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xenon headlight trouble


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After the shock of being quoted £103 for a bulb from my local motor factors, i went online and bought a pair of new ones without thinking there may be another issue. I'm used to vehicles where if the headlight goes it's a bulb - no questions! So, you can probably guess the rest, i replaced the faulty one and it still doesn't work.

Are the ballasts prone to go? can i swap right to left to check if the ballast is at fault and what needs to be done to get at them .... from an initial look it appears the whole bumper needs to come off? I checked the fuses and found the hazards/horn fuse had blown (i never even noticed them not working) but no others.


If it is the ballast can they easily be changed with a universal one or one off another vehicle? any recommendations?

Cheers all.


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Close to having enough of this car now. Worst vehicle purchase we ever made hands down.

Whilst checking the fuses for the headlights i found the fuse for the horn and hazards had blown. Must've been like this before we bought it and we just hadn't noticed, we had wondered why the indicators didn't flash when setting the alarm. Anyway, i fitted the fuse and tried the hazards... all OK. Pressed the keyfob to lock the car and the indicators now flashed but the right side indicators now stay illuminated permanently. had to take the fuse out.

Any ideas please?


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Possibly ballast or bad wiring.

Best bet is a used tested ballast if you find ballast is the fault. they are a pain to get to as you already suggest.


As for indicator issue I would think it likely relay in alarm module for indicators

I assume if put fuse in with car running indicators will work fine but when arm/disarm alarm you get the issue !?

If is alarm a quick fix could be going into alarm setting via keypad (assume you got sigma) and turn off setting for indicator flash & then test.

sigma manual below if applicable to you ...



EDIT: looks like bleeps is only one selectable in settings & not indicators :-/

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Thanks for the reply Mr B,

Not sure about when it's running, but certainly when the ignition is on the right side indicators stay lit rather than flashing. I can only get them to go out by removing the fuse. Ign on or off.

Strange bit is when i first fitted it they worked fine, hazards and indicators. Only when i tried to lock the car they went wrong.  Strange how its the right side only.

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What alarm is it ?

Could be main indicator relay but I would be more inclined think linked to alarm relay for flashers.

Try arming disarming alarm & see if sometimes or a t least once they don't stay on .

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yep sigma, you could get the wiring diagram for that & temory cut the feed to indicators which would prove area of fault or eliminate the alarm perhaps.

Quite sure I come across similar issue of indicators stuck on & it was sigma module with bad relay for the indicator control, relay was soldered in the module too :-/

Jumping the gun a bit as need some more clues first ...

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I'm going to take a better look on tuesday as i have the day off. I'll swap the headlight ballasts round too.

In the meantime i need to go racing and forget all about our dodgy subaru for a few days.

Thanks again Mr B will report back on progress or if i get stuck!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Update on the headlight problem .... still not sorted, but i do at least know what the problem is now. There's 12v going to the ballast, and swapped ballast from right to let and it's still not working. So swapped the braided ballast cable and plug thing (that goes onto the back of the bulb) and suddenly it works. Anyone know what what that thing is called? i'll email a few breakers and try and get one.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The thing is called the igniter and breakers take the mickey when you want something so simple. People asking more for a bit of cable than a complete ballast with cable! Cheapest option is an aftermarket ballast and igniter cable for about £20 but you'd have to make holes for the cable to enter the headlight. I managed to get one from the states for £18 inc post.


Todays thing thats broke is the top radiator hose split. Any of the other subarus use the same hose? hard to find one on eBay anyway.

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