Honda Element Owners Club banner
41 - 51 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
The only problem I see, which you alluded to about bulb brightness, is that 8V will likely still power the halogen bulb. It will obviously be lit at a dimmer level than it should be. Whether that difference is visible may depend on when/where it is checked. It also could be that the HID ballast won't run on 8v, but is otherwise working fine. I was/am assuming the HID system was out of the circuit once he unplugged the H4 to check voltages.
@Ed, yes I agree about bulb brightness. I had originally asked TJ to buy 2 bulbs so that he could compare L/R. Although comparing both sides would only assess the two separate power feeds, since the grounds are partially shared - high resistance ground could be a problem, but then he is also doing multimeter measurements,

Batt (-) to R/Y (low beams): 17.0 mV
Batt (+) to R/Y (low beams): 12.25 V

Batt (-) to R/Y (high beams): 0.746 V
Batt (+) to R/Y (high beams): 0.669 V
With those measurements, I’d say you have a broken R/Y wire on the first 3 that fixed itself on the last measurement. Alternatively, you could have made Measurements with the headlights turned off for the first 3 and then turned them in for the last one.

I hope you’re starting to understand what you’re trying to do with the multimeter. You should also consider buying yourself a normal test light or consider getting a power probe. Google “test light” and “power probe” On YouTube sometime and you’ll see how those tools will make automotive electrical diagnosis a lot faster and less confusing than a multimeter. You might also consider looking up “dual impedance multimeter” and how that can get rid of the false multimeter readings such as ghost voltages.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element AWD EX 4AT "Galapagos Green Metallic"
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
@Ed, yes I agree about bulb brightness. I had originally asked TJ to buy 2 bulbs so that he could compare L/R. Although comparing both sides would only assess the two separate power feeds, since the grounds are partially shared - high resistance ground could be a problem, but then he is also doing multimeter measurements,



With those measurements, I’d say you have a broken R/Y wire on the first 3 that fixed itself on the last measurement. Alternatively, you could have made Measurements with the headlights turned off for the first 3 and then turned them in for the last one.

I hope you’re starting to understand what you’re trying to do with the multimeter. You should also consider buying yourself a normal test light or consider getting a power probe. Google “test light” and “power probe” On YouTube sometime and you’ll see how those tools will make automotive electrical diagnosis a lot faster and less confusing than a multimeter. You might also consider looking up “dual impedance multimeter” and how that can get read of the false multimeter readings such as ghost voltages.
I definitely need a Power Probe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Why dont you just have DDM send you an advanced replacement? I bought from DDM back in 2008 and a bulb finally burned out recently. They gave me some options in getting it replaced. Here's what I'm talking about:
2) Advance replacement procedure. With this procedure you will be required to pay for the replacement part to be sent to you. You will have a 30-day window to process the return on the defective component to receive a refund for the part. Please note the shipping fees are not refundable for the advance replacement orders.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element AWD EX 4AT "Galapagos Green Metallic"
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Why dont you just have DDM send you an advanced replacement? I bought from DDM back in 2008 and a bulb finally burned out recently. They gave me some options in getting it replaced. Here's what I'm talking about:
2) Advance replacement procedure. With this procedure you will be required to pay for the replacement part to be sent to you. You will have a 30-day window to process the return on the defective component to receive a refund for the part. Please note the shipping fees are not refundable for the advance replacement orders.
That option wasn't given to me and I didn't think to ask. I did consider buying new bulbs, ballasts, and relays from them but I thought that, as long as I was buying new components, I would try out the big names: Morimoto XB35 2.0 ballasts, Philips XV2 bulbs, and a sealed dual relay setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
That option wasn't given to me and I didn't think to ask. I did consider buying new bulbs, ballasts, and relays from them but I thought that, as long as I was buying new components, I would try out the big names: Morimoto XB35 2.0 ballasts, Philips XV2 bulbs, and a sealed dual relay setup.
their service is pretty good. They handled my replacement and I paid a small surcharge to upgrade my 2008 lights with something more modern. I used my old ballasts and picked up a new harness from them. If you originally bought the kit with the lifetime warranty, I'm sure they can handle it.

Here's the full list of options they gave me. Perhaps ask for one of these?

*
For HID kits components warranty, we offer five different warranty procedures:

1) Standard warranty procedure. We will send you the RMA instructions, which you can follow to send in the original defective component. After we receive it, we will test it and replace any defective parts. You will be responsible for the shipping to us, however the replacement part is free and we will cover the return shipping back to you. (Please keep in mind; our warranty does not cover physical damage, modifications, or water damage)

2) Advance replacement procedure. With this procedure you will be required to pay for the replacement part to be sent to you. You will have a 30-day window to process the return on the defective component to receive a refund for the part. Please note the shipping fees are not refundable for the advance replacement orders.

3) Upgrade to Ultra component procedure. Instead of sending in the defective component, you can simply cut the wire from the original defective part (physically damage it) and send us an image. Then pay for an upgrade fee for the part ($15/pr for Ultra bulbs; $15/pc for Ultra ballast). We will still cover the replacement part shipping fee, and send you the Ultra part directly.

4) Upgrade to a whole new Ultra kit procedure. With this option your current kit will qualify you for a partial credit towards the upgraded kits cost. We offer both standard upgrade replacement kit and advance upgrade replacement kit. We will cover the Upgrade kit shipping fee as an added bonus!

5)Upgrade to a whole new Saber ProX 55W Accu/V2 LED headlight Kit. With this option your current kit will qualify you for a partial credit towards the upgraded kits cost. We offer both standard upgrade replacement kit and advance upgrade replacement kit. We will cover the Upgrade kit shipping fee as an added bonus!
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element AWD EX 4AT "Galapagos Green Metallic"
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I wonder how good those Saber LEDs are compared to HIDs. They claim 12,500 lumens per pair. I'm going to guess that's inflated but, as someone who has trouble seeing at night, the claim is certainly intriguing.

Are LEDs safe to use in projector housings meant for HIDs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I thought I'd do a voltage measurement on my Element's headlights to see what values I got. With my battery at 12.06 volts, and 11.7V with lights on, I measured 11.7V for the low beam, and 11.7V for the high beam. I forgot to measure the resistance. I would say that if your voltage at the headlight terminal between RED/YEL and RED/WHT is not the same as the voltage at your battery, then there might be something causing resistance somewhere down the line. I'll update you with the resistance measurement later if I can get around to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Update with Ohm readings. I did this on the passenger side(right) headlight. From the headlight connector RED to battery positive: 9.6 Ohms. From headlight connector RED/WHT(low beam) to battery negative: 9.8 Ohms. Obviously the headlight switch needs to be in the ON position. If you're looking into the headlight connector from the front(not the wire side) with the middle terminal on top, the terminal on the right is the positive(driver side RED/YEL, Passenger RED), top terminal is low beam ground(RED/WHT), and left is high beam(RED/BLU).

Don't know if this will help you or not, but I figured I'd post them in case someone is looking for them some day.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element AWD EX 4AT "Galapagos Green Metallic"
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
Hmmm. All this time I was thinking the middle slot (red/yellow) was common positive.

The new relay harness and bulbs arrived from The Retrofit Source yesterday. However, I didn't have my channel lock pliers with me to undo the large lock nut holding the bulbs AND I feel like maybe this relay harness isn't the right kind, even though it's supposed to be for H4 systems. On top of that, the day I took off work to drive 3 hours to Murfreesboro to dig around at 3 different salvage yards for bumpers and other chassis parts was a total bust. For those just tuning in, I was in a wreck back in April, not at fault, and insurance has been dragging this out the whole time. I got tired of just sitting around so I decided to start fixing my car myself.

Last night, I kept thinking more and more about what @AWD was saying about the alternator. I noticed my gauge cluster isn't as bright as it used to be. But then again, both my cluster and HVAC lights are doing that awful flicker/not always lighting until you hit the dash thing. But they're also dimmer. Also also, they're both LED swaps.

Tomorrow, I plan on dropping by Advance Auto (my go-to, but also where I got my battery back in 2018). to have them test my battery and alternator
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Red/yellow is common positive on the driver side, but it's not the middle terminal. That would make too much sense. See photo.

As for the alternator, If you've got 14+ volts at the battery when the engine is running, then it should be perfectly fine. You can turn on all the high-load electronics and measure too. Voltage should not drop too far from the 14+ volts if the alternator works properly, I would assume, no matter how many things you've got turned on. Although, if you have high-current accessories circumventing the ELD(e.g. connected directly to the battery), then possibly you could see a voltage drop since the computer does not see any load that doesn't pass through the ELD. Not sure. Never tested that theory.

And, the common instrument lights flicker is an easy fix even with poor soldering skill. I would recommend you do that. Easy fix to not have to deal with poor instrument lighting. Might even be brighter after you fix that connection.

Product Motor vehicle Font Auto part Engineering
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element AWD EX 4AT "Galapagos Green Metallic"
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Summary: The DDM bulbs work. Passenger side ballast works. Driver side ballast smoked. Didn't test MotoControl relay (unsure how).
=====

I finally had the time and opportunity to do a simpler test that would yield better, more direct results: Connect the ballast and bulb directly to a 12V battery.

In this case, I used the secondary/coach battery that my rooftop solar panels charge. It measures a healthy 12.94V. Using a pair of alligator leads, I checked each ballast and bulb, swapping each between the passenger and driver side. In the end, both bulbs worked but only one ballast. The driver side ballast "clicked" and then emitted magic smoke when connected, so it's definitely toast. I recorded most of the testing as part of my YouTube vlog which I try to update regularly. Sadly, I wasn't recording when I got smoke from the ballast. Later today, I'll be able to edit the videos and stitch them all together for uploading.

Now I'm stumped. Why would the passenger side ballast and both bulbs work in that ballast during testing but not when in the car? This makes me wonder about the MotoControl relay harness and question whether the driver side ballast was always dead or if I somehow killed it during testing.

So knowing that the bulbs work, I may return the Philips XV2s. I mean... That's $180. Then again, I definitely want more light output than what I have been getting since I don't see well at night. Part of me is thinking about ditching HIDs and switching to LED since they're plug & play... right? I understand LEDs are not legal but I think that's only when used in reflector housings, not projectors. Anyone know the fine print on this?

Electrical wiring Gadget Gas Cable Audio equipment
 
41 - 51 of 51 Posts
Top