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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Recently bought a 56 plate R53 Cooper S, loving the car so far but the xenon dipped beam is completely useless!

They work (light up) and when first switched on they do their little auto levelling dance, but seems to be they are pointed too low? They seem to light up the ground around 6 feet in front of the car but not much else.

I've located the adjustment screws and given them quite a few turns anti-clockwise which I believe should raise the pattern (general wisdom seemed to be that 1/4 turn would be more than enough) but the adjustment screws aren't doing anything. Main beams are aimed reasonably (i.e. not at the floor)

The lenses aren't perfectly clear but I'd have thought I'd get more light out of them than I am.

I'm thinking the adjustment screws are somehow broken/disconnected, but given the position of the main beam I'm not conviced aim is the issue.

I've seen other posts mentioning the projectors can come off their sockets or something? Doesn't sound relevant seeing as they appear to autolevel.

Is this just a case of sh*t bulbs and slightly iffy lenses or is there something that needs fixing?

Cheers,
Andy
 

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Sounds like the light assembly has come off the ball joints. It's quite a common problem. You should be able to clip it back into place. Probably easier to do, access wise, if you remove the headlight, which is easy enough to do. Remove the igniter and bulb and you should be able to pull it back into place. Had this issue on all but one of first gens with xenon.
 

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If they are pointing at the floor 6ft in front of the car then bulbs or lenses aren't the issue.

If the lights start up & go up/down when switched on then the auto/adjusters aren't disconnected.

That leaves 2 things.

Adjustment/alignment as in try to adjust again/check that they are bolted in properly for physical alignment.

Finally there is the sensor on the near side of the subframe under the car which actually sets where they end up pointing, these can seize/break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the responses so far, a couple things to check out here.

Bit more info, and some of my reasoning for questioning bulbs is that in a pitch black car park pointed at a wall or whatever, when you turn the dipped beam on you can see the lights level and they appear to level straight ahead. Like you can see the beam pattern isn't a million miles out, but the hotspot of the light is on the floor 6ft ahead.

I'll definitely be checking those auto-levelling sensors, and will take a look inside the housings at the adjusters/ball and socket things see if they're connected.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Finally had chance to look at this again today, front sensor was fine, rear was pretty seized so gave that a good clean and reassembled. Took the lights out of the car to check the adjusters etc were connected (they are). Turns out whoever installed the bulbs couldn't have got it more wrong. Opened the cover on the back of the light and the bulb/igniter assembly fell out, have reinstalled properly now so will check the light output/alignment once it's dark.
Thanks for all your advice guys, much appreciated.
 
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