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Headlights

Whittier22

Member
Nov 1, 2019
7
2
Massachusetts
I purchased new the 2013 Model S. From the very beginning, I felt the headlamps, particularly at low beam, were very poor. I would keep my high beam on and never did a car approaching from the opposite direction signal to lower my beams. Brought to service attention and I was told they cannot be adjusted. When taking a 90 degree right turn on a dark street, I cannot see if there is a car parked on the side of the street. I noticed on a 2015 loaner car the the headlamps were improved. I feel this is a safety issue. Low beam should illuminate 150-200 feet. My do not. I was told by an independent Tesla repair shop that they could change the headlights for $2600. They told me many people have expressed this problem. Any suggestions.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,323
14,309
California
I agree the Model S headlights are indeed pretty poor. That said, I've generally heard the first-gen HID 2012-2016 units are actually better than the post-facelift LEDs.

I think you've more or less laid out the possible solutions. Deal with it or spend some big bucks on replacements or aftermarket retrofit.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,714
4,310
Colorado, USA
I purchased new the 2013 Model S. From the very beginning, I felt the headlamps, particularly at low beam, were very poor. I would keep my high beam on and never did a car approaching from the opposite direction signal to lower my beams. Brought to service attention and I was told they cannot be adjusted. When taking a 90 degree right turn on a dark street, I cannot see if there is a car parked on the side of the street. I noticed on a 2015 loaner car the the headlamps were improved. I feel this is a safety issue. Low beam should illuminate 150-200 feet. My do not. I was told by an independent Tesla repair shop that they could change the headlights for $2600. They told me many people have expressed this problem. Any suggestions.
I suggest not paying $2600 for "new headlights" unless you know exactly what you're paying for.
 
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PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,800
1,122
US
I agree the Model S headlights are indeed pretty poor. That said, I've generally heard the first-gen HID 2012-2016 units are actually better than the post-facelift LEDs.

I think you've more or less laid out the possible solutions. Deal with it or spend some big bucks on replacements or aftermarket retrofit.
My headlights are great although I did put new bulbs in that were 5000k in color as opposed to the factory 4300k.
 

EvilHeadlights

Former Vendor
Apr 24, 2020
24
23
Norwalk, CA
Performance of the headlight also depends on the age of the bulb as well as proper leveling.
The pre-facelift bi-xenon headlights can be retrofitted with much better projectors (optics) to really boost the performance of the headlight. We've done a few. If interested, feel free to PM :)
 

J.J.

Member
Aug 25, 2018
134
59
FL
The best headlights I've ever driven behind were in a 2016 BMW 5-Series with the lighting package. I would do just about anything to have those lights in my P85D. As someone who work all 3 shifts, I frequently find myself driving at night on dark roads. The bimmer used to handle this with ease, the Tesla needs more light. With all the tech in a Tesla, it a shame the driving lights were such an after thought... and soft close doors!
 
Jul 23, 2019
38
18
Canyon Lake, Texas
I just had to adjust my headlights as both were aimed way too low after being replaced under warranty. The service center forgot to aim them.

My car is a facelift car though so I have the newer headlights.

I’d imagine the OG style of lights can be adjusted. It was incredibly easy to do.
 

BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,424
1,352
Newport Coast, CA
The HIDs in our fully optioned 2015 P85D are great and the LED Cornering Lights with our Premium Interior Package work well too. I drove a loaner without any cornering lights and it definitely had a "blind spot" when turning.

Our neighbor bought a 2017 MS 75D (refresh nosecone) with LED headlights and complained to Tesla how inferior they were to his Mercedes. Tesla had them re-aimed and he got better lighting... but honestly not as good as our HISs in our 2-year older non-refresh nosecone 2015 P85D . Progress sometimes is a step back on certain things.
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,613
4,534
Fairfax County, Virginia
I purchased new the 2013 Model S. From the very beginning, I felt the headlamps, particularly at low beam, were very poor. I would keep my high beam on and never did a car approaching from the opposite direction signal to lower my beams. Brought to service attention and I was told they cannot be adjusted. When taking a 90 degree right turn on a dark street, I cannot see if there is a car parked on the side of the street. I noticed on a 2015 loaner car the the headlamps were improved. I feel this is a safety issue. Low beam should illuminate 150-200 feet. My do not. I was told by an independent Tesla repair shop that they could change the headlights for $2600. They told me many people have expressed this problem. Any suggestions.

If you are handy you can upgrade them yourself -- I just did this to my daughters Ford Fusion, basically you need to pull the lights and cut or bake them open to install a new bi-xenon lenses and then upgrade to HID.

I will find the other thread I posted in and direct you there... start here -- also you can pull the old Halogen headlamps and buy the newer Tesla headlamps and then retro them in .. just don't get the newer refresh LED headlights 2016.5 +... they suck almost as bad as the Halogens
Want new HID headlights

If you don't want to do that -call this dude, he seems to have a good handle on how to do this.

www.evilheadlights.com - Phone: (323) 697-0845 - Email: [email protected]
Based in Norwalk, CA.
 
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