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      01-03-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
davyk31
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Adjusting Xenon headlights

Is this ever necessary and how is it done. They auto adjust at start up but recently I seem to be getting flashed a lot and wonder are they too high?

What is the best way to check and adjust? I have MOT next week and don't want to fail for somethnig simple like headlight level.
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      01-03-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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You won't fail for level, they'll just adjust them at the time on the beam aligner. You can manually adjust by turning the thumbwheel on the top of each assembly. It's possible (with xenons) that the level sensor arm has popped off the suspension arm. Mine used to do that all the time and was a real pain in the arse.
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      01-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #3
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Cheers for the reply, but MOT is N Ireland is a bit different, all done in central Government stations by examiners. No adjustments allowed at the time, its simply pass or fail.

How do I check if this sensor arm is ok?
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      01-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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Oh, didn't realise that.

On the o/s/f and o/s/r suspension arms there is a small potentiometer connected between the lower arm and the chassis to measure the height. It clips onto the arm with a little press-on balljoint but can and does come off. You need to remove the wheels to see it and clip it back on if it's come off. My front one used to come off regularly for some reason on my e46 but not happened with my e92 or f10. Principle of operation is identical, however.
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      01-03-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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If my lights are auto levelling at start up would this not imply the control bars are still in place ok.

May just be paranoid but certainly seem to be getting flashed more often in recent weeks. Often its just dumb other cars who don't realise that Xenons can be fairly bright.
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      01-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #6
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The start-up is not auto-levelling - it's simply to move the motors from one limit of travel to the other. Even halogen cars with the manual thumbwheel do this.

Your headlights will still cycle even if the arm has come off but if the arm is in the wrong position it can cuase the headlamps to aim up or down incorrectly.
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      01-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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So is it a case of jack the car up, take off drivers side front wheel, is the mecahnism pretty obvious then? If it all seems in place then do the same with the rear?

I guess its possible it would still physically look ok but not be functioning correctly. Is there some guidance as to height of beam if I was measuring it against garage door or similar?
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      01-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyk31 View Post
So is it a case of jack the car up, take off drivers side front wheel, is the mecahnism pretty obvious then? If it all seems in place then do the same with the rear?

I guess its possible it would still physically look ok but not be functioning correctly. Is there some guidance as to height of beam if I was measuring it against garage door or similar?
Its got nothing to do with the rear.

Here is the rod.



and here is what it looks like on the car.



Just check if it had popped out or not.

I dont get it, you have been on the forum for years. Its not hard to do a search is it.

Hope you get it sorted.
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      01-03-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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It has everything to do with the rear because there's one on the rear arm too.

rear sensor
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      01-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #10
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I never knew it was int he rear too, what for? maybe if the car is full of passengers?

I remember changing the front arms and changing the sensor/rod. I stand corrected. You learn something new everyday.
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      01-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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So it can have a comparison for the tilt of the the car, rather than the specific height. If you just loaded up with four fat bastards then the car would lower but still be level. Conversely, if you put three bags of cement in the boot with just a driver, the car would dip at the rear and the lights would dazzle. It needs to know the relative compression of the suspension front-to-rear in order to vertically aim the headlights.
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      01-03-2013, 11:04 AM   #12
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Doing a search gives loads of different options which is the problem, many american guys talking about having to remove headlight and adjust a ball ended bar on/in the headlight.

Also it seems the front sensor bar is nothing to do with level, it controls left to right, the rear bar controls level and height. Anyone able to confirm that?
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      01-03-2013, 11:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyk31 View Post
Also it seems the front sensor bar is nothing to do with level, it controls left to right, the rear bar controls level and height. Anyone able to confirm that?
Rubbish, for the reason I've stated above. IF you have ADAPTIVE headlights then the steering-angle sensor is used to swivel the headlamps.

The sensors I've described and A_P photographed are for the level. The end.

The adjustment on the headlight assembly itself is by the knurled wheel on the light - although you could vary the length of the actuator rod to achieve the same thing.
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      01-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #14
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The easiest and best thing to do was like Xenon suggested jack the car up and check the levelers both front and back.

The easier option would be to take it to somewhere like quick fit and they jack your car up for you on ramps so that they/you can have a look. ( if you didn't want to jack it up yourself)

It might be a really simple fix where you just need to refit the levelers back into place.

In regards to cut off point, not sure on the E92 but the E90 had a very sharp cut off point and the headlights were fairly low. You could just park up the car get out, walk back a few places and crouch down and try and judge if its too bright or not?

Obviously one thing I do strongly recommend is that if you are jacking the car and taking anything off or getting under please use axle stands. In fact always use stands.

Anyways try that first, then if there is a problem you could try what this chap did.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494479
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      01-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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Here is what OEM cut off looks like

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      01-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #16
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Are you sure there is one of these bars on the front of every car, just had the wheel off and there is nothing like that on my car. Hadn't time to look at the rear yet.

I assume I don't need to remove any covers to see the bar if it was there?

Last edited by davyk31; 01-04-2013 at 04:50 PM.
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      01-04-2013, 05:35 PM   #17
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When parked against a wall, the aim on my drivers side is slightly lower than the passenger side.

Is this normal? Or do I need to adjust the aim manually, or check if the arm device are connected to suspension?
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      01-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon88 View Post
When parked against a wall, the aim on my drivers side is slightly lower than the passenger side.

Is this normal? Or do I need to adjust the aim manually, or check if the arm device are connected to suspension?
That's normal.
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      10-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #19
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My low beams are really high after I swapped my stock headlights with core exchanged OSS headlights, but other than that the Adaptive lights seem to work fine. I was very adamant in making sure OSS was going to be giving me the exact same part number in the core exchange, so in theory nothing should be different.

After reading this thread I will definitely check out those sensors .... in the mean time does anyone have idea's as to why core exchanged headlights could lead to this?
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