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sawtooth4x4 08-29-2012 11:12 PM

E39 headlight aiming
I have a 2001BMW with HIDs and auto leveling. The driverside is aimed pretty low. Id like to raise it up a little. The auto leveling works fine still.

Any ideas.

Puppeli 02-17-2013 07:33 AM

I believe you can find adjustments behind the lights. There are plastic rods inside the lights adjustments and they can break easy. Auto leveling would still work but like you said the lights are aimed low and sounds like some of the plastic adjustment rods have broken off. if it is broken you need to remove the head light and pull it apart to replace the broken rods.

cjscopp 02-17-2013 04:49 PM

Pretty easy way to tell if the adjusters are broken. Open the hood and grab the back of the lens housings and give them a little wiggle. If the adjusters are broken the whole inside assembly will move around- wiggle the other side to see how they compare- They should be solidly attached but if it wiggles around you have a really big job ahead of you in replacing the inner adjusters. I know as I just did my drivers side adjusters. Seems BMW made a design change in 2001 to make the black plastic back housing one piece where the 2000 and olders were two piece and easily separated. Several aftermarkets make replacements adjusters- you can google e39 xenon headlight adjusters and take your pick of plastic or aluminum. It took me the better part of 5 hours working the lens away from the housing. These two are glued together and obviously not meant to ever be taken apart, BUT once you get them apart replacing the adjusters is easy and you simply glue the housing back on the lens. Be patient and take your time if you tackle this one. You don't want to break either part as they are WAY expensive to replace. Good luck!

cjscopp 02-17-2013 05:05 PM

One more thing. Very good write up on and you can get the adjusters there if you need them.

Puppeli 02-17-2013 07:05 PM

Cjscopp put it very well. My 540i is broken on both sides and waiting till I get HID's. It is not a fast fix even that mine is the older model that just clips apart. Thanks for the link.

kstinius 02-23-2013 09:23 PM

Less expensive adjusters on eBay
You can find adjusters on eBay for as little as $10 a set and they install and work just fine.

Puppeli 02-23-2013 09:51 PM

Yep it is the old story. Part cost nothing but fitting is arm and a leg. I think I have seem that in ebay.

E39m5 03-05-2013 04:21 PM

I had the same problem with my 2000 M5. I had to replace adjusters and yes, they are about $10 for the set on eBay. It took me about 1 hour to do both sides.

Puppeli 03-05-2013 06:10 PM


Originally Posted by E39m5 (Post 653131)
I had the same problem with my 2000 M5. I had to replace adjusters and yes, they are about $10 for the set on eBay. It took me about 1 hour to do both sides.

I would do mine myself too because they charge too much at dealers. I already got some angel eyes and smoked indicators that I fitted and found the problem but I didn't have the parts at the time and hoping to get HID's at the same time.

E39m5 03-05-2013 08:47 PM

I didn't even know that deal sells those parts or offer such repairs. Here dealer would just tell you to replace the entire assembly.
I avoid going to dealer as much as possible, as the they charge so much here. I only go there for oil changes, because for some strange reason dealer charges less for 10x60 oil than eBay, Amazon, etc.

Puppeli 03-06-2013 02:51 AM

I asked couple of years ago and it was about 4-5 hours labour to do it. I didn't ask if they had parts for the job. But it could be the same thing as the motor and gearing for the headrest. One of my mates thought to help his girlfriend from the back seat of my car to get the headrest down for her and forced it down srtipping the gears. I was swearing in my mind but I didn't want to ruin the evening so I didn't say anything. Can't get the gears without the motor and that is about $500 new and everyone wants to sell me the whole seat if getting second hand and that is even more money. I should have said something.

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