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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, my 2011 Elantra & the water heater reside at home within a few feet of each other…AND…they both gave up on me the same night. So, I suppose I could’ve posted this on the “…in and around my Elantra” thread.

Wednesday night was eventful for stuff breaking. Since I fix things for a living, I despise having to fix my own stuff when I get home. I break out in a cold sweat if I see a screwdriver on my day off. But since I fix most anything, it's inevitable. That's why I prefer anything maintenance FREE!

So on Wednesday night, my daughter had to lead me home in her car when I got off at 11:30 since my Elantra was no longer road-worthy. When I GOT home, I then discovered that I had a flood of water covering the garage floor from my water heater. I finally got around to fixing both problems today.

The water heater was familiar territory for me. I can do that blindfolded. I replaced my twenty-two year old 40 gl gas heater with a scratch ‘n dent 240v electric equivalent. Not too bad for 150 bucks. Just need to get me an old fashioned “pie-pan” (or something suitable) to cover the former water heater’s flue vent to the outside to finish my work. I stuck a towel in it in the meantime. Also gotta terminate the gas line as a drop leg.
My electric service panel was conveniently “right there” and already had a 30a breaker marked WATER HEATER that hadn‘t been used in…well, twenty-two years. The electric water heater was F-A-R cheaper than another gas unit, so this worked out well for me. Natural gas USED to be cheap to run, but I'm not seeing that now.
By the way, twenty-two years is an exceptional service life for that previous water heater. They don't make them like that anymore.



The HEADLIGHTS on my Elantra?

Well, when I’d purchased this 2011 Elantra on the 1st of August, I discovered it had been converted by its former owner to ALL HIDs up front (low, high & fog…which was a bad idea).

It was all good while it lasted…for seven weeks. I DID enjoy the GREAT visibility the HIDs provide, which was far superior to any vehicle I‘'ve ever had. Yet, I was concerned about any maintenance - obviously with the question as to where I could get parts to repair a failed headlight.
After doing some research, I was then reluctant to keep the HIDs in there at all. It appears that replacement parts (bulbs, ballast) have to come from Japan, based on the brand of HIDs I had. So it wouldn’t be as simple as merely dropping by the nearest auto parts store for a new bulb. Plus, once one eventually DID go out, I would’ve had to do some troubleshooting first by doing some bulb swapping between left & right sides just to determine…is it the bulb <OR> is it the ballast that failed?
Too much was going on here just to make headlights - LIGHT UP. I simply need a good, reliable, economical means of transportation each day. The Elantra IS that…except for the modification that wasn‘t.

Did you notice the “past tense” - it WAS, enjoyed, hadn’t, appeared, had, couldn’t, wasn’t?

HERE'S WHERE THEY WENT -
On Wednesday night while at work, I decided on some fast food for lunch. I was driving to my destination when I got - the HID FLICKER! Now, this wasn’t your ordinary flicker that everyone puts on Youtube and says to resolve by adding an ANTI-flicker capacitor. Both low beams were seriously “strobing” in a way which was so serious that they’d rapidly fluctuate going OUT, then flash on for a fraction of a second, then out, then on again, etc., etc. in a random rate NOT in a way like, say, a police car’s emergency lights. They were fluttering on and off intermittently.

It was horrendous! I’d never seen lights on a car do such a thing! At this point I was gravely concerned, so I turned around and was trying to get back to my work's parking lot when the lights went out completely and stayed out! So I had to get off the road quickly (and in the dark) by veering into the next available parking lot. When I stopped, I fiddled around by trying the high beams and the fog lamps, but they wouldn’t work either. So I just turned them off altogether. I let them rest for about ten minutes and then turned them on again. Thankfully they stayed on long enough to get me back to work.

Oh…I didn’t make it anywhere to get any lunch.

I work at night. I had to call my daughter after this happened so she could meet me when I got off at 11:30pm. She led the way for the eighteen mile drive home. I stayed right behind her. I tried to be “normal” on that drive home by running with headlights, but the flicker set in again within just a few miles. I gave in and just turned the headlights off altogether. We drove most of the way with me on her tail at a slow speed with our emergency flashers on.
I subsequently drove my gas-hog Golden Charriot (Silverado) to work for the next three nights.

I was off today, so after I installed my new water heater (1st priority), I turned to replacing the car’s headlights.

Six ballasts, six relays, a mess of wires and plugs…and the two low beam HIDs got taken out. What an amazing the amount of wiring I tore out of it just so I could go “old fashioned” again by installing two simple Sylvania Silverstar H11 bulbs. I didn’t purchase any “regular” high beam or fog bulbs yet, so I just left the HIDs bulbs in there, disconnected, to keep the holes in the lamp fixtures plugged up to keep out moisture.

Car with the HIDs before they quit:




The dissection to remove the HIDs:




The mess afterwards:




The OH-SO simple replacements:

 

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I like the detail in this, explains alot... sorry to hear about your trouble but my guess is check a fuse off the power wire or look for common ground (common denominator) between all 6 of them that could of gone bad sense they would not of just all went out perfectly at the same time.... they are usually known to last a decent time frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the detail in this, explains alot... sorry to hear about your trouble but my guess is check a fuse off the power wire or look for common ground (common denominator) between all 6 of them that could of gone bad sense they would not of just all went out perfectly at the same time.... they are usually known to last a decent time frame.
Yes, given the "all around" failure, I first checked the HID lighting system's dedicated battery connections and fuses. All other connections (seemed like DOZENS of them) were imbedded under the lamp fixtures - ESPECIALLY on the driver's side.

The passenger's side grounds were tight & clean. Packed under the driver's headlamp was a horrid mess of wires, relays & plugs. From my visual inspection there, the ground on the driver's side could've been the culprit. The nut securing it was factory painted, so that could've been a vague ground connection.

Troubleshooting was a moot point though. I'd already decided to return to stock when problems arise. I just didn't expect I'd be doing that so soon.

Once I get everything back to "stock", if there are any issues THEN, I can have a dealership deal with it under warranty.

Something really disturbed me when I had the HID wire harnesses all yanked out. The mounting for a run of the OEM wire harness had been altered by the installer to facilitate mounting the three-stacked HID ballasts. He had taken the OEM harness loose from its assigned metal bracket and had looped it BEHIND that metal bracket. Consequently, I inspected and found that the sharp edge of the bracket was just starting to cut through the harnesses' outer wrapping. It's superficial at this point, since there was no penetration of wire insulation. However, given more time and vehicle vibration, the bracket could've "sawed" its way through to the wires and caused a short to ground. :eek:

Something else disturbs me. The hi beam bulb wire terminations appear to have been altered. I expected to find a "factory" plug of some sort there, but all I see are crimp-on wire terminals of the type that I use everyday in my job. :mad: I'll know more on what to do about this when I purchase the hi-beam bulbs.

So how do the simple replacement bulbs compare to the HID???
Satisfactory. They don't "reach out" to touch all the road signs like the HIDs did. Yet, I was used to normal bulbs anyway, since that's what my truck has.

After that episode the other night, my "normal" headlights are comforting to me - thus warding off any potential for PTSD when I turn on my headlights...:D

I now noticed there's a somewhat defined cut-off point at the top of the headlight beam. A definite line separating darkness and light.
With modern, dynamically designed headlamp fixtures, this is more and more common on new cars nowadays. My '06 Azera had that issue BAD, and was a commonly discussed source of concern.
The Elantra's headlight beam "cut-off" isn't nearly as bad.
 

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I do not see projectors on that first pic. DId they just replace the bulb (and associated wiring) and keep the OEM North American housing? That might explain why "all the signs light up" down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Nope. No projector lenses. If the factory fixture just has the little shroud covering the bulb, then that's what I have.

Tonight while at work, I was thinking over the reason why my high beam lighting wires were tampered with by the HID installer. I'd read elsewhere that if the high beams are converted to HIDs, then the DRLs must be disabled. Obviously the reason is because the HIDs won't work properly when powered by the lower DRL voltage input.
I'll have to take a really close study at the wiring coming into the fixture, and then the wiring inside the lamp. A wiring diagram may be needed. I'll know for sure later when I apply myself to the project.
Hopefully the worst I can expect is that I can merely get me some high beams going (once I buy the bulbs) without the DRL feature functioning. However, I want it all back to stock again - including the DRLs.

On a good note, my drive tonight with "normal" headlights was completely uneventful...and sufficiently illuminated, even in the rain. This includes the same lunch trip for fast food I'd taken on the evening the HIDs went bonkers on me. I did that intentionally to try to erase....erase.

It's been nearly twenty years since I've owned a vehicle that stressed me out as much as what I dealt with on Wednesday night. The last one was a failing Toyota Camry I owned for tooling around in while stationed in Okinawa for a year. I gave it to a friend, who subsequently dropped me off in it at Kadena AFB so I could fly away forever. The car lasted him only about two weeks afterwards.

The Elantra is diametrically opposite from that old beater, so I have much higher hopes for longevity in service life...:thumbsup:
 

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Good to know Kadena AFB is still there. Did 2 years up the road at Torii Station in Sobe, 68-70. Glad you're liking that new E. It's a great car. And now, with you getting the light issue corrected, you're overdue for some great fun in that car. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh yea... Unlike Clark AFB, Kadena is still there. It's like the port of entry for all military service members assigned to the Far East. I was at MCAS Futemna in '95. Prior tour in Japan was to MCAS Iwakuni in '84 (one year stints).

Other than this after market headlight issue I've beat up on here, the Elantra has been GREAT! I look forward to driving her everyday!

No other issues that I'm aware of, other than the common ones everyone has discussed here on this forum. None of those bother me though. There's a reason I came back to Hyundai. They make a great car!
 
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