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Prior to owning my Ampera three weeks ago, I owned a Toyota Auris Hybrid, same again the stock lights were pretty poor, I converted to xenon and never had a problem when It was due its first M.O.T this June. I think this is due to both cars having the projector style headlights and the fact I went with the 4000 bulbs rather than opting for 6000/8000. Xenons are really easy to fit and are simply "plug and play", they make night time driving on poorly lit roads so much safer, and for the relatively low cost they are a good upgrade.
 

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This issue has been discussed extensively at the gm-volt blog. There are a number of threads you may wish to read regarding changing over to a brighter bulb. This is latest one I could find. LEDs and HIDs - lots of info and links!
That link is not helpful to anyone in the UK, as those aftermarket kits don't have any automatic levelling.

Xenons are really easy to fit and are simply "plug and play", they make night time driving on poorly lit roads so much safer, and for the relatively low cost they are a good upgrade.
They might make driving safer for you but I'm not so sure about the person being blinded coming the other way :p. I'd like better headlights on the Ampera, too but there are so many horrendous, blinding headlights on the road now. Factory-fitted, correctly aligned, self-levelling Xenons or LEDs, fine. Otherwise, they are just dangerous for everyone else.
 

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I have just fitted some Osram Nightbreakers to mine as I thought the std HIR 9012's were a tad lack lustre. Things are now much better, a lot whiter, but still not epic.
 

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I have used HIDs for a number of years now in my home builds and never failed an MOT yet.
The Lotus passed again just a few weeks ago. Always go for the 4000 or 5000 colour as that is most similar to halogen without the blue tint.

Comments regarding overly bright headlights are I assume when they are not correctly set up.

I have marks on my garage wall to set mine up and always check for dazzle by kneeling down and looking straight at them but just above the cut off.
Experience suggests that HIDs have a far better cut off, especially on projectors, and my experience with other cars dazzling me is due to badly aimed lights of all types.
With the stock Volt/Ampera lamps, I can't see a thing in front when dazzled but the dipped HIDs on my other cars still allow the road edge to be viewed hence why I consider them a winter safety must and will be sourcing some for mine.
 
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BTW, my last car, an M3 had "self levelling" HID headlights and the levelling action was ridiculous and slightly delayed in that if you hit a wavy road at speed, the headlights nodded up and down high/low going from dazzle to too low.

Speed humps were taken with the same result so although self levelling may look good on paper, if you load the car, a sensible driver rotates the lights down on the dash control.
You get better visibility on dip anyway rather than wasting it in the trees.
 

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I agree with Russ, if you go any higher than a 5000 bulb, then you are asking for trouble with the police and M.O.T testing station. I can't recal anyone ever flashing coming towards me, being dazzled thinking I'm on full beam.
 

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@Jeff Smith
Did you have any Can bus probs on the Ampera? Sometimes modern cars sense the bulb is there or not and HID upgrades can cause errors.
There are online UK HID sale companies that sell compatible modules that I may try. My favourite supplier HIDS4U do not supply the 9012 format so forced to try another who do.
Will report back when I have installed.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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There was a case in gm-volt where a guy lost his brakes because of his lights, and a few other cases where the dealer techs have had to remove aftermarket lights because of faults coming up.

be careful. You have been warned!
 

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@donald
Point taken but there are ballasts on the market that are specifically designed for a CAN based wiring system that virtually all cars have these days.
These will have a much improved power requirement i.e. reduced starting current and noise should be much lower than on the cheap Chinese systems.
I have noticed that in the UK prices for supposed CAN friendly systems can vary from £50 to £95. Non CAN upgrades are often much lower.
CAN comms is a very robust protocol and was originally designed to be used in cars although my company uses it on mobile materials handling machinery and it tends to be very fault tolerant.

I had heard about the Volt brake problem before on this Forum and fully expect it caused by a very noisy ballast.

We sell products into the US market and have noted that they don't seem to have any EMC controls at all.
They don't require filters on variable speed motor inverters which can inject serious noise into local power supplies whereas Europe is very strict and certainly do.
One could assume that this mindset allows really poor noisy electronics into the country.
 

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Ohhh, that hurt just a bit!

Probably surprising then that they weren't sold in the US first :p
 

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The wording and spelling in the item description on eBay doesn't exactly fill me with confidence....
 

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I just fitted a set of these bulbs - thanks for the heads-up on them, Jeff!

OBSERVATIONS:
1/ Very easy to fit.
2/ Polarity is reversed - plug connecting to original bulbs needed to be plugged to new harness "wrong" way round.
3/ Significant improvement in light, although colour temperature (5000) is higher than I would have preferred (4300 - 4600)
4/ Beams fairly good: small blank spot in N/S and slight refraction in O/S but minor irritations only.
5/ Instructions a hoot! I'm OK with Chinglish but very bold move to give them in Klingon! I offer the following verbatim. Has anybody ANY idea what they are talking about?
"Before installing far near light system, please the first careful check power supply on-line and plus or minus pole, adjust input the exportation lead the linear position, then according to top the diagram shows the beginning gearing. Do not make an effort the ambulation parts push pull the lamp bulb, will result in the lamp bulb damage."
Sheer poetry!!
 
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