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Hi everyone,
I have fixed it (for me at least).....as long as you don't mind cutting some wires, IT WORKS PERFECTLY.
On my 02 cooper s there are 7 wires that go to the back of the headlight, 3 thicker wires that fire up the headlight and 4 thinner wires that work the little motor inside. All i did was cut the wires that work the little motor, now i have no problems with driving at night, wondering when they are gunna stuff up again.
if you wanted to, you could work out the live wire and only cut that one.
you could cut the wires inside the headlight itself, but i never want the self adjusting thing to work again so i cut them in the wire harness about 4 inches from the headlight.
make sure you tape the wires that you've cut so they can't come into contact with anything.
I figured that when the self adjust motors failed there was no warning light that anything had failed and nothing showed when the lovely folk at the mini garage hook up there 'tell all' computer to see if there were any faults.
If your car is still in warranty get BMW to fix it, mine i s asecond hand cooper s, the techs at mini know that it is a known fault (same as the radiator fan staying on) but they will make no effort to fix it cause the car isn't covered by warranty......warranty or not, i think that if it is a known issue they should at least offer to put something towards fixing the problem.
hope this helps some.:smile:
you will probably need to adjust your headlights manually, there are 2 screws on the back of each of the headlights, one does 'up, down' the other does 'left, right'
 

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Continuing headlight levelling saga

Hi Guys.

My 01 Cooper has an offside light which has has wound it self fully down but I worked out a way of getting it back and a way of stopping it happening again, (well so far any way).

My car works like this. If I turn the lights ON with the ignition OFF, the headlights wind down and then come back up to the level set. If I turn the lights ON with the ignition ON the lights DO NOT go all the way down and back again, if the level switch has not been moved the lights do not move.

Now the fix that worked for me on the 3 occasions when my Offside headlight has wound down and got stuck is a follows. With the ignition and lights OFF I unplug the Nearside headlight, then with the ignition still OFF I turn the lights ON, the Offside headlight can be heard and seen to shake and move up. I then turn the lights of and reconnect the nearside light. With the ignition ON the lights can be turn ON and the level system seen to be working.

I now only ever turn the lights ON with the ignition ON and so far it has not done it again. But I have only had the car for just over a month.
Well I've discovered a similar fix that works for my One. This worked last December just prior to its MOT and has now worked again after both lights persisted in sulking in the lowest position for the last few days.

Turn lights and ignition off between each step and turn ignition on and wait for "noises" to stop before turning lights on again each time:
1/ Open bonnet and unplug NS headlight unit - OS light will now be seen to level correctly
2/ Reconnect NS light and it still won't work
3/ Disconnect OS light and NS light will now be seen to level
4/ Reconnect OS light and both lights now seem to work fine
I assume doing this in the opposite order (i.e. disconnect OS first) would also work, but can't remember which way round I did this before.

During the last 8 months one or other of the lights has occasionally failed to level when turned on, but moving the levelling control up and down a few times has normally got it working again.
Why both lights should suddenly fail baffles me, especially considering the nature of the fix.
 

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full JCW dark silver mcs
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25 Posts
are we all talking about the same headlights here? as my ns is pointing at the floor, i have the projector style xenons with washers?
also i dont seem to have an in car headlight adjuster, just a hole in the dash where it used to be, do all minis have this in car adjustment?
 

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cave capsicum
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3,362 Posts
are we all talking about the same headlights here? as my ns is pointing at the floor, i have the projector style xenons with washers?
also i dont seem to have an in car headlight adjuster, just a hole in the dash where it used to be, do all minis have this in car adjustment?
I think by law, xenons are supposed to be self-levelling and are automatically controlled. So you have a problem.

Only MINIs with halogen headlights have the headlight adjuster on the dash.
 

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full JCW dark silver mcs
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ok well im having the same prolem with my xenon projectors? the ns is pointing down and im unable to adjust up to correct position, i have tryed manualy with the adjusting screw no joy and tryed unplugging etc no joy, someone please help and save me ££££ for a new headlight :(
 

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full JCW dark silver mcs
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25 Posts
instructions on how to do that would help vastly mate as i dont wanna start messing with such an expensive unit with so many parts and wreck it!..............
 

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MINI & other ½ both whine
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519 Posts
Headlights 2001-2004 (standard), leveling / motor failure.

I was about to take my car for it's 1st MOT, checked everything out and noticed the left hand headlamp was low (the 2001-2004 style (standard)), replaced the light with one that was in perfect working order (used), tested it a number of times, everything OK ;).

MOT tester next day "The left lights very low" :confused:.

Changed the lamp again (another used one in perfect working order) ;), MOT in hand everything OK :D.

2 days later the other ½ "Left headlamp seems a little low" :confused::confused:.

Changed the lamp again (another used one in perfect working order) ;), everything OK :D, this one worked intermittently for approx a week, ie... OK :D, NOT :(, OK :D, NOT :(, :confused::confused::confused:.

Waited a couple of weeks and changed it again ( Yes, another used one in perfect working order) ;), everything OK :D, another couple of weeks intermittently working, and then it started working perfectly and it all seems OK the past couple of months :D.

I had all the others tested and they are all INOP, some even started smoking inside when tested (which was worrying :aargh:), BMW suggest a new lamp as everything else seems OK.

I don't want to put any more lights in as I want to upgrade them (but not until everything is OK) and I certainly don't want to be paying dealer prices for new ones (I've heard of people having new ones fitted (2001-2004 style) and it happening to them), as this would have cost me an arm & a leg by now.

Does any body have this problem with the face-lift lamps (2004-Present (standard)) ???

Does any MINI2 senior or other MINI enthusiast know what causes this to happen and know of a fix for this problem ????? Someone must do by now, without disabling the system which would be my last resort :rolleyes:.​

I'll read through the thread again tomorrow and see if I missed anything (some of the fix's seem a bit hit & miss apart from the disable option).
 

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MINI & other ½ both whine
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519 Posts
bumping....my o/s headlight's manual levellig doesn't work....anyone know a cure?
Here's the fix from "chris at woodman bmw" and a response from "MINI-Morgan" from another thread (Headlights Pointing Down), if you haven't seen it already ;).

Hi Guys,
If you have halogen headlamps fitted, you can sort the problem by opening the bonnet, switching your dip beam lights on, you need another person to operate the level switch and slaming the bonnet shut at the same time, (not to hard) , this will jolt the motors as the adjuster sticks, you should find them to be okay then, i know its a bit extreme but it does work okay
Chris
LOL! Is that the released fix from BMW? :D
Well not quite in black and white :smile:
Not sure it's a guaranteed fix :rolleyes:, but if it's good enough for the Main Dealers, it's worth giving it ago before you pay them to do it ;).

Luckily mine have been fine since Christmas and everything seems to be OK for now!

If you're not bothered about the levelling feature (this is supposed to be used dependant on how loaded up you are, to prevent other road users from getting dazzled :aargh:), the best way to get around the problem is to disable the system and then get the headlights set (or vise-versa ;)) at an MOT testers or a Garage with the right equipment and providing you don't load up the car to the maximum you shouldn't dazzle anyone ;).

I took my car into my local and ever helpful MOT centre, they reset the headlights which had been so badly adjusted by BMW... Then.... the self leveling system decided to start functioning again!!! All was re adjusted again and fingers crossed it all work fine again! They also fitted two new from spot lights i had bought from minispares.com and Saturday... Total cost including two new spot lights was £111 inc vat and fitting.... I think fairly reasonable... Looking forward to my drive home!
This comment by "B1ANK" isn't quite fair because due to the nature of the intermittent problems, you can have your headlamps set OK, shut the bonnet and next time you turn the lights on, the lights start working / malfunction again and to someone who doesn't know how these lights work, it can look like they have been previously set by an untrained monkey :D.

Please don't be offended by this comment "B1ANK" as I don't know if your lights were or weren't aligned properly, I'm just pointing out to other readers how the intermittent problem can make it look like someone else misaligned the lights even though they could have set them up OK ;).

Hence the need to disable the levelling system and then have the lights set (or vise-versa ;)), another point, even if you set your lights to the lowest level on the switch, when you turn your lights on, the lights drop down and then rise to the setting selected, the point that they drop down too is lower than the lowest setting, so if your lights stick at that point it can make them point very low (Dangerous!), so they can actually stick lower than the lowest setting ;).

I've spoken to soon, I've just gone out and checked mine and the left-hand side has stopped working again! :confused: :eek: :rolleyes:. I've just done the fix & it worked :D.

Thanks! for the post "chris at woodman bmw".

This is for the benefit of future readers, I've worked on the 1st Gen MINIs since their launch and over the years, I have come across many common faults with the MINIs and over the years I've normally eventually worked out what has actually caused the faults so in most cases I know what the fix is or what needs replacing & what needs doing to prevent future recurrence of the problem and what's going to be the most likely cause of a fault (with some diagnosing & eliminating), obvious or not, also because of working with the MINIs over that amount of time I've also noticed the modifications to parts etc... etc... to eliminate previous problems on later models which helps with replacing parts to help prevent a future fault.

With the previous comment in mind, I've never found out the cause or a fix for the sticking headlamp motors despite me & a qualified auto-electrician checking them out, partly due to the motor being sealed in the headlamp, also due to it being an intermittent problem which hinders finding a fault as on testing every thing can seem OK (and in-fact is & should work), and then to add to the confusion the fact that new replacement lamps can also stick adding to the confusion & making it look like something else is at fault (throwing everyone off the scent :rolleyes:), also add to that all the other fixes that people have found that seemed to have worked but no one knows why it worked :confused:.

However all the fixes that people have mentioned in the past and the fact that some times you simply open the bonnet & close it & the lamps sometimes start to work again (It's happened to me), all have one thing in common the opening & slamming of the bonnet add to that the fact that you also normally twiddle with the adjuster switch and you have a common fix without anybody knowing what they actually did :rolleyes: (chris at woodman bmw's fix ;)).

I did this myself the other day after mine failed again & it actually worked (to my surprise / amazement :rolleyes:), I must point out it wasn't under laboratory conditions but it worked so its defiantly worth a go before you take your MINI in to have it looked at.

I wish that I would've known before Christmas as I sold about 10 lamps to a MINI racer cheap because I thought that they were in-op, Doh!!!!!!!!! :aargh: :rolleyes: :eek: :D :D :D.
 

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Hi everyone,
I have fixed it (for me at least).....as long as you don't mind cutting some wires, IT WORKS PERFECTLY.
On my 02 cooper s there are 7 wires that go to the back of the headlight, 3 thicker wires that fire up the headlight and 4 thinner wires that work the little motor inside. All i did was cut the wires that work the little motor, now i have no problems with driving at night, wondering when they are gunna stuff up again.
if you wanted to, you could work out the live wire and only cut that one.
you could cut the wires inside the headlight itself, but i never want the self adjusting thing to work again so i cut them in the wire harness about 4 inches from the headlight.
make sure you tape the wires that you've cut so they can't come into contact with anything.
I figured that when the self adjust motors failed there was no warning light that anything had failed and nothing showed when the lovely folk at the mini garage hook up there 'tell all' computer to see if there were any faults.
If your car is still in warranty get BMW to fix it, mine i s asecond hand cooper s, the techs at mini know that it is a known fault (same as the radiator fan staying on) but they will make no effort to fix it cause the car isn't covered by warranty......warranty or not, i think that if it is a known issue they should at least offer to put something towards fixing the problem.
hope this helps some.😄
you will probably need to adjust your headlights manually, there are 2 screws on the back of each of the headlights, one does 'up, down' the other does 'left, right'
Good day.last night I noticed my front drivers light was lower also.
I like the idea of isolating or removing this feature.
I'm new to these minis and have a 2004 cooper model
Hi everyone,
I have fixed it (for me at least).....as long as you don't mind cutting some wires, IT WORKS PERFECTLY.
On my 02 cooper s there are 7 wires that go to the back of the headlight, 3 thicker wires that fire up the headlight and 4 thinner wires that work the little motor inside. All i did was cut the wires that work the little motor, now i have no problems with driving at night, wondering when they are gunna stuff up again.
if you wanted to, you could work out the live wire and only cut that one.
you could cut the wires inside the headlight itself, but i never want the self adjusting thing to work again so i cut them in the wire harness about 4 inches from the headlight.
make sure you tape the wires that you've cut so they can't come into contact with anything.
I figured that when the self adjust motors failed there was no warning light that anything had failed and nothing showed when the lovely folk at the mini garage hook up there 'tell all' computer to see if there were any faults.
If your car is still in warranty get BMW to fix it, mine i s asecond hand cooper s, the techs at mini know that it is a known fault (same as the radiator fan staying on) but they will make no effort to fix it cause the car isn't covered by warranty......warranty or not, i think that if it is a known issue they should at least offer to put something towards fixing the problem.
hope this helps some.😄
you will probably need to adjust your headlights manually, there are 2 screws on the back of each of the headlights, one does 'up, down' the other does 'left, right'
Good day.
Seems like the most practice solution.
I have just purchased a 2004 model and noticed driver's side light is lower however dash control still moves it all but lower than the other.
Does disconnecting wires all that is required or do you need to do once lights are correct level which would mean having ignition or lights turned on first.
Not really sure why this feature is fitted as cars seemed to manage ok in the past.
As for workings inside the unit,iffitted when made surely could deconstruct to gain access and permanently lock light or whatever in position somehow,pour super glue on mechanism etc.
Have yet to look at lights.
I note there was a post from an ex or BMW mechanic but cannot read the full conclusion of what is cause.
I'm in the land of Oz and nearest BMW place is 1 hr away and seem pretty useless as enquired about a spare key and got the run around.
By the way,just had hood lining replaced for 250 dollars so was hardly worth trying to patch up.
The place had done several in the past but had to do a bit of searching around
 

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A good paddy whack and ok now.
I note that when ignition turned on and then lights that they dip down from resting position and then come back up.
There for if motor wires removed the lights should stay in normal driving position.
What a useless feature.
Many years ago adjustable air shocks was the way to go to raise a car .
When car pooling with my Datsun 180b back in the late 70s I would just pump rear shocks to compensate for extra load or when towing something.
 

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Just to add my 2c. Noticed tonight my R50 2006 n/s light was very low and facing a wall established the leveling was stuck on the lowest setting. Banged it around, and eventually unplugged it and hey presto, back working. Only thing with me is that recently i've left them the dipped lights on all the time, never touching the switch, not sure if this has had anything to do with it? Thanks for the many comments on the thread, always reassuring to find others with the same problems and more often than not, a solution
 
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