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      12-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
Karman15
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Headlight Issue...

Hey Guys,

So I have a steep driveway at home. I always park my car backwards on the driveway and I recently noticed that when I do park my car, I'm able to see where my front headlights fall on the street.

I noticed that my driver side headlight is lower than my passenger side headlight. Basically, where the beams hit the road, they aren't at the same level.
The difference is not much, honestly. But it's noticeable. Even when you pull up against a wall, you can see the passenger side beam aiming a bit higher.

I called the dealer, and the guy at service told me that A) this is normal, it's done on purpose by BMW, that the driver side is lower than normal. And B) that if i wanted to do an adjustment, i could, however there would be charges to do that around $130 for the light adjustment as it's not covered under warranty, it's only covered under the first year.

I can live the with lights being a bit lower than one another, it's not the end of the world. I just want to make sure that all this info he gave me is true, and he's not beating me around the bush.
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      12-18-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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If you guys want pictures, tonight when I go out, i'll take some and post them.
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      12-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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It is true. For left hand drive cars, the right (passenger) headlight is higher than the left. The pattern looks something like this:

_/_/

It is done such that your lights are not blinding oncoming traffic. But at the same time you get more illumination so that you may better see the street signs, and pedestrians on the right.
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      12-18-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nesnith View Post
It is true. For left hand drive cars, the right (passenger) headlight is higher than the left. The pattern looks something like this:

_/_/

It is done such that your lights are not blinding oncoming traffic. But at the same time you get more illumination so that you may better see the street signs, and pedestrians on the right.

Ah i see...I get it. Thanks for the quick reply. Appreciate it
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      12-18-2012, 06:00 PM   #5
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It's not really normal. The pattern thing is true... _/ _/ BUT if you look at the pattern on the wall EACH headlight is low on the left where the flat portion is (so as not to blind oncoming cars) and then slants up on the right. Do not confuse this to mean that the left headlight should be lower than the right The center of each beam should be the same height. Each individual beam has the cutoff on the left and then slants up on the right, they should not be adjusted lower on the left than right (even though most people believe this is true) because the cutoff is what makes it lower.

When you look at the pattern on a wall the flat portion of the slants should be level.

it should look like this... notice the flat portion of each is level.....


check this out too.... http://www.retrofitlab.com/blog/dot-...-beam-pattern/ (we are the DOT pattern)





When facing a wall, you will want the distance between the beginning of the slants to equal the distance between the headlights and the height of the flat portion to equal the height of the headlights.
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Last edited by mike3000fl; 12-18-2012 at 06:13 PM.
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      12-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
Do not confuse this to mean that the left headlight should be lower than the right.
I agree both headlights should be aimed the same. However; BMW aims their headlights like this though:

And the reasoning is to help prevent complaints from oncoming drivers. This is done on Ford, Lincoln, BMW, etc.

I simply adjusted the left side up to match the right side. I made this graphic.

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      12-18-2012, 06:45 PM   #7
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dude! 130 for what? You can easily adjust it with a phillips head scredriver.
Step 1, pop your hood
Step 2, pop the rubber cap on the chassis around where the headlight is located.
Step 3, insert screw driver until headlight is leveled.

Easiest shit ever, I did it in my 325i. My new 335i is perfect, so I never messed with it.
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      12-18-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinGTP View Post
I agree both headlights should be aimed the same. However; BMW aims their headlights like this though:

And the reasoning is to help prevent complaints from oncoming drivers. This is done on Ford, Lincoln, BMW, etc.

I simply adjusted the left side up to match the right side. I made this graphic.

If you adjust your headlights like in the graphic you created, you car will look like one headlight is out from ahead. I promise that the headlights are supposed to be adjusted even and the cutoff itself is what stop the left half of each beam from blinding oncoming cars. There is no need to aim one low, the cutoff pattern removes that part of each beam from going too high on the left, that's why there is a slant. If you just had to aim one low, we wouldn't have a cutoff pattern.
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      12-19-2012, 02:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
If you adjust your headlights like in the graphic you created, you car will look like one headlight is out from ahead. I promise that the headlights are supposed to be adjusted even and the cutoff itself is what stop the left half of each beam from blinding oncoming cars. There is no need to aim one low, the cutoff pattern removes that part of each beam from going too high on the left, that's why there is a slant. If you just had to aim one low, we wouldn't have a cutoff pattern.
Trust me, I used to retrofit headlights and I am well versed with how the headlights are supposed to be. I adjusted my headlights to look like the bottom graphic.

A lot of manufacturers are adjusting their headlights with the driver's side lower to help reduce glare to oncoming drivers. My E90 LCI 335i was like that, my brother's F01 750i was like that, my rental Ford Escape Titanium is like that, and these were all like this since brand new. The guy in the OP is even stating the same thing. They come from the factory with the lights stepping up to the passenger side.

First mod to each car is to adjust the driver's side headlight up to match the passenger side.
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      12-19-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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I agree, all the new cars I have driven in the last 10 years have their driver side headlight adjusted lower than the passenger side from the factory.
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      12-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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OP here's a couple articles on how to do it...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...repair/1347221

http://www.coolbulbs.com/HID-VISUAL-...-PROCEDURE.pdf
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      12-25-2012, 11:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
It's not really normal. The pattern thing is true... _/ _/ BUT if you look at the pattern on the wall EACH headlight is low on the left where the flat portion is (so as not to blind oncoming cars) and then slants up on the right. Do not confuse this to mean that the left headlight should be lower than the right The center of each beam should be the same height. Each individual beam has the cutoff on the left and then slants up on the right, they should not be adjusted lower on the left than right (even though most people believe this is true) because the cutoff is what makes it lower.

When you look at the pattern on a wall the flat portion of the slants should be level.

it should look like this... notice the flat portion of each is level.....


check this out too.... http://www.retrofitlab.com/blog/dot-...-beam-pattern/ (we are the DOT pattern)





When facing a wall, you will want the distance between the beginning of the slants to equal the distance between the headlights and the height of the flat portion to equal the height of the headlights.

Mine doesn't like anything like that picture you posted of your headlights hitting the garage....my left headlight is actually lower than the right. Tomorrow I take some pictures and post them....I want to know if it's normal or not, otherwise I will have to go to the dealer to get it adjusted free of charge, since its a COP and they probably should of verified that before giving it me to me
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      12-26-2012, 04:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karman15 View Post
Mine doesn't like anything like that picture you posted of your headlights hitting the garage....my left headlight is actually lower than the right. Tomorrow I take some pictures and post them....I want to know if it's normal or not, otherwise I will have to go to the dealer to get it adjusted free of charge, since its a COP and they probably should of verified that before giving it me to me
It is not normal, there are plastic components inside that headlight and they sometime break or pop out.
you may have that issue. you would need to remove the bumper, take the headlight assy out and open it to inspect.
or just take it to dealer..
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      01-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #14
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Drivers side lowered

Hey guys, I have been reading a lot on this forum since purchasing my first CPO BMW. I have the adaptive headlights, and had multiple issues with the CPO warranty already. When I bought the car I was still under 50K miles. I won't get into detail, but the purchasing process and the dealership I purchased from was awful. Long story short on the drive home my AHL light came on the Nav screen. They put the bumper on my car incorrectly during inspection and both headlights were damaged on the drive home (per BMW of Darien). I brought the car back to Bayside (where I bought it) had the headlights replaced, and then 2 months later the driver's side dropped to the ground. Had BMW of Darien re-align it (along with other things that were broken since purchasing) for $65 and 1 week later, back to the same thing. Drivers side isn't on the ground, but much lower than the passenger side. I am bringing the car back to Darien to have it checked and have the 4 bent rims that were sold to me when purchasing replaced, but wasn't sure if it is supposed to be like that. I am the only driver of this car, as I won't let my wife drive it, and take very good care of my cars. This is just starting to get a bit annoying having the car in the shop all the time.

I also need to have the rear window replaced since the defroster doesn't work in the middle, along with a new gas cap door/lock, headrest fixed, new tires and rims, along with an alignment. Guess I should have had BMW of Darien do a full inspection of the car before I had the headlights replaced. My bad.
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