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Low Beam Bulb Failure: Could Be Ballast

Old 10-12-2016, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Default 2006 xc90 low beam failure

I have the error message of LOW BEAM FAILURE and have read it is probably the ballast. (we have changed the bulbs several times.) Does any know where is the ballast located on the xc90 headlight? We have found the 2004 information but it does not seem to be the same for the 2006.
Old 10-18-2016, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: West Metro, Minneapolis
Posts: 14
Default Got the "low beam fail" again

This time it really was out, so I went to the parts store, which, at 7 miles, is closer to my home than the dealer... 3 miles away... and got a pair of H11 bulbs.

When I opened the bulb housing and removed the bulb I noticed severe burning had occurred around one of the bulb terminals and yet, the bulb appears to still be intact. (No broken filament.)

Inspecting the bulb socket showed that half the plastic socket had broken away and the "smoked" terminal was essentially a bare wire.

I went again to the parts store for bulb sockets, thinking that an off the shelf bulb would have off the shelf sockets to match. Indeed, but not quite.

The new sockets have a single tong to secure bulb to socket while the OEM socket had tongs one each side of the bulb. Any reason I shouldn't splice in the new sockets? I can't imagine any real functional differences.

ed: Over lunch I spliced in the new socket and the old bulb fired right up. Now the watching and waiting begins.


Last edited by DPaulKu; 10-18-2016 at 04:50 PM.
Old 09-21-2017, 03:07 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Default Trying to figure out where my ballast is for my 06 xc90

Hello so 2 days now I've been experiencing false low beam failure on & off so basically the same thing and I'm convinced that my ballast could be the problem.. only thing is I can't find it to search for the exact model to order can someone help me out???
Old 02-19-2018, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1
Smile Ballast

Thanks for the info, do you know the part number for the ballast...? My low beam error signal come on intermittently but I have just installed 2 x bulbs (not Xenon) halogen bulbs. Not sure what the problem is other than your suggestion being to replace the ballast. Any more info would be great. Thanks

Originally Posted by schannell View Post
Just wanted to post this out there to any other Volvo owners experiencing the low beam bulb failure. I have a 2004 XC90 that had this problem. The light would flicker intermittently, and I'd get the warning message. After checking fuses, swapping out bulbs and ignitors, a service shop determined it was a bad ballast.

It was going to cost me about $400 parts and labor for a used one, but I found a used ballast on eBay for $95. I was able to install it in about 15 minutes and good to go. It's a pretty simple fix:

The ballast is mounted on the bottom of the headlamp assembly. To get to it, raise the hood and pull out the 2 aluminum L-brackets holding the headlamp in place. Gently pull the headlamp forward from the frame. There is a wiring harness connector with a clip that has to be pulled up to disengage, and then you should be able to remove the headlamp. Then you can take it to your workbench or kitchen table.

Set the headlamp upside down on a flat surface. The ballast is the square box on the bottom, about 5 x 7 in size give or take, held in place by six torx screws (I think #11, but can't remember). Simply remove the screws and gently pry out the ballast with a flat head screwdriver or other pry tool being careful not to crack the housing. Also make sure you remove the rubber seal.

Unplug the two connectors going to the ballast, and install the new ballast. Be sure to use the rubber seal supplied with the part, or reuse the old one, to help seal out water and moisture. Install the headlamp assembly back onto the car and you should be good to go.

Also, while you have the headlamp removed, might be a good time to buff and polish the plastic to get that haze off them .

Hope this helps somebody out there and saves a few bucks. Saved me $300! That's beer money!
Old 05-09-2018, 07:23 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 2
Default Corroded igniter socket

Replaced igniters and xenon bulbs about 3 years ago. Recently my lights have been flickering or not turning on. Found the igniter socket and corroded/burned again. What’s the cause and how do I prevent from having to change every couple years? Thanks
Old 01-27-2019, 11:05 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 5
Default changing to LED ?

Originally Posted by XC90Passenger View Post
I see some people already on this issue. Infamous message "low beam failure" but the bulbs are fine, found the connectors melted, got them replaced($26 a piece), 7 months later same thing. I can just replace the connectors again but thats not the root of the problem. May be ballasts, like was mentioned here before?
2006 XC90 130K
I had the same thing with my 2008 xc90 . I have regular bulbs, no ballasts. Have replaced both low beam connectors due to them getting brittle and breaking.
By having DRL the connector gets hot and looses a good connection. Taking the headlamp out and wiggling it usually fixes the problem. Works for me but not my wife. :/

I was wondering, if I change my bulbs to the LED type, would the lower amperage maybe not heat up the connector as much ?
What do you guys think ?
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