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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I am asking for your help guys on a problem that I am facing for some time with my Alfa 159.
The xenon headlights(factory fitted) are flickering for some time after the engine has been turned on.
Any idea about what could cause this? The lights are not on AUTO, so this is definitely not a light sensor error.
Any suggestion will be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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I have the same problem, but I could not figure out where the problem is. I checked lamps,cables and drivers non of them seem to have problem, but no solution. I wrote to forum but no answer yet either
 

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Me too. Since I bought the car I noticed occasional flickering. It seems to be related to bumps in the road. I've been thinking perhaps it might be related to worn out lights maybe. I've never run xenon lights before so don't know what to expect...
 

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My 2 cents....

A xenon/hid bulb works by passing electricity through ionised xenon. The arc that is created generates the light that you see. The stability of that arc is subject to the stability of the electrical input which is why a xenon/HID has a "ballast" which is a circuit that creates and maintains a very specific electrical current for the arcs.

If you have visible flicker then either the arc is unstable which can be a result of many things. It could just be a badly made bulb where the cathode electrode have been improperly processed with an insufficient thoria which in turn causes the electrode to be inefficient. OR, it could be an unstable power supply causing ripple. Equally it could be as simple as dirty electrical connections, SO...

1) Disconnect all the connectors to the bulbs and ballasts and clean them with electrical contact cleaner.

2) If that didn't work, replace the bulbs with new ones.

3) If that didn't work, replace the ballasts with new ones.

Probably a very first port of call though might be your overall electrical health in the car. I.e, is your battery healthy? Get 2 x tubes of "batt aid tablets", add 4 tablets per cell, top up with tap water and buy a trickle charger, remove the battery from the car and charge it.

See if that cures it.

Batt Aid Tablets

Trickle Charger
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Me too. Since I bought the car I noticed occasional flickering. It seems to be related to bumps in the road. I've been thinking perhaps it might be related to worn out lights maybe. I've never run xenon lights before so don't know what to expect...

In my case it is definitely not because of the bumps. It can happen even if the car is on idle, not moving.
It turns out that I am not the only one having this issue...I wonder if anybody managed to fix it ?
 

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In my case it is definitely not because of the bumps. It can happen even if the car is on idle, not moving.
It turns out that I am not the only one having this issue...I wonder if anybody managed to fix it ?
I have the same issue with the left headlight. It only happens occasionally. It happened once that the headlight was out completely for a while. Switching off and on fixed it. It is not that big an issue for me to spend hours trying to cure though, unless it can have some ill long term effects.
 

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Excellent post there, Jabawok :thumb: wish there was a 'Like' or 'Thanks' button, I'd click both.

I would suspect HID capsules (bulbs) to be getting near the end of their lives if they flicker. Light output drops off sharply and colour-shifts towards purple too, in my experience with a 166. Previous owner had no idea his car was fitted with optional 'Xenons' and actually complained how dim the headlights were compared to his Corolla! I put in genuine Philips capsules and thought they were brilliant.

-Alex
 

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Sound advice Jay. Will have a go this weekend at checking the installation out. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know it's been a while, but anyone successfully solved this issues?
In my case, it got worst than before and I am going to start by replacing the bulbs.
 

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Swap the bulbs round.

If the fault follows the bulb, you need new bulbs. If the fault stays where it is, clean the high voltage connector that connects to the bulb. If that doesn't work, take a trip to alfa and be prepared to bend over for a new ballast. I had the same problems....it was my 8 year old bulbs. Replaced them, job done!
 

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Blimey, following this tread I had a look at replacements for mine as the are going a bit yellow around the edges, the new lamps aren't cheap but I didn't know you can get uprated ones from Philips.
 

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I've got the single lamp flickering issue. Been told to change the Philips bulb. It's quite dear however as the bulb comes attached to it's silver sealed box which holds it (sorry, not a tech on this subject!).
Does anyone know the strength of the original 159 2.4 Philip Xenons? There are options out there on strengths!
ta.
 

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I know it's an old thread - but just experienced a similar problem with headlight issues and looking for advice :-(

My driver's side Xenon has been a bit intermittent for a couple of weeks - sometimes it would switch on, sometimes not (no flickering as mentioned above) - but flicking the on / off switch a couple of times seemed to work.

I went to start it yesterday evening (after a fair amount of rain) and no dipped beam on either side!

I tried flicking the lighting switch on and off, the passenger side headlight eventually came on - but nothing from the drivers side.

I tried earlier today and nothing at all from either side.

I removed the bulbs to inspect them and although the small central ball in the lighting filament is a bit yellow, they seemed OK (they are Osram Nightbreakers - so good quality).

I've just sprayed the connector and wire socket end with WD40 electrical cleaner, reassembled them - and the passenger side now seems to work OK. Swapped the bulbs over and either bulb will work on the passengers side headlamp - so I can only assume the problem is with the drivers side headlamp itself.

Would my next move would be to get the ballast replaced - and does anyone know if this an easy DIY fix or definitely a garage job?

Having had a quick look on ebay - does anyone know if the ballast is the same as the Audi ones, as they seem to be much cheaper?

My only other thought was that maybe it was something to do with a bad earth?

Any advice will be much appreciated - cheers!
 
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