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Model 3 Headlights Dazzling Others!

mrkwats

Member
Mar 23, 2020
61
40
Durham, UK
Had an M3P since March, and drove it just now tonight for probably the first time in the dark. Everybody was flashing me with my “dipped” headlamps on. I got home and noticed when parked up against the garage the offside headlamp seemed a little higher than the near side. But why? So went to Service menu and clicked Adjust Headlights. Warning saying must be trained to adjust, so I did nothing. However, on the initial selection of the option it came up with an auto-levelling message, the lights came on and then went through a levelling process, which appears to have now uniformally adjusted my lights. Hopefully next time I’m out I don’t get flashed by and dazzle oncoming traffic! Has anybody had to adjust theirs or is it really an SC visit?

I also had a software update today (2020.36.10) and wondered whether that had done something?
 

pow216

Member
mrkwats, I think you may now be driving with unadjusted headlights...

I think the initial up / down sweep of the lights when you enter the service menu is simply a self test and not a "levelling process". The lights seem to be driven as high as possible, then as low as possible. This means the range of adjustment is tested before any actual adjustment takes place. This up / down sweep also means that any required adjustment is always in the same direction because you are always starting from a position which is too low.

After entering the service menu on my own car and after the up / down sweep I could see the left headlamp clearly lower than the right, indicating that this is not a final position, merely a starting point.

Try it for yourself - after the up / down sweep is complete, (if I'm right) you'll find you can't make the lights lower, only higher.
 

Andrew_SE23

Member
Jul 3, 2019
137
122
London
Warning saying must be trained to adjust, so I did nothing.

Prepare yourself as your training is about to begin. Park you car in front of your garage and remember how high the beams are (this is important). Start the headlight adjust process (you are of course now trained). Your headlights will both move to a neutral position and your original setting will not be saved! Adjust your headlights and save (your training has now ended).
 
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Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,089
2,124
Scotland
Any MOT centre should be able to set your lights to be compliant with UK law.

You'll probably need to show them how to access the settings in the menu but I suspect most will be so intrigued by the Tesla that they could waive any charges.
 
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Js1977

Member
Aug 13, 2020
236
103
Dorset
how bizarre,I was just about to start a topic on this after just now coming home.... quite a few cars flashed at us and it does seem that there is a slight high point in the middle... Its a bit frustrating...
 

LongRanger

Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,317
1,204
Wales
Mine levelled out at a different overall setup after the auto-level process just like the OP.

I don’t think the docks/dealer pretend PDI is doing this on all cars, my experience backs up the OPs description.
 
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pow216

Member
If this "auto-level process" existed why would you be left with buttons on the screen to make further adjustment once it was complete?

The SC tech let me briefly see his adjustment instructions - there was no mention of an auto-level. It was a manual process.
 

LongRanger

Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,317
1,204
Wales
Same as the reason most modern cars do this - as auto-level doesn’t guarantee MOT pass.

The Tesla software is just replacing the more manual adjustment available on loads of different cars that have similar lighting units.

Auto-level happens on other cars every time the lights go on from cold, historically it was guided by small connector rods linked to rear sway bar.

First 1-200 miles in mine I noticed when lights were on it was triggering reflective surface pickup too high in the air over bumps, inclines etc - it hasn’t done this since I pressed the auto-adjust button.
 

Randy Spencer

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,608
3,649
Alameda, CA
Park you(r) car in front of your garage [...] Adjust your headlights and save.
You don't say what to adjust them to. I had to put new lights on my Jeep and the adjustment trick was to park in front of my garage door and mark a location (painters tape) that was a couple of inches lower than my driver's headlight and the same height as my passenger light on the other side. The higher light on the right allows street signs to be illuminated more than oncoming cars.

Not sure if you can adjust the Tesla lights left and right like you can on the Jeep. If so you use the tires to line up the left and right of the vehicle to make sure your headlights go straight and not left or right.
 
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mrkwats

Member
Mar 23, 2020
61
40
Durham, UK
mrkwats, I think you may now be driving with unadjusted headlights...

I think the initial up / down sweep of the lights when you enter the service menu is simply a self test and not a "levelling process". The lights seem to be driven as high as possible, then as low as possible. This means the range of adjustment is tested before any actual adjustment takes place. This up / down sweep also means that any required adjustment is always in the same direction because you are always starting from a position which is too low.

After entering the service menu on my own car and after the up / down sweep I could see the left headlamp clearly lower than the right, indicating that this is not a final position, merely a starting point.

Try it for yourself - after the up / down sweep is complete, (if I'm right) you'll find you can't make the lights lower, only higher.
Think I had a different experience - when I selected the Adjust Headlights I got the “Headlights Levelling in Progress” and saw the lights go up down then up again. But the end result was a perfectly level/even left and right headlight, whereas previously the right was higher than the left. I went for a drive afterwards, although on a quiet back road, and all looked fine. Real test will be with oncoming traffic though!
 

LongRanger

Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,317
1,204
Wales
We may have wires crossed - was just feeding back that from factory I’m not convinced they are sending cars out with “driving level” set correctly.

It’s almost like the OP’s car, and mine and maybe some others needed to have what we have done ourselves done as part of the PDI process.

The manual adjust would normally only ever be used by a garage with the light box, but equally all other cars I’ve bought new would have had their headlight levels checked during a PDI to ensure it meets roadworthiness requirements before handing over to me. I think that step is being missed on at least some cars in this quarter (at least).
 
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Jeeves

Member
Feb 12, 2020
508
286
UK
FWIW, on delivery mine were all over the shop, despite letting the ‘levelling’ procedure do its thing on the way into the service adjustment. Had them sorted on a visit to an SC. Everything was hunky dory until a recent software update after which other drivers were flashing me in annoyance again. I booked an SC appointment to fix, but I tried the auto levelling thing again and it fixed it.

My conclusion is that there is some sort of hardware alignment that needs to be within a tolerance interval for the auto levelling to work. Furthermore, software updates can royally f*** up the software controlled levelling. Of course, I might be completely wrong.

Anyway, worth trying to go into the adjustment menu to see if the preparatory levelling will fix the issue before booking a service visit.
 

tsh2

Member
Aug 27, 2019
301
85
Cambridge, UK
I didn't have any issues last winter, but last night at 8pm (dusk), I had 2 cars and a truck flash me. I will check what the auto adjust does once it's dark.
 

Plagued

Member
Apr 9, 2019
237
186
Uk
I've had something similar. I can't remember many issues last year, but a month or so I was getting flashed by just about every car I drove past.
I checked and my driver side light was way too high. Auto level made it better, but still had the drivers side higher than the passenger, which is the wrong way round. I wonder if some firmware change reset the lights and dumped on a default LHD car setup where the right would be marginally higher than the left.
Simple test for now is to find somewhere flat and level with a wall you can drive up against. Check the height of the lights against the wall from a meter or so away (it's hard to mark with tape as the minute you get out of the seat the car turns the lights off) and then reverse a few meters. you shouldn't see the height of the beam rising, it should stay level, if it does the light is pointing up and will blind other drivers. you should also not have the drivers side light higher than the passengers on a RHD car (like mine was), the left hand light can be raised a bit but not the right.
Ultimately it's a 5 minute job for a garage and needs correctly aligning.
 

mrkwats

Member
Mar 23, 2020
61
40
Durham, UK
I've had something similar. I can't remember many issues last year, but a month or so I was getting flashed by just about every car I drove past.
I checked and my driver side light was way too high. Auto level made it better, but still had the drivers side higher than the passenger, which is the wrong way round. I wonder if some firmware change reset the lights and dumped on a default LHD car setup where the right would be marginally higher than the left.
Simple test for now is to find somewhere flat and level with a wall you can drive up against. Check the height of the lights against the wall from a meter or so away (it's hard to mark with tape as the minute you get out of the seat the car turns the lights off) and then reverse a few meters. you shouldn't see the height of the beam rising, it should stay level, if it does the light is pointing up and will blind other drivers. you should also not have the drivers side light higher than the passengers on a RHD car (like mine was), the left hand light can be raised a bit but not the right.
Ultimately it's a 5 minute job for a garage and needs correctly aligning.
That’s make a lot of sense, I did wonder whether I had a config of a LHD car (with my right headlamp raised)! The auto levelling has sorted this, but I will test tonight with your wall method and also see if anybody flashes me!!!!
 

Mr Miserable

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
4,946
9,130
UK
To those people being flashed at - sorry its probably me as I fumble around trying to sort out the auto dip.
 

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