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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, for the second time moisture has leaded into the housing of my headlight, shorting out the light on my 2010 Mazda3 GT. The first time was warrantied, but that's not the case this time. The part alone, a HID/Xenon with "Adaptive/Auto-Level" is almost $1000 alone! The car has well over 200,000 miles and I've passed it on to my son, so he simply can't afford this repair.

I have two questions, does anyone know of any other options for part? FYI, I've found some aftermarket, but for the same features, the price is about the same. I've found some w/o "Auto-Leveling", but I've read that the wiring is very different and it won't work. Can someone confirm this? If it works, I'd do that, the price without that feature is half the cost of it with the feature?

Last, I've read all kinds of dire warnings about replacing a Xenon yourself, for fear of major shock. Has anyone done this, is it as risky as they claim?

Thanks,
Mario
 

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Demon Spawn
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758 Posts
Hi, for the second time moisture has leaded into the housing of my headlight, shorting out the light on my 2010 Mazda3 GT. The first time was warrantied, but that's not the case this time. The part alone, a HID/Xenon with "Adaptive/Auto-Level" is almost $1000 alone! The car has well over 200,000 miles and I've passed it on to my son, so he simply can't afford this repair.

I have two questions, does anyone know of any other options for part? FYI, I've found some aftermarket, but for the same features, the price is about the same. I've found some w/o "Auto-Leveling", but I've read that the wiring is very different and it won't work. Can someone confirm this? If it works, I'd do that, the price without that feature is half the cost of it with the feature?

Last, I've read all kinds of dire warnings about replacing a Xenon yourself, for fear of major shock. Has anyone done this, is it as risky as they claim?

Thanks,
Mario
non auto leveling assemblies wont work if yours have auto leveling you must get tit for tat on this part. you might try a junkyard but good luck finding any in better shape than yours. its unfortunately very common for this to occur and that is one of many reasons i got rid of my 2011 i bought used that had this happen 3 days after i bought it. the 2010 to 13 year model 3s are not built the best after ford abandoned mazda and left them to pick up the pieces. if its over 200k miles i would honestly suggest looking for another car if you can put up a down payment on something used of a similar year range maybe a 3 without the hid lights as overall the car is ok and the lower trims had less issues. you can change them yourself, its easy you do have to be careful they are high voltage. but disconnecting the battery is all you need to do. the bumper is held in by a 4 pop tabs right in the middle under the hood and 2 screws in each fender well and then simply pops off and then you simply unplug all the lighting wiring and take it all out and install is reverse of disassembly. zoomzoomnationparts.com which is a mazda dealer in chicago had the best prices for the assembly new i found last year. even beat rock auto which only had "refurbished" ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input! I looked at your link and yes, that dealer's prices are much better... but still the cost is crazy. I had wondered, and you somewhat confirmed it, that this issue might be a manufacturing issue. In both my cases, all it took was a good rain-storm and the the light was out! If this is the case, any thoughts on using this as some sort of leverage with dealer or Mazda corporate? Do you have any more info on this and/or is there evidence here, or elsewhere, that this is a manufacturing problem? It seems insane to me that I might have to consider selling an otherwise great car, simply for the cost of replacing a headlight!

thanks again!
 

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Demon Spawn
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758 Posts
Thanks for the input! I looked at your link and yes, that dealer's prices are much better... but still the cost is crazy. I had wondered, and you somewhat confirmed it, that this issue might be a manufacturing issue. In both my cases, all it took was a good rain-storm and the the light was out! If this is the case, any thoughts on using this as some sort of leverage with dealer or Mazda corporate? Do you have any more info on this and/or is there evidence here, or elsewhere, that this is a manufacturing problem? It seems insane to me that I might have to consider selling an otherwise great car, simply for the cost of replacing a headlight!

thanks again!
if you are beyond warranty they most likely wont do a damned thing. i bought my 11 3 used and had this happen 2days after buying it that was a fun 2 weeks and that was one of the major reasons i decided less than 6 months later to replace it,as a car i spent $10k for should need $1000+ of headlight work every time it rains. luckily for me the dealer i bought it used from (bmw dallas) is an autonation dealer and had the nationwide 60 day warranty so i called and they paid for the fix but it left a bad taste in my mouth about the car and then it started having other mechanical related issues soon after and i relaized that though i bought a well cared for and meticulously maintained (from what its repair history had to say anyway) car it was not going to be reliable car,as it was automatic and the autos in this gen (no skyactiv) are ford trannys and we all know how bad those have been that was what finally pushed me to trade in, that and the desire for more space this gen 3 has no room in it 17 cubic feet of cargo room in a hatchback that gets 25mpg mostly highway? yeah i wasnt feeling it, so i traded it for an 11 xterra that gets just a little worse mpg but sits higher, is more reliable thus far (even with more miles) but has over 60 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat with them up! over 70 with them down and the fold completely flat unlike the 11 3's which only folded somewhat flat. and yes i couldnt justify future issues with headlights that cost as much as the 3's did, other than that and the crappy auto tranny it was a good car other than not enough space for my needs, i much preferred my older 1st gen 08 one though. it was a manual and was that cool looking galaxy grey color. only issue it ever had was the common motor mount failure. too bad it got totaled or i would still be driving it.
 

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Obviously an old thread but the problem potentially remains. For anyone dealing with this issue - I would remove your bumper and repair the light yourself.
Remove all bulbs, heatgun OR bake your headlight at 225* to loosen the sealant. Use gloves, slowly work your way around the headlight and pry it open. You can then replace components as needed, or if it's working, re-seal the light using Morimoto Retrorubber glue.
The cause for condensation is typically a loose headlight seal from factory (it happens), or a small crack in the housing. Also check your headlight breathers aren't flipped upside as well.
 
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