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Sorento EX V6 2014
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Discussion Starter #1
If your Sorento came stock with halogen low-beams and after properly aiming them you're still dissatisfied with your nighttime visibility, then there are only two safe ways to improve this:

1. Install 2100-lumen H7 halogen bulbs supplied by Daniel Stern - these are drop-in replacements, made in Germany.

If upgrading to the 2100-lumen H7 bulbs isn't satisfactory, then option #2 is to source a pair of Kia Sorento HID OEM headlamp assemblies complete with OEM ballast and D3S Xenon bulbs (Phillips). These will have built-in Auto-Leveling motors on the vertical adjustment for the low-beam. Unless your Sorento came with Auto-Leveling headlights, you will not be able to plug in this module that'll be on the back of the headlamp enclosure.

Instead, you'll need to manually adjust the vertical setting with a screwdriver as per the service manual. Might as well do the complete aiming procedure as outlined in the service manual or via Daniel Stern's website.

If you want to read more specifics on why you shouldn't be sticking anything other than halogen bulbs into halogen headlamp housings, read: Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

I'm in no way affiliated with Daniel Stern, nor do I get any sort of commission or discount on his products for posting this.

I'm just a type-a auto enthusiast who prefers to implement upgrades that are safe.

I'm installing a set of Kia OEM HID headlamp assemblies. From what I can determine, they will bolt right in, connect to the halogen main connector and function properly sans the auto-leveling feature.

I'll report back on my results.

Also, factory fog lamps are effectively useless. There is no reason to bother spending money on bulbs or upgrades for them unless you're going to mount high-quality fog lamps in their place (e.g. CIBE, Hella, etc.). Their design are not conducive to providing the proper beam pattern that would qualify as a fog lamp. Putting in higher lumen bulbs, HID or LED conversions will only cause your long-distance night vision to be reduced and glare to be hellish for oncoming drivers.
 

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Sorento 2015 LX 2.4 AWD, Suzuki 2011 SX4 AWD, ( 2000 KIA Sportage, junked)
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496 Posts
... Install 2100-lumen H7 halogen bulbs ...made in Germany ....
THese are 65W bulbs. JUst for comparison, the original H7 are 55/55W bulbs . That should provide about 20% more lumens....IMO, barely noticeable ...unless they run at noticeably higher filament temperature..which could also shorten their life. I'd like to see a photo of illumination pattern of both types taken in identical conditions but basically, I think I'm stuck with a poor illumination. Headlights are barely position markers in most cars now....for the sake of esthetics.......and as you said, same for "fog" lights...
 

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2015 Sorento EX 3.3 AWD, 2009 Kia Rondo EX
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72 Posts
Is the wiring able to handle the additional wattage? Projector bowls okay with the extra heat? Difference in the non self levelling bowls vs self leveling?

Doing a ton of night driving and tbh i may aswell be using a flashlight, even with the philips xtreme visions in there... Def need something different in there.
 

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Sorento EX V6 2014
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145 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Changing to the Vosla 65w 2100 lumen bulbs from Daniel Stern puts no additional strain on the factory wiring or enough additional heat to be of any consequence.

As for the swap to HID headlamps from the SX/Limited, the HID system actually draws less current and produces less heat than the halogen counterparts.

Since I don’t have the headlamps yet I’m not sure if the vertical setting at the autoleveler will stay set without an active circuit.

They arrive on Wednesday. I’ll report back once I’ve ascertained if they plug and play.
 

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2017 Sorento SXL
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158 Posts
where did you get OEM HID set up?
 

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Sorento EX V6 2014
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145 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
where did you get OEM HID set up?
I bought a complete used pair of 2015 Sorento SX-Limited HID headlamp assemblies online from a junkyard in California. This included the entire headlamp assembly with bulbs and ballasts.

I tried one yesterday and while all the other bulbs work properly (DRL LED, turn, high beam), I'm getting high-frequency flickering of the low-beam HID when the engine is running.

This is apparently caused by the IPM (body control module) sending pulses to the original halogen bulbs to check for their presence. The HID ballasts need a steady voltage/current. Ironically, I had an H7 go out yesterday after swapping headlamps and I didn't get any instrument panel warning. I don't have a Kia dealer who is willing to reprogram my IPM to use the HID option. Not that this is a surprise, but Daniel Stern inferred that "they do this all the time".

However, that's really the correct way to make this work. And I haven't verified that the Smart Junction Box ground circuit for the HID option is in place or not. (I/P-N connector pin #3). Even if it is, the module would still have to be programmed to operate for HID.

I ordered a pair of 4700uf 35v capacitors that will go in parallel with the low-beam positive-ground feed to try to fix this.

If this doesn't work, then I'm going to return the HID headlamps and just suck it up and stick with the stock halogen headlamps outfitting with Vosla 65w H7 bulbs from Daniel Stern.
 

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2015 Sorento EX 3.3 AWD, 2009 Kia Rondo EX
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Is there a reason why an aftermarket HID kit/ballasts wouldn't work in those headlights? A morimoto or hylux with canbus should solve the flickering issue and they use amp connections, so wouldn't be an issue grabbing a set of d3s and using them in place of the oem balasts... Of course that is if the inline cap doesn't solve the pwm issues... Just a thought... Might be able to grab oem ballasts from the retrofit sourse in the closeout section for pennies..

Be curious to tear down both sx and ex headlights to see what the difference is in the projector itself, rumour has it the sx uses an e35 type projector... Who knows tho...
 

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Sorento EX V6 2014
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Discussion Starter #9
Because the reflector in the halogen equipped headlamps isn’t designed to work with HID bulbs. It doesn’t matter if they’re some aftermarket kit.

The beam pattern and intensity will not be correct. And technically it’s an illegal thing to do.

By swapping in OEM HID headlamps it keeps everything legal and correct.

I’m hoping to figure out how or if I can do this without putting a capacitor and/relay harness in.

Nonetheless, there is a thorough article about these HID upgrade kits on Daniel Stern’s site. He’s above board and that’s how I prefer to roll.
 

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Sorento EX V6 2014
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Discussion Starter #10
To add, the original halogen equipped headlamps are a different part number and different marked reflector compared to the HID version.

I’ll try to get pictures when I get a chance.
 

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2015 Sorento EX 3.3 AWD, 2009 Kia Rondo EX
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I meant using aftermarket ballasts with canbus in the sx hid equipped headlights you have.... So you would swap headlights and add canbus ballasts to resolve the flickering

The halogen/hid projector disassemly would be curiousity...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
from a well-researched subject for people with Volvo's trying to upgrade to HID, Volvo P1 HID Retrofit Issues - SKBOWE PWM filter

Although I hate this term because it is so blatantly inaccurate: There is no such thing as “CANBUS” – there is the CAN which is a type of bus, but neither thing has anything to do with the function of the filter. The harness does not connect to a CAN_H/CAN_L signal wires. I think this terminology entered use with poorly translated Chinese product advertisements, trying to say something like “for cars with CAN bus connected vehicle modules” because PWM voltage regulation emerged around the same time as electrical system voltages were increased and stabilized to operate the many CAN interconnected modules without glitches. The “harness” part probably originated with it being billed as an alternative to a relay harness (which is a real thing). What a misnomer!
So what you're advising I buy is a patently falsely advertised product that will not solve anything for this application.
 

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2015 Sorento EX 3.3 AWD, 2009 Kia Rondo EX
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Call it what you will, the "canbus"/error canceller/capacitor fixed a flickering issue in my rondo and they also worked fine in the sorento as a test run... Cant say the same for a normal ballast (morimoto) with and without additional harnesses... So whatever magic is in those little boxes (simple cap), they do what they are intended to...

The hylux "canbus" also corrected flickering in the sorento, the standard morimoto did not...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For the benefit of anyone who follows and/or discovers this thread in the hopes of finding factual, safe information, as of and still today the mainstay of 1st world countries automotive laws indicate that retrofitting lighting technologies into your vehicle that is different from what the vehicle came equipped with from the manufacturer is illegal.

Feel free to research these laws yourself for your respective country. There are scientifically-backed reasons why these laws exist.

Anyone can use whatever terminology they like, but there is a correct use and not correct use. You're clearly still free to send your money to companies who are selling products into countries where the use of their product is illegal. I'm a rational person and I'm suspect of the terminology used by such companies.

As it turns out, much of the terminology they use to peddle their goods is not true and/or a distortion of the truth. But, hey, brighter lights!

I certainly don't want anyone to misconstrue my advice in such a way that leads them to do something to their vehicle that would endanger them and/or others on the road. That's just my sense of morality and experience having worked as a professional in the automotive service industry.

@wannabefishing, I appreciate your effort to advise me, but no thank you.
 

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It's against the forum policy to allow the promotion of anything illegal such as lighting, exhaust, etc. - if you've posted anything please make sure its legal
 

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2015 Sorento EX 3.3 AWD, 2009 Kia Rondo EX
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Absolutely nothing i have posted is illegal. All that was suggested was a device to communicate with the canbus controller the sorento uses- a cap tells the canbus system that there is voltage to the ballasts- thats it and thats all...

If you aren't interested in correcting the flickering that way, well, grab the full wiring schematic of the SX and other sorento models, see if there are other controllers in the wiring, if the canbus system is used differently with the SX... The ballasts/bulbs communicate with the canbus controller, the lower input voltage of hid ballasts confuse the computer and it believes the bulb is out... A cap/error canceller keeps a steady voltage to the ballasts- thats it, thats all... No increase in output/brightness of said bulbs... However... Again... Do as one pleases...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The facts are:
1. An aftermarket capacitor installed for the purpose of eliminating flicker for an HID conversion has no ability to interact with the CANBUS system. Suggesting this indicates that you do not understand how a capacitor works and/or how it works when utilized in this circuit.

It's purpose is to smooth out the AC ripple created by the PWM signal sent by the IPS Control Module to increase the lifespan of the original halogen bulbs. This AC ripple is what causes the flickering in retrofitted HID installations. HID ballasts need a constant voltage/current supply in order to operate properly. Using just a capacitor alone is not a good long term solution since capacitors have a degradation factor which is further accelerated by aging (heat, cold, material quality, etc.) and the amount of AC ripple.

So, in many instances, the capacitor will fail long before a bulb or ballast does. This can cause a prolonged safety issue since unlike a common bulb outage, you seldom can find a compatible capacitor locally to put in in an emergency or get your down the road at night safely. And, if the cap does fail and passes AC ripple to the ballast, it could potentially kill the ballast if not immediately, then definitely eventually if left unrepaired for a longer period of time. Ballasts are expensive!

2. I have the full schematics of my vehicle and understand the circuit design. The SX-L trim has an "HID Option" under the User Options in the IPS/Body Control Module settings accessed via a KIA GDS VCI system. I still have yet to acquire the GDS and try enabling this option along with verifying that the ARISU Control with the HID Ground wire at connector I/P-N, pin #3 (HID Control to Ground) exists in my EX that theoretically would allow the disabling of the halogen PWM signal. If this does work out, then my installation of SX-L OEM HID headlamp assemblies will work properly and be a fully legal system.

3. There isn't a direct CANBUS control over the headlamps. It's controlled by an Intelligent Power Switch. Even with my headlamps disconnected, there is no bulb-out notification on the instrument panel display. So the IPS is rather "dumb" in a way when it comes to our headlamps.

4. Due to the facts of #3, there is no way an aftermarket "CANBUS" provisioned HID ballast can communicate in any way with the 2014-2015 Kia Sorento IPS/Body Control Module system. First, because there is no CANBUS control in any of the aftermarket ballasts. It's a falsely advertised claim to part you with your money and an attempt to solve a problem that can't just be solved by changing a ballast.

5. Retrofitting any type of bulb technology other than the type that was originally installed or available for your model vehicle is illegal in most countries and definitely the entire EU. Do your own research with your respective motor vehicle division laws for clarification.

There are diatribes of information on the internet about aftermarket circuitry designed to properly install HID bulbs into cars originally equipped with non-HID technology. However, it's still not legal.

My goal has been to convert my halogen low beams to the Kia factory HID headlamps as equipped in the higher-level trim for my compatible model year. This is a legal methodology since I'm retrofitting using original Kia parts and systems that were an option for my model vehicle.

If this information doesn't provide a more clear picture of this subject, then I encourage people who still have doubts to do their own research. The information is out there.
 

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5. Retrofitting any type of bulb technology other than the type that was originally installed or available for your model vehicle is illegal in most countries and definitely the entire EU. Do your own research with your respective motor vehicle division laws for clarification.
My understanding was it is legal if it does not exceed the wattage ( LED's lumens) dictated by the DOT rules - do you have any references to the law in the US or Canada?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For the US, research here

For Ontario, Canada see:

and, Law Document English View

Other provinces may have different laws/rules and can be researched accordingly depending on your location.
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L, 17 Ford Edge Sport 2.7L V6, 15 Mustang 3.7L V6, 2013 BMW K1600 GTL
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For the US, research here

For Ontario, Canada see:

and, Law Document English View

Other provinces may have different laws/rules and can be researched accordingly depending on your location.
Help me out with the excerpt - I viewed the Canadian link you posted and didn't find anything stating the below.

5. Retrofitting any type of bulb technology other than the type that was originally installed or available for your model vehicle is illegal in most countries and definitely the entire EU. Do your own research with your respective motor vehicle division laws for clarification.
 
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