Flash to pass HIDs - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Flash to pass HIDs

Need help from you lighting experts. I'm wondering how much extra wear is caused by flashing to pass on the HIDs, with them off of course, if at all.

bonus: why does it only blip on for a split second instead of stay open?


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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
I'm wondering how much extra wear is caused by flashing to pass on the HIDs, with them off of course, if at all.
Same lighting element is in use so it would be normal useage as far as lifetime is concerned.

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Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
bonus: why does it only blip on for a split second instead of stay open?
Don't understand this question. Pulling the stalk back flashes the high-beams. Pushing forward turns on the high-beams and keeps them on. There is only one bulb in the HID system. When the high-beams are activated a motor moves the entire projector assembly up and down. That is why there is a momentary delay, and you can hear it move as well.

post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grimace427 View Post
Same lighting element is in use so it would be normal useage as far as lifetime is concerned.



Don't understand this question. Pulling the stalk back flashes the high-beams. Pushing forward turns on the high-beams and keeps them on. There is only one bulb in the HID system. When the high-beams are activated a motor moves the entire projector assembly up and down. That is why there is a momentary delay, and you can hear it move as well.
Let me rephrase.

I thought that the initial lighting of the bulbs caused the majority of the wear, so I just figured that a quick flash would wear them more than having them actually on.

When the headlights are off and you pull back the stalk (hence flash to pass) it flashes for a split second instead of staying on, like most other cars. I know the projectors move when the headlights are on, but that wasn't my question.

-2012 Grabber Blue GT 6M Premium w/ Brembos, Glass Roof, HID security pkg, Rear Camera, 401a, FRPP GT500 Axle-backs, Front Pioneer TS-D6802R speakers, JHR bracket, Bondra clutch extension.
-1986 Mazda RX-7 GX - Fast Mirage 16" Wheels, Sumo Firenza 205/60R Tires, slotted brakes + performance pads. Otherwise factory stock.
-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
-2004 Volvo XC90 T5 - Comfort pkg, safety pkg.
-1995 Infiniti G20 - Sold, Pioneer head unit, lighting mods, miss it dearly.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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I think the quick flash is just that - a quick flash. Instead of you controlling the flash just pull towards you and it flashes for you (if lights are in the off position). I found that out last week, kinda like it.

The projectors move? Didn't realize that. I'll have to check that out
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
Let me rephrase.

I thought that the initial lighting of the bulbs caused the majority of the wear, so I just figured that a quick flash would wear them more than having them actually on.

When the headlights are off and you pull back the stalk (hence flash to pass) it flashes for a split second instead of staying on, like most other cars. I know the projectors move when the headlights are on, but that wasn't my question.
You are correct to assume there is more wear going on when first lighting off an HID bulb. The ignitor basically hits the bulb with up to 25kv then drops down(don't know exactly how much, maybe a few hundred to 1kv) once the bulb is lit. I don't suggest you be an ass and flash everyone on the road but I don't think you will see a noticeable loss of lifespan from the bulbs from normal use.

edit: I've never tried holding the stalk back when the headlights are off so I will check that out tonight.
post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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I was always told to never use HID's as brights because they aren't really brighter than your regular lights until they warm up. I've never had them though, and don't really like them personally.. so I couldn't tell you firsthand.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
like most other cars. I know the projectors move when the headlights are on, but that wasn't my question.
I didn't know that. Is that why you often see a car at night with one head light wagging up and down with the bumps in the road? Is that a HID with a broken motor?

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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I rarely do a flash to pass. Its a good idea and quite a few Chryslers have had the feature as far back as the early 80s but its never really caught on in the states. Most other drivers take it as a sign of aggression and will be far less likely to merge over if you flash them. Sometimes they even slow down or put on the brakes as a result. Big rigs and buses are really the only ones you can count on to know what you are doing.

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Originally Posted by downwardspiral View Post
I was always told to never use HID's as brights because they aren't really brighter than your regular lights until they warm up. I've never had them though, and don't really like them personally.. so I couldn't tell you firsthand.
Huh? If you have the factory HIDs its one and the same, no?

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I didn't know that. Is that why you often see a car at night with one head light wagging up and down with the bumps in the road? Is that a HID with a broken motor?
That's probably a ricer with a half-a** install.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012
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I was always told to never use HID's as brights because they aren't really brighter than your regular lights until they warm up.
HID bulbs take all of 0.1 seconds to warm up, unless there is a problem with the circuit or bulb itself.

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I didn't know that. Is that why you often see a car at night with one head light wagging up and down with the bumps in the road? Is that a HID with a broken motor?
Broken motor or linkage, not terribly uncommon. I've had a few Mercedes customers with this issue, thankfully they bottom out in a more-or-less straight ahead position so they aren't pointing straight up or down.

I did have one car where someone tried to fix it themselves by shoving something inside and ended up jamming it. The most retarded thing I have ever seen, car had a crazy eye when it pulled into the service lane!
post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimace427 View Post
You are correct to assume there is more wear going on when first lighting off an HID bulb. The ignitor basically hits the bulb with up to 25kv then drops down(don't know exactly how much, maybe a few hundred to 1kv) once the bulb is lit. I don't suggest you be an ass and flash everyone on the road but I don't think you will see a noticeable loss of lifespan from the bulbs from normal use.

edit: I've never tried holding the stalk back when the headlights are off so I will check that out tonight.
Yeah I don't do it often, but I feel like every time I do it, I'm giving the bulbs the paddles are something. Massvie paranoia.

Yeah check it out, all 2010+ HIDs do it I think. I think it's stupid.
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Originally Posted by Tim13 View Post
I didn't know that. Is that why you often see a car at night with one head light wagging up and down with the bumps in the road? Is that a HID with a broken motor?

Tim
Umm.. I suppose? Unlikely though, it's usually an aftermarket job that does that.
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Originally Posted by downwardspiral View Post
I was always told to never use HID's as brights because they aren't really brighter than your regular lights until they warm up. I've never had them though, and don't really like them personally.. so I couldn't tell you firsthand.
They take .01 seconds to bright up.


@412 Horses. Ford even calls it "flash-to-pass" in the manual. My condolences for the idiot drivers in your area, but they are there for a reason, like letting someone in or, well, flashing to pass..

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-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
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THE HIDS DO NOT MOVE.

There is a shutter assembly controlled by a solenoid. The shutter comes in from the bottom part of the assembly to cut the top of the beam off. Trust me, it works that way.

When you flash the highs, the shutter is mechanically retracted by the solenoid to allow full beam projection.

The reason you see Hondas with wobbly lights is that in the olden days headlamp assemblies were mounted on bodies with plastic, which degrades, snaps, bends, etc. A lot of older cars do that.

The reason they flash is that the ballast is just giving the bulb the initial high-voltage zap (the arc). As you aren't really feeding that much current through the bulb that way, you aren't appreciably shortening its lifespan.

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Originally Posted by hawkeye18 View Post
THE HIDS DO NOT MOVE.

There is a shutter assembly controlled by a solenoid. The shutter comes in from the bottom part of the assembly to cut the top of the beam off.

When you flash the highs, the shutter is mechanically retracted by the solenoid to allow full beam projection.

Oops, sorry for the mis-info and thanks for the correction. I guess I was mixing up our system with bi-xenons.
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Flash-to-pass, as a driving technique, has been the standard forever. In Michigan, understanding how to flash-to-pass, from both sides of the situation, is part of getting your driver's license....and I would assume it is standard in most other states too, just not covered very well by instructors.

Flash-to-pass, as vehicular equipment, has been standard since at least the 1940s, in various forms.

I'm very saddened that some drivers don't seem to be knowledgable on this topic.
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The highest wear occurs when the HID lamp strikes an arc while still hot. Flashing to pass shouldn't put that much heat in the lamp so it shouldn't affect the life.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye18 View Post
THE HIDS DO NOT MOVE.

There is a shutter assembly controlled by a solenoid. The shutter comes in from the bottom part of the assembly to cut the top of the beam off. Trust me, it works that way.

When you flash the highs, the shutter is mechanically retracted by the solenoid to allow full beam projection.

The reason you see Hondas with wobbly lights is that in the olden days headlamp assemblies were mounted on bodies with plastic, which degrades, snaps, bends, etc. A lot of older cars do that.

The reason they flash is that the ballast is just giving the bulb the initial high-voltage zap (the arc). As you aren't really feeding that much current through the bulb that way, you aren't appreciably shortening its lifespan.
Yeah, this is what I thought. Isn't that what we were saying??
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Originally Posted by glock22357 View Post
Flash-to-pass, as a driving technique, has been the standard forever. In Michigan, understanding how to flash-to-pass, from both sides of the situation, is part of getting your driver's license....and I would assume it is standard in most other states too, just not covered very well by instructors.

Flash-to-pass, as vehicular equipment, has been standard since at least the 1940s, in various forms.

I'm very saddened that some drivers don't seem to be knowledgable on this topic.
This ^^^ It's common knowledge where i come from too.
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The highest wear occurs when the HID lamp strikes an arc while still hot. Flashing to pass shouldn't put that much heat in the lamp so it shouldn't affect the life.
Hmm now I'm confused... who holds the correct answer?


-2012 Grabber Blue GT 6M Premium w/ Brembos, Glass Roof, HID security pkg, Rear Camera, 401a, FRPP GT500 Axle-backs, Front Pioneer TS-D6802R speakers, JHR bracket, Bondra clutch extension.
-1986 Mazda RX-7 GX - Fast Mirage 16" Wheels, Sumo Firenza 205/60R Tires, slotted brakes + performance pads. Otherwise factory stock.
-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
-2004 Volvo XC90 T5 - Comfort pkg, safety pkg.
-1995 Infiniti G20 - Sold, Pioneer head unit, lighting mods, miss it dearly.
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