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LED Headlight RetroFit on Older Cars

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Mike K, Aug 10, 2016.

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  1. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    There's no hot wire. You'd have to bake the light open and access the wire directly, assuming you can. :-(
     
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  2. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Holy hell. I'm embarrassed it took me this long to notice but you realize those aren't the facelift lights in your car right? Those are the standard HID lights. So you can pretty much ignore everything I've said up until now. Those absolutely SHOULD work out of the gate unless there truly are two different part numbers for the older cars. Can you ask your tech to look and determine whether or not he's got the right part number for the suspension your car has?

    For reference, these are the LED lights:

    [​IMG]

     
  3. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    Huh, thanks Mike K! So I got what I asked for and they still don't work? That doesn't make any sense.

    I really appreciate your feedback. They should, indeed, be able to get these to work. I'll follow up with the SC. Thanks again!

    Doesn't help anyone trying to do the LED retrofit, but I hope someone figures it out someday!
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    So your car originally had the halogen lights? Do you have the tech package? For some reason I seem to recall not having the tech package doesn't have the DRL part function.
     
  5. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    I have an older VIN 9100. At that point non tech package came with DRL, premium interior lighting, and lighted door handles. It's hard to keep track, I know, but my stock halogens had DRL. I don't want to lose that functionality.

    Makes no sense why these are not working.
     
  6. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    You did indeed. Ask your advisor to check the pinout on the older style lights.

    Here's the other pro-tip for anyone else doing the upgrade from halogen to HID: The halogens in the Tesla are already projectors. While you'll see a bunch of horror stories on the web about putting HID retrofit kits in halogen headlight housings and them blinding other drivers, this largely doesn't apply to halogen lights installed in projector housings because that style of housing is still relying on the projector for beam cut-off. I hate to say it but you would have been fine with a $50 eBay HID kit. It's a shame they destroyed the old lights.
     
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  7. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    Well, this is remaining quite the mess. I haven't heard from the SC that performed the HID headlight swap in a week. There is another SC nearby (we have two in this area) and both are equidistant from me. I called the other SC to schedule my Roadster annual service and asked them about this Model S headlight issue. Here is what they wrote via email:

    After discussing the Daytime running lights with my shop foreman, he has informed me that it will no longer function after the HID headlight upgrade, due to a hardware configuration that cannot be changed. He is also looking into your outer ring (signature light) it should light up to his knowledge.

    Does this seem right? Again, I have a older VIN (9100) 2013 MS 85, non tech-package. I had DRL before, even with the halogens. My DRL button disappears after a software update and they're saying they can't get DRL working on my car with HID's?

    Sorry to hijack the LED thread, but I would I could use some help here.
     
  8. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Ok, so what you have is a software problem. Somehow, the SC turned off DRL functionality. I don't know about the newer software, but the older versions(pre7.0) had a toggle to disable/enable DRL funtionality in the service menu. The parts interchange, so this was a plug and play deal. I'm not really surprised at your problem, as the idiots at most SC's can screw up just about anything one can imagine. There should be no excuse for throwing out your parts before getting the new parts to work. The good news is that it's their problem now, so don't bend and make them fix it.
     
  9. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    Thanks, qwk. I appreciate the response.

    I've always had a DRL button on the setting screen, but it disappeared after I did a software update later in the evening after the installation. Like I said, I'm pretty sure the tech pushed that OTA software update to my car.

    Just to clarify, the outer ring of lights (I guess they're called signature lights per my service advisor), were identical on the halogen vs. HID lights, correct? From my understanding, the only difference between these lights is that the former used halogen bulbs in the projector whereas the latter used the HID bulbs + ballasts. Is this correct? If the signature lights are identical and I had DRL before, I should still have DRL. Odd the SC is telling me it's not possible. I just don't understand why the signature lights are not working at all, even when the headlights are on.

    Thanks for the advice. I will, indeed, keep on them.
     
  10. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Yes. The outer rings are called DRL. In the US the firmware allows the on/off toggle. Like I said, the most likely reason you dont have them is the toggle(if it still exists in the newer firmwares) is turned off in the service menu.
     
  11. Snowstorm

    Snowstorm Active Member

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    Anyone tried to do the opposite? Put a pre refresh HID headlamp into a refresh model s, replacing the LED? The LED are dim and uneven.
     
  12. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    Well I'm disappointed to report that the other service center in my area says they can't get either the DRL or outer ring of lights work.

    I think they spent 2 minutes considering it and concluded the following:

    Concern: Does not have daylight running lights every since client upgraded to HID headlamps.
    Corrections: Exterior Lights General Diagnosis Conclusion: No Trouble Found
    Client education; Daytime running lights is not an option when upgrading to HID headlight


    Concern: After upgrading to HID headlamps, clients states the outer light ring will not light up.
    MISC Items: NO LABOR PERFORMED See line 2 for diagnosis


    I am not happy. This makes no sense to me. If I am understanding things correctly, the only difference between the halogen and HID headlights on the 2012 to 2015 cars is the bulb. One has a halogen bulb, the other has an HID bulb and ballast.

    Is this correct?

    The outer ring of lights worked on my original headlights and I also had DRL. They should be working now.

    I guess I'll keep bugging the original SC that did the install and tossed my old lights.

    Can anyone help me help Tesla troubleshoot this? I apparently don't have the technical knowledge to help them fix this issue.
     
  13. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    This makes no sense. Ask them to cite their service manual pinout for the harness on the lights. The HIDs have a dedicated pin for the DRLs. So it's as easy applying voltage to that pin and boom, DRLs are on. I can't fathom how that pin would be relocated on the halogen cars and if it was then the lights wouldn't be plug and play.

    The good news is that you can get them to work. Even if you had to run a jumper wire to the harness. The problem is Tesla disabled the option in your menu.

    Two questions from me:

    1. Can they verify the pinout between the two lights is the same? For all major functions I imagine it would be.

    2. Assuming 1 is accurate, ask them if they can set your firmware back to having halogen lights so you get the DRL option back. Once you have that, you should theoretically have DRLs.

    Failing all that, you could just run 12 volts on a switch to the headlights and get the DRLs. Obviously that's a less than ideal solution.

    What's most frustrating here ist that this is a solvable problem. You just haven't found the person that wants to solve it for you. Any technician with common sense and basic reasoning skills should be able to conclude that if headlight A has DRLs and headlight B has DRLs you should be able to get them to work on the car.
     
  14. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Thought I would quote this for you to show your tech/ service advisor. So I am right. The harnesses and pinout would be identical. So who the hell knows why they even bothered to change anything in the software because it sounds like they literally could have dropped in an HID light capsule and it would have worked fine with no software change.
     
  15. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    Awesome. Thanks, Mike K! You've been a huge help.

    I'm going to put an email together with some of this information and send them to both service centers here locally and insist on a solution. I think another member earlier in the thread said Tesla replaced their halogens with HID's successfully as well. I know SC's are busy, but I get the feeling they just don't want to put time into fixing this and that's not right. They clearly messed up. I think I can even argue losing DRL capability makes driving less safe.

    I did find a few halogens for sale online at used parts depots as well. Last resort, I'll buy those, insist Tesla reimburse me for them, stick some aftermarket HID's in there as you suggested (at my expense of course) and have Tesla install them.

    What a headache. This is so not worth the time and hassle.

    Thanks again for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated. Hope this gets resolved soon.
     
  16. shrink

    shrink Supporting Member

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    I'm happy to report my issue is resolved!

    The SC got the HID lights (not the adaptive LED's) and DRL's to work on my non tech package 2013 Model S. I'm not exactly sure how they solved it, but they did research it in conjunction with some corporate engineers apparently (I didn't realize it was that complicated). I was told they installed a newer version of the lights and sent some OTA software updates and we're all good to go.

    Whew!

    Hats off to them. They made it right. I give them a lot of credit and I'm very grateful. In retrospect, I could have been more patient and trusting. I guess I was just baffled by the apparent complexity of what I thought was a straightforward upgrade. Regardless, the Tesla SC did their diligence and put in a lot of time and effort to make this work. I'm greatly appreciative!

    Now, getting back on original thread topic - I don't think anyone has completed the HID to adaptive LED conversion yet, although I think MikeK made the most progress...
     
    • Like x 2
  17. Tension

    Tension Member

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    #97 Tension, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    Is it safe to assume that there is still no complete success on the LED retrofit?

    I guess the only option then is something like this: D3S LED Headlight Conversion Kit
     
  18. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 Porsche 918 Hybrid

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    Stick with the HID headlights if you want better visibility and higher lumens than the LED lights.

    The OEM LED headlights have been rated poorly by the IIHS for both 2017/2018 test samples. :cool:

    2017 Tesla Model S

    upload_2018-8-22_21-13-46.png
     
  19. ICUDoc

    ICUDoc Member

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    FlatSix911, I have those first-gen Model S LED headlights, and agree they are poor.
    Is there an updated headlight yet from Tesla or an upgrade we can do to fix them, do you know?
    Thanks / regards
     
  20. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 Porsche 918 Hybrid

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    No upgrade that I know of for the OEM LED headlights from Tesla... they are a proprietary design.

    If you have the original HID headlights from Tesla... found on the Model S from 2012 to mid-2016:
    • You can try the aftermarket LED kit that Tension suggested, however, the output will be low.
    • I would recommend an upgraded HID kit that will overdrive new bulbs at 55W vs. 35W OEM.
    • 50% more lumens and better night visibility with the Teala OEM projector lens system. :cool:
     

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