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Unread 08-12-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
ermatthe
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Question Headlight Allignment

Hey guys this is my first post here. We just sold my wife's 2000 GC and got her a '11 Limited 4x4 V6. We love it!

One annoyance we've found though is the angle of the headlights. Of course we know we have the smart beams but they're not as 'pro-active' as we'd like so we just use the manual function.

However with the low beams on it seems as though 20 feet or more in front of the vehicle is PITCH BLACK. Where we live, in the mountains of south western virginia, that's a very bad thing (Deer, branches in the road, etc.). Even if we're sitting directly behind someone at a stop light the low beams don't even come up to their license plate.

How do you adjust the angle on these things? On every other vehicle we've had, we've tweak the lights just a little. Not enough to shine in someone's face or rear view mirror but just enough to illuminate more of the road in front of us without having to blind oncomers with the high beams.

I'm cluesess on these headlights. I searched the forum and came up with nothing. Thanks for any help.

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Unread 08-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
ColdCase
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I think the limited has automatic leveling HID lamps standard. Perhaps the adjustment motor is out of whack, or a fuse blown. Do the headlight aim move up and down when you first turn on the car/headlights?
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Unread 08-13-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
ermatthe
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No, the auto head lights (Smart Beam) do work. It's just they still don't seem to light enough of the road way to feel safe to me or my wife. If a car is anywhere within like a hundred yards in front of you, the beams will only light a small patch of road in front of the vehicle. Road signs don't even seem to catch any light from them.
So that's why we turned them off and were hoping to just use the old school manual mode. But when you cut the smart beam function off completely through the driver information center, the low beams seem to go to their absolute lowest angle and stay there. That's why I was hoping to be able to adjust the default angle of the beams.
I had the same problem on my GTO when I first got it. The factory had set the headlights at such a rediculously low angle that it was down right scary to drive at night. It doesn't have any thing like smart beams so it was just a matter of getting a long screw driver and twisting one screw in each of the headlight housings to adjust the angle. This was actually something that most gto owners had complained about, so I'm thinking that their has to be other wk2 owners that have noticed this too.
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Unread 08-13-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
ColdCase
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It sounds like your lights are stuck in the down position, which will give you about 15-20 feet visibility I hear. When you first turn on the headlamps, does the aim start low and slowly rise?

The aim is controlled by the headlight module which is a computer that the dealer uses a scan tool to make adjustments. I've heard of sensors going bad that causes something like this, is the Jeep still under warranty? You will have to have a dealer look at it I think.
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Unread 08-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #5
oldmac1
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Had a very similar issue on my 09 Limited and it took 16.5 man hours and several days to correct. Wound up being a control module for the head lamps and once it was replaced the lights would go up and down correctly when starting. I would go back to the dealer and test other Jeeps at night just to be sure your not being faked out.
I was glad I had a extended maintenance contract and would recommend you take it back if your not happy with the lighting. Better safe than sorry. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Unread 08-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
plynn7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmac1 View Post
Had a very similar issue on my 09 Limited and it took 16.5 man hours and several days to correct. Wound up being a control module for the head lamps and once it was replaced the lights would go up and down correctly when starting. I would go back to the dealer and test other Jeeps at night just to be sure your not being faked out.
I was glad I had a extended maintenance contract and would recommend you take it back if your not happy with the lighting. Better safe than sorry. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
I had a problem like that with my 08 Limited, when it was cold the headlights would drop for no reason and would light up about 10' in front of me, this would last for several seconds and then return to normal and it would happen several times during my trip. I did mention this to the dealer at the time and they said Jeep knew there was a problem with the self leveling headlights and there were no fixs at that time.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
p28red
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I too have the exact same problem. The headlights do not show enough of the road at night. Even the brights do no illuminate enough of the sides of the road. I travel over many miles of unlight gravel areas around my cabin and I have had to drop my speed at night to roughly 30 mph instead of 50 mph. Otherwise you simply "outdrive" your lights. Without a doubt, hitting a deer or moose or worse is in my future.

I have taken this in to the dealer and they cannot find anything wrong. I do have the auto leveling bi-xenon lights and they do work. I would like them adjusted higher, but I was informed the level is due to some state laws with xenon lights since many other drivers have complained about the brightness of them.

I sincerely hope that others come forward who experience this. Perhaps Jeep will address the issue and allow them to be adjusted. This is a very dangerous issue. I am considering selling the Jeep and taking the hit.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
ermatthe
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I took ours into the dealer and was told it was "performing to factory specs".

Not a satisfactory answer for me.

They did also say that they do get a lot of complaints about them. I'm sure they do.

There has to be a way that we can adjust these things with out relying on the dealer. Even if it's just a way of tricking the computer or a hidden screw some where under the hood or behind the grill.

I'm still researching this.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
p28red
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Please keep updating with what you find out. The dealer I use had not heard of this before and thought I was a bit crazy. They did take me on a test drive in another '11 GC and that seemed to be the same as mine. Unless they go out in an unlit area they will not be able to duplicate or understand the problem.

I agree that there has to be a leveling adjustment that can be made. However, I am sure that it must be done via a software update which dealers will be hesitant to take care of due to various laws.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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Gotta be a way, if only for body shops to realign after fixing a front-end fender bender.
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Unread 09-09-2011, 11:16 PM   #11
AKelley
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Wk Headlight adjustment

How to adjust your headlights,

If you open your hood and look on the right or left side above each headlight you will see rounded slot about 1/2" X 1" on each side, Use a flashlight and look down thru the slot about 4-5 inches down you will see a white round dial with a phillps screw slot in it. You will need about a 8" long phillps screw driver to reach it. ( turn screw clockwise to raise headlight)
Make sure headlights are on dim NOT ON BRIGHT
Best done a night with car parked on level surface about 6 ft from wall, you will see where light shines on wall raise each about 2" ( It will take 2-5 turns on screw to raise them)
Go out on the road to test them do not raise them up to far as you will blind on coming cars.
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Unread 09-09-2011, 11:36 PM   #12
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My new overland is doing the opposite. Mine are shooting up to far. Even though I love how they light up the road for miles. When I pull up to other cars at night they are shinning them right in the rear view. Mine are going through the auto adjust each time I start the car. Brought it to the dealer and they said they are within specs. The other problem is they are not auto adjusting while driving. When I hit the gas at the stop lights they should drop to stay level, but they are shooting up into the trees when the front end pitches. I know how they should operate since I had a 2011 limited before and they worked perfectly.
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Unread 09-10-2011, 07:50 AM   #13
ermatthe
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKelley View Post
How to adjust your headlights,

If you open your hood and look on the right or left side above each headlight you will see rounded slot about 1/2" X 1" on each side, Use a flashlight and look down thru the slot about 4-5 inches down you will see a white round dial with a phillps screw slot in it. You will need about a 8" long phillps screw driver to reach it. ( turn screw clockwise to raise headlight)
Make sure headlights are on dim NOT ON BRIGHT
Best done a night with car parked on level surface about 6 ft from wall, you will see where light shines on wall raise each about 2" ( It will take 2-5 turns on screw to raise them)
Go out on the road to test them do not raise them up to far as you will blind on coming cars.

Thanks! I will try this as soon as I get home today.

ecupip, sounds like you need to do the same thing, just adjust them down.
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Unread 09-10-2011, 08:18 PM   #14
weebs74
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i am having the exact same issue regarding outrunning your headlights at night. I couldn't believe how sensitive the auto dimming feature was (when I was using it) as it would dim the lights when I was cruising at 60mph then dim stupid early and leave me "in the dark" only able to see a short distance in front of the Jeep. There is something wrong in the design and setup. No doubt. Hopefully this adjustment works!
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Unread 09-11-2011, 04:04 PM   #15
ermatthe
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Lightbulb

Okay, I got it! Thanks AKelley for the tip. I pulled it into the garage and it was no more than 5 minutes to fix a HUGE problem. weebs74 and everyone else in this thread with concerns need to knock this out ASAP.

I took pictures to make it that much easier.

First, Where the location of the hole and the size screw driver you'll need, 8" as was stated.


Next, That flashlight in the cargo area actually came in handy.


Finally here's a view of the plastic screw itself.
1-hole-screw-driver.jpg   2-flash-light.jpg   3-plastic-screw.jpg  
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