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Unread 11-09-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
tfgnt16
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Automatic Headlight Leveling System

Hello everyone,

New to the WK threads as I'm coming over from the WJ. I just bought a 2009 WK Limited and have been having some issues with the HIDs and the auto leveling system. First off, it seems as if I can never get the headlights aligned properly, as the edges of the light seems jagged. Also, the auto leveling system always seems to be pointing to the extreme down position, making it hard to see those dark Upstate NY roads, or to an extreme up position, blinding the poor drivers in front of me.

Has anyone had any experience with this? I've done a few searches and it seems like this system is a bit of a hassle. Biggest issue I have though is that I can't seem to properly align the headlamps. Any help is much appreciated and I'm glad to have joined the WK club!

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Unread 11-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
xjtrailrider
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This happened to me on my 09 Hemi Commander while under warranty. They replaced the computer that controls the headlights. It took the dealer a week to find where the engineers put the computer. The FSM says the ECU is behind the left headlight bucket, they found it integrated into the right bucket. The right headlight unit was replaced with a new one and I was told that the one unit was $2500 and that if I ever rear end someone the two headlight units alone will total the Jeep!

Good luck, I'm sure the WK is somewhat different than the XK but I doubt the parts are any cheaper. That was 3.5 years ago and they still work fine.
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Unread 11-10-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
tfgnt16
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Thank you. If I had known that this system was so expensive and troublesome I would have tried to find a Hemi Limited without the Xenon headlights. I'm guessing there's no way of swapping in two normal halogen headlight units considering the different wiring patterns and extra sensors...
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Unread 11-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #4
caulk04
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I'll trade you lights, lol. Impossible to diagnose/fix something like that over the internet, but I'd find a way and be happy to have HIDs.
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Unread 11-10-2013, 07:09 PM   #5
xjtrailrider
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I will say that once you drive a car with HID's, all other lights suck! I have only found LED's to be close, everything else is like two candles in front of your Jeep.

My factory HIDS on my 09 Hemi Limited XK

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Unread 11-10-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
tfgnt16
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Agreed, the HIDs, when working properly, are incredible! A friend of mine put aftermarket HIDs in his 2003 Ram 2300 and they look amazing; then again he doesn't have the auto leveling system. It seems as if the leveling system in my WK is behaving now, but I still have the problem of the HID beam having jagged edges which is quite annoying. I had a buddy look at it and even he said it was odd how the lines looked up against a wall and even at the point where the light beams terminate down the road. I've played around with the vertical alignment and seem to have found a sweet spot where I'm not blinding anyone (except for lower vehicles) but still can't get rid of those jagged edges. I'm at a loss right now, lol.
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Unread 11-11-2013, 03:20 AM   #7
xjtrailrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfgnt16 View Post
Agreed, the HIDs, when working properly, are incredible! A friend of mine put aftermarket HIDs in his 2003 Ram 2300 and they look amazing; then again he doesn't have the auto leveling system. It seems as if the leveling system in my WK is behaving now, but I still have the problem of the HID beam having jagged edges which is quite annoying. I had a buddy look at it and even he said it was odd how the lines looked up against a wall and even at the point where the light beams terminate down the road. I've played around with the vertical alignment and seem to have found a sweet spot where I'm not blinding anyone (except for lower vehicles) but still can't get rid of those jagged edges. I'm at a loss right now, lol.
My right light, when projected towards a wall with the Jeep say 10' from the wall, is about 2" lower than the left. Not really enough to bother me.
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Unread 11-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
tfgnt16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjtrailrider View Post
My right light, when projected towards a wall with the Jeep say 10' from the wall, is about 2" lower than the left. Not really enough to bother me.
I'm guessing that's just the nature of the housing design and the HID beams. I can live with that.
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Unread 11-18-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
tfgnt16
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After doing some reading I found that the sensors which control the headlight pitch are located near the front and rear right side springs. I found both sensors and am considering unplugging them and just placing some zipties around the harnesses to keep them from moving around. Hopefully the headlight motors will stay in one position. Has anyone done this before or know if it will throw a code? Honestly I love the HIDs but find the auto leveling to be more of an annoyance than help.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 05:40 AM   #10
LJS8510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjtrailrider View Post
My right light, when projected towards a wall with the Jeep say 10' from the wall, is about 2" lower than the left. Not really enough to bother me.
Mine are the same.
I think they are trying to keep the drivers side light from blinding oncoming drivers, the other side is shinning on road side so it can b higher.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 10:07 AM   #11
GoGadgetWK
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I have the pointing down problem also. I tried using the scan tool to recalibrate, but didn't do any good. I just took a 2K trip to Illinois and backand it's a real safety concern for me. My being able to see deer ahead has been greatly reduced. I found the sensors and thinking about disconnecting them as well. Want to try moving the rods in and out to see how they adjust.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #12
tfgnt16
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I tried getting the wiring harnesses off the sensors, but they sure are difficult to remove. It really seems as if the sensors don't work properly when they're wet. Otherwise the headlights have been acting normal.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
NDSU_Bison
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My passenger side light doesn't always adjust. It seems like when it is warm (parked in a garage) it's normal, but when it's colder outside, it stays in the down position and doesn't drop down and then back up when the ignition starts.
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Unread 12-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #14
michiganmike
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I wanted to add to this Thread, my 2008 WK with HID, when first started, headlights appear to level out normally , then go down extremely.....I can "almost" drive with high beams on without bothering anyone.
After reading above comments, I realized that I think it started when the temperature dropped below 35 degrees, although I do have it in a garage. I will follow this Thread , curious about a resolution......I Know ! I'll replace my headlights with 4 old Cibie Super Oscars that I used to have on my Van in the '70's, I'll just have to aim them VERY carefully. jokin'
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:54 PM   #15
tfgnt16
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What I did was disable the system altogether. They key is disconnecting the AHLM control unit from the bottom of the passenger's side headlight housing; you'll have to remove the grill and lower the front fascia a bit to get the headlight out. Make sure you disconnect the battery, working with HIDs and any module that interfaces with the CAN bus shouldn't have any power going to them. Once you remove the headlight assembly, flip it over and you'll find a metal cover about 4 inches by 3 inches on the bottom. Remove the screws and the metal cover, then lift the control module out of it's housing, taking note of the rubber sealing grommet that water seals the bottom of the headlight assembly. Disconnect the wiring harness from the module, and throw some heat wrap or electrical tape around it. Put the module back in place making sure the seal is in properly and put everything back together. Align the headlights using the white manual adjustment screw at the top of the housing and you're all set. Now you have a "normal" set of headlights without the auto leveling.

Just so everyone knows, I've been running this way for two weeks and haven't had any codes or any other behavior from having the AHLM disconnected. I realize this isn't a fix, but at least my headlights shine straight ahead and aren't blinding drivers in front of me, or pointing down at the ground five feet away. Come warmer weather I'll probably reconnect the AHLM and have the dealer swap out the system since I'm still under warranty. Considering the snow has come, I'd like to keep the Challenger in the garage for the rest of the season, leaving me with nothing but the Jeep for a DD.
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