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For future reference:

The following steps apply to the regular OEM Xenon headlamps, not the new bi-level xenon's.

1) Remove the two bumper bolts in front of the radiator

2) Remove the two bolts on the top of the OEM halogen headlight housing

3) Reach behind each headlamp frame and pull out the wiring harness attached to the headlight.

This next step takes a second person to help you.

4) Have your helper, pull back on the left middle of the bumper whild you jiggle and pull out the left headlamp. It will be a tight squeeze, but its possible.

5) Repeat Step #4 for the right side (driver's side).

6) Take your OEM Xenon headlight housing (that you probably purchased from ebay!) and start from the left side (passenger side). Once again, have your friend pull on the bumper on the side that you are working on and gentlly jiggle and push the new housing into place.
WARNING: There is a "ball joint" on the left side of this housing that you must match up to the hole in the engine bay. When you jiggle and push the housing into place, make sure that ball joint will slip into the hole.

7) Repeat Step #6 for the driver's side

8) Plug in both wiring harnesses into the OEM Xenon's.

9) Turn your key halfway and turn on the lights. They should go on, along with the warning that you have a low beam error. That's normal.

One side may not even turn on at all. However, to test, you can set your menu to have the headlights illuminate for 30 seconds after you lock your car. Then lock the car and both lights will turn on. The problem w/ manuallly turning them on is that the STAR computer in your car doesn't recognize the Xenon's yet.

10) Now that you know that both lights are working, re-install and tighten up all the bolts that you took out. There should only be 2 bolts for each light and 2 for the top of the bumper.

11) Take the car to your local dealer and ask them to use the STAR diagnostic computer to turn XENON ON for your car. Once that's done, you can turn on the Xenon's w/ no problems. However, when you lock your car and walk away, the default for illuminating will be changed to your fog lights. I noticed that today after I had the STAR system changed to Xenon On.

Total Time for swap? 1 hour. 30 minutes if you are fast.

It took me about 2 hours to do the job, HOWEVER, most of that time was to figure out how to remove the bumper. My brother stopped by to help out and suggested that he'll tug on the front of the bumper (where your removed the front top bumper bolts) while I swap out the headlights.

12) Enjoy your swapped Xenon's.

Any questions?


2003 S430 4-matic, charcoal on black
11 Posts
wow id just get the 03 and up s430 and stop the trouble with it makes an orginal what it s
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