8th Generation Honda Civic Forum banner

1 - 20 of 78 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i have the klight kit from ebay..and its definately drawing more power than normal, car rumbles when i use rear defroster and whatnot. is anyone experiencing the same problem with power usage on their hid pnp kits? it would be great if i can get around this issue... maybe upgrading my battery to optima? a better alternator? this is my first car and im learning as i go.. please help. honda is useless =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
I think typical steady state for halogens is at 55W where typical HIDs run at 35W. But when the HIDs are ignited they need a HUGE voltage to excite the xenon gas. So at startup they take a lot - but I think it's ramped up using the ballast but in less than one second it maintains at 35W. If it's taking too much power, one test you can try is, go on a slight incline and shift into 1st, then just creep up. Typically w/ halogen the lights will start to flicker or go dimmer. The HIDs are either on or pretty much off, so try that. If they flick off, then maybe they are drawing too much power.

My HIDs are taking much less. The only time I can notice them is when I startup the car and when I flick them on, I hear a light crackling sound. I don't know what it is and I don't really care. haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,426 Posts
Its also a question of you are using a relay harness or not. A relay harness like the ones in our kit power the ballasts from the battery. Some kits dont include a relay harness and get you to power the ballast directly from the OEM headlight harness (not designed for it).

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
XD if the HID's use less power than the OEM lights, then why cant the stock connecter be used to power the HID's. Why do we need to use the relay? Would the voltage from the battery over-power the ballasts?

:popcorn:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
caveman74 said:
HID at startup pulls close to 20 AMPS. It puts stress on the stock harness.
Not true. HID ballasts draw less than 10 amps at startup and 4-6 amps in a steady state. If the ballasts were really drawing 20 amps then the 10 amp leg fuse on each ballast would open.

The stock headlamp wiring on the Civic is the same for both HID and Halogen lamps for all markets. The stock lighting harness is more than capable of handling the HID retrofit with no problems.

While there is nothing wrong in installing a direct battery connection for your HID setup, there is absolutely nothing to be gained. The notion that HID lamps can damage a wiring harness is urban legend, and is in the same league as the idea that your oil should be changed every 3000 miles. In fact, improperly installed relay harness have been know to cause more problems than they solve. Usually these setups have only a single fuse link, and it is a 20 amp or more one. An unintentional short to ground will cause all sorts of havoc, before the fuse opens. I have even seen engine fires started because of incorrectly installed harnesses.

But don't just take my word for it, here is a quick little test that will show you that this is unfounded paranoia. Simply place an ampmeter inline with your HID lamps, turn on your lights, and see for yourself.

As to the original posters concerns, the condition that he states is typical for almost any car. With headlights, rear defroster, (probably heater fan on, etc.) the car's alternator is probably supplying current at close to its capacity, and is causing the drag on the engine (remember an alternator is in effect a big electromagnet, and the more current that it is called on to provide, the harder it is to turn). Turn off the defroster and heater motor and the drag will go away. You also did not mention if you have added another radio or amplifer. All of this stuff adds up, and will make your electrical system work harder. It has nothing to do with the HID units.

These extreme electrical demand situations are why some cars like police, and emergency vehicles have larger than stock alternators. They need to provide more supply for the higher current draw.

The one bright side (no pun intended) with HID lamps is that in a steady state, they draw less current then the halogen lamps they replace, so your electrical system is not taxed as much as it could be.

My advice is not to worry, the condition you describe is normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
My Philips 4300 bulb / ballast set came with two harnesses from XenonDepot
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,384 Posts
I have seen a VIDEO of HID starting up. It pulls a bunch of AMPS. I am not passing misinformation. If it was so safe for your stock harness, then why do the sell relay harnesses?

The 20AMP I said was too much, But I thought it was a bunch from the video

Looking at the stock wiring on my Civic, i'd say the headlight wires are 20ga tops. 20ga wire has a current limit of 11A. the stock halogen will pull 4.6A for low beams and 5A for high beams. while this is fine for halogen, you throw some HID ballasts that can pull in excess of 10-12A during startup, and you're risking burning up your wires. why risk it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
caveman74 said:
I have seen a VIDEO of HID starting up. It pulls a bunch of AMPS. I am not passing misinformation. If it was so safe for your stock harness, then why do the sell relay harnesses?

The 20AMP I said was too much, But I thought it was a bunch from the video

Looking at the stock wiring on my Civic, i'd say the headlight wires are 20ga tops. 20ga wire has a current limit of 11A. the stock halogen will pull 4.6A for low beams and 5A for high beams. while this is fine for halogen, you throw some HID ballasts that can pull in excess of 10-12A during startup, and you're risking burning up your wires. why risk it?
The relay harnesses that are available with the HID retrofit kits are generic ones, that can be used on any car. Older cars that were pre-HID are the target market for these harnesses. In just about every car manufactured after 2001, the lighting wiring is the same for HID and non-HID cars. This is because it is easier and cheaper for a manufacturer to only have one lighting harness for a given model.

The Civic lighting wiring is 18 gauge and is the same gauge as the wiring on the retrofit kits between the ballast and the lamps. Further, the design of Ballasts that are in use today (both the Asian and European types) were designed with current automobile wiring schemas in mind. The design parameters for these devices know that they need to draw less than 10 amps at startup, simply because that is the wiring environment that they will be placed into service in. In addition, no manufacturer would expose themselves to the liability of offering a product that could damage a car's wiring through normal operation. The lawyers simply would not allow it.

Caveman74, I would strongly suggest that you test the startup current draw on a typical ballast with an amp meter to see for yourself. If you use fact rather than speculation for your basis of concern, you will see that while it is a valid concern, it is unfounded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,806 Posts
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
About this Discussion
77 Replies
19 Participants
striker_1818
8th Generation Honda Civic Forum
We’re a community for 8th Gen 2006 - 2011 Civic owners to discuss performance mods, body kits, Si models, turbo kits and accessories. Come Join the club!
Full Forum Listing
Top