Intermittent headlight on '05 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 8:28 pm Thread Starter
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Intermittent headlight on '05

Just readied my bike for a 3000 mile trip, and riding home for work tonight I notice that the headlight (hid) is out. [email protected]! On the center stand, I turned the bike off, turn it on, danged thing comes on... Then after several tries it fails again. I'm not sure I have time to dig into it, but checked the fuses, all ok. I know pre '05s had ground problems, what about 05s? Any advice other than Tupperware off (again) and then the nose cone off and dig into it? I guess if worst comes to worst I'll ride with the high beam, which is working fine. Thx for any advice anyone can offer!

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post #2 of 11 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 8:33 pm
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

My aftermarket HID did the same thing to me. There was an in-line fuse up in the harness (part of the HID kit) and it had become corroded. Jacked the fuse a few times as I was up in Cape Girardeau and it was dark. Light stayed on after that.

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post #3 of 11 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 9:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Hmm - DDM system wasn't fused (I added fuses myself). looks like i'll ride with it for the trip as I can use aux lights if I have to. Digging into it will likely require Tupperware, windshield and nose cone removal to really look into it. Since I plan to leave in a few days that ain't gonna happen as I'm working each day.... Oh well. Another project for me to be into upon my return. One thought - it couldn't be a start switch or something like that could it? Ive also heard about a "load balancing relay" but. Don't know what that is (although I'll bet it's under the fuel tank.....).

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post #4 of 11 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 9:43 pm
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Load Shed Relay. It's one of the bolts on the starter I believe. You can see it with tupperware on the bike. Have you been into the bike that deep lately that you took the starter off? And if it is the load shed, you will lose everything. Does your tail light go out too, radio etc? If they go out too, I would say its the relay. If just the headlight, I would say its you HID then.


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post #5 of 11 Old Jul 31st, 2012, 12:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Thankfully, the tail lights and everything else work fine. Sounds like it might be the HID ballast (not sure of their failure modes) or a relay/connection failure near the additional 30A relay/s I added 18 months ago. The HID is grounded to the same place as two accessory lights I have mounted, and both are wired to the same +ve heavy duty feed wire, and both accessory lights work fine (the accessory lights and the HID are on separate relays). The accessory lights will be my headlights on my trip if the main headlamp fails, as I don't have enough time to rip all the tupperware off to get to the nose cone and really check it out. My high beam works fine, but I'll have to stick to daytime riding for now!

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post #6 of 11 Old Jul 31st, 2012, 12:08 pm
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Since it is the "plug and play" HID kit from DDM Tuning,
just unplug the HID harness and plug back in your factory-style bulb.
That way, you could verify whether it was an HID issue
or a wiring issue with the bike.

Jesse Kriner
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post #7 of 11 Old Jul 31st, 2012, 12:20 pm
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Try turning on the key for 15-20 seconds before you start the engine. This allows the HID light to completely warm up and turn on before you engage the starter which energizes the load shed relay cutting the power to the headlight. If the lamp isn't completely heated up the light sometimes fails to re-ignite when you release the starter button.

It's worth a try.

Loren

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post #8 of 11 Old Jul 31st, 2012, 9:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Thanks Jesse and Loren. Good advice from both of you. One thing I notice is that if it doesn't come on when the key is first moved it just doesn't seem to trigger and turn on even if left on. If flicked off, then turned on again, it usually comes on. I'm suspecting the ballast, and Jesse's advice seems like a good way to test whether it's the HID. Thanks guys!

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post #9 of 11 Old Aug 1st, 2012, 8:11 am
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Rowie have you resolved this yet? I recently put a new bulb in my 2005 K1200LT and a couple days later noticed it was out. On examination I found the bulb not tight in the mount (could have vibrated loose as I rode some bumpy roads). I removed the bulb, checked connections and wiring then reinstalled it making sure the spring clip that holds the bulb in place was tight and it worked!! For a couple days and about 400 miles that is..........I removed and reinstalled again while giving it a closer look and it appears that one side of the spring clip may be bent. Is it possible that the bulb is not making solid contact with the mount and thereby negating the ground?

Interested in hearing if you resolved your problem, or comments from anyone else as to a fix and if my above logic makes sense or if it is likely a wire instead.
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post #10 of 11 Old Aug 1st, 2012, 12:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

I haven't really - I've jiggled wires hoping to see a change but no cigar so far - when it's on it's on. It almost seems like it doesn't trigger for some reason (and if I wait 30 secs it still doesn't come on), but if I turn the key off, then back on again, it comes on....

I have some (non-bike) travelling this week so I'm done for 2 weeks before I can get into what this might be.

When I get back from my travels I'll be taking the nose cone off to get easy access so I can see it all and test it. You might be right about the ground. My logic, knowing how I wired it in (and I use solder so no [email protected] joints in there), says it's either a bad ground, a relay problem (the one I installed for the HID - this is fairly unlikely as 30A auto relays are usually pretty robust) or the ballast itself is failing (I have a spare, so when I get the nose cone off I can switch it out to see if that does it....).

Thanks for everyone's help so far!

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post #11 of 11 Old Aug 1st, 2012, 3:40 pm
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Re: Intermittent headlight on '05

Think I may have resolved mine. I removed and reinstalled it once again and before putting the cover back in place jiggled the plug and the wires trying to generate a fault. Sure enough it was within the 6 or 8 inches of wire that goes from the plug on the back of the bulb to the main wiring harness.

In the meantime I had talked to the head mechanic at the dealership I frequent. He indicated that occasionally some corrosion will develop in the switch and that sometimes rapidly switching between dim and bright several times will solve it.

Good luck with yours and thanks to all who've posted here to help guide us on our way.

I'll move on to a forum regarding the soundsystem next and see if someone out there has a fix for my non-functioning rear speakers.
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