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Automatic Headlight Leveling Warning Light


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#1 JCIS3

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:44 AM

Any ideas on how to turn this headlight warning light off? It just came on in my '04 IS even though the headlights seem to be level.

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#2 1990LS400

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:29 PM

Cover the light with black electrical tape?

I suspect your headlights are at the default level position and are no longer able to compensate for the amount of weight you are carrying in your car, e.g. the number of burritos you had for lunch, LOL. The default position is likely just fine for a lightly loaded car.

Do either of your headlights go through the up and down synchronization routine when you start your car at night? The problem could be an actuator, ECU or a level sensor under your car. There is a lengthy diagnostic procedure for the leveling system of my LS400 in my repair manuals -- doesn't look easy. Have you considered having a mechanic evaluate the problem?

I love the headlight leveling system in my 00 LS. When I carried a full load of people and luggage in the 90 LS I had for many years, all I could see at night were the tree tops.

#3 bartkat

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 01:50 PM

Any ideas on how to turn this headlight warning light off? It just came on in my '04 IS even though the headlights seem to be level.


The first question is have you done any suspension work recently, ie; lowering springs or coilovers or shocks?

#4 JCIS3

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:13 AM

I have not had any suspension work done to my car. When I recently took my IS in for its 50k checkup at Lexus they wanted $750 to readjust the levels of the headlights and ultimately reset the orange warning light which came on in my dash. I know how to reset my check engine light but was wondering if there was a similar way to reset the 'headlight warning light'. I have thought about taking it to another mechanic who won't charge an arm and a leg but was wondering if there was an easier way of doing it myself. It does seem like a level sensor issue.

#5 1990LS400

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:47 AM

Do you have a written quote of what the Lexus dealer was going to do for $750? That's a whole lot of money. That just can't be only labor costs. That would be ... like ... seven hours of labor. Were they going to replace some parts?

#6 JCIS3

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:59 AM

I don't have a copy of the written quote w/ me but believe that included labor and tacking one of those special computers on it where they re-align the lights. The maint tech said it wouldn't take long so it certainly wasn't a lot of labor involved. When I looked at the lights against the garage they seemed to be projecting together in a straight line so i'm not sure why the indicator light even came on in the first place.

#7 bartkat

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:59 AM

Do your garage wall test by first turning on the headlights and then starting the car. The headlights should dip way down and then back up to level. I think they do that every time you turn them on, but it's easier to see it this way.

#8 1990LS400

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:16 AM

I don't have a copy of the written quote w/ me but believe that included labor and tacking one of those special computers on it where they re-align the lights. The maint tech said it wouldn't take long so it certainly wasn't a lot of labor involved. When I looked at the lights against the garage they seemed to be projecting together in a straight line so i'm not sure why the indicator light even came on in the first place.

First of all, the charge for re-aiming the headlights should be far less than $750 -- probably less than $100. I've corrected the headlight aim on many cars over the past 40 years and it has rarely taken me more than 10 minutes total to do both sides of a car -- and that was by doing it the old fashioned, more time consuming way of parking the car in front of a marked wall.

As I explained previously in this thread, it is likely that your headlights are in the default position -- they should be perfectly aligned in the default position and that is why they are "projecting together in a straight line".

The indicator light (probably) came on because the leveling system is not working and would not be able to compensate if your car is heavily loaded down with passengers and stuff in the trunk.

As I said before, there is a diagnostic procedure for the headlight auto-leveling system. It involves checking continuity, resistance and voltage on the actuators, ECU and sensors. My guess is that the entire diagnostic procedure can be performed by a knowledgeable mechanic in less than one hour.

Perhaps you need to take your car someplace else.

#9 JCIS3

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:29 AM

Do your garage wall test by first turning on the headlights and then starting the car. The headlights should dip way down and then back up to level. I think they do that every time you turn them on, but it's easier to see it this way.


Thanks, I'll give that a try!

#10 JCIS3

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:30 AM

I don't have a copy of the written quote w/ me but believe that included labor and tacking one of those special computers on it where they re-align the lights. The maint tech said it wouldn't take long so it certainly wasn't a lot of labor involved. When I looked at the lights against the garage they seemed to be projecting together in a straight line so i'm not sure why the indicator light even came on in the first place.

First of all, the charge for re-aiming the headlights should be far less than $750 -- probably less than $100. I've corrected the headlight aim on many cars over the past 40 years and it has rarely taken me more than 10 minutes total to do both sides of a car -- and that was by doing it the old fashioned, more time consuming way of parking the car in front of a marked wall.

As I explained previously in this thread, it is likely that your headlights are in the default position -- they should be perfectly aligned in the default position and that is why they are "projecting together in a straight line".

The indicator light (probably) came on because the leveling system is not working and would not be able to compensate if your car is heavily loaded down with passengers and stuff in the trunk.

As I said before, there is a diagnostic procedure for the headlight auto-leveling system. It involves checking continuity, resistance and voltage on the actuators, ECU and sensors. My guess is that the entire diagnostic procedure can be performed by a knowledgeable mechanic in less than one hour.

Perhaps you need to take your car someplace else.



Thanks, sounds like the logical idea. I've got a guy in mind I can take it to.

#11 bartkat

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:38 PM

Here are some PDF's that might help, or at least help find the components.

On the troubleshooting PDF scroll down to Headlight Beam Level Control. Note the first item. Fuse PWR-IG. That's shown in the other PDF under the hood on the passenger side in the main fuse box.

Attached Files



#12 JCIS3

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 06:03 AM

Here are some PDF's that might help, or at least help find the components.

On the troubleshooting PDF scroll down to Headlight Beam Level Control. Note the first item. Fuse PWR-IG. That's shown in the other PDF under the hood on the passenger side in the main fuse box.

Thanks!

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