Dodge Ram CANBUS HID Ballast Upgrade
Posted: Feb 21, 2015
I’ve had a lot of problems trying to get a HID kit to work in my 2010 Dodge Ram 1500. After some research online I’ve now solved the problem by installing a set of CANBUS ballasts.
The factory halogen lights on my two headlight model ram were passable, but a little dull when I was driving on the highway. The visibility was particularly a problem when I switched from high beam back to low beam. My low beam lit up the road like they were candles.
My brother had installed a set of aftermarket xenon headlights onto his F150 and the lighting upgrade was impressive, so I decided to go ahead and order a kit for myself. The HID kit I ordered had standard HID ballasts and the H13 bulbs were an 8,000k color temperature. The kit was a dual beam which had the high and low beams in a single bulb and included a fuse relay wire, which I believe controls the switch between the high and low. I also ordered a second HID kit for my fog lights which was a single beam 9145 bulb type.
The kits were fairly easy to install. I just ran out the wiring in the engine bay before installing it to get a better idea where everything needed to be connected. This also gave me an idea of where I needed to mount the HID ballasts. The ballasts came with metal mounting brackets, but I didn’t want to drill holes into my engine bay, so I just used some plastic zip ties to mount the ballasts to the wiring loom that ran along the radiator support panel.
Initially the HID lights turned on and worked just fine. It wasn’t until a few days later that the dual beams started to flicker and then turn off. The problem seems to be caused by the electronic headlight command module. Apparently the command module was sensing that I had a headlight bulb out, so it was cutting power to one HID ballast and it seems that caused both sides to stop operating.
This problem is a common one in the Dodge Ram because they have an electronic headlight control unit that operates on CANBUS. The command module is unable to communicate with standard HID ballasts, so it just cuts power to the headlights.
I ordered a pair of CANBUS ballasts and swapped them out with the standard HID ballasts and the problem was solved instantly.
The author of this article is Luke Ward, a 37 year old motoring enthusiast and proprietor of http://www.motorfiend.com
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