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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everybody as I am a new member.
I have imported US LX PHEV to EU and want(and most probably should) change the crappy halogen OEM headlights.
In EU there are plenty of second hand OEM LED headlights for Niro (please don't discuss any kind of conversion kits in this topic, there are plenty of others in the forum) and I am thinking of buying one of these.

I am wondering whether somebody already done this, has he resolved the problem with the coding - I have pictures of the pins of the OEM halogen and the pins of OEM LED headlights and the LED's are 2 more, so obviously additional wiring will be required.
Is anyone familiar with the wiring diagrams for those 2 kinds of OEM headlights.

Thank you for any shared thoughts!
J.P.
 

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Most halogen OEM headlights don't work well with LEDs or HID replacement bulbs. The problem is that few OEM halogen housings have the proper light contouring to minimize the light going where it shouldn't. OEM HID and LED lights have a very sharp cutoff on the upper edge of the light projection, to help not blind oncoming drivers. They also often have self-leveling abilities for the same reason. Without that cutoff, light is projected too high and can really cause problems on the road. I'm not saying it can't be done, but be very careful with the bulbs you choose. I believe that some replacement bulbs attempt to replicate that cutoff, but I can't say how successful they are at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most halogen OEM headlights don't work well with LEDs or HID replacement bulbs. The problem is that few OEM halogen housings have the proper light contouring to minimize the light going where it shouldn't. OEM HID and LED lights have a very sharp cutoff on the upper edge of the light projection, to help not blind oncoming drivers. They also often have self-leveling abilities for the same reason. Without that cutoff, light is projected too high and can really cause problems on the road. I'm not saying it can't be done, but be very careful with the bulbs you choose. I believe that some replacement bulbs attempt to replicate that cutoff, but I can't say how successful they are at it.
Dear, READ carefully what is the subject of this topic!
Please discuss any conversion kits, i.e. any kind of "bulbs" elsewhere in other topics and DO NOT spam this topic, as I politely ASKED!
Thank you!
J.P.
 

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Welcome @J.P. ! I have the EX Premium PHEV here in the US that came with the LED lights and I suspect that this will be a non-trivial conversion. Like you say the assembly wiring is different and it's possible that the chassis wiring is unique as well. At least one of the extra pins is likely for the shutter motor which is controlled by the ECU. I'm not aware of a third party tool that can do the recoding needed for Kia vehicles, so that might be a dealbreaker unless you can convince a friendly dealer to do it for you. This assumes that changing the light coding in the ECU is even possible.

I'm interested to see how this goes, sorry I can't be more helpful.

Good luck!
 

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Are you in Columbia?

I'm curious why you would have a lot of used OEM headlight assemblies there. No doubt US wrecking yards have some available, but they typically will go for 50% cost from the dealer, which will be quite expensive.

Presumably the same source you get used OEM headlights will also have the correct wiring harness available. A Kia dealer then might be able to flash your ECU to the correct coding for models so equipped with LED headlights. Not an easy project, but would love to hear if you succeed and give us a road map. I've never heard of anyone doing this before and would be tempted to ask my dealer if it was possible through them to upgrade. Pretty sure the answer will be no, but it possible, I'd bet it would be in the neighborhood of $2,000 US dollars.

Using OEM to convert to LEDs is certainly the best way to upgrade, so you are right about that. I'm not convinced that aftermarket upgrades are an improvement. Yes, it changes the color temperature so it might look brighter, but it may actually be worse for visibility.
 

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Dear, READ carefully what is the subject of this topic!
Please discuss any conversion kits, i.e. any kind of "bulbs" elsewhere in other topics and DO NOT spam this topic, as I politely ASKED!
Thank you!
J.P.
I don't believe that I said anything that was completely contrary to your subject title. And I wouldn't accuse a moderator of spam. ;)

But I do now recognize that you are asking about a full OEM replacement. Depending on where you live, that honestly might be cost prohibitive. As you mentioned, the wiring differs, and it's possible the car has internal programming that must be changed and can only be done by a dealer. Assuming a dealer will even agree to make the change. Again, depending on location they might not be willing to accept any sort of liability for making the change.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you very much for all the replies.
I am in the EU! Not South America :) and here in EU the USA headlights "should" be changed due to the different beam cut.(and how different it could be when you put aftermarket bulb in it and.....etc.).
Of course this never happened in practice - there are a lot of "american" cars that don't even have a EU certified headlight/beam, so people are driving them as OEM....
Then there are the German brands(which we love at most!) which could be converted with EU OEM headlights but...not always, not every brand! I myself have(for the wife) USA A3 e-tron and could NOT succeed in EU conversion for a simple reason - the VAG group is putting the side marker and the turn signal in US on a SINGLE wire/bulb - when it is 3V it is a side marker, when the ECU give it 12V it is turn signal....In EU VAG headlights has 2 bulbs with 2 different wires, both with 12V and when I bought (yes, I had it for nothing) the EU LED headlights low/high beam and DLRs are working perfectly, but there is NO way till now to start front turn signal/side marker lights....in BG Audi dealer is helpless - in the VAG group everything is coded online on the German server and it refuses to code USA VINs with EU coding......till now the local hackers are not succeeding either....

I think here with KIA is not the same case - the bulbs are separate and the wires are. I am thinking that the additional pins in the LED OEM headlight are signals for the "leveling" - every LED system should have level sensors and some kind of electrical motor to move the housing accordingly.
In my USA Niro LX the light switch does not have any leveling position, so I assume there are no electrical motors to do that, rather some kind of hand operations and the wires are missing no doubt...

So for my project I hope I will be able to start all the lights in the Niro OEM LED housing but it will not operate properly in the case of hard load on the back of the car......

With my bad experience with the A3 I am still doubting whether to invest in the used OEM LEDs....and yes, I think that the conversion will end up around 1,500-1,700 USD.....

J.P.
 

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I’m curious why you would import a Niro from the US when the PHEV and EV Niro’s were widely available in the EU well before they debuted in the US? This would be a non-issue if you had purchased an EU-spec Niro.
My bet would be that a totaled or lemoned US car sold at auction is cheap and goes up in value in the EU because the history does not transfer. Thus worth more there than here. Also, new cars cost a lot more in the EU with taxation. I'm guessing those taxes don't apply to a used car but used cars are also more costly in the EU because of that initial taxation.
 

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My bet would be that a totaled or lemoned US car sold at auction is cheap and goes up in value in the EU because the history does not transfer. Thus worth more there than here. Also, new cars cost a lot more in the EU with taxation. I'm guessing those taxes don't apply to a used car but used cars are also more costly in the EU because of that initial taxation.
Hard to imagine the taxes on a new or used sale on a EU-spec car is more than the cost of buying, importing, and transporting a car from across the globe. I guess anything is possible though. Genuinely curious to see how the math works out if that is truly the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
OK, for the buying price(but please, stop spamming my topic, it is for OEM headlights!) - you forgot that in USA the people are buying in dollars, in EU in euros - point 1 FX difference.
Point 2 - the USA market is very competitive and brands like KIA are cheap - so the same Niro on both markets is positioned in different segments - in USA this is very cheap car for low middle class people, in EU this is expensive car for high middle class people.
Point 3 - the US and Canada specs cars are loaded, in EU every function and option of the car is an extra and you should pay additional.
And last, but not least - the PHEVs and EVs are enormously costly in EU and in my country(which is Bulgaria) there are NO incentives, in some others there were, but not anymore.
And when I bought this car from USA the incentives were already in the buying price when the first owner bought it and sold it to me on a very decent price!
PHEVs and EVs don't have any importing taxes(they are based on CO2 which in these cases are bellow the threshold) and we are only paying VAT when importing something from outside EU, but...it is not pain in the ass if you are experienced user :)
I am importing cars from US and Canada(everything is metric there and the FX margin is a lot better) for me and some friends for more than a decade. I just used to buy only German brands, because they are a way better to handle in EU and their guarantee is internationally transferable....which is not the case with KIA and the japan brands.

Till now, my car cost 65% of the market price of equivalent EU car(and it is relatively new and low miles - 1.5 years, 6,000 miles, advanced technology package), but I have miles in the speedo(instead of km.) and don't have the 2.5 residual years of the OEM guarantee, but I am fine with these!
 

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OK, for the buying price(but please, stop spamming my topic, it is for OEM headlights!) - you forgot that in USA the people are buying in dollars, in EU in euros - point 1 FX difference.
Point 2 - the USA market is very competitive and brands like KIA are cheap - so the same Niro on both markets is positioned in different segments - in USA this is very cheap car for low middle class people, in EU this is expensive car for high middle class people.
Point 3 - the US and Canada specs cars are loaded, in EU every function and option of the car is an extra and you should pay additional.
And last, but not least - the PHEVs and EVs are enormously costly in EU and in my country(which is Bulgaria) there are NO incentives, in some others there were, but not anymore.
And when I bought this car from USA the incentives were already in the buying price when the first owner bought it and sold it to me on a very decent price!
PHEVs and EVs don't have any importing taxes(they are based on CO2 which in these cases are bellow the threshold) and we are only paying VAT when importing something from outside EU, but...it is not pain in the ass if you are experienced user :)
I am importing cars from US and Canada(everything is metric there and the FX margin is a lot better) for me and some friends for more than a decade. I just used to buy only German brands, because they are a way better to handle in EU and their guarantee is internationally transferable....which is not the case with KIA and the japan brands.

Till now, my car cost 65% of the market price of equivalent EU car(and it is relatively new and low miles - 1.5 years, 6,000 miles, advanced technology package), but I have miles in the speedo(instead of km.) and don't have the 2.5 residual years of the OEM guarantee, but I am fine with these!
Sorry for the off-topic side chatter but that's very interesting. Sounds like a very good deal for someone willing to go through the process.

Anyhow, sorry I can't be more help on the headlight conversion. I would be interested in learning if you find any tools for performing soft coding on Kia vehicles. I have a similar tool for my VWs and it comes in handy all the time.
 
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