Do you often buy a new ballast for your car? Do you have an old one that you want to know if it still works? Do you want to save money on your ballasts that can still be repaired or reset?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this step-by-step tutorial on how to test HID ballast is for you. I will teach you how to check your old ballasts and see if you can reset or repair them instead of replacing them with a new one. Doing these five simple steps will save you money and extend the life of your ballasts.
Tools You Need
To test your HID ballast, you will need the following tools:
- Multimeter for measuring voltage
- Latex or rubber gloves to prevent skin oil from damaging the HID bulb
- Extra wires for replacing damaged wires
- Ballast repair kit
- Soldering iron and lead for fixing loose connections
You can use either an analog or a digital multimeter, but I prefer the latter because it’s easier to use and is much more accurate.
Before starting, always be aware of your safety. Make sure that your lighting system is switched off and unplugged before working.
Step 1 – Change the HID Lamps
To make sure that your ballast is the problem, try to change the lamp first. When changing lights, make sure that you use latex or rubber gloves to prevent skin oil from contaminating its surface. The HID lamps may get damaged or have their lifespan lowered if you directly touch them.
If you’ve changed your bulbs and the HID light still does not work, proceed to step 2.
Step 2 – Check the Voltage of the Ballast
Check the voltage and ampere rating of your ballast to see if it is within the standard range. Use your multimeter and make sure it has the correct setting to detect the desired values properly.
If you are not familiar with multimeters, you can watch this tutorial by Ratchets and Wrenches to get acquainted.
Step 3 – Check the Wires
The ballast wiring varies depending on its brand. Check the power supply and ground to your ballast; see if there are loose connections and if they are in good condition. If you see any damaged or broken cabling, repair or replace it.
Step 4 – Change the Solenoids
The solenoids are also often the point of failure in vehicle HID lights. A solenoid is a device made up of a coil, housing, and a moveable plunger. The presence of power leads to the formation of a magnetic field surrounding the coil. This field pulls the plunger towards the coil.
If the solenoids in your HID system are damaged, these might prevent your lamps from turning on.
Step 5 – Solder the Connections
The most common problem of an HID ballast is the connection to the terminal. The heat of HID lamps sometimes causes the soldiers to melt. You can reconnect them using a soldering iron and a soldering wire. Make sure that you do it correctly and that there is excellent and robust contact.
Step 6 – Purchase a New HID Ballast Kit
The five previous steps should fix most HID ballast problems. If you’re still having issues, you can consider replacing your ballast with a new one. To help you find a replacement for your solenoids, I have an article about the most favorite HID Ballast in the market for your vehicles. However, ensure that your new HID ballasts have the exact specification as your old ones.
Whenever your HID lamps fail, don’t replace your ballasts immediately. Go through these five steps first to see if you can reset or repair them. Doing this will save you time and money most of the time. It’s good to know these basic steps on How to test HID Ballast, so you can check these items first if you’re doing troubleshooting.
However, if you need to buy a new HID ballast, check out my reviews on the top-rated HID ballasts I’ve used before. Furthermore, I also have a list of reliable digital ballasts for your reference. These are the best items that I’ve worked with, and I know they will last on most regular use.