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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2007, 08:18 PM
kenk kenk is offline
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Auto Xenon Headlight adjustment?

I just bought a 2005 325Ci with Xenon headlights that have the auto leveling feature. I would prefer to have the low beam cutoff to be a little higher. Is there a way to adjust the target level so I can see a bit farther ahead??

Ken
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2007, 09:53 PM
downtown downtown is offline
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I can't answer this, infact, I don't know what the benefit is of the auto leveling feature. My not just have them fixed? Seriously, is there really a benefit.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2007, 04:27 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenk View Post
I just bought a 2005 325Ci with Xenon headlights that have the auto leveling feature. I would prefer to have the low beam cutoff to be a little higher. Is there a way to adjust the target level so I can see a bit farther ahead??
Yes, you can. There are two plastic adjustment knobs on the headlight assemblies. One is for vertical aiming, and the other is for horizontal aiming. The adjusters on my lights look like little black thumb wheels with a hex socket in the center, but they may also look like white nylon screws that you have to turn with an Allen wrench.

Aim the lights according to the procedure linked below.

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2007, 08:01 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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They are different on the facelift coupe, no thumb wheel. It is a screw like adjuster that will accept a philips head screw driver or a hex key/allen wrench. Driver side...

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  #5  
Old 12-07-2007, 11:17 AM
kenk kenk is offline
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Thanks! You guys are correct. I stopped over at my BMW dealer and one of the managers showed me where the adjusters are. I just don't know which is vertical and which is side to side. I guess I'll have to experiment

Ken
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2007, 04:43 PM
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autobahn autobahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenk View Post
Thanks! You guys are correct. I stopped over at my BMW dealer and one of the managers showed me where the adjusters are. I just don't know which is vertical and which is side to side. I guess I'll have to experiment

Ken
Just had my dealer show me too. One on the outside is for left right. The one in the middle is for up and down.
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2007, 05:56 PM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
They are different on the facelift coupe, no thumb wheel. It is a screw like adjuster that will accept a philips head screw driver or a hex key/allen wrench.
Thanks for clarifying.

Is that a loose cable clip I see? Two of mine have become brittle and snapped off thus far - the others probably won't last long.

Last edited by G. P. Burdell; 12-07-2007 at 05:58 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2007, 07:07 PM
george1202 george1202 is offline
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So you can adjust the focus of the beams manually even with self levelling features?
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2007, 07:10 PM
traderhen traderhen is offline
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Is the driver side headlight suppose to point lower than the passenger side headlight?
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2007, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by george1202 View Post
So you can adjust the focus of the beams manually even with self levelling features?
Yes. Just need an allen wrench on the sedan. The black knobs are behind the light. Middle one does up/down. Outer one does left/right.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2007, 04:23 AM
george1202 george1202 is offline
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Thanks autobahn.
Traderhen, yes the right headlight focus is slightly higher than the left side for most BMWs so as not to blind oncoming vehicles.
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:51 PM
kenk kenk is offline
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Last night I did some adjusting.....vertical only. Clockwise turn of the adjuster raises the aim point....counter clockwise to lower the beam. I ended up turning the adjuster around 1/2 turn. I may change it again, based on experience with oncoming drivers.....I don't want to blind someone.

Thank!!!

Ken
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2007, 05:51 PM
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simon325e simon325e is offline
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Just FYI

For the self-leveling clueless: the auto leveling compensates for vehicle loading. It keeps the headlights to the adjusted level when the rear of the vehicle is loaded (that's why they adjust down). This is common in HIDs setups, but some are manual. In fact, ECE Regulation 48 requires manual systems on all vehicles (ECE=United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) and self-leving for cars with headlamp bulbs producing more than 2,000 lumens (like HIDs).

In the US, self leveling HIDs are just cool technology; useless for 99% of people.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2007, 07:59 AM
wdaveweaver wdaveweaver is offline
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I posed the same question to my BMW SA about the drivers light being slightly lower that the passenger as I though there was an alignment issue. My SA (who is also a family friend) informed me that the Zenons come from the factory aligned this way as US law dictates the drivers side must be aimed slightly lower to keep from inadvertantly blinding or distracting oncoming drivers. I would assume you could adjust this to compensate, but if you get a very picky inspector when you go to inspect you vehicle once a year in your state they may fail you due to this fact. Just keep this in mind!!
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:16 PM
dastrix dastrix is offline
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Guys, I have a E46 that has manual adjusting headlights via my Light switch. I'm installing BiXenon OEM housings, it looks like a straight swap - am I right in saying I dont need 'self leveling' sensors, I can just use the switch to move them up and down?

Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:17 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dastrix View Post
Guys, I have a E46 that has manual adjusting headlights via my Light switch. I'm installing BiXenon OEM housings, it looks like a straight swap - am I right in saying I dont need 'self leveling' sensors, I can just use the switch to move them up and down?

Thanks!
Correct.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:19 PM
dastrix dastrix is offline
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KrisL, can I pick your brain a bit further about LCM reflash procedures?
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:27 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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KrisL, can I pick your brain a bit further about LCM reflash procedures?
Don't know anything about it other than "go to a dealer"
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  #19  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:33 PM
dastrix dastrix is offline
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haha ok Cheers
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  #20  
Old 01-09-2008, 02:30 PM
alaamuq alaamuq is offline
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Hi all,

A problem with my Xenon headlights started about 2 weeks ago. The headlights in my 2003 330ci were moving up and down, even though there was no car ahead of me, and the road was flat. As time went by, the problem is becoming more frequent. Also, a couple of flickering happened here and there. I saw flickers even when the headlights switch is on the OFF position.

Can anyone please give me any hint.. Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Alan
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