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JCloughie

Headlights adjustment

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We go to France next Wednesday so today I looked into how my headlights adjust for continental use.  

 

Its a Volvo V70, latest version.  The handbook provide two solutions.  One for Halogen, they provide templates to make your own.  The patterns are surprisingly big. 

 

But mine Ines has the active bi-xzenon lights.  I need to find a lever and move it from A to B.  There is a picture, but it’s worse than useless, so just where is this lever.

 

The whole headlight comes out in seconds.  It’s held on by two large pegs.  Once out the back clips off.  Well I had a good search, nothing.

 

So I called in at the Volvo main dealer who tried to be helpful.  They did what I did and were equally stumped.  So they got on the phone and we followed some suggestions.  

 

  • Change it in in the car settings.
  • Change it in the secondary computer which controls the dashboard.
  • Look for a button and press it for 4 seconds.

 

So that’s 4 options plus the halogen type template, and none work on my car.  Dealer said stick some tape on them.

 

So I have bought some beam benders, at least it will look like I have made the effort.

 

Any Volvo owners, or anyone with similar headlights got any ideas?

 

John

 

 

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The lever would not be on the light unit but on the housing that holds it in place (I think).

 

Does this video help?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

The lever would not be on the light unit but on the housing that holds it in place (I think).

 

Does this video help?

 

 

 

Thanks GS, I had seen that, I think it’s the older model.  It shows the lever next to the bulb.  My handbook says I should have something like that.  But neither myself, or two Volvo mechanics can find it.

 

 

John

 

Edited by JCloughie

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A previous incarnation of BMW 3 series E9x had a similar conundrum.

 

It seems that with the (optional then) adaptive lights you just switched off the adaptive as the dip wasn't "handed" - the beam was straight.Hence no left or right bias. Worked for me!

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The latest V70 (MY 2016, AT 1546?) manual does indeed show a lever on the back of the headlight assembly for adjusting the active bi-Xenon lamps. Something obviously missing somewhere if the dealer doesn't know either :unsure:.

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My 12 year old Saab allegedly has a screw to move the lights, according to the handbook. Supposedley next to the  dip bulbs after removing a dust cover! I cannot find it:unsure: Not taking it over to EU anyway.

 

Our Santa Fe has the  active xenon type lights. For driving abroad,you go into the menu on dash using the buttons on the wheel and change the setting. It  then gives a warning that beam pattern changed each time you switch on.

It was not very clear in the handbook, we found it by scrolling through menus.

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I had a Land Rover Discovery 3 with xenon lights and these had a lever to change for driving on the right.  The whole light assembly could be removed from the car by lifting a couple of catches.  Then an access panel had to be unclipped behind the dipped beam headlight.  Deep inside, there was a metal lever that could be moved up or down.  The main problem was that there was nothing to show which position was which and the manual did not specify it either.  However, with practice, I was able to switch both headlights over quite quickly while waiting to board Le Shuttle each time we crossed the Channel.

 

I do not think that stick-on masks are suitable for xenon headlights due to the heat they can produce.

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3 hours ago, 664DaveS said:

My 12 year old Saab allegedly has a screw to move the lights, according to the handbook. Supposedley next to the  dip bulbs after removing a dust cover! I cannot find it:unsure: Not taking it over to EU anyway.

 

Our Santa Fe has the  active xenon type lights. For driving abroad,you go into the menu on dash using the buttons on the wheel and change the setting. It  then gives a warning that beam pattern changed each time you switch on.

It was not very clear in the handbook, we found it by scrolling through menus.

 

Some models of my car do that, sadly, not mine.

1 hour ago, DACS said:

I had a Land Rover Discovery 3 with xenon lights and these had a lever to change for driving on the right.  The whole light assembly could be removed from the car by lifting a couple of catches.  Then an access panel had to be unclipped behind the dipped beam headlight.  Deep inside, there was a metal lever that could be moved up or down.  The main problem was that there was nothing to show which position was which and the manual did not specify it either.  However, with practice, I was able to switch both headlights over quite quickly while waiting to board Le Shuttle each time we crossed the Channel.

 

I do not think that stick-on masks are suitable for xenon headlights due to the heat they can produce.

 

That's as mine is supposed to be, but 3 of us now cant finds that lever.

 

I have bought RING stick ons, which say they are OK for xenon.  don't know if they are suitable for active headlights but I can always turn that feature off.

 

 

 

John

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This may be a silly question, but the change to right dip is not automatic from the GPS is it - a la some Skodas?

 

Most HID headlights have electric adjustment from the main control panel - which often gives the choice of level  (tilt) adjustment from the same place, that is unless it has automatic levelling.

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My 2013 Honda CRV had symmetrical dipped pattern headlights, so no action was needed when we went to France. Changed the car nearly 2 years ago, with the "updated" blinged up front with smaller lenses, chrome surrounds etc. Guess what, now I have to get the scissors out and tape off certain areas of the lenses. So much for progress!

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1 hour ago, Woodentop said:

This may be a silly question, but the change to right dip is not automatic from the GPS is it - a la some Skodas?

 

Most HID headlights have electric adjustment from the main control panel - which often gives the choice of level  (tilt) adjustment from the same place, that is unless it has automatic levelling.

 

Not so silly, but my car is not that advanced I don't think.  Though it does have SatNav but that was an optional extra.  I feel sure that would have been in the handbook if it had it.

 

Because mine are 'active' levelling is automatic.

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1 hour ago, Woodentop said:

This may be a silly question, but the change to right dip is not automatic from the GPS is it - a la some Skodas?

 

Most HID headlights have electric adjustment from the main control panel - which often gives the choice of level  (tilt) adjustment from the same place, that is unless it has automatic levelling.

 

HIDs require automatic leveliing as standard.

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Posted (edited)

Hella make most of the adaptive Xenon light units.

 

Part of the change to AFS2 which they introduced about 2010 was an electronic swap over for driving in left or right driving countries. So a lever was no longer required.

 

Some car manufacturers fitted a switch or button, some put the option in the infotainment and some tied an automatic change over into GPS/SatNav.

 

Not sure on the Volvo though,

 

Lee

Edited by logiclee

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1 hour ago, logiclee said:

Hella make most of the adaptive Xenon light units.

 

Part of the change to AFS2 which they introduced about 2010 was an electronic swap over for driving in left or right driving countries. So a lever was no longer required.

 

Some car manufacturers fitted a switch or button, some put the option in the infotainment and some tied an automatic change over into GPS/SatNav.

 

Not sure on the Volvo though,

 

Lee

 

According to the Volvo mechanics they have done, or tried, all of the ones you mention.  But my car seems to have been overlooked.

 

That is, unless it is GPS, but without going abroad first I don’t know how I could test it.

 

John

 

Do you have any suggestions regarding turning the adaptive feature off?  I intend to use beam benders, if only to make it look like I have made an effort.

 

John

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2 hours ago, JCloughie said:

 

 

Do you have any suggestions regarding turning the adaptive feature off?  I intend to use beam benders, if only to make it look like I have made an effort.

 

John

 

Obviously it may not apply to Volvo, but in the BMW world, you switch the headlights on manual (instead of Auto) and this cuts off the adaptive. Easily checked on the drive - if the lights move with the steering, adaptive is on.

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3 hours ago, AlwynMike said:

 

Obviously it may not apply to Volvo, but in the BMW world, you switch the headlights on manual (instead of Auto) and this cuts off the adaptive. Easily checked on the drive - if the lights move with the steering, adaptive is on.

Thanks.

 

I can do that no problem.  But does that make it legal for continental driving? 

 

Out of curiosity I will try it when its dark and see if it has a neutral, straight ahead pattern.  That is not lighting the kerb on the left.

 

John

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2 hours ago, JCloughie said:

 But does that make it legal for continental driving? 

 

John

 

I'll have to "pass" on that one.

But as far as I can tell, you have done as much as you can and the chances are slim of you getting pulled for lights unless doing something else silly.

 

Try the "garage door" trick with your lights to see the beam pattern (I used to have an old piece of board to do headlight "alignment"). Stick on your beam benders temporarily to see if they make any difference at all.

I am sure most MOT stations would accept some folding money at a suitable time so you could check your beam pattern as they would on a test - if you wanted to go as far as that. Old tech board for me ☺

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9 minutes ago, AlwynMike said:

 

I'll have to "pass" on that one.

But as far as I can tell, you have done as much as you can and the chances are slim of you getting pulled for lights unless doing something else silly.

 

Try the "garage door" trick with your lights to see the beam pattern (I used to have an old piece of board to do headlight "alignment"). Stick on your beam benders temporarily to see if they make any difference at all.

I am sure most MOT stations would accept some folding money at a suitable time so you could check your beam pattern as they would on a test - if you wanted to go as far as that. Old tech board for me ☺

I have discovered a flaw with the plan.  The active lights only activate at twilight and only when moving.  So the garage door test proved nothing.  I will now wait till dark and try it driving slowly down a straight road.

 

I am not worried, just inquisitive.  In fact, I can’t remember if I have ever driven at night on the continent, well not in a right hand drive car.

 

John

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My (9 year old)  V70 (bendy headlights which self adjust) doesn't need to be altered for UK/Continent. Just leave it alone.

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55 minutes ago, Ern said:

My (9 year old)  V70 (bendy headlights which self adjust) doesn't need to be altered for UK/Continent. Just leave it alone.

 

So 3 or 4 years older than mine but the same base model version, 2007 - 2016.

 

Is that what your manual says?  The picture is the relevant page from mine.

 

image.thumb.jpg.d9c4f701ac77a08e445aac4dd82e8f1e.jpg

 

 

 

John

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As it has turned dark I just tried driving down a straight road.  

 

Active ON, pavement is illuminated as one would expect.  

 

Active OFF exactly the same.

 

So, unless they are linked to the GPS, which I will not know until I get to France,  I just don’t know.  

 

Therefore its stickers for show.

 

Poor show Volvo.

 

John

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56 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

As it has turned dark I just tried driving down a straight road.  

 

Active ON, pavement is illuminated as one would expect.  

 

Active OFF exactly the same.

 

So, unless they are linked to the GPS, which I will not know until I get to France,  I just don’t know.  

 

Therefore its stickers for show.

 

Poor show Volvo.

 

John

What the heck do you need anything like "stickers for show" for? 

Yes the book is what I have. I will elaborate. I was preparing for my first trip to France when I bought the 3 yr old car 2015.

Read the book  and it was (as yours) wrong.  Asked Volvo - waste of time. Eventually I realised the removed headlight has removeable panels exposing innards and a lever like the picture. Pulled it to alternative position and tested the light (just the one)  in darkness. I could not tell the difference. The lever achieves nothing? I learned from the Volvo Owners Club web site that you don't need to touch them as they are fine here or in France. In both countries vertical dipping is OK. My car has passed the MOT several times since then. Just leave it as it is and have a nice holiday.

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8 hours ago, Ern said:

What the heck do you need anything like "stickers for show" for? 

Yes the book is what I have. I will elaborate. I was preparing for my first trip to France when I bought the 3 yr old car 2015.

Read the book  and it was (as yours) wrong.  Asked Volvo - waste of time. Eventually I realised the removed headlight has removeable panels exposing innards and a lever like the picture. Pulled it to alternative position and tested the light (just the one)  in darkness. I could not tell the difference. The lever achieves nothing? I learned from the Volvo Owners Club web site that you don't need to touch them as they are fine here or in France. In both countries vertical dipping is OK. My car has passed the MOT several times since then. Just leave it as it is and have a nice holiday.

Clearly yours are not the same as mine as mine don’t have the lever, as I stated in my first post.

 

I am assuming from your comments that your conclusions are deduced rather than fact.  After testing mine last night they are clearly not vertical dipping but do illuminate the pavement.  I have read that some lights do not have left and right bias.

 

I would like like to conform to the standards of the country I will be in but as I have said, I am not concerned.  In fact, I doubt I will be doing any night driving.  Having said that, once, due to circumstances, I had to do just that.  And I was stopped in a police check.  They were only interested in drink driving, but you never know.

 

All I mean by ‘stickers for show’.  Is to satisfy any nosey official, I have them so might as well use them.

 

The matter will have zero effect on the enjoyment of my holiday.  I am just trying to discover the true situation.  The same position that you were in a few years ago in fact.  

 

John

 

John

 

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