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2001 Rx300 Auto-leveling Headlight System


simbalexus
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This thread may give you some information that might be useful.

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...showtopic=41386

It is possible that mud or gunk has fouled the leveling arm. More likely the sensor that the arm connects to has failed. At any rate, you will know where it is, how it works, and what to replace.

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This thread may give you some information that might be useful.

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...showtopic=41386

It is possible that mud or gunk has fouled the leveling arm. More likely the sensor that the arm connects to has failed. At any rate, you will know where it is, how it works, and what to replace.

Thanks for the link. I'll look to see there is anything that may cause this.

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Like GDixon said... More than likely the right rear headlight aim height sensor. Just because you're in the New England, the salt likes to corrode the insides of this sensor and cause it to seize and sometimes break the linkage. Lexus dealerships in Massachusetts replace these sensors all the time. Not uncommon. I hope you're still under warranty because I think the cost of these sensors are around $300+. They're very easy to install if you want to do it yourself.

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Like GDixon said... More than likely the right rear headlight aim height sensor. Just because you're in the New England, the salt likes to corrode the insides of this sensor and cause it to seize and sometimes break the linkage. Lexus dealerships in Massachusetts replace these sensors all the time. Not uncommon. I hope you're still under warranty because I think the cost of these sensors are around $300+. They're very easy to install if you want to do it yourself.

First, Thanks to all for some advices. I looked and checked my car headlight, they're moving up and down while parking on slope and start the key. This means the auto leveling system is seem to be working, isn't it? The light still comes on in dash board and goes off after driving awhile.

Any advice is alway appreciated.

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First, Thanks to all for some advices. I looked and checked my car headlight, they're moving up and down while parking on slope and start the key. This means the auto leveling system is seem to be working, isn't it? The light still comes on in dash board and goes off after driving awhile.

Any advice is alway appreciated.

That is not how the leveling system works. A slope, angle, or a gravity vector has no effect on the system. Rather, it is the angle of the body relative to the angle of the axle under load or unload.

If you want to try an experiment turn the lights on while facing a wall about 10 feet away. Mark the top of the beam with masking tape on the wall. Then load the rear cargo area with something very heavy - a well-fed wife sitting on bumper area perhaps. :lol:

The beam should adjust back to the masking tape instead of being high if the leveling device is working correctly. Do this with the car idling.

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The light goes on and off because your auto leveling system system may not be getting a good reading from the sensor at times. You're leveling system may work OK if your sensor isn't too corroded inside.

If you want to verify that you're sensor is corroded or not.

1. Mark the position of the height sensor linkage before removing it.

2. Remove the height sensor from your vehicle.

3. There are four phillips screws that hold the main cover on the sensor. Remove those screws and lightly pry the cover off.

You'll notice that there are three springs inside. If there is any corrosion at all inside, the sensor should be replaced. I haven't come in to any sensors that I could try to clean successfully without issues.

Sorry if my directions for removal are vague. I think there might be a write up somewhere on this forum to remove it. :)

Good Luck...

Oh and let me know if you need a "well-fed" wife to sit on your bumper... I might have one hangin around... :unsure::lol:

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The light goes on and off because your auto leveling system system may not be getting a good reading from the sensor at times. You're leveling system may work OK if your sensor isn't too corroded inside.

If you want to verify that you're sensor is corroded or not.

1. Mark the position of the height sensor linkage before removing it.

2. Remove the height sensor from your vehicle.

3. There are four phillips screws that hold the main cover on the sensor. Remove those screws and lightly pry the cover off.

You'll notice that there are three springs inside. If there is any corrosion at all inside, the sensor should be replaced. I haven't come in to any sensors that I could try to clean successfully without issues.

Sorry if my directions for removal are vague. I think there might be a write up somewhere on this forum to remove it. :)

Good Luck...

Oh and let me know if you need a "well-fed" wife to sit on your bumper... I might have one hangin around... :unsure::lol:

Thanks for some infos. If anyone have any picture or instruction of how to replace the sensor, please post.

Regarding to "well-fed wife", Yes, I do need one. Is there any charge?

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The sensor is fairly easy to remove... I was just reading the link GDixon posted at the top and he's got a pic of what the sensor looks like posted. The sensor itself is connected to the right rear control arm. And I thought there was a slot adjustment on the control arm. So you don't have to mark off any linkage position at all. Just remove and replace.

1. Remove 10mm nut holding the sensor to the control arm.

2. Remove 2 10mm bolts holding the sensor to the frame.

3. Disconnect the plug from the sensor.

4. Replace.

I don't have an RX300 at my disposal right now to post pics of where all the stuff is... But you should see everything once you get under the vehicle...

I should probably edit my "well-fed" wife post... She may be reading this.. LOL.. You can prob pick up one of those at any local bars in Mass.. No charge.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the info. I just looked under my 2001 RX and the sensor seems easy to get at.

Do I need to go to the Lexus dealer to get one or has anyone found an online source at a better price?

I searched sone online sites and can't find a sensor...

thanks

len

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FYI, a quick update....

The info presented in this thread was a big help. I was able to locate the sensor and remove it without jacking up the car or removing the wheel. Took 5 minutes. The Lexus dealer wanted $350 for a new sensor. I was not able to locate an part anywhee else other than the dealer (yet)

I took the sensor apart and for the most part no corrosion damage. There was quite a bit of black power material loose inside and some hard black material on the bottom and sides of the springs. I removed the springs and cleaned them with electronics grade isopropyl alcohol. I also cleaned the spring holes and inside casing with alcohol.

I put the unit back together and reinstalled it today. The dash fault is gone. I'll put a load on the rear of the car tonight to test the headlight reaction.

Not sure how long the sensor will last, but I'll give it a try before paying $350 for a new one...

len

The attached pictures are as follows:

1.jpg and 2.jpg.: The sensor as removed.

3.jpg: Inside of top cover after disassembly.

4.jpg: Inside of sensor showing black material at the bottom.

5.jpg: Close up of black material.

6.jpg: springs and black material inside

7.jpg: springs after cleaning.

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post-42691-1206638141_thumb.jpg

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Wow, nice update and detailed pics.

That sucks that the sensor is that much. Damn Stealerships. I can get it a little cheaper for you from the dealer if you need it. But from your pics, it looks like you cleaned it up pretty well. The middle one looked the worst. It only takes a little bit of corrosion for it to malfunction. Damn road salt!

This problem also occurs in other Lexus models. So if anyone else is having this issue, make sure you do what Len did and check your height level sensor before going to the dealership. You might find that it's just a little bit of corrosion and a very cheap fix. =)

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  • 4 months later...
Wow, nice update and detailed pics.

That sucks that the sensor is that much. Damn Stealerships. I can get it a little cheaper for you from the dealer if you need it. But from your pics, it looks like you cleaned it up pretty well. The middle one looked the worst. It only takes a little bit of corrosion for it to malfunction. Damn road salt!

This problem also occurs in other Lexus models. So if anyone else is having this issue, make sure you do what Len did and check your height level sensor before going to the dealership. You might find that it's just a little bit of corrosion and a very cheap fix. =)

I have the same problem on 2002 RX300. I opened the sensor and it is beyond repair. Everything is extremely rusty- even the screw that attaches the sensor to the armature (moving part) broke- fell apart because it was so rusty. Is there any other place that I can get this sensor without having to deal with dealer rip-offs.

Thanks.

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If you guys don't really care about the "functionality" of the sensor, just cut the switch off, and remove the pilot light from the dash. I wouldn't worry about blinding oncoming drivers, the rx's headlight cut-off is so dull it wouldn't do any harm...

Or better yet, just solder the wires together to the position you like the headlights angled. All the sensor is, is a potentiometer controlling voltage and current which tells the computer how to move the headlights motors.

I did a modification with my Rx, involving bringing the level switch in question into the cabin, making it look nice and pretty with lights and a roller wheel, so i control the headlight angle from the driver's seat. no corrosion and i can control it!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...

hi all. new to this forum. today i removed the headlight leveling sensor from my rx300 and wow!! it was beyond cleaning. the tiny springs were damaged from all the corrosion. by the way are these brass or gold? lol, they looked like gold..

my question is this: do i need to replace this sensor? my low beans are the hid type and without the auto leveling feature they seem to go the "default" level. it is rather low though. is there some way to compensate for this manually?

should i just cough up the bucks and replace the sensor?

Or better yet, just solder the wires together to the position you like the headlights angled. All the sensor is, is a potentiometer controlling voltage and current which tells the computer how to move the headlights motors.

tell me more about the above quote... i love that idea

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Experiment with the 3 leads and see which ones when connected angle the headlights UP and which ones angle them DOWN.

Find the two that angle them all the way up, and use different resistors between them to control the exact height in which you want them angled.

I'd still just use the leveling screws to raise them... It should take you a minute a headlight to raise them manually.

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  • 1 year later...
Wow, nice update and detailed pics.

That sucks that the sensor is that much. Damn Stealerships. I can get it a little cheaper for you from the dealer if you need it. But from your pics, it looks like you cleaned it up pretty well. The middle one looked the worst. It only takes a little bit of corrosion for it to malfunction. Damn road salt!

This problem also occurs in other Lexus models. So if anyone else is having this issue, make sure you do what Len did and check your height level sensor before going to the dealership. You might find that it's just a little bit of corrosion and a very cheap fix. =)

I have the same problem on 2002 RX300. I opened the sensor and it is beyond repair. Everything is extremely rusty- even the screw that attaches the sensor to the armature (moving part) broke- fell apart because it was so rusty. Is there any other place that I can get this sensor without having to deal with dealer rip-offs.

Thanks.

I know this a very old post but I thought I would reply for others who have this problem. My sensor was total trash and the dealer cost new was $379 + tax. I am in Ilinois and I hate to buy anything in this state because the sales tax contributes to the crooks ruining our state. I found one used from a salvage place in California for $125 free shipping and no tax. Looked to be in great shape and works well. I have 116,000 miles now so I think it will last long enough for my use.

My link (TLS Auto recycling)

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  • 2 years later...

I have a 2001 Lexus Rx 300 and never had any problems until 105,000 miles. Change the transmission at 105k mile and the cost was 6k. At 115,000 mile, Check engine light and vsc light are on, i have the change the MAP sensor cost me about 1k. And the oxygen sensor for $500. Currently, I have about 132,000 miles and just recently change the exhaust manifold which cannot be welded or soldered. The cost for that is 1k. Yesterday, as I was driving the auto leveling light came on. The cost for the sensor is $300 at Lexus dealership plus $100 for installation. I didn't do because it is require for my state inspection. I did a little research and found lamp leveling system on eBay for $65 and install it myself. The light is off. Now everything is working fine. I just want share with you guys out there who might run into the same problem that I did. If any other may arise in the near future, a new car is the solution.

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