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Kia Optima 2013 HID Frustrations

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  • Kia Optima 2013 HID Frustrations

    I have a 2013 Kia Optima. OEM is H11B halogens. Can't see when it's dark, they are terrible. So I bought an H11B compatible HID kit.

    Plugged then in and they both immediately flickered off. So purchased anti flicker capacitors. First set I got, only one capacitor worked so I ordered replacements. I now have 3 working capacitors until I return a set. My passenger side works perfectly. I have swapped the ballast, the capacitors, and bulbs from side to side and the passenger side works with all of the components I have. Very systematically, very carefully testing each part. They all work fine.

    However, the drivers side continues to flicker. I've confirmed the wiring is solidly in place. I do not have a wiring harness but am willing to get one if that's the fix.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Its not uncommon for many halogen and xenon projector lamps to become defective due to a poorly aluminized reflector. The aluminum will wear away and the reflective nature of the lamp becomes increasingly dim.

    The 2011-2013 Kia Optima headlamps have this very problem and Kia is aware of it. They issued a TSB back in 2019.

    I recommend that you get yourself brand new OEM lamps along with a pair of Philips H9 bulbs. The H9 is a significantly higher output light source and is a common upgrade to H11/H11b bulbs. A slight trimming to one of the tabs will allow the H9 to seat properly. You will also need to perform a H11B to H9 conversion following this procedure HERE.

    Also note that HID kits are never good idea because they are not optically compatible with halogen lamps. But more importantly, they wreak havoc on the aluminized reflectors. Because most aftermarket HID kits uses cheap rebased xenon capsules, the glass envelope does not have sufficient UV absorption. Why is that important? Well, UV light destroys nearly all materials found inside of a headlamp. The first to go will be that precious aluminized reflector. Its not a matter of IF, its a matter of when. So stay clear of HID kits and stick with halogen.

    You can also upgrade your lamps to the OEM Optima xenon lamps. Coupled with Osram Nightbreaker Laser D1S bulbs, you'll definitely have a large boost in light output.