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It's unfortunate that this is my first post, but I would like to get input from the my.IS community.

I recently purchased a used obsidian IS350 from a local Mercedes dealership. The car is a one owner and appears to have been a road car based upon the front end rock chips and 68K on the odometer. Otherwise the car is in great shape and has had all regular maintenance done at the local dealer.

Recently, I have noticed that while driving at night, either (both on one occasion) of the HID headlights will switch off randomly. When I cycle the lights by turning the light switch off and back on, the lights will ignite. Sometimes they will remain on upon the second activation, or may shut off again. They also occasionally flicker slightly just before they switch off.

In my previous experience with HIDs, this would indicate some sort of voltage issue or issue with the ballast, not the bulb. My local Lexus dealer has recommended that I replace both bulbs, though I certainly will be doing it myself since I refuse to pay the $402.50 they would charge for the bulb replacement.

I do have an extended warranty, but the bulbs are not covered under the warranty, while the ballast are. Since the technician could not replicate the issue, he will not replace the ballast since he cannot confirm their failure to satisfy the warranty. The technician that performed the diagnostic on the headlight issue swore that the ballast were fine, but was unable to explain to me how he had tested them. That didn't do much for my confidence in his diagnostic skills. He also SWORE that replacing the bulbs fixed the issue every time he had experienced it before. It seems high improbable that both lights would begin to deteriorate at the exact same time.

Is this issue with the headlights common in the 2008 IS350?

I would appreciate any input on the remedy for the issue and how to appropriately present the solution to the dealership.

Thanks so much!

Matt
 

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Welcome to the forum. It does sound like the bulbs to me, especially since they do try to ignite. In most cases, the ignitor goes bad in the ballasts and they will never fire up. The tech may have tested the voltage input to the ballast to verify there is roughly 13-14.8 volts. The voltage to the bulb is in thousands of volts, so unless they have a ballast tester(they do exist) or tried a new bulb, then i would take his word for it. I do know that you can find good name brand (D4S type for HID)bulbs online(Philips, Sylvania), such as Ebay, for a lot cheaper than dealer's cost. I would have thought that the extended warranty would cover the bulbs though. Here's a decent thread that discusses how to replace the headlight bulbs.

http://my.is/forums/f154/replacing-low-beam-headlight-423647/
 

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This issue is pretty common in newer lexuses. The OEM Phillips D4S bulbs fail at a early age. That's why Lexus now uses Harison Toshiba D4S bulbs. Denso ballasts are highly unlikely to fail unless water gets inside the headlight housing.
 

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do you have the headlights set to auto?

i had a similar problem with this in our G35 and we had it set for auto, once we started using the headlights manually, the problem went away. not much of a technical answer but might save you a little bit of trouble & money if it works for you too.

might inexperienced explanation was that on auto, the lights would light up in our underground parkade for less than a minute and shut off once we got outside, i figured the short on/off period might not be good for the bulb.
 

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I have a similar problem, I think. I just started noticing that my lights will suddenly go dim on their own. There are still headlights on, but they are dimmer. Are my HIDs going out? I'm under warranty, so I assume that will be covered. Correct?
 

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I have a similar problem, I think. I just started noticing that my lights will suddenly go dim on their own. There are still headlights on, but they are dimmer. Are my HIDs going out? I'm under warranty, so I assume that will be covered. Correct?
Sounds like the bulbs. Sometimes they will turn purple after they've been ignited.
 

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I just had this happen to me and it is probably the bulb dying out already. I got mine from this eBay seller and I know it looks too good to be true but it's legit. They're the Harrison-Toshiba from Japan. The seller answers most questions you have. He shipped it to me California to Guam via USPS and it was way better than I expected. Look at his seller rating. I can't say enough how happy I was with this purchase. I was more than ready to buy $80 options I found for just a single bulb but this guy sells the pair for so cheap! Here's the eBay link below.

2x Factory OEM Lexus D4S HID Xenon headlight BULBS bulb | eBay
 
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