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Xenon retrofit with no headlight washers?

  • 21-09-2021 11:11am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 635 ✭✭✭ BillJ


    Hi guys,

    I'm looking at buying a bmw 116i that has had xenon lights retrofitted by the current owner but I noticed it doesn't have headlight washers. I'm guessing they don't auto level either. I think I remember hearing that xenon lights need to have headlight washers to pass an nct.

    Will this cause issues when it comes to NCT time? Any advice appreciated!



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 49,983 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26


    Yes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 635 ✭✭✭ BillJ


    Thanks Bazz, i'm not sure if these particular ones are aftermarket or OEM. Would after market ones be any different or it will be an issue regardless?



  • Registered Users Posts: 49,983 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26


    BMW OEM xenons would have come with auto levelling and washer system to be road legal in the EU. Most likely aftermarket if they don't have auto levelling and a washer system which is a requirement for the NCT. What year is the car? The later F20 facelift M Sport models were fitted with full LED headlights rather than xenons that didn't need a washer system.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,934 ✭✭✭ Tropheus


    I would guess they are aftermarket and are xenon bulbs fitted to halogen reflectors. NCT will check for marking on the headlight to ensure it's made for xenon and that it has auto-levelling and washers. Issues with any of these will result in a fail.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,233 ✭✭✭ JustJoe7240


    By any chance are they HID bulbs rather than xenons?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,934 ✭✭✭ Tropheus




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,233 ✭✭✭ JustJoe7240


    So it's just a case of changing the bulbs for the NCT?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,068 ✭✭✭ kdevitt


    If he's fitted HID bulbs in the original halogen headlights, then yes - just refit the correct bulbs. If he's fitted the OEM xenon units, then no, you can't just fit different bulbs.

    The headlights throw will be manually adjustable, so I don't see that being an issue. The washers should be there - but I've yet to see a tester look at them. My brothers E46 - with factory xenons - just got a fresh NCT and it was only later that I noticed the washers weren't working at all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,819 ✭✭✭ User1998


    Worse case scenario just replace them with a set of high quality LED headlights. They pass the NCT without washers/levelling and are usually better quality than xenon.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,448 ✭✭✭ Casati




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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,819 ✭✭✭ User1998


    Around €80 to €120 for high quality bulbs with warranty & fitting



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,448 ✭✭✭ Casati


    I might look into that, didn’t think you could get replacement LED headlights for less than 1000 a light



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,068 ✭✭✭ kdevitt


    An LED bulb is just as much a reason for a fail as an HID one - they're both considered to be incorrect if fitted to a halogen headlamp. I know people who have passed, and others who have failed - but they should be a fail.

    Check - Compatibility (HID/LED bulb and headlamp). Fail reason - (m).Light source and lamp not compatible.

    Although it doesn't even look like headlight cleaning is required for retrofitted systems anymore - although I wouldn't fancy having the argument with the tester, they can be pretty intransigent.

    Headlamp cleaning devices are mandatory to be fitted with HID lamps with the exception of bulbs specified to produce 2000 lumens or less, retrofitted systems and vehicles which were not originally manufactured (type approved) for Europe

    You should really post pictures of the headlights so we can figure out if its a genuine BMW Xenon headlight which was retrofitted, or just a HID bulb in the halogen unit.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,819 ✭✭✭ User1998


    I’ve never heard of anyone fail with LED’s. And I’ve passed several times with them



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,068 ✭✭✭ kdevitt


    I have heard of people failing - it’s the main reason I didn’t fit them to my E30 - and the NCT handbook says they’re a fail, so it’s down to the tester on the day if they’re not checking. I can’t be arsed arguing the toss with the inspectors at the NCT centre these days.



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,165 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    My last E39 was a jap import with actory fitted Xenons but didn't have the washer system. Passed every NCT until the last one which failed on the lack of washers.

    The tester wanted me to get a letter from BMW stating that this is the way it was built. I picked up a bit of a stink there and his colleague ended up passing me a short while later just to get me away from there.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,902 ✭✭✭ dingding


    I had a lexus that had a faulty washer pump and failed. New pump and sorted. It was faulty for years and got through several NCT'S prior to the failure.



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