Why & When Do We Use Capacitors for HID Kits?

Posted by Justin L. on 12th Sep 2017

"Why and when do we use capacitors for HID kits?"

This question is probably the #1 reason our beloved HIDextra customers call us. "What are capacitors? Do I need them for my HID kit install? Well, as with all things that are slightly more complicated than chopping wood, "it depends". So today, we're going to use the good old grammar school format of WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHO, WHERE and HOW to best explain HIDextra capacitors.

What are HID capacitors?: 

HIDextra HID capacitors are essentially conductor devices (protected by an electric insulator) that are used to store additional electric charges

Why do you need them?:

Capacitors are used in a number of cases, but the primary fix that it’s addressing is that some vehicles, based on their design, will “pulse” voltage to the HID kits

When should you install them?:

Capacitors should be used when installing HID kits causes the following issues. 

  1. A flickering of the HID light or an inconsistent beam of light 
  2. A “error code” signal in your dashboard turns on when you turn on your HID. 
  3. One or both of your HID lights perform inconsistently when you turn your lights on.

Who needs them?:

These “pulsing” voltage issues tend to happen more often on newer model cars, cars equipped with auto sensing headlights, and those equipped with DRL (Daytime Running Lights). Some common car makes include Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, and Audi. However, you should always check our vehicle fit guide to ensure whether you need a set of capacitors or not.

Where do you get them?:

Why, at our HIDextra Accessories section of course!

How do you install them?:

Capacitors are probably the easiest HID accessory to install. They are simply an extra piece of wiring between your HID ballast and the plug that goes directly into your car's wiring (plug one side into the ballast and the other into the car wiring). Capacitors always come sold in pairs, so you want to make sure you install them on each side.

There is one BIG caveat to this installation: HID capacitors MUST be installed with the correct “polarity." What does that mean? Simply put, it means “the red wire MUST match up with the red wire, and the black wire MUST match up with the black wire." The reason? It’s a conductive unit that has polarity much like a car battery charger. If you put the ends the wrong way, it’s going to cause the battery lines to fail. Similarly, if you install capacitors the wrong way, it may cause failure of the capacitors.

Which HIDEXTRA Kits already has these built in capacitors? Our 55w PRO Canbus HID Kit.