VIN headlight question - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 04-13-2010
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VIN headlight question

Hi all,
I'm a soon to be SLK owner. Most likely a 2001 or 2002 320. I've been reading through many of your posts and they have been most helpful.

My son and I were having a discussion about headlights. He is insisting that there are HID headlights and Xenon headlights (non HID). So my first question would be is he correct?

I've run the VIN on a car I'm looking at and it says:

lamp unit: gas discharge lamp (ael)
xenon headlight (с 01.10.1993)

What does this all mean? What is (ael)? What does (c 01.10.1993) mean? Are these HID headlights?

Thanks much,
Steve
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#2 Old 04-14-2010
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Welcome Steve. It looks like you got that from the Russian site. The codes are probably good, but odds are, the descriptions are wrong. You can go to the control codes sticky in the R170 general discussion section for the code descriptions.

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#3 Old 04-14-2010
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#4 Old 04-14-2010
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Welcome. True HID and xenons lights are the same. Many cheap lights for sale online are are branded as HID or xenons which they are not. HID stands for high-intensity discharge, a technical term for the electric arc that produces the light. The high intensity of the arc comes from metallic salts that are vapourised within the arc chamber. These lamps are formally known as gas-discharge burners, and produce more light for a given level of power consumption than ordinary tungsten and tungsten-halogen bulbs. Because of the increased amounts of light available from HID burners relative to halogen bulbs, HID headlamps producing a given beam pattern can be made smaller than halogen headlamps producing a comparable beam pattern. Alternatively, the larger size can be retained, in which case the xenon headlamp can produce a more robust beam pattern.
Automotive HID lamps are commonly called "xenon headlamps", though they are actually metal halide lamps that contain xenon gas. The xenon gas allows the lamps to produce minimally adequate light immediately upon powerup, and accelerates the lamps' run-up time. If argon were used instead, as is commonly done in street lights and other stationary metal halide lamp applications, it would take several minutes for the lamps to reach their full output. The light from HID headlamps has a distinct bluish tint when compared with tungsten-filament headlamps

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#5 Old 04-14-2010
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(Thread Starter)
Thanks for all the replies.

Don,
Thanks for the description. That's pretty much what I've been telling my son. I was unable to make the links work to the wiki however. That would be handy to have.

Tslick,
I had a look at the option code list. It says:
"170 612 HEADLAMP-XENON R.H.TRAFFIC"

I'm guessing R.H. TRAFFIC means this car drives on the right (left side steering). I didn't know there was a headlight difference for right or left drive.

Steve


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#6 Old 04-14-2010
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#7 Old 04-14-2010
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Welcome from London via Paris!! Welcome a couple more folks, and post up your VIN, I'll pull your datacard for you.



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