Fl, a buddy of mine has the VAG-com, so I think I can get them shut off.

However, before I go through all that trouble, am I going insane thinking that after 17 months (15k miles) my HIDs are starting to die out or color shift to an "unusable" spectrum? Since it's a "wear" item VW probably won't replace them.

Also, should I go with Philips 85122+ or Osram Xenarc if I end up replacing them?


Thanks for any help/suggestions.
 

tay

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If it's DRLs, that could be an issue.

HID bulbs do lost some lumens over time. However, even if they were on every time you drove, that would only be about 300 hours of run time, and afaik they are usually good for 1,000 hours before any significant lumen loss. However, "hot restrikes" (when you turn the bulbs off and back on again in a short interval) are known to accelerate wear and tear on the bulb. To get the bulbs to operational temperatures, the first 15-30 seconds, the ballast uses a 23kV "igniter" to crank up the bulbs before switching to plain 85vac operating voltage. As DRLs, if you stopped and turned the car off at a gas station or drive thru or anything like that, you'd accumulate more hot restrikes than someone who only turns them on at night time.

I believe VAG-COM can disable DRLs or select different DRLs. Does your friend also drive a GTI or GLI? It might be smart to compare your car to a friend with a similar car to see if there is a brightness difference.

The simplest explanation for all of this is that you've just gotten used to driving with HIDs. The first time you drive at night with HIDs it's like "wow look how bright everything is", but then after 17 months (especially if it is the only car you drive), you've probably gotten accustomed to the higher output, so it no longer seems as bright. Try driving a car with halogens and see if you think "Wow, how did I ever drive with such little light?"
 

BytorJr

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My friend has a TDI Jetta, so only halogens. However, while I thought I may be getting used to them, when I see other HID cars (Lexus, Acura, etc) drive by (unfortunately, not may GTIs I've seen at night), they are MUCH brighter than mine.

And yes, the re-strikes are probably the main culprit. Just think...go to lunch. 2 strikes, go to work and back...2 strikes, gym ....2 strikes. I'd say a conservative estimate is 8 strikes a day. That has to be killing them. In a perfrect world, ordinarily I'd probably only strike once a day at that would be coming back from the gym. I'm in the car about 40 minutes a day during the week. A conservative estimate would be 4 hours a week.

I'm really surprised VW would have chosen to run the HID's for DRLs. Like I said though, they'll say tough because it's a "wear" item.


Also, does anybody know about the new Philips CrystalVision 5000K?
 

-Virgil-

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Higher color temp = lower light output. Stick to standard (4100K-4300K depending on whose numbers you look at) for highest performance.
 

BytorJr

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That's what I thought....pure marketing boy-racer type stuff going on :).

Well, in a few weeks I'll go visit my friend and turn those things off and install new Philips at 4300K.

Thanks.
 

BytorJr

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Well, the trick will be driving 90 miles to visit my bud who's got VAG-COM. I've already download the instructions from that web site.

Unfortunately, the dealers claim you can't or won't due to legal concerns. :(.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Stillwater, America
Unfortunately, the dealers claim you can't or won't due to legal concerns. :(.

DRLs are not federally mandated safety equipment in the US. There are no "legal" concerns in disabling non-mandated safety equipment, unless they believe they will be named in a civil suit regarding their actions in disabling factory equipment, and that disablement was a major contributor to an injury accident.
 
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