BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bimmer is my first car equipped with xenon headlights. During the past 3 months of ownership I have had at least 3 people flash their high beam at me sitting from across the street at a redlight or coming from the other side of a 2 lane drive. I was wondering if it were about my headlights. Then last night this guy in front of me (with a fair amont of distance) driving a ford f150 suddenly changed to another lane, breaked, and swtiched back right behind me with his high beam on. He followed me really close for about 2 minutes till I finally decided it was enough and dropped to 3rd gear took off at 85mph.

I love the xenons. They made my vision so much better at night. But are they really offensive to the others? I don't think I ever find other cars with xenons to be excessive glare except for a few poorly made aftermarket ones. But I understand people might have different sensitivity to different level of lightings. Have you guys ever had this kind of encounters? What are your thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
startover said:
My bimmer is my first car equipped with xenon headlights. During the past 3 months of ownership I have had at least 3 people flash their high beam at me sitting from across the street at a redlight or coming from the other side of a 2 lane drive. I was wondering if it were about my headlights. Then last night this guy in front of me (with a fair amont of distance) driving a ford f150 suddenly changed to another lane, breaked, and swtiched back right behind me with his high beam on. He followed me really close for about 2 minutes till I finally decided it was enough and dropped to 3rd gear took off at 85mph.

I love the xenons. They made my vision so much better at night. But are they really offensive to the others? I don't think I ever find other cars with xenons to be excessive glare except for a few poorly made aftermarket ones. But I understand people might have different sensitivity to different level of lightings. Have you guys ever had this kind of encounters? What are your thoughts?
Seriously, i have never heard of such thing in my life, the xenons don't really give out that much of glare. I think the main reason people do this is because they probably not used to seeing these kinda lights. To me xenon lights look amazing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
startover said:
But I understand people might have different sensitivity to different level of lightings. Have you guys ever had this kind of encounters? What are your thoughts?
I would love to have Xenon in my car, some people just don't get used to the amount of output the Xenon has. I guess you can aim the headlights down a little bit to avoid this....
 

·
Member
Joined
·
98 Posts
I personally find xenons extremely annoying. Many are set too high and blind oncoming drivers even on level roads. The self leveling feature probably helps, but certainly can't handle all situations. For instance when a car just crests a hill, its lights will be shinning into the eyes of drivers in the oncoming lane. With normal (halogen) headlights this is bearable. With xenons it can be downright dangerous because of the high intensity of the light.

I don't know what can be done about this. A lot of people want xenons and will pay over a thousand dollars to get lights that let them see better at the expense of others seeing less. I will not buy a car with xenons, but that is just my opinion.

Lou
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I dislike them. A friend of mine pulled over when driving in front of me because he thought I was flashing my lights at him which was caused by dips in the road in conjunction with the abrupt cut-off of the lights at the top of the pattern. Maybe I just have good night vision because I rarely use my high beams.

I wish that fog lights were banned in the US. Hey everybody look at me!

I get a glimmer about how people feel like they want to see objects on the road that they are going to run over in about 10 nanoseconds at 60 mph, but I really have a problem with b5 A4 drivers taking the extra step to select the stand alone switch to turn on their annoying rear fogs on a clear night. I think the A8 has dual rear fogs that make them look like they have some kind of wiring problem making the brake lights look like they are stuck on as somebody told me they mentioned to an A8 at a stoplight.

I'm looking forward to the day when cars will have visiblity meters that will only allow the fogs to be turned on when the vis. is less than 100 yds.

DRL's still suck.
 

·
VIII
Joined
·
8,087 Posts
1) Once I was driving my wife's car, which I don't normally drive and I ment to pull back on the wiper to get the "one swipe" but instead I flashed the car in front of me. The guy got all like "what?, what? holding his hands out the window." I just held my hand up to say, "sorry it was an accident, don't have a heart attack."

2) Car with stiffer suspensions, when they hit bumps it can make it look like the lights got flashed when instead they just moved up and down quicker then an ordinary "Buick" type car. So sometimes people will think you flashed them and flash you back because of that.

Could be stuff like this, but if it keeps happening say 3 - 4 times a week, then I would get them checked at the dealer.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,341 Posts
Your lights are not adjusted correctly.
I got a few flashes in the beginning, but after I adjusted them (it's been 4 years) I haven't got a single incident.
First adjust them vertically. They should be pointing down, not up. Both sides should be pointing down at exactly the same angle. Park the car about 30 feet from a flat wall and you'll see a sharp cut off pattern. The top of that cut off should be lower than the hood of your car. How much lower is for another iteration.
Second, adjust them horizontally. Go to a completely dark place (we have many such streets in our neighborhood where houses are still being built) and go to the front of your car with a cardboard. Cover up one side and observe the light pattern on the road. If your lights are pointing down, you should see that sharp cut off pattern on the road (less pronounced than on the wall, but should be there). Now cover up the other side, and ensure that the pattern overlaps completely (shines in exactly the same spot). If not, adjust until they do. Some people think that the left side should be a bit lower (closer to the driver) for oncoming traffic's sake. That is not necessary with xenons. The cut of pattern takes care of that.
Refer to this thread. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38229

Now drive around. Each time you get flashed, lower the vertical adjustment a bit. Eventually, you won't get flashes anymore. Even if you don't get flashed, when you stop behind another car, make sure the top of your cut off never goes over the trunk of the car in front of you, no matter how low that car is.
The method above will give you the highest setting your lights should be, without bothering other drivers. But I find that the lower the lights are set, the brighter the road become (more concentrated). So, for me the taks is to find what's the lowest setting I can deal with. One good rule of thumb is that the top of the cut of pattern should be only as far ahead on the road as your eyes tend to be when driving. No point in wasting light further than that.
 

·
Happy Trails!
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
I have 2 cars with xenons, never been flashed. The BMWs have a sharp cutoff to the lights, so if they are adjusted properly they shouldn't be a problem. I love 'em!
 

·
My TARDIS is a BMW
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
gojira-san said:
I have 2 cars with xenons, never been flashed. The BMWs have a sharp cutoff to the lights, so if they are adjusted properly they shouldn't be a problem. I love 'em!
:stupid: I have never been flashed because someone mistook my low beam xenons for high beams.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 540i MSport
Joined
·
8,802 Posts
JetBlack330i said:
Your lights are not adjusted correctly.
And there you go! I've seen tons of 3 series with xenons coming toward me at night and there shouldn't be an issue of glare. You said you've had it 3 months, (I see it's a 2003), is it still under warranty? Might be able to just have the dealer "do it right" than trying to play around with the aim yourself. Actually, I see so many xenon-equipped cars now and I think the original problem with glare has been fixed -- I hardly noticed them except for the color.
 

·
Natural optical phenomena
Joined
·
123 Posts
Must be out of allignment

Clearly, your Xenons are out of allignment. I have had Xenons for four full years now and have NEVER (and I mean NEVER) had a headlight flashed at me! Go get them alligned.

Now, if you are talking about after market "Xenon" add on lights for fogs, then fie on you! They are terrible and offensive. Remove them immediately. You are offending reasonable citizens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Self leveling

Two words Self Leveling.

You get flashed - flashem back.

I don't get many flashes.

My stock Wrangler gets flashes (it has halogens) more than my 325 with Xeon, my guess is that I am riding a little higher.

I think it is more that the light is blue -er than regular lights so ppl think you have high beams on.

Its a new thing and in time , like a kidney stone, it will pass.
 

·
just copacetic!!!
2019 230i MSptPkg
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
From what I've read, self-leveling only adjusts the headlights when the car is not sitting level as in when you had two HEAVYWEIGHTS sitting in your back seat. From what I understand, it doesn't adjust the lights when driving over dips and bumps - when I drive on a road that has a slight rise, the lights don't adjust downwards, nor do they adjust upwards when driving down the other side of the slight rise in the road. I have mine adjusted so the sharp cut-off on a level road is about 1-2 feet above the "horizon" of the road, that way there is no cut-off bouncing off and on the road, which I find rather annoying. When CR did their review, one of the things they didn't like was the bouncing cut-off on the road, I think their lights were not adjusted correctly :tsk:.
 

·
There and back again
Joined
·
2,601 Posts
Chupracabre said:
You get flashed - flashem back.
Depending on what you're trying to communicate, switching briefly to the real high beams may have a greater effect. (The flash function just turns on the incandescent beams, while switching to the real high beams will lift the shutters in the bi-xenons and give 'em an eyeful).

startover said:
Arghz, how do you adjust them? :eek: I don't see any buttons or knobs around the headlight switch.
There are adjustment knobs on the lamp assemblies under the hood. I wouldn't fiddle with them, though. If they're really out of adjustment your dealer should readjust them under the warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
I live off a CR and my E90 has the standard bulbs(plenty bright). Last nite I was blinded by a oncomming E46 with the Xenons. :thumbdwn: If they need adjustment I don't know. As for now I hate them. Heck, I learned to drive on 6 volt VW. And never had a vision issue. Its all about the "cool" look.
 

·
They call 'em rigs here
Joined
·
859 Posts
Chupracabre said:
Two words Self Leveling.
Self Leveling has absolutely nothing to do with adjusting your beams (if needed).
I've explained this before but I'll try it again...
When you start your car, the xenons go through a self leveling process and end up at a certain level that you could call the aim point. They get their information from suspension position indicators. This is not a one time thing at start-up as many people think. They will always seek this aim point as long as the car is running. If you drive all night long, as your gas tank empties, they will adjust for the decrease in rear weight and will adjust up as needed. If you pick up a couple of bigguns, if you don't shut the car off, watch the beams adjust down when they climb into the back seat. Or if you do shut the car off, they get in, then you start the car, the self levelers do their thing and end up at the same aim point, meaning they have compensated for the increased weight in the back. You can even see it adjusting if you make the car jump by hard acceleration for a moment by sort of popping the clutch a little, like if you were rocking the car. Short term like that, it lags by a second, but you can see it adjust down a little, then a second later adjust back up a little as you rock the car. This is the whole point of self leveling.
Here's the important part...That aim point that the lights always seek is adjustable. That's what those thumb wheels right behind the light housings are for. Park in front of a wall and adjust the thumb wheels and watch your beam move. If people have been flashing you a lot, adjust them down (and make them equal with each other) and drive around for a night or three. If nobody flashes you, try adjusting them back up, a little bit at a time, until people start flashing you again and then you know where you need to be...adjusted back down slightly to where people very rarely flash you. It ain't rocket science, and I wouldn't waste the effort taking it to a dealer. It's a hell of a lot easier to do it myself and end up with it the way I want it. Keep in mind geometry and the ignorance of other drivers to said geometry, as has already been mentioned...ie. even if you are adjusted properly, someone may flash you in certain situations, like if you are cresting a hill. Or, due to the shape of the beam, if you are on a right hand turning bit of road, an oncoming car will be in the fat part of you beam until they get nearly abreast of you because they are to the right of your forward center of axis. And I have also had a coworker who was ahead of me ask me later why I was flashing my high beams at him. It was just a lumpy road. Had to explain geometry to him. Not much you can do about that. If I were me (and I am) I would design them so the cutoff was not quite so sharp and abrupt.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,341 Posts
MysticBlue said:
If you pick up a couple of bigguns, if you don't shut the car off, watch the beams adjust down when they climb into the back seat... Short term like that, it lags by a second, but you can see it adjust down a little, then a second later adjust back up a little as you rock the car. This is the whole point of self leveling.
They must lag a lot more than a second. I could never observe/reproduce that behavior.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,341 Posts
startover said:
Arghz, how do you adjust them? :eek: I don't see any buttons or knobs around the headlight switch.
Did you follow the link in my post? :confused:
 

·
Do the interns get Glocks
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
Xenons are great when you are behind the wheel. But as a driver or passenger that has to look at them or see them in the rear view I hate them.

The are much brighter than other lights on the road, they are distracting and at times in my rearview create a tremendous amount of glare.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top