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Cadillac Repair/HDI head lights



I have a 2003 Cadillac CTS which have the xenon HDI headlights. The right one went out and I replaced it and the drivers side at the same time which was about three weeks ago. I had to remove have the front end of the car to get to the lights.

Now the right (passanger) is out again!? There was much labor and expense in doing this now..... I have to deal with it again. It was not an easy fix and I hate to start over but I guess I have no choice.

Any thoughts on why/how the same side headlight may be out after only about 100 hours? I know that there are ballast, ignitors, etc. involved also. I know I can tear the front end off again and switch the lights and see if the bulb works on the other side and so on BUT...... I doubt that is it. This is the same bulb that I just replace but it was working fine when I finished the install............ for a SHORT time!

Any thoughts or suggestions?

ANSWER: Hello, you did not specify the make model and year, and it is hard for my mind these days to separate them anyway. I bet you did not have to remove everything you did. Most headlight assemblies are removed easily and quickly,commonly by methods that we never thought about.

I won't say I did not go through the same problem because I considered the difficulties and could not believe that the manufacturer would make it that labor intensive on a part that can fail at any time. I just asked around first. My Lincoln looked like I had to disassemble the whole front end, yet there were two clips you pulled and the complete assembly came out

Before you go to all the work of pulling the front end apart, ask the parts store, or buy a mechanic a coffee or a 6 pack at a dealership after he tells you as to how easy it is to remove the head lights. I could be wrong, but wouldn't you be happy to find out that the job was not as labor intensive as yo thought?

As for your issue with the right bulb. At this point in time, I would leave to possibility to a defective replacement bulb, and as far as them both burning out around the same time, that is possible, however if you have to replace yest another I would say something is wrong with the electrical system. An over charging alternator can cause this event. The improper voltage (if you have a resistor wired into the headlights) could raise the maximum voltage allowed to the bulb, in turn drastically shortening its life. When I replaces any of these bulbs, I use plastic gloves to prevent from accidently getting my fingers on them. When I was young and stupid, I would get my fingers all over them. The natural oil from y fingers would cause them to explode, but this can be more subtle as well.
Now, if you find that you went to a lot more work than you needed to, I would highly recommend you one of the best tools you could ever get to work on your car on your own. In fact, you should make this investment now. Go to and see if you can download a factory service manual for you car for about $30. The download is good for a year accessible from any computer for a year.
In the event the vehicle is too old for their application, you may have to look at Ebay or Craigs. The factory manual has s question n you will see where it will save you not only time, but money doing many diagnostic flow charts to even cover the time, but the needless expense of many repairs.

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QUESTION: Sorry.... too much going on...... it is a 2003 Cadillac CTS Xeon bulb 35 watt bulb


I did not review this video, but it should assist you in your ventures.
Good luck!

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Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

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