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4ES - How to tell whether HID or Halogen

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Old 08-14-13, 06:06 PM   #1
coffee4000
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Default 4ES - How to tell whether HID or Halogen

Hi. I have a 2004 Lexus ES330. The headlight lenses are extremely cloudy and I'm going to replace them. But how do I tell if I have HID's or Halogens ? I understand that I need different headlight housings depending on whether I have HID's or Halogens.

I don't see the traditional aiming rods that I would expect to see with halogen bulbs.

Thanks again from a new owner.
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Old 08-14-13, 06:14 PM   #2
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I have Factory HID's on my 2001 ES300. If your car is like mine, and you have HIDs, than you should have a self levelling indicator light on your dash. This light come on when you turn your ignition on, and goes out after the HID lights have levelled.

If you don'r have that light. than I assume that you don't have HIDs.

You can also check to see if the lights self-level when you turn them on with the ignition on. If YES, than they are HIDs

Phil

Last edited by PFB; 08-14-13 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 08-14-13, 06:15 PM   #3
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Turn the headlights on, with the car off. Do you hear a fairly loud buzzing noise? (i.e not a relay, but the ballast)

Yes, then they are HID's.

No, they are halogen.

Or, just look at the color of the lights. IF they have a faint blue in them, then they are HID.

Alternatively, when you turn them on, see if they are dim at first and then go bright within' a few seconds. If so, then it's HID.

None of these are scientific methods, the best method is to pop the hood and check for the ballast.
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Old 08-14-13, 06:46 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.
I don't have a self leveling indicator light on the dash.
The light is blue-ish.
I don't see a balast . . . but I could just be missing it.
I do hear a very faint humming when I turn on the lights.
I'll post a photo tomorrow.

Thanks again,
Joe
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Old 08-14-13, 06:59 PM   #5
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Wether you have HIDs or not, there shouldn't be a need to buy new headlight housings.

You should be easily able to clear your lenses to almost new condition. There are many YouTube videos on how to do it.

It's cheap, quick, easy, and actually fun to do.

Phil
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Old 08-15-13, 05:46 PM   #6
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Hi Guys. Are you able to tell whether I had HID's or Halogens from these pictures ?
There is a sticker on the side of the headlight housing that says something like "Low Beam - High Voltage inside". I wouldn't expect to see this warning for a Halogen bulb.
Thanks again,
Joe

Cloudy Headlight


Low Beam


High Beam
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Old 08-16-13, 12:52 PM   #7
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Yeah you have HID Headlights.

-Yellow Sticker on side of housing
-Silver cap covering the tip of the bulb as shown in your pics


and please dear lord get Meguiars Headlight Restoration kit. I hate seeing Es's in this condition!
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Old 08-16-13, 02:37 PM   #8
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but does he see it leveling when he turns the lights on?

-please try this in the dark
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Old 08-16-13, 04:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafast13 View Post
Yeah you have HID Headlights.

-Yellow Sticker on side of housing
-Silver cap covering the tip of the bulb as shown in your pics


and please dear lord get Meguiars Headlight Restoration kit. I hate seeing Es's in this condition!
Good to know. I was wondering the same thing on mine.
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Old 08-16-13, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafast13 View Post
Yeah you have HID Headlights.

-Yellow Sticker on side of housing
-Silver cap covering the tip of the bulb as shown in your pics


and please dear lord get Meguiars Headlight Restoration kit. I hate seeing Es's in this condition!
I have the yellow sticker.
I have the sliver cap.
I don't see any leveling going on.
I do hear a constant humming sound when I put my ear to the headlight.

I plan to buy new lenses. The previous owner cleaned these ones twice and said they stay clear for a short time before they fog up again. I think there are two kinds of lenses . . . ones for HID's and ones for halogens. Maybe that is because the HID lenses has the metal difuser inside ( i.e. Sliver cap covering the bulb ).

Thanks for all your comments.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee4000 View Post
I have the yellow sticker.
The previous owner cleaned these ones twice and said they stay clear for a short time before they fog up again.
That is because they need to be resealed.
The most common way to clean the lens is to wet sand which is what most kits use.
I wet sand mine 2-3x a year (takes 15 total time for both). I use a nice polish to seal it and it does wonders.

These are 18 year old headlamps

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-16-13, 11:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee4000 View Post
I have the yellow sticker.
I have the sliver cap.
I don't see any leveling going on.
I do hear a constant humming sound when I put my ear to the headlight.
Looks like my es350. Mine doesn't have auto leveling. My guess for your light is it's hid
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Old 08-19-13, 07:39 AM   #13
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i bet 20$ that your headlight can be cleared up nicely with this:
Meguiar's Headlight and Clear Plastic Restoration Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive Meguiar's Headlight and Clear Plastic Restoration Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive

this takes less than 10minutes per head light. Just do it every season or so and you should be golden.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-08-13, 10:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafast13 View Post
Yeah you have HID Headlights.

-Yellow Sticker on side of housing
-Silver cap covering the tip of the bulb as shown in your pics


and please dear lord get Meguiars Headlight Restoration kit. I hate seeing Es's in this condition!
I don't think the silver cap is any indication.. What I'm basing this on is that ALL close up pictures of 4ES headlights seem to have that silver cap

I have it on mine too and can't figure out whether it's HID either. I'll have to pull out the bulb one day i guess... (lazy person sigh)
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Old 10-09-13, 11:57 AM   #15
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Default non-projector head lamps for HID's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druvius View Post
I don't think the silver cap is any indication..
I think I was orignally confused because I mistakenly thought that all HIDS bulbs used projector head lamps. But I guess there are also non-projector head lamps for HID's.

Your right. I don't think the silver cap is any indication of whether you have HID's.
It must just be the yellow sticker.
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Old 10-09-13, 11:57 AM
 
 
 
 
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2004, auto, bulbs, check, covert, es300, es330, halogen, headlights, hid, hids, hot, leveling, lexus, lights

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