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Headlight Alignment - Getting Flashed - Solution (M3)

ME_UK

Member
Aug 13, 2019
216
205
Oxfordshire
I've been getting a lot of other drivers flashing me recently, and started to wonder if my headlights were misaligned - as per Tesla Bjorn's video and a number of other dormant threads on the board. Was planning to take the car into a local MOT centre to have the alignment corrected but found the solution....

I was parked in front of a fence waiting for one of the kids last night, and noticed that my right headlight was projecting higher than left - 'headlight adjustment' is under the service menu, and as I had time to kill I figured I'd play with that and try and get better alignment.

To my surprise, as soon as I hit the menu option, both beams raised, then dropped and leveled themselves automatically. So while the car clearly does not do this while driving - somehow that functionality has become available without fanfare.

It hadn't found reference to this anywhere, so hopefully it will help others.
 

NigelT

Member
Sep 5, 2019
98
38
UK
I also noticed this recently, is it a “new” feature? I had the opposite problem that my headlights seemed way to low. Seem good now though after the self level.
 

Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,556
538
UK
I've been getting a lot of other drivers flashing me recently, and started to wonder if my headlights were misaligned - as per Tesla Bjorn's video and a number of other dormant threads on the board. Was planning to take the car into a local MOT centre to have the alignment corrected but found the solution....

I was parked in front of a fence waiting for one of the kids last night, and noticed that my right headlight was projecting higher than left - 'headlight adjustment' is under the service menu, and as I had time to kill I figured I'd play with that and try and get better alignment.

To my surprise, as soon as I hit the menu option, both beams raised, then dropped and leveled themselves automatically. So while the car clearly does not do this while driving - somehow that functionality has become available without fanfare.

It hadn't found reference to this anywhere, so hopefully it will help others.

I thought the levelling was just for the adjustment process and it resets to allow you to adjust them, but could be wrong.
 

pow216

Member
Wow! Possibly the most useful post I’ve come across so far. My headlamps were aimed way too low, making my commute (35 miles off B roads) a nightmare unless I could use full beam.

This automatic procedure has massively improved my visibility on dipped beam. Thank you!
 
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Rob R

Member
Oct 7, 2017
308
159
Dundee, Scotland
Am I understanding this right? Before you manually adjust the headlights, the car performs a reset, back to factory settings as it were, and you only then get to do the manual adjustment.
So if the car had got out of its factory alignment, and that was your problem, you would not even need to do a manual alignment. Just preparing to do one has fixed the issue.
Am I getting this?
 
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Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,556
538
UK
Am I understanding this right? Before you manually adjust the headlights, the car performs a reset, back to factory settings as it were, and you only then get to do the manual adjustment.
So if the car had got out of its factory alignment, and that was your problem, you would not even need to do a manual alignment. Just preparing to do one has fixed the issue.
Am I getting this?

I don't see why clicking the option to adjust headlights would completely reset them, what if you just wanted to adjust them slightly, but obviously from feedback above it seems to have helped!
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,946
9,130
UK
It seems that when you tap the adjust headlights button it goes into a self levelling routine. In my case this lowered the headlights. So far since levelling them I haven't had a flash. I live in an unlit area and the revised pool of light appears absolutely fine.
 

Avendit

Member
Apr 18, 2019
839
554
EDI
The auto is pretty good and brought my factory up to reasonable. But I found one notch higher on both sides better. 2 notches higher starts getting me flashed, so I stick at +1.
 

Marc Roberts

Member
Jul 9, 2019
581
388
UK
I also had this experience recently, just the inverse initial problem. I nearly hit a road runner who wasn’t wearing any lights and was in dark clothes one evening, and I decided “Screw the manual, these lights are too low.”, pressed the adjustment button and it took them all the way up then back down to a pretty decent position. I’ve left them there.
 

ME_UK

Member
Aug 13, 2019
216
205
Oxfordshire
Am I understanding this right? Before you manually adjust the headlights, the car performs a reset, back to factory settings as it were, and you only then get to do the manual adjustment.
So if the car had got out of its factory alignment, and that was your problem, you would not even need to do a manual alignment. Just preparing to do one has fixed the issue.
Am I getting this?

That's exactly right - and no flashes from others since I did this :)
 

meavydev

Member
Jun 19, 2019
126
80
Berkshire
My first night drive in ages, but at some point my headlights must have decided to stick in full up adjustment, as I was getting effectively main beam in dipped and sky illumination in main beam.
Luckily pulling over and going into the service menu with making any adjustments reset them to normal again.
My suspicion is the 2021.4.18.3 update, as I drove 18.2 in fog, so would have expected to notice something when dipped.
On a side note auto wipers are poor at night, although the ceramic coating helps at speed...
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,977
2,916
Shropshire
My first night drive in ages, but at some point my headlights must have decided to stick in full up adjustment, as I was getting effectively main beam in dipped and sky illumination in main beam.
Luckily pulling over and going into the service menu with making any adjustments reset them to normal again.
My suspicion is the 2021.4.18.3 update, as I drove 18.2 in fog, so would have expected to notice something when dipped.
On a side note auto wipers are poor at night, although the ceramic coating helps at speed...
The wipers aren't great much of the time but night is the worst. Have you ever driven at night in in an unlit area in light rain and thought the windscreen was clear. Then a car comes the other way and suddenly you realise your windscreen has a lot of water on it but you couldn't see it. The camera based auto wipers seem to have the same issue.
 

Marc Roberts

Member
Jul 9, 2019
581
388
UK
My first night drive in ages, but at some point my headlights must have decided to stick in full up adjustment, as I was getting effectively main beam in dipped and sky illumination in main beam.
Luckily pulling over and going into the service menu with making any adjustments reset them to normal again.
My suspicion is the 2021.4.18.3 update, as I drove 18.2 in fog, so would have expected to notice something when dipped.
On a side note auto wipers are poor at night, although the ceramic coating helps at speed...
I have to do this with some regularity, the lights seem to lose their calibration gradually but going into the service menu and letting them self level seems to sort it for a few months.

It's annoying, because I forget until I blind some poor bugger.
 
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Dangerous Fish

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2016
1,762
2,831
UK
Yes, both of our Model 3s seem to lose headlight level calibration regularly. Annoying, but apparently not important enough for Tesla to fix.
 
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