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Discussion Starter #1
Opened up the NS headlight and guess what I found?

A single Phillips HIR2 /2012 bulb. Oh but that's a low beam 55w bulb right? So where's the high beam bulb?...... There isn't one, just a single low beam bulb.

So, how does high beam work without a bulb? Those who don't want to be on a downer quit reading now.

The headlight is angled up, sort of where a high beam should be but there is a what looks like a gate blocking just less than half the light. Select high beam and the gate moves and you get all the light. If you use a white wall and park about 1m away then you can see for yourself. I did take some pics of the inner working of the lamp but the 'choose file' is greyed out.

So low beam is like driving on high beams, with a low beam bulb and tape over the top half of the headlight. I need a box of doughnuts right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
taylorgx said:
To be fair to GM projector headlamps is supposed to be a recent technology improvment over twin headlamp setups

http://www.ehow.com/facts_7669822_do-pr ... -work.html
Ok, So a single low beam bulb with something obscuring half its light output is *better* than an unobscured low beam bulb and an additional high beam bulb? Makes no sense. My Lexus had projector headlights too, but all the light from the low beam went on the road, and it had high beam bulbs too. The Prius was the same. In fact, I can't think of any other car that only has low beam, anyone else?

As for the 9012, its recent'ish, but its no where near the output of HID and takes more power (55W vs 35W). It sounds suspiciously like cost saving to me, but what do I know.... only that my lights are crap.
 

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Seems the technology is called BiHalogen Projector. It would have been nice if they had gone with BiXenon but the additional cost of the leveling and washing would have increased the cost and I guess the weight.

I am OK with the lights which are better than my Lexus IS220d - they were shocking and made me wish I had gone for higher spec model!
 

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Militant EV driver!
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Dozens of owners on the GM Volt forum have modified their cars to have HIDs. It's a pretty easy change that can be done for under £100 these days. Because they are projector lights, they already have the correct geometry to use HID.
 

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I seem to remember from a year or two back that it a legal requirement to have self-leveling with HID lamps? Is that true?

Does the HID kits include leveling for under £100?
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I tried HID bulb set up in my Corsa and was not impressed, not sure if it was the bulb rating but they were recommended on a forum so thought I would give them a go. I have just bought some Osram NightBreaker Unlimited to try. The only thing I find with buying these 'stronger' bulbs is their lifespan. The place I bought them from give a 12 month guarantee so I better get them fitted quickly.
 

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Remember everyone... fitting HID bulbs without a self-leveling kit approved for the purpose is illegal and if your lights are a factor in an accident you could be in a lot of trouble as your insurance might not be valid.

Just a thought...

I would love better lights on the Ampera and teh Leaf... partuclarly the Leaf. OK on dipped as they are LED but the mains are really crappy.
 

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I tried HID bulb set up in my Corsa and was not impressed, not sure if it was the bulb rating but they were recommended on a forum so thought I would give them a go. I have just bought some Osram NightBreaker Unlimited to try. The only thing I find with buying these 'stronger' bulbs is their lifespan. The place I bought them from give a 12 month guarantee so I better get them fitted quickly.
Where did you find 'Osram NightBreaker Unlimited' that will fit Ampera?
I am very interested in this because I can only find standard Philips bulbs for HIR2's spec thats fitted to Ampera?
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I bought them from Powerbulbs.com, standard H11 fitting. £32.49 a pair and a free pair of W5W bulbs (these might do the number plate not sure yet.
I should maybe mention that on the back of the pack it has:-
Up to 110% more light, Up to 35m more distance, Up to 20% whiter light but lifespan seems to be just over half of the standard type bulb.
They do come with a 12 month warranty so hopefully will be covered if they blow within that time.
 

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Looks interesting.
Please lets us know the following after you have fitted them.
Did the Harness multi-plug just plug in without any problems?
Were the tabs in the correct place to lock the bulbs in place into the headlamp?
How much better are the headlights?

If this is successful I shall buy myself some for Christmas.
The only thing I do not like about the Ampera is the headlights!!
 

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I should mention that Chevrolet had my car in for two months recently trying to correct an issue I had. In the end they didn't do anything, but they did mention they had checked the car for modifications including possible replacement headlights.

So go right ahead if you want to upgrade the headlights, but I think if you have any warranty problems you'd better put them back before letting Chevrolet look at the car.
 

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@h8ten - Any news on the new bulbs for you headlights - it will soon be summer and you won't be needing them :)
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Okay a bit of a fail, had a look at offside headlamp, need to remove cover from air filter to gain access so tried nearside first.
Bulb out and went to put new one in, wrong type, similar but different. It seems as though it is not the H11 as I first thought but could be HB3 or HB4 (had to call Powerbulbs to check and these were their suggestions as they look very similar). I will need to tackle the nearside one again to check exactly what markings are on it before I ask for replacements.
 
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