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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the self leveling xenon headlights. Both my front and rear leveling sensors on the control arms are connected the way they should be. When i start the car they point down and then quickly adjust to the normal height they should be at. Except the drivers side.....it stays down and shows about 20 feet in front of the car. I have to turn on the brights to see effectively. What are some possible causes..... AND repairs i can do to fix this issue?
 

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Remove both of your headlights and swap the stepper motor control modules from each headlight to the other. If the problem switches sides, replace the stepper motor control module. If that doesn't work, let me know.
 

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Dont bother swapping them, just replace the one thats pointing lower. You can get them used for like $20-$30. I know it fixed mine. The time it takes to dissassemble and reassemble the headlights 3 times is worth a few $$$ to just replace the broken one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I can agree with that.....the head light assembly has to be completely broken down to get to the leveling motor. I wonder if it is the motor itself or the ball and socket clip on the end of it.

This link describes it broken down into its various components and their functions for anyone else who has this problem. A good start to understanding the basic function of self adjusting Xenon Headlights.

http://www.meeknet.co.uk/E38/E38_Xenon_Lights.pdf

and this link for a complete xenon and non xenon headlight tear down....amazing write up with plenty of pictures

http://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/showthread.php?tid=10717
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
67168372381
this is the one real oem.com shows
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-BMW...pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr


67168352208
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-E39-E46...pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

these two look slightly different.......are they interchangeable? the completely plastic one goes to a CI car and the other (with the metal housing) looks like it goes to everything else.

if the housing, ball, rod, and white socket is plastic then it could be any of those pieces broken.....if it is the metal one it could be the socket. I wont know until i take it apart and i would like to have a replacement there when i do that so i have no down time. On ebay most sellers dont have the socket with stepper motor. Can you get the socket separately?

what was wrong with your cars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
here is what i found out. Being new to the car i thought the headlights were self leveling.... and they are. But what i found out was they need to be leveled with the level adjustment knobs first. I didnt know this. I figured it was done automatically

I figured the motors were leveled by the computer for each individual head light. Those motors are not programmed that way. they are set to go up and down at the same time. they are separate motors of course but they receive the same signal and are not adjusted individually.

I waited till it was dark and turned the head light down to see if the adjustment knob worked. It did....so i turned it way up and it fixed the problem. I bought the car with this problem and was unaware about how the system functioned in its entirety. I did adjust them up before in the day time about 5 turns, but this did nothing.....it took about 15 more turns counter clockwise to get them correct.
 

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Im having the same problem with my 323i... Did you turn knob towards the center of the vehicle or the knob towards the fender? I turned the one by the fender (thats right over the HID bulb. It did nothing.. I thought i tired the one towards the center before, but maybe i didn't, ill have to try in the morning. Hope I don't have to replace the motor..
 

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I can tell you for sure the E39 headlight adjusters break all the time, not sure the E46 has the same problem, but if you grab the bulb socket from under the hood and try to move the socket up and down and side to side, it should have very little movement, maybe 1/16" at the most. If it moves more than that you likely have internal mechanical problems.

As for the self leveling headlights work, they need to be manually adjusted, and the leveling motors only drop the headlights as needed from the manual adjustment location.

When you start the car, the headlights are supposed to dip down, then raise back up. Some cars have had problems when the lights work backwards or do not dip at all.

There are also 2 ride height sensors, front and rear that have a link that should be connected to a lower suspension arm. Make sure these links are in play and connected as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Dont know what the problem is now......i adjusted the headlight up as far as it would go using the center adjustment. It was slow going and had to be done at night. I can see out of it much better and it is level with the other side....weird thing is that it goes up and down at the same time as the other side when turning on the car....like the motor is working....except when i was in my other car and my girlfriend was behind me in the bmw.....i noticed it pointed way up and blinding me in the rear view mirror....so its not fixed the right way. I think the adjuster is out but its not acting like it. If it is broken on the inside....i dont know and wont know how until i operate on it. The replacement motors don't come with the plastic clip on the end that connects to the headlight housing.....who knows.

I can see fine but i dont want to blind anyone ....and thats where it sits now. Im unsure if the auto adjustment is not working. I am kind of at a loss on this one.

1.to recap...they go up and down at the same time like the motor is fine

2.the supposed broken side is adjusted way up and i can see fine out of it...it is level with the other side

3. its adjusted too high and blinding drivers because its pointed at their rear view mirror
 
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