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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 09-04-2009, 06:50 PM
gcopter gcopter is offline
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Confused about xenons and adaptive lights

If your vehicle has adaptive headlights, must they be xenons as well?

Ever since I've got in my head to get a used x3, I have been scouring this forum reading everything there is about it, and it's overwhelming.

Recently I read somewhere in autotrader.com that, if the vehicle has xenons as an option, it must have fog lights installed as well!

Are there any visual cues to look for that will tell me the car has adaptive headlights? Like the idea of having them on my vehicle, don't care too much if they are xenons, though.

So, to re cap, do xenons and adaptive are the same?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:37 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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In the US market, BMWs equipped with bi-xenon headlamps also come with adaptive headlamps.

Foglights were standard on the 3.0i and 3.0si, and optional on the 2004-2005 2.5i models.

The adaptive headlight function itself is the swivel of the headlamps left/right up to 15° based on various sensors and steering input. This significantly improves visibility when driving on curvy roads or ramps.

For models since the 2007 facelift, adaptive headlights also include cornering lights, where the foglight on the respective side illuminates below 60km/h when you signal in that direction.

Vehicles with bi-xenons will have that distinctive projector bulb.

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  #3  
Old 09-04-2009, 09:46 PM
gcopter gcopter is offline
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The vehicle that I'm looking at, is an 05 X3 with the sports package. Unfortunately, the online description for it, does not mention anything about this option (adaptive/xenon lights).

I'm afraid that if I call the dealer, he probably won't know as well.

So there is no telltale control knob/switch that can cue me in as to the availability of adaptive lighting, other than looking at the headlights when they are turned on, right?
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2009, 06:43 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcopter View Post
other than looking at the headlights when they are turned on, right?
Also when they are off. The reflector is different.

More info: (Disregarding the corona lights)
http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...miNt+Bj9NbBA==

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 09-05-2009 at 07:10 AM. Reason: addedd link
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2009, 07:32 AM
Bill97Z Bill97Z is offline
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I don't think they came out on the x3 until 07
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2009, 07:44 AM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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For 2005 I think the switch is a reliable way to tell.

For vehicles with xenon headlamps, there will be a green LED that lights up next to the A (automatic) headlamp position when the headlights are on. Vehicles with halogen headlamps don't have this LED.

I attached a pic of mine which has xenons. The LED isn't lit up but you can see the outline.

Here's a pic off eBay of a halogen-equipped X3:

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Last edited by AzNMpower32; 09-05-2009 at 07:49 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2009, 04:13 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Vehicles with halogen headlamps don't have this LED.

My owners manual says that LED also serves to warn you, by flashing, if the Automatic Headlights (option) are malfunctioning.

Might be a difference with Cdn. models, but in the U.S. if you have halogens and the auto. headlights option, don't you get the LED indicator?
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2009, 04:49 PM
gcopter gcopter is offline
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AzNM, saw the outline of the led, thanks for the picture!
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2009, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Might be a difference with Cdn. models, but in the U.S. if you have halogens and the auto. headlights option, don't you get the LED indicator?
As you can see in the picture, no. But sometime in the 2007-2008 they started using the LED for all models. But as an indicator for pre-facelift models, it's fairly accurate for the US market.

The LED serves as a warning indicator for the following: it flashes when the adaptive headlamp has failed.
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2009, 06:12 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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My mistake - I misread the manual.

The "Malfunction" para. is part of the Adaptive Headlight section, not the Automatic Headlight section.
(Slightly smaller font in the heading)
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:46 AM
cocomobile cocomobile is offline
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It seems I have an adaptive headlight problem on my 2007 328i since my LED is flashing. Can anyone verify that the following warning light is for an Adaptive Light malfunction?

The reason I ask is because I was told that you need to have Xenon Lights in order to have "adaptive lights". I thought Adaptive lights and Xenons were two different things and that Xenon only enhance the “adaptive” feature.
Your thoughts please
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2009, 11:18 AM
rick chi-town-2 rick chi-town-2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
I don't think they came out on the x3 until 07
Mine is an '06 and has adaptive xenons and I love them!
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocomobile View Post
I was told that you need to have Xenon Lights in order to have "adaptive lights". I thought Adaptive lights and Xenons were two different things and that Xenon only enhance the “adaptive” feature.
Your thoughts please.
Simple enough question, but not so easy to answer.

I would have to split it into two parts:
1. Generally (non-BMW specific), and,
2. BMW-specific

1. Generally
Lights that turn around corners/bends have been around for many decades, and definitely pre-date xenons, and even halogens.
BMW did not appear to get into this technology, unlike Citroen, etc.
BMW did however pioneer the use of xenons, which first appeared on the 7 series in 1991.

2. BMW-specific
BMW's interpretation of the lights that assist while cornering is called "adaptive" and has been around for the last 7 years or so.
It is only used in conjunction with xenons.
So in BMW terms, the adaptive function adds to the benefits of xenons.

Not familiar enough with the 2007 328i to answer your other question.
Intuitively it definitely looks like the warning of a fault in the adaptive function.
Not sure why it would have a different adaptive lights fault indicator from the X3.
Possibly because it is a clearer indication, and is independent of having the automatic headlights feature installed.
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2009, 03:41 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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On our 2007, the respective Foglight will light up if you turn the wheel alot to that one side. I was confused at first when I saw it happened when my wife was parking it in our garage. Kinda nifty.
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2009, 04:29 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Yes, forgot about that, yet another lighting feature, and the most recent one I think.

Cornering lights, where just one side of the fog/driving lights is activated.

Maybe that is the feature that cocomobile has in the 328i, and it is showing a malfunction?
Or maybe it can be turned on or off by the owner?
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2009, 07:35 PM
cocomobile cocomobile is offline
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I took it to a nearby indy dealer on my way home from work and he told me it is the Adaptive lights. Also mentioned that the lamps currently installed are not the halogens but a regular lamp and that is what's causing the malfuntion.

Now I remember the guy that sold it to me mentioned that he swapped out the "blue" bulbs because they kept burning out on him and were costly.

Does this sound like a true story? Do you really think that may be causing the malfunction?
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2009, 08:18 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocomobile View Post
I took it to a nearby indy dealer on my way home from work and he told me it is the Adaptive lights. Also mentioned that the lamps currently installed are not the halogens but a regular lamp and that is what's causing the malfuntion.

Now I remember the guy that sold it to me mentioned that he swapped out the "blue" bulbs because they kept burning out on him and were costly.

Does this sound like a true story? Do you really think that may be causing the malfunction?
You should be able to go back to halogens. They are not that expensive. You may have a short somewhere, causing heat and short life.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2009, 08:49 PM
Sonoman707 Sonoman707 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bill97Z View Post
I don't think they came out on the x3 until 07
Negative. My '04 has them (as an option).
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