Some people don’t buy HID headlights because they don’t know how to install them. A vehicle with stock HIDs already has the wiring built into its electrical system. The do-it-yourself stigma of an HID Kit Installation tends to leave you with this sort of image in your mind:
So how hard is it to install HIDs yourself? To be honest, it’s NOT as hard as you think. One important thing to remember is the importance of starting out with a quality HID kit. Contrary to what some might think, quality does not mean expensive. In fact, for under $100, you can purchase a great quality Kensun kit. As many of the HID kits you’ll find are made in (and shipped from) China, the instructions they come with are often a little confusing. So, what’s the best way to install them? It’s important to understand how the HID headlights work. First of all, contrary to what you might think, HID’s actually use less power than regular halogen headlights. How do HID’s produce such bright light while using less power? The diagram below shows the makeup of an HID system:
The system connects directly to the car’s battery, with a fuse protecting the unit on the positive cable. The cables connect the battery to a ballast, which is the black box in the upper right of the diagram. The purpose of the ballast in the HID system is to limit the amount of power that is routed to the bulbs from the battery. The ballast allows the BID kit to draw less power than standard halogen headlights. The cables coming out of the bottom of the ballast route the power to the actual bulbs. While there may be some very slight variation, this is a pretty standard configuration for all HID kits.
Any HID kit you purchase will come with installation instructions, but again, most of the time they are confusing, and sometimes even a little misleading. So, let’s cover the steps needed to install your HID kit.
In order to install the kit, you’ll need the following tools:
- A screwdriver
- Cable ties
- Electrical Tape
- Battery Terminal Wrench
- An HID Kit
Kensun HID Kit Installation
For our installation, we used a Kensun HID Kit. You can find every size/color of Kensun Kit conveniently on Amazon.com.
We recommend the 6000K Bi-Xenon kit above. We recommend this kit for a number of reasons. First of all, 6000K is a pure white/slightly blue light. Second of all, it connects to the car’s battery through a relay. This helps eliminate flickering you see in some types of HID kits. Third, Kensun boasts quality HID kits with excellent customer service.
The HID kit comes as shown below:
IMPORTANT – Safety Precaution: Before working on any electrical equipment in your vehicle, remove the negative battery terminal with your battery terminal wrench.
Step 1: Mount the two (2) ballasts inside the vehicle. There are a number of ways you can do this. The hid kit comes with a set of brackets and screws to allow mounting on the frame of the vehicle. We, however, did not want to permanently alter the vehicle in any way, so we chose to mount the ballasts to the frame using zip ties. In order to do this, we wrapped zip ties around the ballasts to create a “cage” around it. We then attached the ballasts to the frame with additional zip ties.
Step 2: Once you’ve created this cage around the ballast, use another set of zip ties to attach the ballasts to the frame of the car. Be sure to attach them close to the headlight housings, close enough to connect the bulbs to the ballasts.
Once you’ve mounted the ballasts to the frame, you’ll need to insert the HID bulbs into the headlight housing. When doing so, be careful to not touch the actual bulbs with your bare fingers, as the grease from your hands will ruin the bulb. The bulb below still has the protective styrofoam over the bulb for protection, but the photo shows the true size of the HID bulb.
The next step is to connect the original battery connector to the blue HID battery connector belonging to the HID kit. This transmits the headlight signal to the HID kit. While you’re installing two HID bulbs, you only need to connect one of the connectors to the HID kit. The only purpose for this connection is for the HID kit to know when to turn on
Next, you’ll need to connect both bulbs to the ballasts via the included wires. Then, connect the ground cables to the frame of the car. If you do not connect these ground cables, the kit will NOT work correctly.
Because this is an aftermarket HID kit, you’ll need to find a convenient place for the wires to run from one headlight to the other. We simply ran them along the front of the frame above where the radiator sits. We attached it with some leftover zip ties and cinched them down tight. Make sure to keep them out of the way of the closing hood.
The final step is to attach the relay to the positive battery terminal. You don’t need to completely remove the positive terminal in order to do this, you only need to remove the bolt, slide the relay onto the bolt, and re-attach the positive terminal’s bolt.
CONGRATS!!! Your new HIT Kit is properly installed. We’d recommend driving your car around in the daylight, wiggling the wires a little, and checking the headlights just to make sure all of the connections are properly secured.
Here are a few photos of our newly installed Kensun HID Kit:
A few problems could arise from the installation of your kit. First, the kit might not respond at all. Second, the low beams might turn on while the high beams don’t work. Third, the lights might flicker when you turn them on. So, here are a few tips to fix these problems, should they arise.
How to fix an HID Kit that isn’t responding:
The most common reason for this is a failed connection. If this happens, make sure all cords are properly connected. The kit we installed above came with seven different connections that needed to be made in order for the kit to function properly. Make sure all connections are secure. It may be necessary to use electrical tape to keep all of the connections secure.
How to fix high beams that aren’t working, while the low beams are:
You’ll notice, on the connection between the HID kit and your vehicle’s headlight cable, that there are three prongs. One will be blue, one black, and one red. While vehicles vary, many times the black is the ground, red is the low beam, and blue is the high beam. Yours may be a little different, so it may be necessary for you to experiment a little. You might need to switch two of the cables around so that the right signal is being sent from your vehicle to your headlights. Originally, our headlights turned off completely when we flashed our high beams. After switching the black and red cables, the headlights began to function correctly. Your HID kit should come with instructions showing you how yours should be set up. You only need to worry about this if you have a Bi-Xenon kit or a dual HID/Halogen kit. We recommend the Bi-Xenon kit.
How to fix flickering HID lights:
So you’ve spent $80 on a new HID kit, you are excited to show your friends, so you invite them to come and take a look. As you turn on your new, bright headlights, they flicker, and then they flicker, and then they flicker. Is it possible that you installed them incorrectly? One way to ensure that your kit will not flicker is to purchase a Bi-Xenon HID Kit. What’s the difference?
With a standard single beam HID kit, the ballast connects to your vehicle’s headlight cables. Only a limited amount of power is able to flow through your factory headlight cables. With a Bi-Xenon kit, such as the Kensun, not only does the ballast connect to the headlight cables in your car, but the kit also has a relay that connects directly to your car battery’s positive terminal. The kit is able to draw a stronger, more steady power stream through this connection, which eliminates the flickering. So, if you’ve installed an HID kit that flickers, we recommend that you purchase Kensun’s Bi-Xenon HID kit.