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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:07 AM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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Unhappy Auto Headlights Problem

I'm have a problem with the headlights in Auto Mode.
In bright sunlight, they will turn on intermittently or will not turn off. The dealer claims its a software problem, I think its a relay. We'll see...
I'm on my way to the dealer, and will report back.
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2012, 09:26 AM
April1 April1 is offline
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Turning on/off intermittently will drastically reduce xenons life. Get it repaired immediately. Check if they can replace your Xenons too
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:51 AM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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Thanks

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Originally Posted by April1 View Post
Turning on/off intermittently will drastically reduce xenons life. Get it repaired immediately. Check if they can replace your Xenons too
Thanks,

Its at the dealer, I'll report back.
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:58 PM
wavewuver wavewuver is offline
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As I recall, the owners manual states that your light "can" turn on automatically in certain lighting conditions.......I think one is when the sun is bright but low on the horizon. I would check the manual.
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2012, 03:05 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavewuver View Post
As I recall, the owners manual states that your light "can" turn on automatically in certain lighting conditions.......I think one is when the sun is bright but low on the horizon. I would check the manual.
Wavewuver is correct. The manual states that this can happen. You are not the first person to complain about this so I don't think your vehicle has a unique problem. Many people have said they are not happy with the lights coming on often when full sun is present. I know there were a few people trying to figure out if there is something in the coding that could be changed to adjust the sensitivity.
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2012, 03:23 PM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
Wavewuver is correct. The manual states that this can happen. You are not the first person to complain about this so I don't think your vehicle has a unique problem. Many people have said they are not happy with the lights coming on often when full sun is present. I know there were a few people trying to figure out if there is something in the coding that could be changed to adjust the sensitivity.
The dealership is reprograming the ecm. They think its too sensitive. The lights will be on at noon, then not be on at eight in the morning. Its very intermittent.
I should have it back in about two hours. Will report back.
Thanks too all for the comments.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2012, 05:24 PM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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Unhappy No luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by captirwin View Post
I'm have a problem with the headlights in Auto Mode.
In bright sunlight, they will turn on intermittently or will not turn off. The dealer claims its a software problem, I think its a relay. We'll see...
I'm on my way to the dealer, and will report back.
I just returned from the dealer.
They reprogrammed the car. Everything worked properly for about two blocks. Then the headlights turned on.
I'll be back to the dealer tomorrow...
I might add, it wiped out all my E-Sys programing; auto-stop, folding mirrors and closing tailgate. Oh Well...

Last edited by captirwin; 11-07-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:58 AM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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Question Where is the sensor???

I'm still having a problem with the auto sensing headlights.
Some say its a sensitivity problem, others say its the amount of ambient light, relative to the angle of the sun, striking the sensor. If I knew where the sensor was located, I'd shine a light at it and see what happens.
Does anyone know where the light sensor is located in/on the vehicle?
Thanks

Last edited by captirwin; 11-09-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2012, 02:07 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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It should be the circular area on the rear view mirror mount (so if you are looking at the windshield standing outside of the vehicle you should see a circle where the rear view mirror is mounted to the windshield).
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2012, 02:20 PM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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Maybe in the rear view mirror area??
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:36 AM
bsarac bsarac is offline
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WoW.

Thought I was alone. I have a X3 2011 with a similar problem. Dealer brushed it off and nothing was done. He said it's better on mostly instead of off. Attached pictures show under very bright noon sun headlights being on (as shown by the green headlight indicator).

I have also captured the headlight switch in this photo as a proof that it was set to auto
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:00 AM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsarac View Post
WoW.

Thought I was alone. I have a X3 2011 with a similar problem. Dealer brushed it off and nothing was done. He said it's better on mostly instead of off. Attached pictures show under very bright noon sun headlights being on (as shown by the green headlight indicator).

I have also captured the headlight switch in this photo as a proof that it was set to auto
I'd be back at the dealership raising Hell.
My dealership can't do enought to resolve the issue. DESERT BMW-MINI OF LAS VEGAS.
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2012, 01:15 PM
link01 link01 is offline
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Same problem here too. It's sunny out and the headlights are on. Doesn't bother me too much as they are on when I need them on. Though today... it is really bright sunshine and my headlights were not on. It's a rare occasion.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2012, 03:51 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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It does have to do with the angle of the sun, and usually around this time of year is when everyone starts complaining that their headlights are too sensitive. The idea is that while it may be sunny in the open, it's likely too dark once you get into more shaded areas (think Manhattan, where the sun doesn't really shine between the buildings cuz it's too low this time of year). To prevent constant on/off cycling, the system keeps the lights on once a certain threshold is reached.

If it bothers y'all that much, simply manually turn it off until you want them back on. The system is working as designed.
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:22 PM
bsarac bsarac is offline
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I didn't shell out 50K for a car with unreliable features. Weather too cold? Tire pressure sensor goes off. Sun is not at a good angle? Headlights come on. Want to look up an address on your GPS? Better know it's zip code or neighborhood.

Car drives like a dream but everything else blows. No wonder most people think hard then buy a Lexus.

Had a Toyota before this with a headlight sensor and no problems whatsoever. By the way pictures taken above are from August.
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  #16  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsarac View Post
I didn't shell out 50K for a car with unreliable features. Weather too cold? Tire pressure sensor goes off. Sun is not at a good angle? Headlights come on. Want to look up an address on your GPS? Better know it's zip code or neighborhood.

Car drives like a dream but everything else blows. No wonder most people think hard then buy a Lexus.

Had a Toyota before this with a headlight sensor and no problems whatsoever. By the way pictures taken above are from August.
There isn't a perfect car. Everyone values different things differently. It appears you value day-to-day functionality more than the driving capabilities in a vehicle. Should have thought about that carefully during the car selection process.

I like the fact that my X3 has a gearbox that has good adaptive logic and will adapt to my dynamic driving style. When I push it hard, I love how it recognises this and holds gears to the redline, downshifts early while braking, and behaves itself without needing manual input. I also like how it'll kick down directly from gear 5 to 2 should I need an overtaking manoeuver. Absolutely critical in a modern vehicle.

My X3 is also cold-blooded, sluggish on cold mornings, and occasionally once in a blue moon, won't unlock any of the other doors. It's sensitive to fuel quality, and I feel "a bad tank of petrol" immediately. Sometimes (rarely), the dash pixels will go on lunch break and come back in 15 seconds. Guess what? I don't care.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:13 PM
link01 link01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
There isn't a perfect car. Everyone values different things differently. It appears you value day-to-day functionality more than the driving capabilities in a vehicle. Should have thought about that carefully during the car selection process.
I don't think that's a factor in this case. My wife's 525, her headlights aren't as sensitive. My previous 325xi, also not as sensitive. Considering they are all part of the same family, I had a reasonable expectation that the feature would be the same or better. But I like everything else overall so I deal with it.

To put it in your terms, shouldn't the X3 drive be as comparable or better than the '07 525 or the '04 325? I would expect it to. All the other features too...
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:29 AM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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Having owned a Honda before buying the BMW I am still surprised at some of the gremlins in my bimmer which cost more than twice as much. That said, I love driving the bimmer.. It is always a blast to drive.

With respect to the lights, I don't have the issue in my car.

Last edited by lbjgh; 11-11-2012 at 07:32 AM.
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  #19  
Old 11-12-2012, 11:49 AM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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My 2003 325xi automatic headlights worked pretty well. The sensor seems to react more solar radiation rather than visible light. Usually the headlights came on well before sunset in the winter and during the summer almost right at sunset.

My X3 does appear to be even more sensitive. I wish we could adjust that sensitivity to our liking. I have not seen my headlights on in the middle of the day though. That sounds like a sensor problem.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:12 PM
suvguy suvguy is offline
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My headlight sensor has malfunctioned from the day I got the car. It's garaged, and when I back out I'm facing full into the western sun. No matter- headlights stay on 90% of the time, only getting better after the car is stopped for awhile and then restarted. After restart in bright sun, they only come on about 30% of the time. Dealer says they can't re-create the problem, even though the lights are on when I arrive in their sunny lot! My 2007 Mazda has an automatic headlight sensor that has worked perfectly for 5 years...why can't BMW get it right?
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  #21  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:16 PM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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This sounds like an isolated problem. Could be one of the sensors is not lined up with the hole to see the light or something else defective. Our car is definitely not that bad.
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  #22  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:16 PM
captirwin captirwin is offline
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And I Thought I Was The Only One

[QUOTE=suvguy;7199114]My headlight sensor has malfunctioned from the day I got the car. It's garaged, and when I back out I'm facing full into the western sun. No matter- headlights stay on 90% of the time, only getting better after the car is stopped for awhile and then restarted. After restart in bright sun, they only come on about 30% of the time. Dealer says they can't re-create the problem, even though the lights are on when I arrive in their sunny lot! My 2007 Mazda has an automatic headlight sensor that has worked perfectly for 5 years...why can't BMW get it right?[/QUOT


My problem to a T.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:31 PM
vptrails vptrails is offline
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Has anyone found a solution to the auto headlight problem? It's insane that these lights come on when the sun is bright and don't shut off. It doesn't do this all time but it does it most of the time. All this sophistication and BMW can't seem to get this right. What up with that? I'm sure Kia has a better operating system than that. How sad!

For comparison purposes, our Acura MDX operates perfectly. It turns on at the right time and knows when to turn off. I have never had to manually shut the headlights off. Can't say the same for the X3.

Any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated. Maybe all it needs is a software update. I'm just surprised they couldn't get this one right. I'm sure there are other things much more complicated than this.
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  #24  
Old 04-03-2013, 07:04 PM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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My solution is to ignore it. As long as the headlights come on when it is dark out, I'm OK.
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  #25  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:38 AM
Snowman73 Snowman73 is offline
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Yes - my 330d SE had auto lights on and they came on in bright sunlight so am used to that. To be honest, I have left the daylight lights on anyway (LED angel eyes) as I have xenons. Xenons should not fail so I wouldnt worry about that. I am happy as the auto lights come on at night and I do not have to worry about it but my wife does say that she doesnt like it when the lights come on during the day as it makes her look like a bad driver. I love the car regardless - it is a fantastic piece of machinery. I have the diesel 3.0d - only got it last week and cant wait til I get it in sport mode as ECO and Comfort are a bit sluggish for me - especially seeing we are not allowed to go over 3000 rpm.
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