page title icon 4 Common Problems With HID Lights & How To Fix Them

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Common problems with HID lights

In this article, we talk about some common problems with HID lights such as ballast failure or bulb not working.

Are your car headlights giving you problems? Do they also stop working suddenly or don’t work at all? There are many problems with HID headlights, and these can cause accidents too.

This article will discuss some of these common problems with HID lights and answer some questions at the end of this article. Kindly read the entire article to get answers to all your problems. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

Common Problems With HID Lights

HID headlights have many issues, but some of the main ones are listed below in this article. We have provided you information on how to detect each fault and how to fix it too. We try to make things simpler for our readers.

Here is the list of the problems we will be discussing:

  • Light ballast not working
  • Bulb failure
  • One side of the headlight not working
  • The light does not turn on after installation

Here is the explanation of each problem with a solution given:

1. Light Ballast Not Working 

The ballast is one of the primary parts of the headlight. The ballast is responsible for taking care of the intensity of the light emitted by the headlights. It controls the bulbs as well so that they do not use all the power of the vehicle they are installed on.

It also acts as a transformer because the bulbs run only on AC. The current from the battery is DC. The ballast converts it into AC. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

Ballast is also used to detect when the bulb shuts down. The ballast automatically restarts it within microseconds.

One of the common problems of HID lights. is that as the bulb ages, the bulb shutdown becomes more frequent, and sometimes, the ballast gets overheated due to regular on and off. In this case, you will find that the ballast will turn itself off automatically.

How To Detect It?  

Detecting a faulty ballast can be easy. If your headlights start flickering, change colors, buzz, or dim, it can be a defective ballast. See for the following signs while checking for a defective ballast:

  • Look for oil leakage, burn marks, or casing that has swollen. They are the first indicators of ballast failure. If you are still unsure, then follow the other tips to be sure.
  • Order D3S or D2S bulbs and try to fit them. Now try to light them up. If they do not light up, then ballast could be the culprit. If they work, then you probably rectified the problem. Replace the old bulbs with the new bulbs in the vehicle. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

  • Use a multimeter that measures the resistance. If you are using the digital one, then the reading should come “1” if the ballast is dead. If the reading is anything other than “1,” that means the ballast is working.

How To Fix It?

Here are some ways to fix your ballast. Depending on what problem it has, you can try these solutions:

  • If it is a wiring problem, you can buy a ballast restoration kit specializing in wires. It is the most convenient and quick way to solve your problem.
  • If it is a solenoid problem, you can change the solenoid, and after changing it, you will not have to do a reset, and it may protect the lights from further damage.
  • During the installation of the ballasts, the connection doesn’t fit many times, and if it is the connection problem, then all you need is a solder gun. Solder the connections, and you are good to go. 

If any one of them does not work, then you probably need a new ballast! It may cost you at first, but then it may save future expenditure. 

2. Bulb Failure 

Many drivers complain about the headlights not working or them suddenly stopping. This can be caused due to bulb failure.

The HID bulbs flickering or making the clicking sounds are mainly due to the bulb failure. This can also cause accidents in some cases. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

How To Detect It?

A bad HID bulb gives out many signs. You must be able to identify them and take the necessary steps needed. Here are some ways how to detect a bad bulb:

  • A bad bulb will start flickering. This is one of the main and the first signs to show up.
  • A good bulb will not go off, but a bad one will after being on. It will suddenly shut itself after a few hours of working or will flicker and go out.
  • A bad bulb gives a dull light or a pink glow. 
  • Low beams will not work as efficiently as high beams.

How To Fix A Bad Bulb?

First, try to find out if it is the bulb that is the culprit. Try swapping the bulbs and then turn on your lights.

If they work fine without turning them off, the potential problem is with the ballast and not the bulb. If they still don’t work, the only way left is to change the bulbs. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

3. One Side Of The Headlight Is Not Working

Sometimes one side of the headlight is working perfectly, but the other side is not. Either it will give you trouble with the bulb or will not turn on no matter how much effort you put. Here is the detail about this point.

How To Detect It?

Detecting a non-working site is very easy as it is visible to everyone and does not need to be checked or detected for anything. Here is how to fix the problem related to the part causing it.

How To Fix It?

Depending on the faulty part of the headlight, it can be restored if you try it. If one side does not work, it can be caused due to a defective bulb, bad ballast, or a bad ignitor. Here are some ways to restore it depending on the problem:

Common Problems With HID Lights

  • To check if it is a bad bulb, you should swap the bulbs and then try to light them up. If the problem remains the same, then it is a bad bulb. You will have to replace the bulb.
  • To check for a bad ballast, follow the steps mentioned in the first problem. You will probably know what to do if it is a bad ballast.
  • To check for an ignitor, again swap the ignitors. If the problem remains the same, you should probably fix the ignitor or buy a new one.

4. Light Does Not Turn On After Installation

Were you also excited to install the LED or HID bulbs but now they do not turn on after installation? Well, this cannot be very pleasant and look like a wastage of money.

Here is how to solve this problem of yours. When the lights don’t work even after installation, there can be three reasons:

  • Wrong installation
  • Bad bulb 
  • Faulty ballast

How To Detect It?

Detection can be done immediately after the installation of the headlights as they will not turn on. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

How To Fix It?

If you are using an HID kit, you will have to reverse the input connector. There will be a red and a black plug in the ballast. Reverse them from positive to negative and vice versa. This will take only seconds to do and usually works.

If this does not work, then you certainly have a faulty ballast or a bad bulb. They can be restored or repaired too if you follow the steps we gave earlier. They can even be replaced because they will still be on warranty.   


How Do I Know If My HID Ballast Is Faulty?

HID ballast gives out signs if they are faulty. There will be burn marks or oil leakage. Also, you can swap the bulbs and see if they work in the other headlight.

If yes, you have a faulty ballast. We have explained it in the article. 

What Is The Leading Cause Of HID Headlamp Failures?

There are many causes. The main ones being the wiring malfunction or lack of cleaning. It would help if you cleaned your bulbs too. If you have loose connections, then it can cause failure too. 

Common Problems With HID Lights

How Do You Troubleshoot HID Headlights?

You can do it by swapping the igniters or the bulbs. You can also check the wiring to be sure of it. Just in case it is the wiring fault, then you can solve it.

Why Does My HID Light Go Out Sometimes?

HID lights go out sometimes due to connection problems or bulb issues. If you want to know why they go out, it can be due to the bulb or ballast’s connections. There can be loose wires or faulty bulbs, or ballast. There are many reasons.


HID headlights may have many problems, but they will last longer if we handle them with care. They can be taken care of with some simple tips and repairs.

Common Problems With HID Lights

We hope this article helped you sort out these common problems with HID lights, and we hope you give our solutions a try. If you liked our way of fixing HID lights do share this information with your loved ones. 



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