Automatic headlights are really useful

Why do headlights need to be adjusted and how is it done?

Every driver is faced with the problem of incorrectly adjusted headlights: They not only reduce the effective field of vision in the dark, but can also be a real threat to oncoming drivers.

There are currently three solutions to troubleshooting incorrectly adjusted headlights: go to an auto repair shop, use a special device, or solve the problem by doing a manual adjustment.

In what cases it is necessary to adjust the headlights:

· When replacing light bulbs in the headlight. This applies to systems with both individual and separate radiators.

· When replacing one or both headlights. This can happen due to failure, accident or at the request of the owner if a more powerful or technologically advanced luminaire is to be installed.

· If you have a strange feeling while driving and want to make adjustments accordingly.

· When installing fog lights. As a rule, only the fog lights are then adjusted.

· After performing work related to shock absorbers.

· After replacing brake discs or tires with similar products with different diameters.

· In preparation for the inspection required by the authorities.

· Before a long journey.

The aim of headlight adjustment is to direct the light onto your own lane and the edge of the lane, in the right direction. The decisive factor is the height of the center of the headlight.

In addition to knowledge of the design features of the vehicle, special skills and equipment are often required that can only be found in specialist workshops.

Incorrectly adjusted headlights pose a high risk of accidents on the road. If the headlights are pointing down, the path will not be sufficiently lit for the driver to miss a pedestrian or a bump in the road. If the headlights are pointed upwards or to the left, the oncoming driver will be dazzled.

Experts recommend performing a light correction every 50,000 kilometers.

A high quality headlight tester allows you to adjust the light correctly with the help of special equipment and taking into account all the important design features of the vehicle.

What is headlight range adjustment?

The headlight range control is a mechanism that adjusts the light cone of the vehicle headlight. This ensures optimal illumination of the street. Thus, even in the case of a tilt of the body, which is very likely at high speeds, the road is well lit.

As early as 1990, the law was passed in Germany in an ordinance, according to which the installation of a headlight regulator was mandatory for all vehicles. In Europe, all cars produced since 1999 must be equipped with a headlight corrector.

The first headlight range control was installed in cars in the 1950s, with only top-of-the-range models being equipped with it.

According to the working principle, a distinction is made between two types of headlight range adjustment:

- Manual headlight range adjustment;

- Automatic headlight range control.

The manual headlight range adjustment

The first manual headlight range controls were called static and their possible uses were very limited. It was only possible to change the position of the headlights before driving. This means that the vehicle was loaded first and only then could an adjustment be made based on the changes. It was only in the 1970s that it became possible to adjust the position of the headlights without leaving the car.

Manual headlight range control is installed in most inexpensive cars, so many car owners are familiar with it. To adjust the headlight range, all you have to do is turn the wheel or the rotary switch. Since the electromechanical operation of the headlight range control is used more often than others, we will take a closer look at it.

The rotary switch usually has a digital or graphic marking that shows the position of the headlight. Depending on the load of the car and the associated change in incline, an adjustment can be made by turning the wheel.

This means that with 3 passengers and the trunk is fully loaded, the rear of the car is lowered and the front part is raised. As a result, the headlights are too bright, which in turn leads to dazzling oncoming drivers. By operating the rotary switch, you can avoid this problem and point the headlights downwards again.

Turning the switch communicates the desired position to the governor motor, which allows the headlights to be realigned. Nevertheless, you often come across cars on the road whose headlights are either set too low or look straight into the starry sky. Yes, it only takes the driver a few seconds to correct the mistake. Nevertheless, this is rarely done and regulation by the driver is only based on a sense of proportion. The automatic headlight range control prevents such a thing as far as possible.

The automatic headlight range control

This type of headlight range controller represents a better control system for the position of the light and shadow border. The automatic adjustment mechanism allows improved control of the headlight lighting. Not only does the driver have a good view of the route, oncoming vehicles are not dazzled either. The automatic controller is used for both xenon and halogen headlights.

Using the example of the halogen headlight, the controller is activated depending on the position of the body. In the case of xenon headlights, the controller has been developed even further. It keeps the headlights at the same level depending on the load and driving situation (turning, accelerating, driving on uneven surfaces, braking). Since the xenon headlights emit very intense light, the use of automatic headlight range control is essential.

The mechanism of the regulator includes:

- ground clearance sensors;

- An electronic control unit;

- actuators.

As a rule, the system is equipped with 2-3 ground clearance sensors: 1-2 on the front of the vehicle and 1 on the rear with a non-contact rotation angle sensor. The information from the sensors is forwarded to the electronic control unit of the headlight range control. The system then adjusts the xenon headlights. Thanks to the intelligent automatic regulation, the light of the xenon headlights is always under control and does not dazzle oncoming drivers.

Advantages and disadvantages of manual and automatic headlight range adjustment


1. Manual headlight range adjustment is not only easy to use, but also inexpensive.

2. With the manual regulation you can adjust the headlight inclination according to the road conditions.

3. The automatic headlight range control reacts more quickly to changes in the inclination of the body.


1. The manual headlight range adjustment requires constant manual adjustment.

2. It often happens that manual adjustment by the driver is neglected.

3. The automatic headlight range adjustment is more expensive than the manual one.

Headlight adjustment malfunction

As with any mechanism, sooner or later the regulator will break down or stop working properly. What could be the cause of this? In most cases, the sensors are considered to be the most vulnerable part of headlight range control. Drivers often complain about an error message lighting up on the dashboard. This mainly happens when the sensor bracket is broken. Since the sensor adjusts the inclination of the headlight based on the distance values, it sends incorrect information, which consequently leads to an error message.

Another reason for the controller malfunction may be the contact connection. The contacts can become acidic, which leads to a loss in conductivity. As a result, error messages similar to those appearing when the regulation no longer works properly.

Pay attention to the light emitted by the headlights of your car and adjust it if necessary. Remember that improperly adjusted headlights can be a hazard not only to you but also to drivers of oncoming cars.

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