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HID Headlights Randomly Turning Off

Bridor

Member
Mar 20, 2016
380
439
Maricopa, Arizona
I have an early 2014 Tesla Model S 85 with the Tech package (110,000 miles). Lately, I have noticed that my headlights are turning off late at night. Sometimes it is the right one, sometimes it is the left one and a couple of times, both headlights went out. All I have to do is bring up the controls, turn the headlights off and then click the Auto option again and the headlights work ok again.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? Tesla reviewed my logs and found nothing and want to charge me $120 for a diagnosis.

What is cool is that it actually shows me in the middle of the left side LED panel that the light(s) are off. I can live with it, but if I can solve the issue, that would be wonderful.

Brent
 

BoldSharpe

Member
Jan 3, 2015
153
40
Wisconsin
I have not had this issue on my Tesla but I had the exact problem on my old Lexus with HID headlamps. Sometimes one would go out, sometimes both, I could typically toggle the lights off and on again and they'd be fine for a while. I couldn't reproduce the issue on command when I brought it in for service so that didn't help matters. After doing some research, I determined the bulbs needed to be replaced. I found some replacement bulbs on amazon for about $25 a piece and that solved the problem.

I'd imagine with 100K+ on the clock, you're probably due. Best of luck and let us know if you find a solution.
 
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jjh1234

Member
Jul 8, 2017
587
344
Pittsburgh, PA
HID bulbs only have so many hours of useful life (about 3,000 hours, or 90,000 miles depending on driving habits). Then they start to get flakey. It's my understanding they can actually explode if used past their useful life. The color of light produced also changes as they age. I had a similar problem with the lights on my Porsche Cayenne. The light would flick on and off and the car would throw a "dipped beam" error. I bought replacement bulbs from one of the more reputable eBay sellers and it fixed the problem. If you don't want a color difference, replace both bulbs at the same time.
 

Bridor

Member
Mar 20, 2016
380
439
Maricopa, Arizona
Welcome to the club. I've had 4 Model S do this to me. All about 90K to 110K miles. It requires an entirely new headlamp assembly at $1200 per side!

I was just told this by the Buena Park Service Center - this is outrageous. Surely there must be a way to just replace the bulbs. On eBay, there are sellers saying that they sell the bulbs and that they are compatible with the Tesla Model S with Tech Package - anyone else had any luck replacing just the bulbs?
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,028
Brea, Orange County
I had my head lights tun off randomly as well. First only the right side, then both. I was always able to get them back on by switching them off and on again. But this would only help for a few minutes, then they turn off again.

I finally got two new HID bulbs, replaced them, and now the light works fine again. I think new light bulbs after 125,000 miles and 3.5 years is reasonable.
BTW do not buy them from AutoZone or Reilly Auto parts. They will charge you $140 or more for each! Get some from Amazon where they are $35 a pair!
Swapping them out is a pain. You have to take off the front wheel and some of the plastic and felt cover in the wheel well. Took me about 1.5 hours to do both.
 

Vip

Member
Jul 11, 2013
441
78
United States
I had my head lights tun off randomly as well. First only the right side, then both. I was always able to get them back on by switching them off and on again. But this would only help for a few minutes, then they turn off again.

I finally got two new HID bulbs, replaced them, and now the light works fine again. I think new light bulbs after 125,000 miles and 3.5 years is reasonable.
BTW do not buy them from AutoZone or Reilly Auto parts. They will charge you $140 or more for each! Get some from Amazon where they are $35 a pair!
Swapping them out is a pain. You have to take off the front wheel and some of the plastic and felt cover in the wheel well. Took me about 1.5 hours to do both.

So my left headlight went out tonight. 113,000 miles and a lot of night time driving.
Just watched your youtube video (thanks for making it). I have a 2013 85.
Looking to buy the amazon bulb you recommend. Just wanted to make sure I bought the correct one. Is it the D3S and 6000K?

Has anyone else replaced just the bulb and everything was all good? Don't really want to spend $1200 on a new headlamp!!
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,028
Brea, Orange County
So my left headlight went out tonight. 113,000 miles and a lot of night time driving.
Just watched your youtube video (thanks for making it). I have a 2013 85.
Looking to buy the amazon bulb you recommend. Just wanted to make sure I bought the correct one. Is it the D3S and 6000K?

Has anyone else replaced just the bulb and everything was all good? Don't really want to spend $1200 on a new headlamp!!

Yes the D3S is the right one. 6000K is a little on the blue side but fine.
And yes, I had the lights turn off itself all the time and just replacing the bulbs fixed it. I'd recommend replacing both at the same time. The other one will go out soon anyways.
 

Vip

Member
Jul 11, 2013
441
78
United States
Yes the D3S is the right one. 6000K is a little on the blue side but fine.
And yes, I had the lights turn off itself all the time and just replacing the bulbs fixed it. I'd recommend replacing both at the same time. The other one will go out soon anyways.

Thanks for the info.
Just to give you an update. My headlight went out when I was going to work. When I got back into the car after work the headlight was working again. Hasn't gone off since my last post.
Might just get the bulbs anyway to have on hand.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,028
Brea, Orange County
Thanks for the info.
Just to give you an update. My headlight went out when I was going to work. When I got back into the car after work the headlight was working again. Hasn't gone off since my last post.
Might just get the bulbs anyway to have on hand.

It's happen sporadically, then it gets more and more frequent. I replaced mine when they shut off about every 5 minutes. But it also started with a random shut off every here and then. I wouldn't wait too long. Considering they are just $35.
 
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Vip

Member
Jul 11, 2013
441
78
United States
So just ordered the lights from Amazon.
Interesting enough the left headlight will not come on when I get in the car but if I turn off the lights and then turn them back on the headlight will work. Oh well. Hopefully replacing the light will work.
 

sistinas

Member
Sep 29, 2014
9
0
CA
So just ordered the lights from Amazon.
Interesting enough the left headlight will not come on when I get in the car but if I turn off the lights and then turn them back on the headlight will work. Oh well. Hopefully replacing the light will work.
Any update? I'm about to do the same.. replacing the bulbs.
 

ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
1,023
487
Bay Area
when you replace your xenons, brand matters. buy a quality brand like philips or osram. cheapo 25$ bulbs will work but the light output is far worse. like others have said these bulbs are wear items. over time they lose their light output but it's hard to notice because it happens gradually. the color shifts and becomes more blue/white and eventually stops working.
 

ngng

Active Member
Jul 23, 2018
1,023
487
Bay Area
So just ordered the lights from Amazon.
Interesting enough the left headlight will not come on when I get in the car but if I turn off the lights and then turn them back on the headlight will work. Oh well. Hopefully replacing the light will work.

does this happen consistently, every single time? wonder if it's a bad ignitor/ballast? have you tried swapping the known working xenon and trying?
 

dark cloud

Active Member
Apr 14, 2018
2,073
2,387
BC

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