2.5 V6 TDi - Xenon upgrade? - GT
I have a Passat 2.5 V6 TDi (model '01-'05). and am interested in upgrading the headlights to xenons. VW cannot do this because, so they said at the time, the bodywork would need modifying (presumably under the bonnet) because of the extra heat generated by xenons. I thought no more about it until I happened across www.vwdiesels.co.uk who offer a xenon upgrade. A quick phone call to VW UK Service Line, and they now say the wiring loom won't support it because of the higher voltage (no mention of heat or bodywork mods). I spoke with vwdiesels who say the kit comes with a voltage converter and to date, they're not aware of any overheating problems. This sounds ok but isn't exactly a cast-iron guarantee that the front of the car won't burst into flames as I drive overnight from Land's End to John O'Groats. The cost looks very reasonable, so I'm tempted. But I'd like to know if anyone has an opinion to the contrary?

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 22/11/2007 at 18:49

Xenon upgrade? - SpamCan61 {P}
Problem number one is that to keep the car road legal ( from a construction & use regs. point of view) the headlights will need to be self levelling i.e. level sensors on the suspension arms, ECU programmed for beam levelling etc. That doesn't sound trivial.

In terms of the wiring, then, unless the voltage converters are horribly inefficient, it would seem unlikely that the current rating of the wiring would be a problem - assuming the current dip beam are fused 10A or similar.

On the assumption that the bulbs give out much more light for the same wattage than the originals, their heat dissipation must be lower, the only source of 'new heat' would be the converter.
Xenon upgrade? - rtj70
The headlights need to be self-levelling and have a cleaning mechanism for Xenons. Forget about getting legal Xenon HID's in your car - it's not possible. Do a forum search and you'll discover I got a response from the Department of Transport on this.

Anyway I'd be suspicious on what they're saying. They claim bulb life of 2000 hours - a factory fitted Xenon headlight will last much longer than that!

Anyway some of what was said by the DfT:

"Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which would cause a vehicle to fail to comply with the construction and use standards. A headlamp which has been approved to European Regulations for use with a HID light source is fine, provided the installation criteria are met. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). These items are not checked at the MoT. However, failure to comply may lead to enforcement action by the police and may invalidate your insurance. Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.

Fitting HID light sources adapted for fitment to headlamps originally designed for use with filament light sources is not permitted and it is not possible to obtain EC type approval for such "modified" HID light sources. Even if the vehicle does pass the MoT exam this only proves that the light produces a beam pattern which is clear enough for aiming. It does not show whether the light distribution within that pattern is sufficient to prevent glare and puts light on the correct part of the road surface."
Xenon upgrade? - GT
The headlights need to be self-levelling and have a cleaning mechanism for Xenons.


I don't think my wife's C4 Grand Picasso has any cleaning mechanism for its xenons (you mean headlamp wash?) though they are self-levelling.

The rest of your post (the DfT blurb) suggests what they're selling is illegal! Why are they getting away with it?

Xenon upgrade? - GT
Problem number one is that to keep the car road legal ( from a construction
& use regs. point of view) the headlights will need to be self levelling i.e.
level sensors on the suspension arms ECU programmed for beam levelling etc. That doesn't sound
trivial.


I had Xenons on a Golf R32 (mk IV) - I don't think this had a self-levelling device.
Xenon upgrade? - Screwloose

Self-levelling and washers are mandatory for HID lighting - on a Golf, they are built into the headlights. Each headlight has an attached - and scannable - ECU.
Xenon upgrade? - Altea Ego
Buy some extra brillinace bulbs - the +80% ones. Reports say they are very good
------
< Ulla>
Xenon upgrade? - GT
Buy some extra brillinace bulbs - the +80% ones. Reports say they are very good
------



Fitted some of these already - frankly, I can't tell the difference between them and the standard fit jobs. Which specific bulbs are you referring to? I think I got mine from Halfords
Xenon upgrade? - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
Try Osram Silverstars (SS). These were found to be best in a popular weekly magazine comparison a couple years ago.
I use them and I can see a difference unlike the Halfords "brighter" bulbs I tried before that. I agree they are still not wonderful or as good as SWMBO Getz.
Xenon upgrade? - SpamCan61 {P}
Fitted some of these already - frankly I can't tell the difference between them and
the standard fit jobs. Which specific bulbs are you referring to? I think I got
mine from Halfords


See:-

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=56915

Xenon upgrade? - bhoy wonder
You could also have a look here.

www.vwcruise.com/index.html
Xenon upgrade? - Hamsafar
"VW cannot do this because, so they said at the time, the bodywork would need modifying (presumably under the bonnet) because of the extra heat generated by xenons."


Absolute cobblers!
You can fit the W8 Passat type Xenons easily, a few people have on the VW forums. Xenons are lower wattage and use less current than halogens! The dealer are being turds as usual.

Supposed legalities aside, lots of people have fitted retrofit lamp kits which plug into the existing wiring. I have too, and they're great and don't dazzle anyone, as they have the same beam pattern and height as before. Nobody has flashed, and I have asked people I have followed.

Xenon upgrade? - SpamCan61 {P}
Supposed legalities aside


See:-

www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/drs/hidheadlamps
Xenon upgrade? - moulder
I wouldn't bother. What are you trying to acheive rather than just wasting your money?

I have a car with xenons. OK they look cool, but they have very focussed bright light that your eyes will soon adjust to. When that happens, anything out of the intense beam pattern just seams to dissapear into the shadows, leading you to detect less hazards. By the time it comes into your beam pattern then its too late. So unless you are doing it for good looks, then I wouldnt bother. They are so bright on dipped beam that high beam makes almost no noticeable difference because the high beam uses normal halogens and your eyes have closed their irises because of the bright xenon light!

if you want the look of xenons, then try halogen bulbs with coatings or sticky out prisms on the mounts that refract light and give a rainbow effect depending on the angle that they are viewed from.

Edited by moulder on 22/11/2007 at 20:37

Xenon upgrade? - rtj70
If VW were to modify the car then it would have to be legal afterwards. This means:

- Autolevelling
- Headlamp washers

And on the Passat don't the headlamp washers come out of the bumper and therefore a bodywork modification. To do it legally it will not be cheap and I'm not sure the cost would be justified.

I do have xenon's on the Mazda6 and they are good but the overall increase in cost was marginal. The sport pack came with nicer seats, the mica paint, autolights, auto wipers and the xenons. The monthly cost was almost zero when paint taken into account - it's a company car.
Xenon upgrade? - Hamsafar
Despite the 'opinions' of others and government departments, there is no specific Act which deals with the issues.
I therefore aver that they are legal as long as E-approved. You see, the law applies at a specific time and set of circumstances which are not applicable in the case of aftermarket fitment.
Xenon upgrade? - rtj70
Except aftermarket units cannot and are not E-approved therefore illegal. In fact Xenon HIDs not approved in the UK as such but when fitted at time of manufacture with E-approved units (and self levelling and washers) they are okay.

Not sure where you're going when a government department says they are illegal and that department regulates these things. Illegal is illegal. You'll be saying next robbery is only illegal due to a government department's opinion ;-)
Xenon upgrade? - GT
sq
Not doing it for show at all - my days of Emerson Fittipaldi wide wheels are long gone. I used my wife's car recently to go to work and realised how much more of the road and kerbside etc.. I could see with her C4 Grand Picasso xenons. Reverted back to my own car the following day - I couldn't believe what a difference the xenons had made. I had felt much safer (it was a filthy night when I drove home). I don't know whey they're not fitted as standard to all cars now.

Edited by Pugugly {P} on 23/11/2007 at 22:57

Xenon upgrade? - Screwloose
I don't know whey they're not fitted as
standard to all cars now.


....Because they are anything up to £1000 every time a stone goes through the light.

....They fire up at 10,000 volts with all the problems of insulation and contact burning that brings.

....They are three times the brightness of the legal 55w bulbs and while that's fine for the driver, it's lethal to pedestrians and cyclists hit by oncoming drivers completely blinded by over-bright headlights on undulating roads or distracted by bright blue flashes. [I thought it was illegal to show blue light? Time for VOSA to act?]

....They can't be turned on and off easily; so ruin long-distance lighting and actually reduce high-speed safety.

If it's OK to fit Xenons [and they seem to be getting ever brighter with each new introduction] then it must also be OK to fit Hella's 165 watt halogen bulbs in your dipped beam?

No? Then that's why there is a legal limit on headlamp power. It has to be a compromise between vision and glare - particularly in rain. In modern conditions, HIDs spend most of their time pointlessly lighting up the back of the next car in the queue while still blinding everyone else.
Xenon upgrade? - rtj70
Before opting for the Mazda6 Sport over the TS2 on my 48hr test drive I wanted to try out the Xenons. Left it until very late at night and intended going over some of the snake pass but it was closed for some reason (repairs in July?) so used the Woodhead Pass. Ended up going all the way to the M1 and back via M62 because I enjoyed the drive :-)

Verdict: Xenons were way better than the standard lights on the Mondeo, and the Passat before that. No criticism of either but the Xenons lit the road a lot better. Cannot comment on how the glare affected any cars approaching or in front though.

Car before the Passat 1.8T Sport I had for nearly 4 years was a temp car from the fleet. A Passat 1.8T Sport with Xenons but never drove it on roads to realise how good they were.

Edited by rtj70 on 24/11/2007 at 00:46

Xenon upgrade? - rustbucket
I agree with screwloose on this re Xenon headlights .My father has stopped driving a night because of these lights and I am now starting to have similar problems with glare and partial blindness from these lights, and before you say my eye sight needs attention I have had them checked and are ok.
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rustbucket (the original)
 

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