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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to change out the major lights in my SX4 with bright white LEDs. The reverse and interior dome lights all seem pretty straightforward. I'm kinda confused about the front. I pretty much only see "daytime running lights" and "fog lights" listed for aftermarket LED bulbs that fit the SX4. Maybe I'm just confused, but is there not a distinction between the "daytime running lights" and the actual "head lights" that come on when I turn on the switch? High/low beam.... ?

Basically, I want to change all the front light bulbs with LEDs and I'm asking where I should look to buy the right bulbs. (Except maybe the turn signals, I probably won't do those.)

Anyone know?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Really? No one here puts aftermarket headlights on?

I'm gathering that swapping to an LED head lamp is more than a bulb change, it means changing the headlight assembly. Anyone know which aftermarket headlights are made to fit the 2011 SX4?

Alternatively, I guess my option is to get an HID conversion kit and a xenon bulb? This is my first time looking into this. I don't want to be one of those drivers with obnoxious lights blinding people. I just want crisp, white lights that project a little farther than the stock yellowish ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alright, since I'm the only one to have taken an interest on the subject thus far, I'll share for the next person what I've learned after spending all day on Google.

LED headlights are indeed not a plug-and-play mod, as are some other bulbs (reverse, fog, indicators etc). This would require a manufactured headlamp assembly (and as far as I can tell, none exist) or a lot of custom work.

Xenon bulbs are also not plug-and-play. Aftermarket HID conversion kits exist, but they don't work with the type of reflector that is already in your headlight housing, without scattering light and being generally obnoxious. I found one supplier offering "new" Xenon projector headlamp assemblies on eBay, but at $400 from China, I wouldn't get into a gray market sale of what is undoubtedly a retrofit. I don't believe anyone is manufacturing whole headlamp assemblies.

Halogen bulbs, while "stock" technology, come in a lot of variations. Some are brighter than others, or different color. Higher performance bulbs also burn out significantly more quickly. Perhaps in the range of a year or so of life. Many brands of performance halogens are available, though perhaps best known is the Sylvania Silverstar line.

The 2011 SX4 takes 9007 dual filament halogen headlamp bulbs and H11 halogen fog light bulbs. I decided to try a common make of performance halogens, Sylvania ZXE (I dislike the ZXE marketing, but on paper this bulb seems to have the best range of performance output vs life).

So, if you have a stock SX4 and want to improve the headlights, you have few options:
1) Try a different halogen bulb, such as of the Silverstar series.
2) Buy a projector headlamp assembly from the gray market, or take your headlamp assembly apart and try to retrofit it yourself with a projector lens.
3) Put in a HID conversion kit and be one of those jackasses who drives around blinding people, and likewise, not illuminating the road ahead of you as the technology was intended.

I'll see how I like the ZXE bulbs and report back. If I've missed anything, someone let me know.
 

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I'd suggest the SilverStar Ultras rather than the zXe, unless you're ...
Sylvania said:
Looking to add the style and attitude of an HID headlight to your vehicle
I haven't used the zXe myself, but as I understand it, the zXe produce a whiter light, the Ultras produce a brighter light, I've been running Ultras in all my vehicles for a number of years now with no complaints.

Oh - even though our paths may never cross, I'd like to thank you on behalf of the drivers coming towards you for your consideration, few things piss me off more than being dazzled by retrofit HID lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd suggest the SilverStar Ultras rather than the zXe, unless what you're ...

I haven't used the zXe myself, but as I understand it, the zXe produce a whiter light, the Ultras produce a brighter light, I've been running Ultras in all my vehicles for a number of years now with no complaints.

Oh - even though our paths may never cross, I'd like to thank you on behalf of the drivers coming towards you for your consideration, few things piss me off more than being dazzled by retrofit HID lights.
I'm trying the zXe ones first. I like white light. These supposedly are brighter, whiter than "stock" lights, but with better life than the Ultras. If I don't like them, I'll try the Ultras.

Yes, few things fail to impress as quickly as douchebaggerous car mods. Especially those which inflict more suffering on others than benefit to the driver. I prefer to do things right.

We'll see, if the performance halogens don't work for me, I may yet be crazy enough to melt the glue out of my head lights and attempt a projector retrofit.
 

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Trust me, the Ultras are noticeably brighter & whiter than stock halogens and out of curiosity, what makes you think the zXe have a longer life than the Ultras? I don't know where or how I came to it, but my impression was that it was the other way around, which is one of the reasons I haven't tried the zXe.

To be honest though, I'm not too worried about life span - I got about five years out of my first pair of Silverstars, the first pair of Ultras are over four years and still going strong, second pair is about two and a half and no complaints
 

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I suppose if white is what you're interested in, the zXe is the better choice - personally, I find that there's a point where light becomes "too white" for my liking - HIDs are just beyond that point, and LEDs are just beyond HIDs.

Be sure to test them in inclement weather - I've found that as the light gets whiter, penetration (or perceived penetration) in rain is reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Trust me, the Ultras are noticeably brighter & whiter than stock halogens and out of curiosity, what makes you think the zXe have a longer life than the Ultras? I don't know where or how I came to it, but my impression was that it was the other way around, which is one of the reasons I haven't tried the zXe.

To be honest though, I'm not too worried about life span - I got about five years out of my first pair of Silverstars, the first pair of Ultras are over four years and still going strong, second pair is about two and a half and no complaints
Hmmm.... I don't believe I read any manufacturer spec stating bulb life, or anything of the sort. I'm just perceiving a correlation between output and life. If the Ultras are brighter, their lifespan should be reduced.

Perhaps you had a similar subconscious notion: "Ultras are best, therefore Ultras should last longest."

And again, I also prefer light to be white rather than yellow. So we'll see how these pan out.
 

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I'm just perceiving a correlation between output and life. If the Ultras are brighter, their lifespan should be reduced.
Not necessarily - one of the ways to achieve whiter light is by filtering, but filtering reduces output, so you have to increase the output to maintain the same level as the unfiltered light - so - at least theoretically, you could have two lamps with the same brightness, and the whiter one would/should have a shorter life - or - you could have two lamps with the same projected life span, and the whiter one would be less bright.

As I mentioned previously, I have had no issues with short life on my Ultras, I've seen complaints from other people, but my experience has been good.

Let me know how it goes with the zXe - my daughter's Nissan has low beam HIDs and halogen high beams - I might put zXe high beams in that to try to match up the colors.
 

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Hmmm.... I don't believe I read any manufacturer spec stating bulb life, or anything of the sort. I'm just perceiving a correlation between output and life. If the Ultras are brighter, their lifespan should be reduced.

Perhaps you had a similar subconscious notion: "Ultras are best, therefore Ultras should last longest."

And again, I also prefer light to be white rather than yellow. So we'll see how these pan out.
I've used nothing but Sylvania Ultra bulbs in my headlights in all my Suzukis since 2000 and never had to replace one. I sure did enjoy the added brightness though. At 70 my night vision ain't what it used to be, so I need all the help I can get.

They are also, "off the shelf" at almost every Auto Parts store, so if I ever needed a replacement, they are very available.

Cheers Mates!
Shadow :cool:
 

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I tried GE Nighthawk headlight bulbs-- they lasted just over a year and died within a few weeks of each other. I put in Silverstar Ultras about 18 months ago and one died recently. Both had brighter lighting but came at the cost of shorter life. Part of this shorter life is likely due to the fact that my DRLs use the headlights, so run all the time, which is likely why the OE items are long life bulbs.
 

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That may have something to do with why I haven't seen a short lifespan - none of my vehicles are DRL equipped.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good point about the DRL. Mine has that. It's an annoyance of mine, anyway; I'd rather turn the lights on when I want them on. Wonder if there's any way to disable the DRL.
 

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For some folks DRL is not an option but a legal requirement - on the older vehicles disabling it wasn't too difficult, one the newer ones it may be a function of the BCM (body control module) which could conceivably make it a "programmable" option.
 

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Good point about the DRL. Mine has that. It's an annoyance of mine, anyway; I'd rather turn the lights on when I want them on. Wonder if there's any way to disable the DRL.
If I did that, I'd soon see flashing blue/red lights!! :eek: I would have preferred separate DRLs like some other cars but I'm not going to bother with "surgery"now.
 

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I took a quick look at the lighting controls - apparently there is a separate DRL controller - and disabling the DRLs might be quite simple.

The controller sees a signal from the oil pressure switch that tells it when the engine is running - so at least in theory - if it thought the engine was not running, it would/should turn the DRLs off.

If any one wants to "guinea pig" it let me know and I'd tell you where to look and how to do it.
 

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No arguments here.....but some added info.

My 2009 SX4 indeed had the DRL's, but in three years and 40k miles, my Silver Star bulbs did not burn out, or otherwise fail.

My current car a KXX Sxxx, does not have the DRL's, but I've installed the Silver Star bulbs, almost on day one, and in over a year and a half they have not burned out.

Driving over very rough roads or RR tracks, could cause the filaments to break, especially if the lights were ON. They are more fragile when ON than when OFF. Batteries will fail on rough roads much faster than on nice smooth roads too.

I tested batteries and all sorts of electronic components, while I worked in the testing labs at CAT, back in the 80's. At 10 G's, on a Vibration Test Machine, many components would fail in just minutes.

Cheers Mates and Happy Easter!
:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I took a quick look at the lighting controls - apparently there is a separate DRL controller - and disabling the DRLs might be quite simple.

The controller sees a signal from the oil pressure switch that tells it when the engine is running - so at least in theory - if it thought the engine was not running, it would/should turn the DRLs off.

If any one wants to "guinea pig" it let me know and I'd tell you where to look and how to do it.
I was planning to look into this myself. I'm game to try your idea if you have one worked out.

Also, interesting stuff ShadowFL.
 

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Attached are two pages from the manual that show the location of the DRL controller and it's connector - locate the controller and connect a volt meter between pin 7 & chassis ground.

First we're going to verify that that is the oil pressure signal - it should show close to 0V with the ignition on and the engine off, and should jump to approximately 12V when the engine starts and the oil pressure light goes off.

If it does, clip the wire about an inch or two away from the connector (long enough that it can be spliced if necessary), tape the harness side, and ground the DRL controller side - to be safe - ground it through a small lamp (park lamp or similar).

The DRL controller should see the engine as off and keep the DRLs off.

Make sure the oil pressure light works as normal - on with the key on & engine off and goes out when the engine starts and that there are no check engine codes (on some cars the ECU monitors the oil pressure, I'm not certain if the SX4 does)
 

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Attached are two pages from the manual that show the location of the DRL controller and it's connector - locate the controller and connect a volt meter between pin 7 & chassis ground.

First we're going to verify that that is the oil pressure signal - it should show close to 0V with the ignition on and the engine off, and should jump to approximately 12V when the engine starts and the oil pressure light goes off.

If it does, clip the wire about an inch or two away from the connector (long enough that it can be spliced if necessary), tape the harness side, and ground the DRL controller side - to be safe - ground it through a small lamp (park lamp or similar).

The DRL controller should see the engine as off and keep the DRLs off.

Make sure the oil pressure light works as normal - on with the key on & engine off and goes out when the engine starts and that there are no check engine codes (on some cars the ECU monitors the oil pressure, I'm not certain if the SX4 does)

Looks promising. I'll check that out when I get some time.

I've also become aware of another method to override - the DRL are off when the e-brake is applied, so it would be easy to wire up a manual switch which serves the same function as the switch on the e-brake. When the switch is on the DRL would never come on. But the dash would also display the e-brake idiot light all the time, and that wouldn't work for me. I prefer the sound of your idea.
 
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