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Headlight alignment

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by mnx, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Does anyone else get other cars frequently flashing high beams at them? I'm guessing I may have my headlights aimed a wee bit high. Is it something a ranger could fix, or will I have to take it in to the service center?
     
  2. Forty Creek

    Forty Creek Member

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    Hello neighbor. I have people flashing their high beams probably once a week. Usually it is on a hilly / windy road (Cedar Springs). I have this on the list for my next service visit but that won't be (I hope) until around March. Don't know if a ranger could adjust the headlights with portable calibration equipment.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Definitely worth checking. My headlights were badly aimed from the factory. A ranger adjusted them by shining his headlights on our fence, then my Model S, and we adjusted to the same height. It was fine after that.

    Later when my front carrier was replaced the headlights were again misadjusted - in fact far worse. They completely forgot to adjust them. Low beams were high; high beams lit up the trees and weren't useful for driving. This time Tesla brought their measurement rig with them and properly adjusted them.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    My problem is the other way. At anything over 30 mph (50 km/h) I'm over-driving the low beams. The Service Centre said the headlight alignment was perfect and wouldn't adjust it. Of course, no one ever flashes at me.
     
  5. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I'll add it to my list of things I'll have them look at for my annual inspection...
     
  6. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    Fog lights? If so then turn them off. No more than 2 bulbs for legal low beams.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Actually, after Tesla adjusted mine using the gadget, I do think they're just a tad too low. However I looked at the measurement gadget myself and totally agree that it was done properly.

    I suppose one could "cheat" and turn the knob very slightly yourself. It's not hard to get at.
     
  8. ddruz

    ddruz Member

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    I also get flashed frequently. Our SC has adjusted my lights 3 times now. The first time they overshot too low, next too high, finally not quite so high. But I'm still getting flashed. When I go in for my 12,000 mile service I'll ask them to lower them a tad more. It seems that when adjusted to spec Model S lights still seem like high beams to many oncoming cars.
     
  9. jthompson

    jthompson JThompson

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    @mnx: Also double check your suspension ride height. My front suspension was riding 1.5 inches higher than the rear (I measured gap between the top of the tire and the fender)....Tesla confirmed this and readjusted the little rods at each wheel that tell the air suspension what the ride height is. Problem solved!
     
  10. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Really? My two previous cars wouldn't even allow use of the fog lights unless your low beams were on. Switching to brights or parking lights immediately turns them off.
     
  11. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I just measured (with the car off) and the front appears to be 1/4 inch higher when measured from the garage floor to the fender. 29 7/16" front vs. 29 3/16" rear.
     
  12. Musterion

    Musterion 18h 03m 37s −24° 23′ 12″

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    I'm not denying that your ride height adjustment may be off, but I'd be careful measuring wrt the fender. The Tesla TSB on Alignment first goes through the details of how to confirm correct ride height on all 4 corners before proceeding with alignment, and the measurements are wrt specific front and rear subframe bolts, and these measurements differ by about 70mm front vs back (and also differ for air vs coil). I didn't want to repost the TSB here because it now contains out-of-date info on the alignment angles (not sure if they also updated the ride-height specs, but probably so after firmware 5.8...)
     
  13. jthompson

    jthompson JThompson

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    Good advice...but I still would argue my method was confirmed by Tesla. The car should not be riding higher in the front than the rear. My eyeball method and my measuring the gap between the tire and fender well confirmed to me there was an issue, and after Tesla adjusted the ride height per their specs, the gap between the fender and tires was exactly the same front and rear.
     
  14. Musterion

    Musterion 18h 03m 37s −24° 23′ 12″

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    Thanks for the info. In that case could you describe exactly where to measure where it showed all equal distances for all four corners -- did you put a bar on the tire and measure to top of fender or to the inside wheel well?
     
  15. jthompson

    jthompson JThompson

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    Just used the fingers. Plus visually the car sat higher up in the front...it did have the same ride height as when I purchased it.
     

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