What’s the Best Way to Convert Halogen Headlights to HID on a Volvo XC60?

In the world of automotive enhancements, lighting plays a pivotal role. Not only does it add to the overall aesthetics, but it also significantly contributes to the safety aspect. One such upgrade is the conversion of halogen headlights to High-Intensity Discharge (HID), also known as xenon lights, on your Volvo XC60. While the process may seem complex, by following a methodical approach, it can be completed with relative ease. Let’s explore this topic in detail.

Understanding the Conversion Process

Before embarking on the journey of converting your Volvo’s headlights, it’s crucial to understand what the process entails. Halogen bulbs, the factory-fitted option in most cars, are cheaper and easier to replace but don’t provide as much light output as their HID or LED counterparts.

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HID bulbs, on the other hand, offer a high-power output that ensures better visibility on the road. They are more energy-efficient and provide a more pleasing, white light. However, the conversion process involves installing a HID conversion kit and may require a fair bit of technical knowledge.

The general process of conversion involves removing the existing halogen bulb, installing a new ballast (that acts as a power regulator), and finally, installing the HID bulb. Before starting the conversion process, check if your car supports HID kit installation. For Volvo XC60, the conversion is possible and widely performed by many car enthusiasts.

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Choosing the Right Bulbs and Kit

The first step in the conversion process involves choosing the right bulbs and kit. While there are many options available on the market, it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your Volvo XC60. Keep in mind that the quality of the bulbs and the kit will directly impact the output of your lights.

When browsing for options, consider the color temperature of the bulb. This is measured in Kelvin (K), and the higher the Kelvin rating, the cooler (bluer) the light tends to be. Most drivers prefer bulbs in the 4300K to 6000K range for a bright, white light.

Several reputable brands offer conversion kits, which are available on various platforms such as Amazon. Some of these kits come with everything you need for the conversion, including the ballasts, bulbs, and wiring. A few well-known brands that you can consider are Kensun, Innovited, and Xentec.

The Actual Conversion Process

Now that you have the right bulbs and conversion kit, the next step is to actually perform the conversion. This involves replacing the halogen bulbs with the new HID bulbs. The process requires a certain level of technical knowledge and some patience.

Firstly, you’ll need to remove the existing halogen bulb from your headlight assembly. Next, you’ll install the ballast and connect it to your car’s electrical system. The ballast helps to regulate the high voltage required to power the HID bulb.

Finally, you’ll install the HID bulb, ensuring it’s securely fitted into the headlight assembly. While most people can successfully complete the conversion process themselves, if you’re not comfortable with it, it’s best to have a professional do it to avoid any potential damage to your Volvo.

Post-Installation Check and Legalities

Once the HID bulbs are installed and everything is wired up, it’s crucial to check whether everything is functioning correctly. Turn your headlights on and ensure both bulbs are lighting up. Many car enthusiasts suggest doing a ‘night drive’ to see the difference in the illumination compared to the old halogen bulbs.

Bear in mind that all modifications done to your vehicle should conform to the regulations set by your local transportation authority. HID lights, due to their high intensity, may not be legal in all regions. So, it’s always a good idea to check the local laws before making the conversion.

Getting Help and Support

If you’re unsure about the process or run into any problems, several resources can help. One such resource is the MVS forum, a dedicated platform for Volvo owners where you can find information and get advice from experienced members who’ve performed similar modifications.

Remember, while the DIY approach can be fulfilling, if you’re not confident about the process, it’s better to seek professional help. The last thing you want is to damage your car’s lighting system or electrical wiring.

To sum it up, while the process of converting halogen headlights to HID on a Volvo XC60 might sound daunting, it’s certainly doable with the right tools and guidance. The enhanced visibility and aesthetic appeal make it a worthy upgrade for many vehicle owners.

Troubleshooting the HID Conversion Kit

While converting the halogen bulbs to HID on your Volvo XC60, you might encounter some problems. In such cases, understanding the cause and knowing how to troubleshoot is critical.

A common issue is the HID bulbs not lighting up. This could be due to a faulty connection, a problem with the ballast, or the bulb itself. Make sure all the connections are secure and the ballast is functioning correctly. If the problem persists, try replacing the bulb.

If your HID lights are flickering, it might be a sign of a power issue. The ballast regulates the power to the HID bulbs, so if it’s faulty or not properly connected, it can cause the lights to flicker. Check the wiring and the condition of the ballast to solve this issue.

Despite being more energy-efficient than halogen bulbs, HID bulbs have a higher initial power requirement. If your Volvo’s electrical system cannot handle the initial surge, it may cause the bulbs to not illuminate properly. In this case, you might need a capacitor or an additional relay harness to provide the necessary power.

Bear in mind that troubleshooting electrical issues should be performed with caution. If you’re unsure about the process, it’s best to seek help from a professional or consult with experienced members on a Volvo forum.


The conversion of halogen headlights to HID on a Volvo XC60 may seem like a daunting task to some, but with the right conversion kit, detailed instructions, and a bit of patience, it is a task that can be successfully completed. However, it’s important to keep in mind the local regulations and the potential issues that might arise during the process.

Consider the quality and compatibility of the conversion kit and the bulbs you choose for your Volvo. Don’t forget to test the HID headlights thoroughly post-installation to ensure everything is working perfectly. Even though the process requires a certain level of technical knowledge, remember there are resources available to help, such as the MVS forum or professional services.

Making the switch from halogen bulbs to HID or LED headlights offers numerous benefits including improved visibility, increased safety, and enhanced aesthetics. So, whether you’re a car enthusiast looking to improve your vehicle’s lighting or simply a Volvo XC60 owner seeking a better night-time driving experience, the bulbs upgrade to HID is a worthy investment.

In sum, the journey from halogen to xenon headlights is not as complex as it appears. With the right tools, the correct bulbs and conversion kit, and a patient approach, this illuminating upgrade can add a whole new dimension to your Volvo XC60.