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Hi there. I have taken my 2005 VW Touareg V6 to a VW mechanic and have been told that I need to pay $640 for a new igniter in order for my driver's side headlights to work. This seems really steep to me, and this guy has tried to fix something in the past, that I mentioned in a post on this site, which turned out to be bogus. You guys saved me over $1,000 that time.
Any advise?

Many thanks.
 

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Well, if you have HID headlights there is a component called a ballast (ignitor I believe is within this component, although not serviceable as far as I know) the amps up power to the bulbs (physically located on the headlight housing) to provide sufficient power ignite and remain on. This component can be had (I believe) for a lot less than the price quoted, but is dangerous to change yourself because it can kill you instantly from voltage.

Do you have HID headlights? How did this light fail? Did it turn a color first? Did it get dimmer over time? Did it flicker, but fail to ignite? Does it turn off and on rapidly?

If you happen to have halogen then this is easy. No such thing on a halogen setup.

There are many things that can cause an HID bulb to fail producing light, the most common of which is a bad bulb. As the bulbs age they turn super blue or even pink and gradually produce less light. Eventually they will have a difficult time igniting and you Touareg will stop trying to ignite the bulb and place a light out message on the dash.

When changing HID bulbs only purchase OEM color and product. Amazon and Ebay are carry many fake bulbs under brand names (these counterfeit bulbs are very hard to identify and in 99% of the cases the website has no idea / even the seller that what is being sold is fake). Only buy from a reputable source and replace in pairs (both left and right). These OEM bulbs can be found for $100 or so per bulb here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00265FXTA?vs=1

The ballasts can fail, which will result in gradually less light to no light (complete failure), and can result in flickering...even if left and right bulbs are swapped.

The wiring can corrode in the housing, this can be visible when looking into housing (must be removed from truck).

The physical lens can become clouded and need cleaning.

If you are unsure of what you have been told by you mechanic, take to another mechanic for second opinion. If they say they don't know, have them switch left and right bulbs. If problem persists, then it is either wiring, ballast, or lens is dirty.

Lifespan of the HID (size D1S) light bulbs is generally 5-7 years.
 

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this guy has tried to fix something in the past, that I mentioned in a post on this site, which turned out to be bogus.

Any advise?

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YES - GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!

Getting caught once can happen but getting caught twice would be plain stupid.

He may be right, but I'd never give someone like that another opportunity to have my business.
 
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