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2021 UK Model 3 Revised Headlights

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,942
1,979
Bath, UK
Not disputing people’s experiences but is the A6 comparable to a Model 3? One is pitched as a luxury saloon and the other isn’t.

I don’t doubt that you can spend quite a bit of money on options on an Audi though.

Auto headlights are objectively crap though. Chalk it up to the same brain trust that thought AI would be a better alternative to a cheap rain sensor that every other manufacturer uses because it works. See also: cruise engaging at the limit (until recently)
 
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ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,270
1,007
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
I don’t generally like automatic high beams in any car anyway. I do think they all take a bit too long to react.
Had mine on for all of a day when I got my Model 3 and haven’t bothered since.

I agree that the current Model 3 lights seem more than adequate with a crisp, strong, white light. I’m very happy with them (admittedly not having been spoiled by high-end matrix systems to make me more demanding) ;)
 
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browellm

Member
Oct 4, 2019
408
359
Notts
Yep, I've got a 7 year old BMW with auto headlights that work close to perfect - dip under street lights, don't turn off for reflections off street funiture, and are nice and responsive. BMW put a disclaimer in the manual that they are not foolproof in heavy rain conditions, but that's it.

Another "solved problem" that Tesla insist on taking a contrarian approach to, just because.
 

ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,270
1,007
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
Yep, I've got a 7 year old BMW with auto headlights that work close to perfect - dip under street lights, don't turn off for reflections off street funiture, and are nice and responsive. BMW put a disclaimer in the manual that they are not foolproof in heavy rain conditions, but that's it.

Another "solved problem" that Tesla insist on taking a contrarian approach to, just because.
Yes. Like the rain sensor.
Their obsession with the bloody AI to do everything is infuriating.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,942
1,979
Bath, UK
Yep, I've got a 7 year old BMW with auto headlights that work close to perfect - dip under street lights, don't turn off for reflections off street funiture, and are nice and responsive. BMW put a disclaimer in the manual that they are not foolproof in heavy rain conditions, but that's it.

Another "solved problem" that Tesla insist on taking a contrarian approach to, just because.
My last car was a 2013 Audi TTRS that did it pretty well too, certainly well enough that I only had to intervene on rare occasions. Switched off in areas with sufficient ambient lighting, and when seeing rear lights from a long distance away, etc. The only criticism I would have, and I don’t know if other cars tech was better, was that it still needed to “see” oncoming lights to switch off, it didn’t react to light you could see coming from around a corner.

I’ve tried using auto main beam in my Model 3 and they have just not turned off in the face of oncoming traffic, certainly not quickly enough for me not to intervene so as not to look like a dick. And no visibility of red lights on cars in the distance either. Useless.

One hopes it will improve massively with v11/FSD beta but I’m not holding my breath. The massive frustration is that it’s a solved problem. It might not be sexy to do it with rain and light sensors, etc but that’s how others do it and it works. Tesla seem to have an affinity for reinventing the wheel with mundane stuff when it’s already nicely rounded, and coming up with a square.
 

Artiste

Member
Jun 17, 2019
405
279
Lancashire
Not disputing people’s experiences but is the A6 comparable to a Model 3? One is pitched as a luxury saloon and the other isn’t.

I suppose it depends on how you compare. Undoubtedly the A6 is a much better built, more solid, more comfortable car than the M3, and it’s tech just works. On that basis it’s definitely a class above the M3.

On the other hand, given that significant discounts are available on cars such as the A6, the M3 is significantly more expensive. I loaded my A6 with optional goodies to bring the list price to over £56k, but after getting a 21.6% discount through a broker I paid just over £44k. That’s considerably cheaper than an M3 LR and MUCH cheaper than my M3P, though obviously can’t compare on performance.
 
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Vinny2102

Member
Sep 8, 2020
32
25
Fife
Just to compare, my previous car was Audi TTs with matrix LED which were amazing lights and far better than my M3P but on build quality my Tesla is better than my TTs and Sq5 before that, no rattles, squeeks, tyre or road noise that I feel is excessive, panel gaps and paint 100% also.
 
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mrobins64495

Member
Aug 23, 2019
357
135
bedfordshire
Just to compare, my previous car was Audi TTs with matrix LED which were amazing lights and far better than my M3P but on build quality my Tesla is better than my TTs and Sq5 before that, no rattles, squeeks, tyre or road noise that I feel is excessive, panel gaps and paint 100% also.

interesting. The build quality of my Tesla is questionable, It’s ok, but there are some rattles on the door cards which is irritating me. In the dealer today, hopefully they’ve sorted it.
 

Caterman

Member
Nov 13, 2020
69
33
Birmingham
Like others, I have come from a BMW, mine had the adaptive headlights which are able to work around other traffic, so it would dip where an oncoming car was so that you didn't blind them but still be on full beam to the sides of the vehicle, it was quite spooky to see it in action. It worked very well in all conditions and I will miss that, it made long night journeys much easier ( and it wasn't a top of the range, it was a 6 year old BM 3 series touring)
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,700
UK
I too find the auto headlights less than useful, they dip every time there's a reflection from anything, especially warning chevrons and speed limit signs. They are also late dipping for oncoming cars. Like the auto wipers, I tend to leave them on manual most of the time.

In terms of light output I reckon they are about average, They aren't the best lights nor are they the worst, they just aren't the sort of lights I'd expect on a £50k car.
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,700
UK
This is the thing about electric cars, it isn't really a £50k car. It's a £10k charging network and a £15k battery pack with a £25k car!

However, this is my third plug-in car, second pure EV and the most expensive by far, yet and some of the basic functionality, like the headlights, wipers, and some of the controls are significantly poorer than cars that were half the price. I've not used a supercharger in a year of ownership, and most probably never will, I suspect, so having that charging network doesn't really add any value as far as I'm concerned, anyway.
 

phil4

Member
Sep 8, 2020
292
160
UK
I do wonder if this is something more to do with Tesla's vertical integration. ie. they won't typically buy parts from other people. So they won't buy the Bosch rain sensor, or light sensor they'll do their own. But of course while doing their own they have to avoid the various patents that Bosch and the like will have on how they do theirs. This then means that not only do Tesla do their own, but it also has to be suitably different to the other patented parts... thus working very differently and perhaps not as well.

If it really came to a discussion like that, I can also see why solving it in software was given the go ahead.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,942
1,979
Bath, UK
I do wonder if this is something more to do with Tesla's vertical integration. ie. they won't typically buy parts from other people. So they won't buy the Bosch rain sensor, or light sensor they'll do their own. But of course while doing their own they have to avoid the various patents that Bosch and the like will have on how they do theirs. This then means that not only do Tesla do their own, but it also has to be suitably different to the other patented parts... thus working very differently and perhaps not as well.

If it really came to a discussion like that, I can also see why solving it in software was given the go ahead.
Quite possibly. It could also be a stubborn top down mentality that they know best.

Stuff like rain sensors and auto lights are well and truly solved problems, though, so an attempt to do it differently would - in my eyes - have to offer some amazing unique selling point that I really am not seeing. I have to assume that rain sensors are so cheap to buy that the man hours spent developing AI to approximate their function (badly) is definitely not anywhere close to decent ROI.

I tried auto headlights again yesterday, and they are simply not fit for purpose. I have zero trust in their ability to turn themselves off at the right time, so I'm just sat there driving along with my hand hovering around the stalk, defeating their purpose entirely. They don't see rear lights at all - staggering to me given how much is made of the camera visualisations, etc, and in my experience they switch off long past the point that I'm actively blinding the person coming the other way.

At least with hopeless rain sensors the only person inconvenienced is me, but hopeless auto-lights irritates everyone you come across.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,369
4,874
Surrey, UK
They don't see rear lights at all - staggering to me given how much is made of the camera visualisations, etc, and in my experience they switch off long past the point that I'm actively blinding the person coming the other way.

Not wanting to sound like I disagree, far from it, but I find your observations different to my experiences as a passenger.

I've not been in the car in the dark on an unlit road this side of summer, but I remember one of the things I was impressed with wrt auto headlights was its ability to pick up the rear lights of other vehicles - eg when they were waiting to do a merge so only part of car visible was its red brake and/or tail lights.

My other take, wrt 'blinding' oncoming cars, based on observation as a passenger, is that whilst full beam does seem to linger a bit too long with an oncoming car, I'm not actually convinced that this is the case. Based upon lack of being flashed by oncoming vehicle. I gave this much thought as I could as a passenger, and wondered if, due to the sudden 'cliff edge' drop off of the light beam that the LED lights have (my first experience of LED main lights), that the beam of light wasn't actually reaching them in significant enough intensity to cause the oncoming driver a problem.
 

andyaight

Member
Nov 21, 2020
38
42
Tutbury
My recently delivered ‘21 model auto headlights are also pretty poor. Switches on the main beam under street lighting doesn’t turn off for rear lights or oncoming headlights. I owned a 2015 Seat until a couple of years ago and the auto LED’s on that worked perfectly.
 

Neilio

Member
Jul 8, 2020
849
503
Brentford
They do look an improvement, but what would really have me reaching for the credit card was matrix LED lights like Audi or mercedes.
This is where I'm at too. If they could make a set of headlights that even came close to the ones I had on my CLS I'm manning the credit card for them. No question. It's the one thing I desperately miss (and didn't think I would, lights are lights right?)
 

exlatccatsa

Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2020
379
138
Kemnay
I realised shortly after writing this that the "lines" are water trapped inside the headlight running down the inside of the plastic cover.
 

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