2000 E46 320D Both headlight bulbs blown at same time. Any ideas?

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  1. 2000 E46 320D Both headlight bulbs blown at same time. Any ideas? 
    #1
    Bimmer Fan
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    photoman355's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    320d
    Year of Manufacture:
    2000
    Transmission Type:
    manual
    Car Body Type:
    saloon

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    UK
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    Hi

    I was driving at night on a B road stuck behind a tractor, I had an opportunity to overtake so I dropped a gear and floored the pedal. As I overtook the tractor both front headlight bulbs blew!! Not nice driving with just sidelights in the dark, luckily I was on a straight at the time and could stop the car.

    After checking the bulbs the passenger side bulb had a black mark on the glass whereas the drivers side was also blown but didn't have this mark. The bulbs were Ring Xenonmaxx which although I assume would be more susceptible to blowing than ordinary bulbs due to their brightness, were only 2 months old. This suggests to me that it was more some kind of voltage surge hence the black mark on the passenger side. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Some background info. I was having problems in the past with the lights dimming and battery warning light coming on but a change of the alternator serpentine belt seemed to fix this as the old belt was worn out. No idea if this is something to do with the problem or if there is possibly some kind of voltage regulator in the system somewhere? It could also possibly be something to do with the extreme cold weather we've been having but unlikely as both blew at the same time. Anyone any ideas?
     
     

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  3. Update e46 320D headlights dim & battery warning light. 
    #2
    Bimmer Fan
    Car Details
    photoman355's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    320d
    Year of Manufacture:
    2000
    Transmission Type:
    manual
    Car Body Type:
    saloon

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    10
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I'm a little further forward. At the weekend I was driving down to my mates when the battery warning light started flickering again but instead of the lights dimming they got brighter. I'm pretty sure this is what will have caused both bulbs to blow at the same time. As I dropped my engine speed it seemed to sort out the headlights and stop the light coming on so frequently.

    I'm thinking this has something to do with the alternator voltage regulator which would explain how the change in engine speed effected the voltage going to my headlights. I left my car at my mates and we had a look at it the following day.

    We put a multimeter across the battery terminals and it read 12v. Then I used the hidden on board computer function to monitor the battery while the engine was turned on (Instructions here) and the battery read 14v to 14.2v which is in the normal range. You can keep the OBC reading while driving so we took the car out for a spin and turned on the heater, radio, headlights etc to check battery drain and also tried keeping the revs fairly high. Voltage was fairly constant at between 13.8v and 14.2v which again seems normal. When we got back with the engine off we put a multimeter across the terminals and the battery read 12.5v which would suggest that the battery was taking charge from the car.

    I'm guessing its either the alternator voltage regulator, a loose connection (although I checked and nothing is obvious) or I need a new battery (I've heard a slightly worn battery can lead to all kinds of intermittent warning lights and gremlins). Does anyone have any experience of this or advice on further checks?
     
     

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