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CANBUS HID Kits - Product Review

Author: Neil Horford
by Neil Horford
Posted: Feb 23, 2015

CANBUS HID kits are the newest addition to the aftermarket variety of automotive lighting on offer in 2015.

High Intensity Discharge lights (commonly referred to as HID or xenon) are now a common option on new vehicles with most manufacturers offering them as an optional extra on cars and trucks sold in the United States. Aftermarket HID kits have also been available for retrofit in most vehicles since their introduction to the American market in approximately 2004.

HID bulbs produce high intensity light by vaporizing metallic salts within an electric arc chamber. As the heat of the salts increase a plasma is formed which produces a higher intensity of light which requires less energy to maintain the brightness. Traditional halogen bulbs produce light using a glowing electric filament and at the same time produce excessive heat by the use of continuous energy.

Prior to 1996 vehicle electronics were utilized mostly only on engine and transmission control systems, so installing a standard HID conversion kit into your vehicle was a simple process of changing the headlight bulbs, mounting two ballasts, connecting the wiring and you were good to go.

But in some instances in vehicles built post 1996 when CANBUS electronic components became the standard on all vehicles sold in the United States; a standard HID ballast would cause problems when it was unable to communicate with other CANBUS vehicle components. The most common faults reported were:

a) Flickering headlights which would often turn off after one to two minutes.

b) On dash error indicator lights showing either a headlight bulb out or the high beam indicator on constantly.

The initial solution to this issue was to purchase and install a set of error code cancelers. These add on components used first generation CANBUS and they were able to ‘trick’ the headlight control unit into believing none of the original components had been changed. The error code cancelers worked on most vehicles built between 1996 up until mid 2000s, but when daytime running lights and other more complex CANBUS lighting components were introduced the series one cancelers were not always able to solve the issues.

The introduction of second generation CANBUS decoder ballasts resolves error codes and flickering lights in 99 percent of new vehicles. In some cases the daytime running lights need to be disabled, as their automated operation will affect the illumination of the HID lights.

CANBUS HID kits are essential for those wanting an error free HID conversion in all post 1996 vehicles.

The author of this article is Luke Ward, a 37 year old motoring enthusiast and proprietor of

About the Author

I really enjoy writing stuff and sharing my works for those people who need it.

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Author: Neil Horford

Neil Horford

United States

Member since: Jan 12, 2015
Published articles: 74

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