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Exterior guides and mods

453 Headlight Upgrade

Modification Details

These are the boring standard headlights with warm white DRLs. Let's change them for the upgrade headlights.

On the left is the old, on the right is the new.

Same again but lit up. The upgrade headlights have a cool white strip which looks much nicer.

Remove the front panel, remove the headlight fittings and disconnect the headlight.
You will see 3 electrical connectors.

1 - headlight adjuster.
2 - headlight connector.
3 - coming home light connector.

That last connector won't be connected on your standard headlights.

To disconnect the main electrical connector, lever the tab back with a screwdriver.

With the light removed, flip them over to compare. On your new headlight you have a new connector.
This underside connector connects to a ballast driver that controls the daytime running lights.


Smart, in their infinite wisdom have changed what ballasts are used in newer headlights.

It is important that you get the correct shape ballast for your particular headlights.
A more detailed account of the ballasts can be seen near the bottom of the page.

You DO NOT get the ballasts when you buy the headlights.

Snap the electrical connector in place and screw the ballast into the underside of the headlight.

Fit the new headlight and plug everything in including the new daytime running light connector.

All fitted up and ready to go. Repeat on the other side.

When you start the car, this light will illuminate. If you turn the headlights on, this light will dim.

The pointless addition to the upgrade headlights are the coming home lights. These light for about a minute
when the car is turned off and the door is opened. They are supposed to give you a little bit of light to aid you
to your front door. They look good but ultimately shit for what they are supposed to do.

Make sure all of the lights work as expected before assembling the car again.

Where Do I Buy The Updated Headlights From?

FFS! From a smart dealer.

Power Use

Parking lights, 2.6 watts at 13.5 volts.
Daytime Running lights, 30 watts at 13.5 volts.
Coming Home lights, 17 watts at 13.5 volts.

Valeo DRL Ballasts


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