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We have a 2006 facelift Avensis which we have taken abroad and have had to fit new headlights. The dipped beam bulb holder is different from the UK one and requires a long tubular bulb which we have fitted. When we turn them on they illuminate for about 3 seconds and then cut out, but relight when turned on again. Does anybody know what's causing this and, if so, is there a cure?


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Thank you very much for this information Thermal. I'll check the compatibility of the balast units.

By the way, what are balast units and where will I find them in the car? Sorry to be so stupid (I'm just a girly :help: ......)

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Until recent years, car headlights used halogen bulbs exclusively.

Halogen bulbs use a filament that glows up when an electric current is applied,

In cars, that's 12 Volt from either the Battery or the generator and you just switch them on and off.

Not so with the much brighter xenon bulbs (provided this is what you have bought...) which are gas-discharge bulbs without filament.

If switched on without the ballast installed, these bulbs do nothing.

They need to be "started", to get the arc through the gas going.

The so-called "Ballast" is in fact the starter, among other things.

If you use the wrong combination bulb/ballast, the bulb either ignites but switches off after a couple of seconds, does not switch on, or is even destroyed.

xenon bulbs come in different types and they need their own compatible Ballast to function properly, or even at all.

Be carefull when handling, and working with, xenon lamps and their Ballasts.

You are working with extremely high voltages, like > 20.000 Volt!

Have a look here, to see what a Ballast looks like:

Swing it out baby. B)


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Forgot to mention it, but just swapping old-style headlights with xenon ones and operating them in traffic without installing a headlight washer- and an automatic load leveler system, is illegal.

Authorities are aware, and fines are ... well .... interesting. :!Removed!:

Also, if you are technically interested (some girls are...) have a read through the following excellent article.

It contains everything you need to know about xenon bulb types, the different headlight systems, including the legal aspects, and more.

Happy reading. :lol:


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Thank you for your trouble!

I'll read it later.

erm cant you just fit halogen bulbs....watched toyota germany swap my headlights and am sure they never changed bulbs just the headlights and mine is 07 facelift(if you can call it that) model

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