Headlights Out? Do Not Pay Full Price For HID Parts and Bulbs, August 3, 2014

One of my cars is a 2003 Acura TL 3.2. The car is about eleven years old and runs well most of the time. However, a problem that I sometimes encounter is failed high-intensity discharge (HID) parts and bulbs.

HID Igniter Cable

Have a look at the part pictured to the left. Do you have any idea what it is or how much it costs? Several years ago, one of the headlights on my car failed. I took it to a shop where I was charged $700 to have it fixed. When I asked about the cost, they said that they paid about $500 to the local Acura dealership for parts and the balance was labor fees. Last year, the other headlight went out. I went to a different shop where I was quoted $1100 to have a similar problem fixed.

If I'm not mistaken, this item to the left is called an "HID igniter cable", and it was one of the expensive parts that I had replaced for $700. However, I wasn't about to pay so much money again. I thought that there must be a better way, and as it turns out, I was right!

I visited an Acura enthusiast forum on the internet and explained my predicament there. Experienced Acura enthusiasts pointed me to a company called "DDM Tuning". This company has HID parts and bulbs manufactured and shipped from a warehouse in China. Here is the part that I ordered from them that I successfully fixed my headlight with. As you can see if you follow the link, the replacement cost for the igniter, ballast, and bulb is well under $100 for a pair of two, less than 1/10 what the Acura dealership charges for "original" parts.

I was able to fix my headlight using these parts. The only fly in the ointment was that the electrical connectors are different from what the car normally fits, so I had to solder the wires together to make it work. There must be some sort of adapter that will eliminate the need for this.

Recently, the first headlight (that I paid $700 to have serviced) went out again. I was able to easily fix it with parts from DDM Tuning again. However, I did have to order an extra lightbulb because one of them burned out after just one day for some reason. Perhaps I accidentally touched the bulb and got oil on it.

I would not hesitate to recommend DDM Tuning to anyone with a failed HID light; just be certain to order the correct parts and be prepared to do a little extra work to make them fit. I was actually quite lucky that I didn't have to do anything beyong removing the plastic safety cover from the HID light assembly and solder. The only reason not to use this company is if you absolutely must have the part right away. Shipping from China takes a little while.