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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 10-10-2012, 12:14 PM   #1
Qualengpro
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Dedham, Maine
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My Ride: 2003 330xi
Position of bi-xenon front level sensor?

I have posted this under lighting as well...I hope that's OK.
I have a 2003 330xi and I am having problems with my lights auto-leveling correctly. I turn the lights on and they go down as normal...but only go up approximately half way...so my night vision is restricted, especially on low beam. Both lights operate exactly the same way. I took it to my local independent BMW shop and they told me I needed to replace my left side light assembly to the tune of $ 1,300! Ouch. I am not convinced that is the problem. A few months ago they did an inspection and told me the right front CV axle needed replacing...which is the same wheel well where the front leveling sensor is located. About 6 weeks ago I had them replace it. You can see in the photo the new axle. I can't say exactly when the light leveling problem first became an issue as I don't drive the car at night all that much. Anyway, I have done some searching on BMW sites such as this one, and potential problems ranged from brocken adjusters to broken auto-level motors to broken level sensor arms to level sensor arms being out of position. As you can see from the attached photo, my level sensor arm points "downward". This link seems to indicate that it should be horizontal: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...67&hg=31&fg=05

Can anyone out there with a similar 2003 330xi be able to verify the correct position of the level sensor arm? If you turn your front wheels all the way to the right, you should be able to see it easily through the front right wheel well (passenger's side). Thank you!!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
Mflara20
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Here are a few pictures of my 330xi, hope this help.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
Qualengpro
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That definitely helps! I am guessing my sensor arm is 90 degrees out of position. Probably the tech hit it while working on (or inspecting) my car and either didn't realize it....or didn't bother to mention it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
Mflara20
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That happen to me when I replace the cv boot on that side.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #5
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qualengpro View Post
That definitely helps! I am guessing my sensor arm is 90 degrees out of position. Probably the tech hit it while working on (or inspecting) my car and either didn't realize it....or didn't bother to mention it.
Yes it happens about 1 out of every ten times I lift the car.

Lift up the front right corner and pull up on the arm gently and it will go back to the correct position.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
SamDoe1
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If you don't want to lift it, there are two nuts on the bottom of the arm that secure the sensor arm. Just unscrew, reorient, and reattach. Should take you ~2 minutes tops.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:32 PM   #7
Qualengpro
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So you folks agree that it should be horizontal, correct?
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:05 PM   #8
SamDoe1
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^ It should be in this shape: -\, not this one: \_

Hope that helps.

Oh and I suggest finding a new shop that is more honest and/or competent than the one you go to now.

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Old 10-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #9
Qualengpro
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Talking

I think I've cured the problem! (with your help!) See attached photo. I took SamDoe1's advice and it seems to have worked! If all goes well tonight on my after dark test drive, I will verify to all that the new photo shows the CORRECT sensor switch orientation! Thanks to everyone who helped out!

....I am CAUTIOUSLY optimistic.....
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:30 PM   #10
Kubica
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Now print out this thread, go back to the indy and accuse them of being dishonest or incompetent.

Post up the name of the shop. Give them bad reviews on as many review sites as possible. Chances are they are ripping off all sorts of BMW owners in your area.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:30 AM   #11
Qualengpro
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UPDATE: I took the car out last night for a test drive...and all is back to normal. I can see again! Thanks for all of your help, everyone!
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