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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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6,365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Problem: HID's on while starting car is bad for bulbs.

Solution: Delay power to HID/ballasts until engine is running.

Approaches:

1. Dumb timer delay for HID relay
2. Voltage sensitive relay (can detect battery vs alternator levels)
3. Always remembering to leave lights off when parking (not the only driver though--so not a great option)

Do vehicles (Altimas) that come with stock HIDs have different IPDM programming to prevent bulb life shortening events such as the voltage drop out from the starter motor engaging?
 

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2010 2.5 SL
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588 Posts
Huh. Never even considered the fact that it might not be good for the bulbs. I would think the ballasts themselves would provide protection, but have nothing to back that up.

Ways I know of to delay things (not sure any are good, though)
Relay connected to something that is only on when the engine is running (I do not know of anything, though (heater, maybe?)).
Relay connected to a 555 timer circuit. (but the timer would start before car is on; may turn on lights while in ACC mode).
Relay array that is activated by being taken out of Park and stays on until car is off. (best way, I think. Not sure how to do it, though).
Relay connected to Parking Brake (but I'm the only one I know who actually uses a parking brake when parked).
Yet another switch in your car to activate headlights (really defeats the purpose of auto headlights and would be something you have to explain if anyone borrows your car).
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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6,365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a plan and parts and will post my solution when done. Thanks very much for offering your ideas...that's what this is all about...exchange of ideas, sanity checks, reduction of foolish efforts, etc etc B)

In the mean time I was looking to see what others were doing to prevent auto-on HIDs from prematurely aging. At least the DRLs use the highbeams...that would truly have been a nightmare!

Would have been cool if the IPDM addressed these issues, but I suspect it does not. So I will 'engineer' my own solution, tryhing to miniaturize a commercial design that I partially reverse engineered.... Stay tuned
 

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2010 2.5 SL
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588 Posts
It dawned on my yesterday that there might be a fuse that is only on when the car has already started, but I haven't really been in a position to check the FSM. Best of luck.

As for your Canada required DRLs (foolishly hooked into glaring high beams (even if at lower power) instead of separate lights); how are those connected to projector beams that only change the baffle when on high instead of being on separate lights?
 

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Guess that we should have a separate set of DRLs on the cars here in Canada . Would give a break to the highs .
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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6,365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I looked at the time delay function, but it's too 'crude' for my tastes...and I don't want to wait 15 or 30s before driving off. I am going to use either an independent voltage controlled system...ie one that doesn't engage until the alternator is spinning and the battery charging, or see if there is a 'Run' signal available in the IPDM somewhere...but that might be a next summer project.

I did speak with a Nissan tech this morning, and I am going to do a part number check on the '09 SE vs SL IPDM and ECU. That will tell me if they changed as a result of the HIDs or not.

In the mean time I have to remember to keep my lights 'off' when parked...which is hard after a decade plus of using auto-on halo's and work on my inline circuit. Plan is to design it with an inline H11 connector system to insert between the harness H11 low beam feed and my HID harness connector--because I like having too many connectors ;) Function will be off until voltage > 13.4V, stays on, even after voltage drop to 12V, until input signal goes to 0V. This will force the ballasts to wait for engine run condition before startup, and then stay on, even after it shuts off, to support 'courtesy' lighting function.

FWIW I'm okay with using the Hi's as DRL's...pretty good solution in my book anyways. Daytime you actually want a little glare, and at 6V, your filament is way less stressed so lifetime has minimal impact.
 

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2010 2.5 SL
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588 Posts
Looking at FSM section PCS.

"Engine Running"
Terminal No. 13 (SB) Fuel Pump Power Supply (One second after ignition On, or running)
Terminal No. 48 (W) A/C Relay Power Supply (requires A/C switch on, but maybe you can go upstream from that)
Terminal 75 (LG) Oil Pressure Switch (This seems like a winner)
 

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2010 2.5 SL
Joined
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588 Posts
FWIW I'm okay with using the Hi's as DRL's...pretty good solution in my book anyways. Daytime you actually want a little glare, and at 6V, your filament is way less stressed so lifetime has minimal impact.
It's not a bad solution; certainly better than wearing out normal driving lights. But technology has surpassed that and LEDs are even more noticeable, provide NO wear to the highs or lows. Now we just need taillights to be on during the day too. Too many cars are cloaked from behind when it's raining or foggy.
 
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