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Old 04-04-2016, 02:04 PM   #1
mchez
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Auto leveling headlights pointing down

Hey guys,

I've got a 2003 325xi with the Xenon headlights. A couple of weeks ago I got my front brakes changed. I was told that the outer passenger front axle boot was coming off so I bought another one at the dealership and had a BMW repair shop put it on. The day after that at night I switched on my headlights and noticed that they were pointing way lower than before. I could see the headlights turn on and lift up a little bit as if the sensors were detecting that there was a lot of weight in the back, but there wasn't.

I looked up the location of the sensors and found that the front one is right next to the axle boot that was replaced the day before. But upon inspection of the front sensor it looks untouched. So I disconnected it from the control arm and moved it as if the front suspension was going up/down and there was no movement in the headlights. I did the same thing for the rear sensor and the headlights moved up/down noticeably.

I'm thinking that a front sensor is the only thing I need but I want to see what you guys think about it's proximity to the font axle boot that I had replaced. Do you think it's a coincidence that the sensor went out when I got the boot replaced? It (the sensor) doesn't look to have been tampered with.

Thanks for your input
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:12 PM   #2
cvx5832
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The sensor is known to "flip around" on the xi. Assuming it's not broken, it's out of phase.

Original post here.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:16 PM   #3
mchez
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Would the replacement of the sensor fix that issue? They're quite pricey and I don't want to have to buy one if I don't have to.
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Last edited by Solidjake; 04-04-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
Sapote
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I didn't know that BMW had auto leveling headlight back in 2003 or earlier. Did you know Citroen SM had the same function -- up/down and left/right headlight back in 1971 controller by hydraulic?
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:59 PM   #5
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchez View Post
Would the replacement of the sensor fix that issue? They're quite pricey and I don't want to have to buy one if I don't have to.

No. You disconnect it and position the sensor's arm the correct way, as in the pictures.

Don't forget to re-aim your headlights if you touched the adjusters while they were out of phase.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
mchez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
No. You disconnect it and position the sensor's arm the correct way, as in the pictures.

Don't forget to re-aim your headlights if you touched the adjusters while they were out of phase.
Tried that and it didn't work. I just bought a sensor from FCP EURO for a reasonable price and it'll be here soon. I'll see how that goes.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:11 PM   #7
Alex323Ci
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i would check the wiring to see if when they did the work on the car they somehow didn't cut it somewhere. because that seems was too much a coincidence to go out the same time being worked next to. in fact i don't recall hearing that this sensor even goes bad. only arm broken.

not sure if you can swap the rear sensor to the front to check if it work(or vice versa). be a shame to have bought that sensor if not needed.
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