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Old 06-23-2021, 07:10 PM   #1
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Xenon Litronics

I purchased used Xenon Litronics headlights to replace my standard halogen lights. They are used. This is supposed to be plug and play. Both lights high beams work and so to turn flickers. The regular light is not working. I was assuming the bulb had worked but I have yet to change anything. Just came on this forum to see if I was missing anything or if there is anything I can do before moving on to purchase new bulbs.

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Old 06-23-2021, 07:53 PM   #2
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Just be aware the high beams are halogen and are the lower bulbs. Your low beams are the xenon and may be bad or possibly the ballasts. Particlewave gives good advice in the attached thread on where and what bulbs to buy.

http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/71071-recommendations-bulbs-litronics.html
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:32 AM   #3
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It is not easy to track if your experience is limited.
Do not take it offensively, it is the sad truth about High Intensity Discharge (HID) systems.
First make sure you actually have working headlight switch, or verify you get power coming to the assemblies.
It is unlikely that both of them are dead. Xenon gas lamps do not die so often. It takes a while.

There are 3 parts of it.
Ballast, igniter, and the lamp (it is technically a lamp, not a light bulb… as the light bulb needs to have a filament. HID does not, because the hot gas glows. Like neon signs).

So, any of the 3 components may be dead or have a faulty connection.

First I would, after verifying power coming it, check all the connection inside the assembly. Also, is the ballast actually attached to the headlight? It is possible you got a set WITHOUT the ballast.
Happened before…
If everything is in place, continue.

The best approach for your is you is to swap the lamps (bulbs) left with right.
If that does not help – well, get a new one. Buy a pair of D2S, 4300 K. Do not go above 5000 K. No, you do not get more light. It is the opposite – 4300 K provides the most intensity and it keeps dropping the higher you go.

If that still does not work – next step is to investigate the ballasts. Those might be more expensive to get. I have never had Boxster’s OEM HID assembly in my hands, so I cannot advise if you could use some aftermarket replacement.

Or, before you get there – get a cheap ballast from eBay that works with D2S and check your OEM lamps (bulbs).


A note on HID systems.

They are powered by 12 V DC (Direct Current) from the car.
The ballast converts DC into AC (Alternative Current) and bumps the voltage to about 85 V. This voltage is needed to keep the gas lit.
However, to light it up, you need a much higher voltage. Hence the igniter comes in and bumps the potential to 20’000 V (or so – depends on setup). This spark flies through the lamp and gets the initial flicker. Once it is lit and the current flow is established, the 85 V kicks in and maintains the light.

Why AC? If you look closely into the HID lamp, you will see two electrodes on the ends of the tiny bulb inside the long glass barrel. If you were to use DC, one of the electrodes would accumulate deposits while the other one would start degrading. In the end, in a very short time, the light would start shifting towards one of the ends resulting in, initially, poor light distribution (like improperly inserted light bulb in halogen) and then lower light output.
With AC this process keeps going back and forth and maintains performance.
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Old 06-24-2021, 03:47 PM   #4
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So far both lights are not working. I have tried 2 different brand new bulbs (D2S 35W) on both assemblies and got nothing. I even tried sending 12v from a portable unit I have to the pins on the assembly and got nothing. When I did the same test on my halogens they worked. The person that sold it to me said they were working when he shipped them out. I am waiting for a couple of more bulbs I ordered but I suspect the bulb is not the issue. How could both lights ballasts or igniter not be working? Any further suggestions??
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Old 06-24-2021, 05:57 PM   #5
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In addition to the guidance that PLP provided, you cannot rule out the possibility of deteriorated wiring inside the light assembly. You can check out my experience refurbishing a set of litronics in this thread: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/54697-advice-used-litronics.html

I had a bad ballast on one light and deteriorated wiring in another. I was able to swap the working ballast between the two headlights and confirm that was the problem before I purchased a replacement. You may want to purchase one ballast to confirm that fixes the problem before investing in a second. I believe they are fairly expensive.

How did the seller know the lights were working when he shipped them? Did he remove them from his vehicle?
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:56 PM   #6
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In addition to the guidance that PLP provided, you cannot rule out the possibility of deteriorated wiring inside the light assembly. You can check out my experience refurbishing a set of litronics in this thread: http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/54697-advice-used-litronics.html

I had a bad ballast on one light and deteriorated wiring in another. I was able to swap the working ballast between the two headlights and confirm that was the problem before I purchased a replacement. You may want to purchase one ballast to confirm that fixes the problem before investing in a second. I believe they are fairly expensive.

How did the seller know the lights were working when he shipped them? Did he remove them from his vehicle?
Hi Kevin,

The wiring looks fine to me. I even tried swapping the ballast between lights and still nothing. Could I have 2 bad ballasts? Anyone know how to test the ballast? Maybe I should get a new ballast so at least I know it’s new.

Seller told me they were working on the car he removed them from before sending them.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:32 PM   #7
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Based on your forum name, I'm assuming you have a 97. Porsche started offering litronics in the 99 model year. This post http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/4110-litronic-fuse-size.html implies that you may need to replace a 7.5 amp headlight fuse with a 15 amp.

I suggest that you check the fuse first since that is an inexpensive fix if that is the problem.

I have had occasional trouble seating my headlights when I install them. I would double check that they are actually connecting by confirming the other lights in the assembly are working.

After trying those options, I think it would be time to buy one ballast and see whether that works. If both lights were working when removed from the car, it seems unlikely that both ballasts would fail during a short time period, but I suppose it is possible.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 97gtaboxter View Post
I even tried sending 12v from a portable unit I have to the pins on the assembly and got nothing. When I did the same test on my halogens they worked.
The results from your test do suggest that the problem could be the ballasts.

However, this post suggests that you should check the fuse:

http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/14192-headlights-fuse-weird-litronic-light-keeps-killing.html

It it possible that your 12v power source doesn't produce enough current?
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Last edited by KevinH1990; 06-24-2021 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:56 PM   #9
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The results from your test do suggest that the problem could be the ballasts.

However, this post suggests that you should check the fuse:

http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/14192-headlights-fuse-weird-litronic-light-keeps-killing.html

It it possible that your 12v power source doesn't produce enough current?
Yes I have a 97. When I meter my battery pack I am getting just over 12v (13.35) which I would think would be fine. When I send the same power to my existing halogens they work.

I even went one step further and disconnected the lead going into the ignitor from the ballast. Sent 12v to the ballast via the bottom 2 pins on the connector. Then connected positive to red and negative to blue. My meter should show 85v but showed 0.00. Does this not prove the issue is the ballast? At least on one light?
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:35 PM   #10
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I think you have minimized the possibility that it is anything other than the ballast. I think it is time to try a new ballast, but confirm the fuse isn’t the issue before you spend your money on the ballast.

Good luck.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:39 PM   #11
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I think you have minimized the possibility that it is anything other than the ballast. I think it is time to try a new ballast, but confirm the fuse isn’t the issue before you spend your money on the ballast.

Good luck.
So just to confirm. I should replace the 7.5A fuse to a 15A fuse correct?
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Old 06-25-2021, 04:20 AM   #12
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Yes - Based on the information in the links I provided. My car has a 15 amp fuse in it, but mine is a 2000.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:09 AM   #13
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Just curious...what did these used lights cost? I hear they can be super expensive.

I opted for a retrofit with xenons to replace the burned lenses, and am using the h7 for high beams, just like the litronics.

However, I am replacing the h7 halogen with h7 LED to update them.

Total investment:

xenons/ballusts/bulbs + shrouds @ $185 CAN
h7 LEDs + LED daytime bulbs @ $70 CAN
Total: $225 CAN

I started a thread, but am waiting on the bulbs to update progress shortly.

A lot easier than I thought...baking the headlights in the oven was a big worry though. lol

I hope you can resolve your issue...wiring sucks.
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Old 06-25-2021, 10:23 AM   #14
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Yes - Based on the information in the links I provided. My car has a 15 amp fuse in it, but mine is a 2000.
Hi Kevin.

Problem solved! I changed the fuses to 15A and they worked! Thanks for all your help.

One issue though is that if the car is not on the left driver side headlight will turn off after like 30 seconds. If the car is on they don’t seem to turn off.
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Old 06-25-2021, 10:26 AM   #15
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Just curious...what did these used lights cost? I hear they can be super expensive.

I opted for a retrofit with xenons to replace the burned lenses, and am using the h7 for high beams, just like the litronics.

However, I am replacing the h7 halogen with h7 LED to update them.

Total investment:

xenons/ballusts/bulbs + shrouds @ $185 CAN
h7 LEDs + LED daytime bulbs @ $70 CAN
Total: $225 CAN

I started a thread, but am waiting on the bulbs to update progress shortly.

A lot easier than I thought...baking the headlights in the oven was a big worry though. lol

I hope you can resolve your issue...wiring sucks.
Got them for $550 each plus the shipping. I watched the videos and did not want to do the retrofit baking thing. I also had amber turn signal which I didn’t want as well.
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Old 06-25-2021, 11:14 AM   #16
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Litronics are not really "plug and play."

A 986 with Litronics as standard equipment also was fitted with automatic headlight leveling as required by law and your car won't have the level sensor or the wiring to the headlight unit to move the beam as required.

The HID "bulb" in Litronics is used for both low and high beam. The internal motor tilts the projector up for high beam.

Since HID burners are slow to come to full brightness, an auxiliary H7 high beam is also provided. It's halogen so it can be used for flashers as well. You will note that with main headlight switch off, the H7 flasher will work and the HID in the projector doesn't when using flasher lever. This means different circuits for high beam action, not needed with standard halogen light units.

Not as relevant ... cars with HID lighting are required by German law to have standard headlight washing fitted as well.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:18 PM   #17
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Hi Kevin.

Problem solved! I changed the fuses to 15A and they worked! Thanks for all your help.

One issue though is that if the car is not on the left driver side headlight will turn off after like 30 seconds. If the car is on they don’t seem to turn off.
Great - I'm surprised that the information about the fuse popped into my mind. I'm glad it saved you the expense of buying new ballasts - especially since that wouldn't have solved the problem.

Regarding the headlight not staying on - I suggest that you check your battery and measure the voltage it is putting out when the car is off. Based on the information you provided about your test with the external power source, its possible that your particular set of litronics need close to 14 volts to power up and remain on. When the car is running the electrical system is generating over 14 volts. When the car is off, the battery is probably putting out around 12.4 volts.

Remember the parts came from a car that was manufactured somewhere between the end of 1998 and the middle of 2004. Your lights could be over 20 years old. I don't fully understand how the ballasts work, but they may require more power as they age.

Good luck and enjoy your new lights.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:31 PM   #18
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Litronics are not really "plug and play."

A 986 with Litronics as standard equipment also was fitted with automatic headlight leveling as required by law and your car won't have the level sensor or the wiring to the headlight unit to move the beam as required.

The HID "bulb" in Litronics is used for both low and high beam. The internal motor tilts the projector up for high beam.

Since HID burners are slow to come to full brightness, an auxiliary H7 high beam is also provided. It's halogen so it can be used for flashers as well. You will note that with main headlight switch off, the H7 flasher will work and the HID in the projector doesn't when using flasher lever. This means different circuits for high beam action, not needed with standard halogen light units.

Not as relevant ... cars with HID lighting are required by German law to have standard headlight washing fitted as well.
I added the the tilt function and the dynamic self-leveling capability. The document I created with the instructions is too large to upload on this forum, but if anyone is interested, send me a PM with your email address and I will respond with the instructions. The instructions include information on the headlight washers, but I decided not to install them on my car due to the expense.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:02 AM   #19
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Glad to hear it appears you fixed the issue with a simple fuse...you must be relieved.

Post up a pic of your updated lights!

And ya, baking in the oven scared the hell out of me, but it worked like a charm. Really it was the toughest obstacle...the fear of melting your lights to a useless blob of plastic is pretty daunting.

Not for everyone, that's for sure.



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