how do i know if my HID ballast is bad?

When it comes to hid ballasts, there is a lot of misinformation out there. First off, let’s get one thing clear: you can’t just look at your ballast and see if it’s bad. In fact, most people don’t even know what the parts inside their ballast do! But that doesn’t mean you have to keep guessing about whether or not your ballast needs replaced – we’re here to help!

What is HID Ballast?

A headlight ballast is a component of your light system that controls the intensity of both bulbs and power. The ballast is there to convert the voltage to the appropriate levels and provide a constant flow of power to get your lights up and running.

There are two types: regular ballast, which is the most common type; and intelligent (or digital) ballast, which has some additional features that can make it worth considering.

Signs of Ballast Failure

When experiencing a lighting problem, the root cause could be your ballast. Here are the signs of ballast failure:

  • Dimmed headlights
  • Headlights buzzing
  • Headlights flickering
  • Headlights changed color.

The ballast is one of the most important components in your system and should be checked regularly for malfunctions. If you are experiencing any of these problems, it’s time to get a new headlight ballast.

Common Causes of Ballast Failure

Abuse and misuse of the ballast.

Excessive and/or extended use of high beam headlights.

Corrosion from moisture, such as saltwater or rainwater accumulation on your car can trigger corrosion in the circuit board which will cause it to fail prematurely.

Electrical interference

If there is no indication of light, it is most likely a bad HID ballast or ignition. If the ballast fails, the reason may be electrical, so it’s always a good idea to have it checked out. This is a common problem for all ballasts and may require a new ballast, a different fuse, or ballast wires.

Exposure to water or moisture.

It is not uncommon for ballasts to fail in cold weather. The ballasts were designed to work in low temperatures but can overheat in warm weather. Overheating causes the ballasts to go off. Check for leaks around the ballast. These may be the cause of your failure. If you notice any signs of moisture, leaky fuses, or similar things, this may be a sign that your ballasts have failed.

If your ballast is not operating correctly, you are at risk for an emergency vehicle stop (or a warning of an impending one). If the situation worsens, it could result in a collision that results in serious injury. Your safety should always be your number one.

When to Replace Your Ballast?

Different ballasts have different failure rates, but it’s a good idea to replace your old one every five years. If you’re experiencing any of the signs listed above – or intermittent flickering lights despite replacing bulbs and checking connections – then it might be time for an upgrade!


#1 How do I reset my HID ballast?

In order to reset HID ballast, you would need to disconnect the battery and reconnect it. This should reset the electronics in your system.

#2 How long do HID ballasts last?

HID ballasts can last up to five years. We recommend replacing your ballast every five years to prevent any intermittent flickering lights or safety hazards that could result in serious injury

#3 What is better HID 35W or 55W?

Different HID bulb wattages have different purposes. HID 35W bulbs are better for general lighting and they can run at low temperatures. Whereas, HID 55W is recommended in situations such as high-speed driving or sharp turns and HID 55W bulbs can suffer the heat better.

However, due to overheating endurance, HID 55W bulbs have a shorter lifespan.

Final Words

If you’re an HID headlight bulb user, then understanding HID ballast is crucial as it’s part of the lighting system. Get an insight into the causes and the signs of a bad ballast will help you prevent problems arisen on the road.