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Poor headlight power

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Capacek, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Capacek

    Capacek Member

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    Hi,

    first sorry if this thread was here in past, but do you anybody tried different bulbs (aftermarket) for xenon headlights.
    In comparing with my previous cars the power of lights is very poor.....:mad:
     
  2. Cerie

    Cerie Member

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    Hm I'm not sure that would work. The entire headlight unit is sealed including the DRLs so you wouldn't be able to just go in there and replace one bulb. One of my DRLs had a failed bulb a week after I took delivery and they had to replace the whole thing.
     
  3. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    The Model S has the brightest headlights and best coverage of any car that I've owned. If you feel your headlight power is low, I would check the leveling of your headlights. Mine are so bright that I get flashed from the opposite lane because people think my high beams are on. I've had to aim them a bit lower in order to not blind those in front of me.
     
  4. DCWitt

    DCWitt Member

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    Amped...could you share the procedure for aiming the lights? I live a couple of hours drive from the service center and don't want to trouble them with such a minor issue. And, would actually enjoy a small (I assume) project like this.
     
  5. agileone

    agileone CDN P#40

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    I am getting flashed quite often too.
     
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @Capacek, have your Service Center check your headlights. Mine are very bright.
     
  7. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Pop the frunk and remove the two black plastic covers on either side of the frunk. Simply lift them up along the outside edge and pull them out from under the central frunk seal. There are two tabs holding the panels in place towards the front, I simply wiggle until the tabs come loose or you can cantilever the panels forward slightly until the tabs release. Once exposed, you will see a diagonal aluminum beam towards the front on both sides. Underneath the back of this beam is the height adjustment. The hole fits the largest hex wrench that I have, and you simply rotate clockwise or counterclockwise to move the lights up or down. There is no sideways adjustment, just vertical. Photos would be easier, but unfortunately I don't have any. Maybe someone else can describe this better than I.

    Park the car on a level pavement facing a wall. I used a measure tape to measure the height from the pavement to the center of each headlight lamp. Then I measured the same distance on the wall where the lights were shining, from the ground to the center of each headlights "halo". I adjusted the height until the two measurements were the same.
     
  8. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Thanks for the proceedure on this. On my 2012 I need to drop the headlights down a bit and here's why I've reached that conclusion:

    On a long flat stretch when I switch to HIGH it does not illuminate any more of the road surface, it only now shows up the marker posts/reflectors on the shoulder of the highway. Properly set up the LOWs should be showing pavement about halfway to infinity instead of all the way. The cut off is amazingly sharp in this car.

    My highs have the ~same power as the lows. Cars with the tech package have the super powered headlights.
    --
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I was not aware that the Tech Package option included higher powered headlights.
     
  10. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Am I remembering correctly that it wass Xenon with the tech and halogen without?
     
  11. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Correct - that's how it was until the change in August 2013 to Xenon on both. I had a loaner once with the halogen bulbs and it was terrible.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Okay, thanks, I didn't realize that. I did not start seriously paying attention to the details of Model S configurations until September 2013.

    Yes, halogen headlights on a Model S seems archaic.
     
  13. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    Is it strictly the Xenon headlights, or are the LED cornering lights (also part of the tech package) making a difference too? I was driving another vehicle tonight and noticed how its lights only illuminate the road straight ahead, whereas my Model S throws light in a full arc that extends to both sides of the road.
     
  14. jerry33

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

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    On my car it's just the HID headlights. The cornering lights are useless as they don't come on until you're committed to the turn. I really miss the headlights of the DS-21, which tracked the steering wheel. Even though the lights themselves were much dimmer than any current lights, they seemed far brighter because they pointed where you were going.
     
  15. Dennis87

    Dennis87 Member

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    The euro spec Model S have less powerful xenon lights. 25 watts vs 35 watts ballast. This is because the Model S don't have headlight washers :/
     
  16. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The cornering lights only come on once you have turned the steering wheel about a 1/4 turn. I wish they came on earlier and were brighter, but I do find them useful at low speeds when turning into driveways or in parking lots.
     
  17. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    I wouldn't say the brightest because they are just about exactly as bright as any others. Thats the way things are intended, no one is entitled to brighter headlights than anyone else. This way everyone's eyes acclimate.

    Do agree the focus and control of the emitted light is the best of any headlight I have ever driven behind. And on high beams the broadest and farthest illumination of any. The cutoff line is exceptional, and perhaps this is what bothers Capacek when the light stops where its supposed to stop and no stragglers going beyond.
     
  18. sickfox

    sickfox Member

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    PGIRALT: I have a stupid question. Where do you guys find this information? I would love to know so I can also do my research. So far, the TMC is my wealth of knowledge. lol

    I think our car's headlights, the DRL is one of the most beautiful parts of the car. You know that it's a Tesla once you see it in from the rear view mirror. :wink:

     
  19. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Just from memory from discussions on TMC :) I ordered my car in June 2013, so I was right in the middle of all these changes as they introduced parking sensors just as my car was being delivered and this was one of the changes that happened at the same time.
     
  20. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Were you the kid in the class who always raised his or her hand to ask a question to which you already knew the answer?

    Of course the bulbs are a standard output, but the illumination of the road appears much brighter than my previous car with HID. You can still have brighter illumination of your environment with better focused and aimed headlights. That's what I meant in my comment. I think you knew what I meant. Do we have to be this literal with word parsing around here?
     

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