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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
Shockwave1993
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Join Date: May 2012
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Headlight Auto-Leveling Problem

I have had my car for about eight months and until a couple of weeks ago (while driving my dad's Porsche ), I thought that it was normal for my headlights to point up - give me a break, I haven't had xenons before.

I have a facelift coupe, so the headlights auto-level. Every time the car comes on, the lights go up, down, then back up. They end up at about a 15-20 degree angle up, and the high beams do pretty much nothing because, unless I'm going down a hill, they aim at the trees.

Any idea what's wrong with my headlights?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:59 PM   #2
jfoj
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You have two suspension sensors with a small arm connecting to the lower control arm, one front, one rear, I think on passenger side of the car?

When you start the car, the headlights should dip, then raise back up.

Nothing any different.

I have heard of the lights doing other strange things like raise then dip when started.

Easiest to see at night with auto headlights enabled.

Check for your vehicle height sensors and make sure they are connected to the control arms, common for one or both to be broken or disconnected.

Also since you have a coupe, you should have Active Bi-Xenon's? Active means they turn with the steering to some degree and Bi-Xenon means the high beams are actually the Xenon with a shutter inside them. What looks like the high beams or inner lights are only for DRL and/or Flash To Pass.
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Last edited by jfoj; 12-11-2012 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
Shockwave1993
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
When you start the car, the headlights should dip, then raise back up.

Nothing any different.

I have heard of the lights doing other strange things like raise then dip when started.

Easiest to see at night with auto headlights enabled.
I may have been inaccurate with the exact activity they perform when the car starts up. The major thing is that the lights end up at an angle upwards instead of being level.

It becomes a pretty bad problem when I'm behind other cars at night. They think I have my high beams on.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:35 AM   #4
eneka
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have you tried adjusting your headlights?
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:49 AM   #5
Minnetonka
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Should be a little "gear" looking knob on the top of the light for manual adjustment. Definitely check the level sensors on the control arms like jfoj said. I know the front one is on the passenger side.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
jfoj
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Before you adjust your headlights you should make sure the leveling system is working properly.

Also to properly adjust the headlights the car should be set up like for an alignment, they want the car ballasted, however, very few people drive with a loaded car. Suggest you get tire pressures set properly, at least 1/2 tank of gas as I do not know anyone that can keep their fuel tank full 100% of the time!.

There are 2 adjusters, one is for height and one is for horizontal aim.

Check to make sure the headlights are properly mounted as well in case you do no know the cars history.

Also some of the headlights have adjusters break, usually the E39 not the E46, but this does not mean you have good adjusters. Just grab the bulb socket/connector from the rear and try to wiggle the bulb, it should not move more than 1/16" up & down or side to side, if the bulb moves, then you likely have broken headlight adjusters.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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