Self levelling headlight problem ?

Wighty

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My E class has just passed its MOT , but the tester did say he had to adjust the headlights up as they were both pointing towards the ground .
The headlights should be self levelling xenons so I'm guessing there will be some type of sensor thingy that regulates both headlights ? Can anyone point me towards anything that might have caused this .
 

om613

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There's ball joint linkages on the front and rear suspension arms, one may have broken.
 

Naraic

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As above...one will be broken. The arm should be available separately.
 
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Wighty

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There's ball joint linkages on the front and rear suspension arms, one may have broken.
Right , been out and put the summer tyres and wheel back on . I took this picture of what I think is the linkage , but I only found it on the front drivers side wheel arch . At this stage all I did was spray some lube all over it in case it was stuck .
No sign of anything in the rear arches , and definitely nothing in the passenger side front , so maybe only the 1 on the car .
Is the picture of the linkage ?
 

grayb

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I think you were lucky! I thought that broken auto headlamp levelling would be a fail...
 
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Wighty

Wighty

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I think you were lucky! I thought that broken auto headlamp levelling would be a fail...
It was ! The tester adjusted the lights during the test and then passed it later . I just won't load the car up until I fix it .
 

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That cable and protective cover doesn't look good. Could that be part of the problem?
 
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Wighty

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That cable and protective cover doesn't look good. Could that be part of the problem?
It could , the plastic cable cover had split , but I need warmer weather on the weekend to progress any further . My plan is to take it all apart clean it and see where we go from there .
Does anyone know if there is only one of these on the car ?
 
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Wighty

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Just started the car in the dark , lights came on , dipped , then raised again . I don't know if this means that lubing the plastic mechanism has freed it up and that self levelling is now working again ??
 

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I believe lights dropping and rising when the headlights are turned on is an auto feature to move to the correct position which would be set by the sensor arm(s).
If the arms are jammed or disconnected mechanically, they would still perform this function.
Not sure what would happen if the computer could not read the sensor position.
Also, I can't see how it can decide the correct position from just one sensor at the front.
 
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Wighty

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I believe lights dropping and rising when the headlights are turned on is an auto feature to move to the correct position which would be set by the sensor arm(s).
If the arms are jammed or disconnected mechanically, they would still perform this function.
Not sure what would happen if the computer could not read the sensor position.
Also, I can't see how it can decide the correct position from just one sensor at the front.
That auto feature does make sense about moving to the correct position . There is a sensor at the front in the drivers side , nothing in the passenger side arch , and I couldn't find anything at the rear at all that looked similar to the front one , not to say there isn't anything at the rear but I couldn't find it .
 

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The rear would change more than the front with no load vs fully loaded so I'm thinking there must be a sensor there too, possibly hidden. I'm sure you're thinking the same.
If someone presses down on the car repeatedly to bounce it, does the small arm move?
 
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Wighty

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The rear would change more than the front with no load vs fully loaded so I'm thinking there must be a sensor there too, possibly hidden. I'm sure you're thinking the same.
If someone presses down on the car repeatedly to bounce it, does the small arm move?
Yes I had thought the rear must have something so I'll have a proper look next few days . Mrs W is out at the moment but yes I'll get her to turn the car on whilst I watch the arm in the drivers arch and see if it moves . Thanks for the thoughts
 

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I believe that if the self levelling does indeed fail due to a component failure, the headlights will be pointed downwards to their lowest point (ie setting '3' on a normal headlight adjustment dial) so as not to dazzle anyone in their non self levelling state.

Has happened to my mum's E39 and my old Vectra too. Both Xenon systems were OE BOSCH systems as I believe MBs is.
 
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Wighty

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A search on eBay does show results for some "rear" self levelling sensors , so I might have to do a proper "mummy" look in daylight . They must be lurking under there somewhere .
 

om613

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You need to get well underneath to see it on my S210.
A pretty pointless system on an estate with SLS that stays at a constant level, regardless ... but Xenon rules is rules.
 

LostKiwi

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You need to get well underneath to see it on my S210.
A pretty pointless system on an estate with SLS that stays at a constant level, regardless ... but Xenon rules is rules.
Rules permit no self levelling system if the vehicle is fitted with self levelling suspension.
 
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Wighty

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Cleaned up the front electrical connection and greased everything , so we will see how that works when I'm next driving in the dark .
Still no luck with the rear one (I'm assuming there must be ) , does anyone know where it will be on the facelift W211 ?
 

LostKiwi

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Cleaned up the front electrical connection and greased everything , so we will see how that works when I'm next driving in the dark .
Still no luck with the rear one (I'm assuming there must be ) , does anyone know where it will be on the facelift W211 ?
Does it have airmatic rear, all round or not at all?
 
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Wighty

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Does it have airmatic rear, all round or not at all?
No airmatic at all , it's all springs .
Just been out and checked all the fuses I could find that may have been light related , they were all good .
I then got the Icarsoft MB2 into the game which did provide some details . It showed the reading for the front Spring compression which varied when I moved the car and bounced the front as well which would indicate the front is working . The rear Spring compression was shown as 58mm but even when I bounced on the back it barely moved , it did flick to 56-57 mm once , so barely any signs of life . I'm guessing it is the rear sensor arm because of that , just got to find it .
 
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