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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this has been brought up quite a bit by a lot of people. But I still cant seem to find the exact answer I am looking for as there are so many threads and a few are quite long (27 pages one of them) and go back 7 years.

My question is. Do I need a Capacitor, or an error eliminator for HIDs? This is for a 2014 Volt. I read like 8 pages of a thread where people were installing DDM Tuning brand HIDs without issues. But no one ever specifically stated what year car they had or if the installed a capacitor or error eliminator or not. I have a DDM Tuning kit from my truck that was retrofitted(selling now so took the kit off to keep), and I hooked up the ballast directly(reversed plug as I know the volt is reverse polarity), and the HID's flicker. I am not sure what I need to stop this.

DDM offers either a BOW3 kit or a Capacitor kin on theyre website. I assume the BOW3 is the error eliminator? But does this remove the flicker at all? Or is it the capacitor that removes the flicker?

I tire both ballasts from my truck. One is 3 or maybe 4 years old. And the other is only a few months old(had a warranty exchange). Both have the flicker. This is also the cheaper DDm kit. Not the Plus or Ultra. But I read in one topic where people were installing these with not issues. And this was a topic going back to 2011, so I know its not that they are installing it on a GEN 2 instead of the GEN 1 that I have. Maybe after this thread completes. Maybe we can get this or a write up added to the FAQ's for quick easy reference? I just havent been able to see peoples installs with the wiring. JUST what the outcome is with what the headlights look like. Thats great and all, but a lot of people leave out the small details of wiring, which is a HUGE aspect of these kits. I am not going to run a Relay harness on this yet unless i start to see issues with start up of the ballasts or a fuse blow. The wiring in these cars is about twice that of what my truck wiring was(01 Silverado), which I did add a relay harness to. THank you in advanced. And Happy Holidays too!
 

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I would contact the seller or manufacturer of your specific HID modules. They should be able to tell you what you need.

I agree it is confusing to research an answer to this question here, in part because there are a number of different makes and models of HIDs that people have tried, and some may have the anti-flicker built in. For that reason, you read some people saying it is just plug and play, while others have had to use various methods to eliminate flicker.
 

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Use a relay harness. You don’t need anything else. This is almost the simplest thing you can do. Relay to B+ under hood, ground, plug in the other side to the factory plug and away you go.
We had a member cause a dangerous condition with his car doing that. His brakes would cut out suddenly and unexpectedly. It turned out he had used a grounding point that was shared by a critical part, I think the brake control module or something similar. Possibly his light relay wiring was back-feeding current into the other ground. His fix was to create a brand new grounding point for the lights. Something to be aware of when grounding something under the hood.
 

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We had a member cause a dangerous condition with his car doing that. His brakes would cut out suddenly and unexpectedly. It turned out he had used a grounding point that was shared by a critical part, I think the brake control module or something similar. Possibly his light relay wiring was back-feeding current into the other ground. His fix was to create a brand new grounding point for the lights. Something to be aware of when grounding something under the hood.
Yea, I’d bet it was something with his specifically because I used the same grounding point he did for almost 2 years without any issues at all. Along with many other people. The new ground always goes on top of existing grounds for this reason. Along with cleaning the paint off and then dielectric grease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea, I’d bet it was something with his specifically because I used the same grounding point he did for almost 2 years without any issues at all. Along with many other people. The new ground always goes on top of existing grounds for this reason. Along with cleaning the paint off and then dielectric grease.
I did see that topic of the guy losing his brakes. And I did see that the fix(not sure if it was him, or someone else had the same issue) was to use a different grounding point. I have a feeling he either did not add the relay ground tight enough. Or he did not scrape away factory paint. This is why I tend to use a completely new ground whenever I add accessories, or use the battery directly if possible.

Speaking of a relay harness. I thought about doing this, but was not 100% sure if I wanted too or not. I feel as if the factory wiring is sufficient enough for these ballasts. But I also was thinking that the relay may not solve this issue I am having? Wouldn't the pulsating DC(PWM?) cause the relay to trigger on and off? Or if the relay cant react fast enough to the pulsing. Couldn't it cause the relay to wear prematurely?

Thank you all for the replies! And you are right, there are too many variables to find this answer easily as each manufacturer is different. This is why I tried to find my same manufactures as to limit these variables..... guess its not that simple lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Still waiting on new bulbs and error eliminators. In the mean time, have a few questions for those who have installed HID's before. I know HID's do not like to be turned on and off a lot. They like to be turned on... then stay on. With that being said. I noticed when I hit the unlock button the headlights turn on. This is a locator light to help find your car in a parking lot or to give you light to walk up to your car. However they only stay on for 10 or so seconds then turn off. I can turn this setting off and wondering if I should. I also noticed when I turn the car off at night the headlights turn off. Then when I open my door they turn back on for 30 seconds so you can see when you are walking into your house or what have you. Those who have HID's, have you disable these features? Those who havent, have you noticed that you have significant dimming of your lights or have to replace them often? I am asking those who have installed them and had them installed for a few years now. On my silverado I did not have these issues. When I hit unlock, the DTRL's are what turned on and not the low or hi beams. And when I turned the truck off....... they turned off as well. So this is new thing for me. My silverado would turn off the low beams when the hi beams were turned on, so I installed a diode and kept the low beams on while the hi beams were on as well to keep my HID's on the whole time. However, I made sure not to flash people in the day as to not flash my HID's randomly.
 

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Still waiting on new bulbs and error eliminators. In the mean time, have a few questions for those who have installed HID's before. I know HID's do not like to be turned on and off a lot. They like to be turned on... then stay on. With that being said. I noticed when I hit the unlock button the headlights turn on. This is a locator light to help find your car in a parking lot or to give you light to walk up to your car. However they only stay on for 10 or so seconds then turn off. I can turn this setting off and wondering if I should. I also noticed when I turn the car off at night the headlights turn off. Then when I open my door they turn back on for 30 seconds so you can see when you are walking into your house or what have you. Those who have HID's, have you disable these features? Those who havent, have you noticed that you have significant dimming of your lights or have to replace them often? I am asking those who have installed them and had them installed for a few years now. On my silverado I did not have these issues. When I hit unlock, the DTRL's are what turned on and not the low or hi beams. And when I turned the truck off....... they turned off as well. So this is new thing for me. My silverado would turn off the low beams when the hi beams were turned on, so I installed a diode and kept the low beams on while the hi beams were on as well to keep my HID's on the whole time. However, I made sure not to flash people in the day as to not flash my HID's randomly.
Get quality parts and don’t worry about it. That’s why I swapped projectors so I could use OEM bulbs/ballasts and never had any issues. Cheap crap off eBay/amazon can’t handle the flashing.

And you can change the settings as well.
 

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If it were me, I would turn those settings off for the same reasons you stated. They are not that helpful for most use cases anyway. You can still use the car locator on demand by briefly tapping the panic button.

I don't have any data for it, but it is likely to prolong the life of the bulbs. They will need to be replaced every year or two anyway (depends on various factors), so why risk shortening that even more?
 

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If it were me, I would turn those settings off for the same reasons you stated. They are not that helpful for most use cases anyway. You can still use the car locator on demand by briefly tapping the panic button.

I don't have any data for it, but it is likely to prolong the life of the bulbs. They will need to be replaced every year or two anyway (depends on various factors), so why risk shortening that even more?
What HID bulbs need to be replaced every year or 2?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know I can change the settings. That is why I was asking those who have HID's if they has disables them or not. The set I have are DDM, which isn't the highest quality, but isn't the lowest either. I am not swapping projectors at the moment as that requires a full headlight housing disassembly. The only way I would do that is if I had a second set of headlights I could modify while still using the car, then switch out a completed retrofit(Thats how I did my truck). But at the moment VOLT headlights are quite expensive to buy a second set sadly. I will still wait to see what others say. But at the moment I will try leaving those settings enabled and see how it goes. I have lifetime warranty on the ballasts and 1 year on the bulbs.

I also agree on what HID bulbs need to be replaced every year or 2? I had a HID kit installed in my truck for almost 4 years and never had to replace a bulb. I only replaced 1 ballast, and that was because it would not turn on the first time. I would have to turn lights off then back on before it would fire up.
 

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Headlights are like batteries. Your results may vary. I did have a bulb blowing (albeit halogen) every two months on my Toyota. After a few bulb replacements I noticed some arcing marks on the connector. I went to auto wreckers and cut off a connector and soldered it in place to replace the original one. No more burnt out bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In the process of install my lights. Does anyone know where you can pick up extra headlight access caps? I found them on ebay for $25 a piece. Or I found them on GMpartsdirect and OEMpartsoutlet for $15 a piece. Both prices are a little bit high. I want to have a second set to keep with my stock bulbs in case I ever need to remove the HIDs I cant install stock bulbs and have them weather tight still(as I am drilling holes for the wires to go through the current caps).

I also have a question, as I swear I had read that people were installing the ballasts and igniters directly inside the headlight housing? Also were managing to stuff the capacitors(error eliminators) inside too? Idk what ballasts they were using, but the ddm ballasts seem to be one of the slimmest I have seen and I cannot find any way to stuff them inside.

I will update tomorrow with how the HID set up is working after I drive tonight with them. I read last night that some people had issues with their HIDs turning off after 10 minutes and not turning back on(car thinking bulbs were drawing too much or were out or something). So today I am only installing 1 side as HID incase that light decided to go out, I will have the other side as back up. THen if all goes well tonight and tomorrow morning, I will swap the other headlight out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I dissagree with you on me NEEDing a relay harness and the error eliminators being overpriced. The wiring on the Volt is actually quite thick in comparison to some cars I have looked at and especially my 01 Silverado I had. And being overpriced packs..... I paid $8.99 shipped to my door. I dont think thats over priced at all. Yes if you break it down to component level bulk pricing it is a mark up. But to have the correct 9006 plugs on them and everything be waterproofed and able to just plug and play into my car in the matter of seconds, thats cheap. If I were to have bought the components, the specialty plugs to make it plug and play, then assemble it myself, that would take a few hours for me to do... and would have cost more than $8.99 parts then my time, which I have a value as well. So no, they are not overpriced. With this being said.

I have been using these for a few days now. And wow, what a difference they make. I dont have any before or after pictures, but I went from barely seeing anything at night especially the perriferal(deer in the trees), to being able to see almost as if it were day light. Yes a retrofit would make them a bit better. But honestly, after driving my truck with retrofitted Morimoto Mini H1's, there is a very minimal difference. I highly recomend this upgrade as its easy and fairly cheap. I have had no issues with flickering, or any warnings in the car or any issues with the lights randomly turning off. They work just like the stock headlights. Here are the links to what I used for this install.

HERE for the HID kit - 35 Watt 9006/9012 5000K

HERE for the Error Eliminators

HERE for the Bulbs 9006 5000K (I needed to buy bulbs as I was reusing the HID kit from a previous install in another car)
 
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