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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, first post here.

Quick question. I have a 2013 Nissan Altima. When I bought it it had all the bells and whistles. The other day I noticed a headlight was out, and the manual at the store said I needed h11 type bulbs for the low beam. I went under the splash guards by the tires to change out the bulb, and I couldn't even find them to put them in. It looks different than the how-to videos on youtube. Don't have any problems with my other vehicles. Took it into a mechanic today and he says I have the kind that need a ballast. Is he referring to HID type lights? I didn't even know I had those. I looked online and apparently some 2013's actually do have those kind of lights. Even though I heard they don't make those kind anymore and they LEDs or halogens now. Even though only one is out, should I have both low beams replaced? Should the ballast be changed as well, or does it automatically come with the new headlights? I don't need anything sophisticated, just OEM type replacements. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance. I look forward to talking with you all!
 

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With HID's, the ballasts and igniters fail almost as frequently as the bulbs do, so before you buy anything, try swapping the bulbs side to side. If the outage moves then the bulb is bad, if it doesn't then the ballast or igniter is bad (the igniter is the metal-clad wire between the ballast and bulb). If you find the bulb isn't the issue, I recommend buying a ballast that comes with an igniter. The only good way to test is to swap the ballasts, but that's a complete PITA because they're screwed to the bottoms of the headlight assemblies and the washer tank is in the way on the righthand side. The bulbs are much easier to get at, just partially pull back the wheel-well liners and they're right there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Holy moly, sounds like a pain in the butt. Thanks up for the heads up though. If I had someone at a local shop do it, what should I tell them to do? Replace headlights/Ballast/ignitors? I want to make sure the lights look the same on both sides.

Also, we pulled back the wheel well splash protector, and didn't see any bulbs or wire connections to the bulbs like they show in the videos for what I guess are standard halogens.. There was a grey cap type cover on the headlight assembly but it looked like it was behind the bright lights. Still know wires attaching to it. Just looked like an access area.
 

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There should be an access cap, but there won't be any external wires like with halogen. The igniter routes from the ballast to the bulb on the inside, that's why they're such a PITA to check. So the igniter will be under the access cap and won't be visible with the cap in place. The external wires from the car harness route underneath the headlight assembly to reach the ballast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again. I am just too busy right now to do this myself. Even though it might be interesting. What would be a fair price to have a mechanic change both bulbs for OEM type assuming the igniters and ballasts are ok?

Thanks again!

BTW, used to own a crimson VStar 1100 Custom. Loved it. Would have kept it but someone in a car in LA on the 405 decided they wanted to be in my lane more than I did. The Laws of Physics being what they are, I made an unplanned dismount at a high rate of speed. I made it out ok, sort of, but Rosita bit the big one.
 

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Thanks again. I am just too busy right now to do this myself. Even though it might be interesting. What would be a fair price to have a mechanic change both bulbs for OEM type assuming the igniters and ballasts are ok?
You're most welcome. About 1~1.5 hours is fair, depending how much trouble the spring latches on the bulbs cause. Sometimes they zip right out-and-in, sometimes they're total PITA's.

BTW, used to own a crimson VStar 1100 Custom. Loved it. Would have kept it but someone in a car in LA on the 405 decided they wanted to be in my lane more than I did. The Laws of Physics being what they are, I made an unplanned dismount at a high rate of speed. I made it out ok, sort of, but Rosita bit the big one.
Mine got stolen, I'm on a Kawi Vulcan now but I still use the moniker. The joke is on the guys who stole it, it had just rolled over the odo and I'm quite sure the thieves thought it had 16K and not 116K. Air cooled, so I was just waiting patiently for a piston to give up. Whoever got that engine was in for a big surprise!
 

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I think they have LED kits for those HID lights. I would just replace it to LED knowing the issue of blinding others on the road :cool:
The people I know who have tried replacing D2S's with LED's have had crappy results, they didn't focus right. There might be some better aftermarket subs emerging that I don't know about, but I already converted one of my customers to halogen housings with H11 LED's and he was much happier. A gen5 headlight set can be had for under $200 on eBay or Amazon, and a good set of LED H11's like Diode Dynamics SL1's or GTR Lighting Ultra 2's will set you back another $150~200. So for under $400 you can have a smile and plenty of light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vstar, are saying we should stick with the HID lights that came with the Car, or switch to H11? At this point I don't really wan to convert, just get it up and running good with minimal investment. Already dropped a bundle on tinting, ceramic coatings, replacing the transmission shifter, $1500 for an AC overhaul etc. etc.. I'm hoping I can get it fixed by a local guy. I have zero time or desire to crawl under the vehicle with the 106 degree heat outside now.
 

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So are saying we should stick with the HID lights that came with the Car, or switch to H11? At this point I don't really wan to convert, just get it up and running good with minimal investment. Already dropped a bundle on tinting, ceramic coatings, replacing the transmission shifter, $1500 for an AC overhaul etc. etc.. I'm hoping I can get it fixed by a local guy. I have zero time or desire to crawl under the vehicle with the 106 degree heat outside now.
Then I'd stick with the HID's if the problem is just a bulb. Pay the guy to do a proper diagnosis by swapping them, and if the bulb is bad just replace it. If you're getting into ballasts or igniters then I'd say consider biting the bullet and swapping for halogen housings. If there are budget constraints, leave the halogen bulbs in for now and upgrade to LED's down the road.
 

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Hello, first post here.

Quick question. I have a 2013 Nissan Altima. When I bought it it had all the bells and whistles. The other day I noticed a headlight was out, and the manual at the store said I needed h11 type bulbs for the low beam. I went under the splash guards by the tires to change out the bulb, and I couldn't even find them to put them in. It looks different than the how-to videos on youtube. Don't have any problems with my other vehicles. Took it into a mechanic today and he says I have the kind that need a ballast. Is he referring to HID type lights? I didn't even know I had those. I looked online and apparently some 2013's actually do have those kind of lights. Even though I heard they don't make those kind anymore and they LEDs or halogens now. Even though only one is out, should I have both low beams replaced? Should the ballast be changed as well, or does it automatically come with the new headlights? I don't need anything sophisticated, just OEM type replacements. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance. I look forward to talking with you all!
Whatever you do, don't go to a dealer. They wanted to charge me $856. I bought a kit with two bulbs and a ballast for $20.00 on eBay. The ballast rests on the bottom of the headlight assembly on my 2007 Altima 3.5 SE.
 
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