I was having a look around my new purchase earlier. I've only driven it a few miles after buying it and not driven it since as selling my other car first. I noticed that the lights were a bit 'bluer' than usual. Also, that when first switched on they went brighter for a split second. It seems I have updated headlights as there's also no beam height adjuster on the dashboard. I had a look under the bonnet today and it seems I have aftermarket hid lights. I've had no experience of these before but there are two ballasts although neither is fixed and each of them has sort of been tucked out the way. Can I just clarify that the 156 facelift model did come with hid lights as an option or were they xenons?
Also, I have noticed that the right beam seems to 'dance' or move around a bit with the vibrations from the engine so I'm not sure how well they've been fitted. Also, one of them (I forget which) seems to be pointing down towards the road. I'll take a closer look when I get chance.
Mine are original looking projector type headlights and the place where the height adjuster should be on the dashboard has a blanking plate which all looks OEM. I'm thinking maybe the original HID's broke so were replaced with aftermarket items? Is there any way of telling what options your car came with?
They look like factory xenon lights to me, strange that someone fitted after market HIDs though. You can buy replacement correct xenon bulbs fairly cheap as long as you don't go to the main dealer.
cheap HID kits are illegal (when fitted in halogen headlights) and most are not very good when it comes to the light display. proper Xenons should have a difinative cut off of lights, cheap ones just throw light everywhere including at other drivers.
Try and get some proper xenon bulbs for your lights or at least test the wiring, maybe one of the ballists has broken.
----------------------------------- FOR SALE SOON - Alfa 159Ti 2011 2.0JTDm, Black with genuine Alfa bodykit and late spec interior .
Previous Alfa's = Fantasy Blue 156 2.4JTD Sportwagon |Alfa 156 V6 S/W with LPG | Nuvelo 147 GTA with Connect +, 18" alloys, Coilovers, CDA and remap| 156 2.4 JTD sportwagon with 185 BHP, lowered, 17" white speedline wheels, and Zender bodykit|156 V6 SP3 in Cosmos with big spoiler|1998 Spider TS in green.
if a standard head light ballast/bulb stops working it costs hundred of pounds to replace usually.
but you can fit the after market ones instead which cost about £20, so maybe this is what's happened.
The OEM ballasts do more than just lighting the bulb. They also look after the self-levelling and initial level of the lights. So if his original ballasts have been replaced by after-market, then the system is unlikely to be working as it should.
Halogen units have round twist off caps behind the dip beam and main beam.
HID units have a twist off cap behind the main beam, but the dip beam (the HID) has a screwed on cover.
The ballast units are under the headlights.
Shown in the illustrations on page 221 of the 2007 156 manual I've just checked.
I've taken some photos if the back of the headlights. I only seem to be able to upload one photo at a time. There is a black box behind the dipped beam both sides with a label on it. Then each main beam has a halogen bulb with the round screw in cover with a wire coming out of it that doesn't seem to be connected? The whole lot is joined up to the ballasts with non standard wiring. It all seems to work ok although the o/s hid seems to flicker or 'dance' a bit. Not sure what that's about?
The headlight units themselves are HID units, but clearly someone at some point has bodged something together.
Possibly as has been said due to OEM ballast failure, but the OEM ballasts also look after the self-levelling....
I'd want them out to find out what is really going on in there...!!