Dark Nights and Rain in S320L CDi (2002)

TOMROB53

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Spent a gruelling 4 hours in the car last night A34 and M27 then back through some country lanes before getting back on A34, inside the car everything was fine, but outside it was incessant fine driving rain, passed a number of bumps on the motorways with the inevitable hold ups, but the real pain was the performance of my headlights on dipped beam, they worked but not enough light on the lanes i was driving along, and with the headlights of oncoming cars and the rain it became quite a scary drive (and I do 40000-50000 miles a year) so the question is what bulbs can I fit to improve the brightness of my lights and how can i ensure that the "throw" of the beam is correct as I dont want to blind others but want to be able to see where I am going.

Any suggestions ?
 

Alex Crow

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tomrob, do you have xenon headlights? if not, what position is you height adjuster in?

i suggest you have the beam pattern and height checked in any mot testing station, should only take 5 minutes.
 

matthewm1965

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I have the HID xenons in my S500 and cant believe how poor they are.
 

Alex M Grieve

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I have the HID xenons in my S500 and cant believe how poor they are.

Nor can I then. There must be an alignment problem. How recently did it pass an MOT - that usually discovers these things?

If the power of the lights is greatly reduced, but the bulbs are working, it may suggest a defect in the ignition/ballasting system, but that would require a more specialist assessment. Are there no failure warnings on the dashboard?

Were they always like this?
 

Alex Crow

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these bulbs can go dim, usually last a lifetime though. i suggest you turn on the dip beam and have a look at the units, does one seem duller or a different colour to the other? expect around £90 for a new bulb, yes, each :D
 

television

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This is odd that this subject has been coming up this year, more than at any other time,even I with Xenons find the dipped beam poor. I put it down to an age thing, but not so long ago I could drive all through the night with no problem.

Could something be changing on our planet to give this effect.

We never had a post on this during 2005-2007 and noe all of the time
 

matthewm1965

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If the bulbs wern't so expesive, I would be tempted to just swap them with a new set. I only bought the car in July this year with a fresh MOT and have only just started driving in the dark.

Looking at the colour of them, they seem to have a greenish tinge to them compared to the blue tinge of the HIDs fitted to the wifes Toyota Supra. Though I am aware that the oem lamps are 4300k compared to the 6000k of the aftermarket ones I fited to the Supra.

The full beam are halogen and are perfectly adequate.

I'll get the allignment checked but It looks about right. The self leveling seems to work ok as the beam goes up and down when they are switched on.

As you say Malcolm, alot of complaints about them recently. Perhaps these lamps don't have the lifespan expected and deteriorate over time?

Matt
 
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TOMROB53

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Thanks for the replies i will get the alignment checked, and yes according to Mercedes they are Xenons

Many Thanks
 

television

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Thanks for the replies i will get the alignment checked, and yes according to Mercedes they are Xenons

Many Thanks

I find the Xenos cut off to early or low and I will change mine shorty and raise them a touch
 
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TOMROB53

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Malcolm I think you hit the nail on the head there, they do cut off too early and are too low, is it a simple job to raise the throw of the headlights ?
 

Xtractorfan

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Found the same thing driving in the rain last sunday evening ..I alwys use the spot/driving lamps i find they do help, was even considering fitting extra driving lamps lower down in the bumper.. SClass as well Xenons...
 

JEZ.S320L

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Strange! I had Xenons (replacements) fitted to the W140 before I brought it out here. They are superb! No dazzle to other drivers and light up the road superbly with a good spread of light. No need for main beam, either.

I guess there are Xenons and there are Xenons.
 

Alex M Grieve

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Strange! I had Xenons (replacements) fitted to the W140 before I brought it out here. They are superb! No dazzle to other drivers and light up the road superbly with a good spread of light. No need for main beam, either.

I guess there are Xenons and there are Xenons.

Entirely agree JEZ - my aftermarket Xenons do not offend other motorists, yet they illuminate most of Warwickshire and much of Worcestershire on a dark night.

I keep my lights on the automatic setting. It is interesting how often they come on during daylight hours at this time of year - when many other cars are driving without lights and are difficult to spot. A great safety feature, whatever flavour of bulbs you use.
 

television

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Malcolm I think you hit the nail on the head there, they do cut off too early and are too low, is it a simple job to raise the throw of the headlights ?

I did some test coming home last night, the factory Xenons cut off completely within 20 ft, with no stray light going anywhere, the normal lights on my V70 go to about 50ft with some stray lighting.

They can only be adjusted on STAR
 

Alex M Grieve

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I did some test coming home last night, the factory Xenons cut off completely within 20 ft, with no stray light going anywhere, the normal lights on my V70 go to about 50ft with some stray lighting.

They can only be adjusted on STAR

That is very helpful. I am surprised that the last MOT did not reveal this. I would not expect headlamp alignment to alter radically from time to time, and MOTs are usually picky on these things.
 

Alex Crow

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you can tweak the link rods on the axle sensors, i do not think they are adjustable as such, but there is always a way to jury rig these things.
 

television

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you can tweak the link rods on the axle sensors, i do not think they are adjustable as such, but there is always a way to jury rig these things.

I was hoping to do mine on STAR,,I must check the LHD beam cut off levers and make sure that they have returned to the normal position
 


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