I have an aftermarket HID kit in my VW GTI. The headlight on the driver side went out yesterday, and I took it to a VW service center with a replacement bulb (since the bumper has to come off to replace the bulb...) thinking that's what the issue is and they said the bulb is fine and it's the ballast that's dead (they switched the passenger side ballast on the driver side and the light came on). They said since it's aftermarket they can't replace it, and after getting several quotes from other shops nearby, I'm leaning towards replacing it myself.

So my question is, given these ballasts are high-voltage components, how safe is it for me to replace it myself? Obviously both the engine and the lights will be off, but I'm worried a capacitor in the dead ballast might still have enough charge to do some damage. Has anyone done this before? Any advice?

1 Answer 1


The ballasts come with plastic molded connectors so you can’t get a shock, unless you shove a screwdriver into the connector or cut ghe wires with cutters.

I would get a new set and fit new bulbs and ballasts as a set.

The issue of finding the matching ballast to what you have may be challenging.

I had to replace just one, so I did just one and regret it as it is a fraction different in color... I live with it and will do the set when the next one goes.

I get mine cheap from the bay of fleas and order two sets at a time : they last more than long enough to put the expensive aftermarket ones to shame... your money, your choice...

  • Thanks. The issue with the MK7 GTI is the entire bumper needs to come off to be able to replace the bulbs, which I'm hoping to avoid. The kits come with a pair of ballasts anyway, so I'll see if I can just replace the existing one and get away without causing a major difference in color. Oct 3, 2018 at 21:21

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