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Hid Auto Levelling Malfunction


omee
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Hey guys

I just bought a 02 Es 300 with roughly 100K km (60K mi) on it. It has factory HID lights. When I got the car the lights were aimed at the ground. It was covering about 5-10 feet in front of me.

A day or so after I adjusted the headlights the auto level light came on. The motors are working fine. The lights swivel up and stay there, then the auto level light comes on. (before the lights used to swivel first up AND down)

Can it be that I just adjusted one screw instead of both for this light to come on? (I couldn’t find the other screw)

I cant scan it using my OBD 2 scanner. Any help on how to go about fixing it would be appreciated.

Omee

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omee,

If your car has the same setup as my wife's 04 ES330, then your problem is the sending unit on the passenger side rear suspension. Get the car in the air and get under there, and look for a 5 inch long thin rod going up from about the middle of the lower rear swing arm. At the top of the rod is the actuator for the self leveling headlights.

Check to see if its wiring connector is loose, corroded, etc. If not, it unbolts (10 mm nuts on it and the heim joints at both ends of the rod.) It has 4 screws that hold its body together that you remove to look at its interior, which is very simple ...two sweeper copper tabs that contact two circular copper rings. Really its just a volume control. If water got inside, things may be corroded and might clean up if you're careful. If not, ...you'll need a new one .... and they are huge dollars for what it is. I'm in Canada, and I was quoted $490 before taxes from the Lexus stealership.

I went online and found a used one in a Southern California wrecking yard, shipped to my door for $150.

When you get the new one hooked up to the wiring, turn the ignition on and move the arm up and down to watch the headlights sweep before you bolt it back up. Good Luck!

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Thanks for the quick reply gb,

I remember seeing some rust underneath the car. I will take a close look at the rear passenger side.

I am just concerned as to why did it happen after I adjusted my lights and not before....or was it just coincidence?

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omee,

Your problem may only be related to your having readjusted the headlights. The entire system is set at the factory to ensure that they don't burn out the eyes of oncoming drivers. You may be forced to set them back to where they were before in order to get the warning light to extinguish. I don't know for certain, but it would make sense. A Lexus tech may be able to readjust it, but it'll cost some bucks to find out. Good Luck!

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Good call,

The lights have stopped sweeping on startup now, so I guess I will have to re adjust them and see what happens

What are your current symptoms/observations? I'm having difficulty following what the specific problem is.

Tell me if i have it straight here... So when you got the car, the headlights were aimed at the ground. But when you turned the ignition on (with headlights on), did the lights sweep up and down? If so, at what level did it start, go to, and finish?

How did you first adjust the headlights, by turning the nuts on the housings? If so, if they were aiming down and you adjusted them to aim level, at present when the sensors start working you should notice the headlights aiming too far up. And did you adjust both headlights or only one?

If you can describe in more detail the present state i'm about 100% sure i can guide to you towards a solution, as i've worked on these headlights a LOT. <_<

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OK

so let me explain in DETAIL what happened:

First, when I got the car, the headlights were aimed at the ground. They were barely covering 10 feet infront of the car. They used to sweep fine. On startup first go up then come back down.

So I adjusted both the headlights by turning ONE of the bolts (in the manual it says to adjust 2). I couldnt find the 2nd bolt (you have to insert the screw driver sideways) . I aimed the lights a bit lower just to get a feel of the level. Everything was fine until now. The lights sweeped up and then down. No auto level light.

After 2 days or so of adjusting the lights, the auto level light came on (while I was driving in the day time i.e lights were off).

This is what used to happen up until yesterday: The lights would sweep ONLY up and stay there, and then after a couple of seconds the auto level light would come on. The position of the lights is a bit higher than what I adjusted them before. I think this should be the standard postion since it is not too high and not too low. Once this is all fixed I would want to adjust the lights to this level.

SINCE YESTERDAY: On startup, no sweep. The lights just turn on. They are at the same higher level like mentioned above. auto level light turns on after a couple of seconds.

I hope this helps

If you want/need more clarification, please dont hesitate to ask.

Omee

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UPDATE:

Just went for a short drive, the lights ARE sweeping now, they go down first, then come up. After couple of seconds the auto level light comes on.

Sorry for the confusion

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OK, so are the headlights at a manageable level now that you adjusted them?

Most likely as mentioned earlier its the sensor on the RR control arm that's corroded and sending faulty signals to the cars computer. If you can remove it from the car and open it up, you should be able to clean it. You shouldn't need to replace it.

I'm not sure which side it's on with the ES but my guess is right rear. Here's a link that shows what the sensor looks like (from a GS maybe?) but they're all the same. It'll have two little arms on it, connecting the RR control arm to the base of the car. So when the car has weight in the back, it pushes down on the control arm and the arms attached to the switch move, letting the switch know it needs to adjust the headlight level.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-second-generation/528965-quick-question-rear-headlight-autoleveling-sensor.html

It might seem like a difficult job, but it really isn't. When you find the sensor just take one part off at a time and you'll be fine. If you can't find the sensor, take a few pictures of the area under the rear wheels and i'll spot it out for you. <_<

And when the sensor's fixed, you'll need to readjust the headlight level back down... no biggie!

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