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Headlight Conversion

Installing an Aftermarket HID Kit:  What You Should Know in Advance

For those who are still novices at automotive upgrade projects and don’t know a whole lot about vehicular modifications yet, changing your car’s headlight array can seem simpler than it actually is.  Nowadays, many people who upgrade their car’s headlights switch over to HID headlights, but you can’t simply screw in Xenon HID bulbs where the older halogen bulbs had been on most cars.  If you want to replace those stock halogens with HIDs, there are some things you need to be aware about prior to installation, and in this article we’ll try to cover all the bases to consider before going forward with a full HID install.


Depending on your technical prowess and automotive repair know-how, the amount of time HID installations take will vary.  If you’re quite skilled at automotive upgrades, you can probably finish the modification project in well under an hour.  If you’re just learning and need to follow things step-by-step in the direction booklet, you may need to allot closer to two hours to complete everything.  Variations in time also occur because of the differences in car builds.  An older vehicle with a more interconnected body frame may require more cuts and body part removals before one can proceed with the installation, while in many newer vehicles, the headlight arrays are easily accessible from the get-go.

What to Expect

If you’ve never been through an aftermarket HID conversion before, there are a few things you may need to look out for.  First, pay attention to the age of the car you’re working on.  Most vehicles need HID ballasts to get the new HID components working properly, but some older vehicles may require the use of wire harness adaptors as well.  Similarly, unlike with many other bulb types, HID bulbs should not be handled by hand.  Avoid skin contact with the surface of the bulbs entirely, and use gloves or some sort of cloth covering when handling them.

Items of Note

First off, HIDs aren’t some set-in-stone objects you can only select one of.  HID bulbs can emit light in a variety of colors depending on your preselected preference.  Whether you want yellow headlights or bluish-purple ones, you can get exactly the color you’re looking for.  Once installed, there’s another thing you should be aware of.  Some cars, particularly older ones, may require more time for their systems to adapt to the new HID components.  For this reason, there’s sometimes a light humming directly after installation.  This is normal, and should go away within 10 minutes or so.  Sometimes, there are also irregularities in light color between the two headlight bulbs.  Again, this is normal immediately after installation, and the light colors should even out after a few hours of continued use.

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