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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:55 PM
sack-o-taters sack-o-taters is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 550i
Maybe Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Took my 550i out last night; first time to drive the car at dark. The headlights were pretty amazing on level road - i was surprised at how sharp the area of illumination is - it looks like a knife edge between light and dark.

But when I got on a hilly street with lots of twists and turns (Westlake Drive for those of you in Austin), I really had trouble seeing. When going uphill into a turn the it was really difficult to see the road ahead at the point of the turn until I turned the wheel. It was as if the headlights beams are so tight and narrow that no light diffuses to a wider area, so you couldn't tell where the road was going until you got right up on it. Same issue on tight downhills heading into an immediate uphill - like two superbright "lasers" focused in two smallish spots on the hill ahead so bight that it dazzled me a little. Anyway, this road was something of a piece of work to drive.

I think everything is working ok - I can see the headlights level themselves and pivot left and right with the steering wheel. Has anybody else noticed this "effect"?
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2012, 04:09 AM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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I have not noticed this. You should try turning your fog lights on.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2012, 04:49 AM
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HWF HWF is offline
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My high beams work this way on my 2007 530xi.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:43 AM
Emilner Emilner is offline
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I find them to be amazing on dark windy roads. The beams point ot where you are steering with amazing accuracy. The high beams make it like daylight. I guess people can complain about anything...
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2012, 10:14 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 535i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sack-o-taters View Post
Took my 550i out last night; first time to drive the car at dark. The headlights were pretty amazing on level road - i was surprised at how sharp the area of illumination is - it looks like a knife edge between light and dark.

But when I got on a hilly street with lots of twists and turns (Westlake Drive for those of you in Austin), I really had trouble seeing. When going uphill into a turn the it was really difficult to see the road ahead at the point of the turn until I turned the wheel. It was as if the headlights beams are so tight and narrow that no light diffuses to a wider area, so you couldn't tell where the road was going until you got right up on it. Same issue on tight downhills heading into an immediate uphill - like two superbright "lasers" focused in two smallish spots on the hill ahead so bight that it dazzled me a little. Anyway, this road was something of a piece of work to drive.

I think everything is working ok - I can see the headlights level themselves and pivot left and right with the steering wheel. Has anybody else noticed this "effect"?
As far as straight-ahead left/right coverage, I haven't noticed anything much different from most headlight patterns, the normal amount of light seems to be there. You should see a broad coverage pattern, not "two lasers" providing two focused beams. If not, something could be wrong with your headlight aiming.

Note that the "adaptive", or swiveling function, is only active when the lights are in the "Auto" position, the normal "on" position does not swivel. Also, I'm not sure I would call it an "effect", it is a real phenomenon. I get so used to the lights following the curves, it's strange when I drive my wife's car that doesn't have the feature. Flick the headlight switch from "Auto" to "on" briefly and you can see what you're missing when they don't move.
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:58 PM
sack-o-taters sack-o-taters is offline
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Thanks - That's good info, I wasn't aware that the function on the headlights was different for the Auto setting. I agree that the movement on the headlights works great. The road I was on is really challenging - pitch black at night, narrow, steep hills and very twisty. I think sometimes the lights were pointing into the turn, and it made the switchbacks a little hard to see/anticipate. Not a problem with the highbeams, but I couldn't keep them on much with oncoming traffic. Non auto might be better in this case.
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