Volvo cars, famous for their iconic models since the year 1927 have expanded their customer line by introducing newer models, features, and technology based on advanced automotive. They are on the mission to bring safety innovations for decades to free the driver from many distractions. Moreover, The driver assistance systems in today's era have made it comfortable for the driver to move easily anywhere. One of the most important features of the Volvo cars is its headlamps system used for illumination purposes. As a part of a safety feature, its importance cannot be neglected.

Headlamps in Volvo cars have tremendously gone through the changes from years, including gas headlamps, the simple electric headlamps to the fully organized system operated headlamps producing low beam or the high beam. These headlamps could be halogen gas bulbs, LED or xenon HID bulbs to add precision and safety to the vehicle.


For moving around in the dark we need headlights for our cars which are light- efficient, carrying immense light energy and the solution is  Xenon headlights also known as high intensity discharge (HID) lamps.  With its white-blue light, Xenon light bulbs work more efficiently and faster being twice brighter and their life-long lasting hours also make them unique.  In comparison, the conventional halogen lights, though it is being used commonly in many cars and still trusted by many car drivers; but they are unable to beat the light spreading capacity and power which Xenon lights hold. Getting this luxury at a higher price compared to the halogens doesn’t matter, because of its super easy process of installation including the higher level of safety it provides. Xenon bright bulbs don’t only create a clearer vision, but also add style to the exterior of the vehicle.

You will find different models of bulbs in halogen, HID and LED bulb types. Such as the H7 bulb and D3S HID bulb. H7 bulbs are a standard bulbs and are more common in most vehicles. These could be both halogens or LED types and are comparatively easier to install or replace. But, H7 LED bulbs are mostly chosen for the style and are more expensive than H7 halogens.  In contrast, the D3S HID bulbs are the high-intensity xenon bulbs and offer a great option if you wish to upgrade or replace halogens in a cost-effective way assuming long life. Volvo car models which are compatible with D3S HID Bulb include Volvo S60, Volvo V60, Volvo C30, Volvo C70, and Volvo XC60.

Volvo headlamp system malfunction warning message

Ideally, xenon headlamps are expected to perform for their whole life but this performance can be interrupted due to a number of reasons and result in a headlamp malfunction. Thanks to the advancement in the automobiles industry which continuously evolves and came up with a perfect solution to produce a warning signal for any erratic or disrupted performance of any of the systems of the vehicle.  

However, the warnings which appear on the dashboard are mostly clear and easily understood, but sometimes not understood by the car owner which causes issues for the car’s better performance. Let's see what the dashboard says when there is a problem with the headlamps of the Volvo cars. Worthy to mention that a problem is signaled if there is a problem in the xenon HID bulb or its ballast. Xenon ballast works as a capacitor for xenon lights to control and set its light power. Whenever there is an issue with any of these components, a warning issue showing “headlamp malfunction“service required” occurs.

Most of the modern cars are now fitted with d3s HID bulbs and Volvo also incorporates d3s HID bulbs in its headlights.  However, Volvo relies on other high-quality OEM manufactures such as Lemforder, Behr, Sachs, Bosch, Valeo, Siemens, VDO, Corteco, and many others to maintain its dedication to quality and safety. Factory original part number for a genuine d3s Volvo bulb is 31290593. It is not necessary that you find a genuine Volvo d3s bulb as a replacement bulb. In fact, a standard d3S 35w gas discharge bulb is designed to be used in a variety of cars with d3s sockets.  You can install a  replacement bulb from any other manufacturer, for example: Philips D3S XenStart or XenEcoStart 9285304244s 9285304244 9285302244 9285301244 9285335244 42403VIC1 42302 42403 42402 , Narva or OSRAM Xenarc Electronics 66340HBI  which are compatible with most of the Volvo models and perfect replacement for the genuine d3s bulb. 

An osram bulb is suitable for  C30, C30 Electric, S60cc, S60II, V40 CC, V40 II, and many other models during the year 2010-2018.

Usually a Mitsubishi Electric ballast comes factory fitted on the Volvo models manufactured during 2010-2018 such as V40 XC40, S60 and V60 with D3S 35W xenon headlight bulbs. When headlights stop working, 90% of the problem is on the ballast and when it fails, it can be directly replaced with a new ballast without requiring coding. Part number for a genuine Volvo HID ballast is 31335777. However, some newer models may be fitted with some other brand’s ballast so you need to be sure which manufacturer’s ballast is fitted on your Volvo model. Mitsubishi Electric Original Xenon headlamp ballasts have many compatible part numbers so you may need to check the ballast description to check your Volvo part number is listed.


t might be sometimes confusing to identify which component has failed and caused this warning message but some simple observations can help you spot the real problem and the faulty component.

Sometimes when the headlights do not adjust properly and further go to its low position badly affecting its functionality and you feel the bulb lights get dim suddenly, changes its colour or flickers with instant ON and OFF position and additionally making a buzzing noise, in this case, it directly points to the ballast connection failure and the solution is just simply the replacement of the ballast. There are several issues that cause the failure of the ballast including heat, time and moisture. Sometimes high temperature or high humidity is the basic issue. For this, it’s necessary to check and save the inner side of the headlight lamps from moisture. Moisture and high humidity causes corrosion on the inner side of the headlamp and default the ballast. It is also mandatory to check out any burn marks on the ballast, if there are any, it means an issue has taken place with the ballast. External damage due to an accident might also cause this problem.

On the other hand, it may be just the failure of the xenon HID bulb because the ballast and the HID bulb work together with each other. If you notice the bulb’s filament is dark, then the bulb has failed for sure, but if you notice a change in color such as pink or feel moisture, water, or if you have been through an accident, then xenon bulbs might be the victim. The best way to confirm is to change the side of the bulb from working to non-working and check if it works. If the bulb remains still dead on the other side as well, then it is definitely time to replace the bulb. HID replacement bulbs and ballasts are available at xenons4u if the issue is with the bulbs or ballast, so it's easy to get its replacement. These bulbs come with easy plug-and-play installation to create bright visibility.


If the performance of the headlight goes down with changing a light color to more purplish one then it's a sign of issue related to HID bulb but if suddenly stops working, and the dashboard also comes up with a headlamp system malfunction warning message. Here we have got everything to identify all the main components and their reasons causing the failure. 

Now, you can either choose to work on it by yourself in case you do hold some good skills in repairing parts in the car where the process is lengthy. First, you need to check your car's fuses in the fuse box next to check the bulbs and its ballast. For Volvo models, you can find below-mentioned ballast and bulb models with great compatibility with the different Volvo car models.

Mitsubishi Electric W003T22771 72261 15099 Xenon Control Ballast is easy to install with easy plug and play and no further coding. This ballast has a Volvo part number of 31335777 is compatible with:

  • Volvo V40 Cross Country D2 Estate (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Volvo V60
  • Volvo XC40 SUV

Philips D3S 35W Xenon HID Bulb, Volvo part number 31290593 is compatible with the following Volvo models:

  • Volvo S60 Saloon Sedan (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Volvo V60 Estate (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Volvo C30 Coupe (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Volvo C70 (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Volvo XC60 SUV (2014, 2015, 2016)

If you don’t want to get into this time consuming process just move and approach a garage or any dealer to help you out and fix it for you. HID lights are the best option to be used rather than the simple LED lights for your complete road safety with bright light. You can find all types of halogen, LED and xenon HID bulbs with repairing services at xenons4u.