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      10-20-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
daninny
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Automatic headlight issues

Anyone have issues with their auto headlights?
We have a 2013 X3 35i that my wife usually drives. The other day, I took it to work. It was a bright, sunny day. I noticed that the headlights stayed on the whole time. On the drive home, they still stayed on. So, I went to BMW and they checked it out - told me it was probably the light sensor gone bad. I got a loaner and off I went.
The next day, I noticed that the loaner's auto headlights also stayed on for most of the drive to work - about 15 minutes, despite it's being a bright sunny day. It eventually turned off.
2 days later, I get a call that everything was fixed. So, off I go to BMW. As I was leaving, I noticed my headlights still on (setting on auto), and driving straight into the sun, no clouds, trees... I went back - they tell me that it's the sensitivity of the sensor and that some people want it on that setting. I said, what? what's the point of auto headlights if they're on all the time? Anyway, they adjust the sensitivity - by now it's dark, so the lights are on. Haven't checked yet today, as it's been foggy and overcast. Also, when they reprogrammed the car, my auto windows stopped working! Had to turn around and go back again.
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      10-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #2
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From the owner's manual for my wife's 2011 X3, under Automatic Headlight Control:

"A blue sky with the sun low on the horizon can
cause the lights to be switched on."

Lou

Quote:
Originally Posted by daninny View Post
Anyone have issues with their auto headlights?
We have a 2013 X3 35i that my wife usually drives. The other day, I took it to work. It was a bright, sunny day. I noticed that the headlights stayed on the whole time. On the drive home, they still stayed on. So, I went to BMW and they checked it out - told me it was probably the light sensor gone bad. I got a loaner and off I went.
The next day, I noticed that the loaner's auto headlights also stayed on for most of the drive to work - about 15 minutes, despite it's being a bright sunny day. It eventually turned off.
2 days later, I get a call that everything was fixed. So, off I go to BMW. As I was leaving, I noticed my headlights still on (setting on auto), and driving straight into the sun, no clouds, trees... I went back - they tell me that it's the sensitivity of the sensor and that some people want it on that setting. I said, what? what's the point of auto headlights if they're on all the time? Anyway, they adjust the sensitivity - by now it's dark, so the lights are on. Haven't checked yet today, as it's been foggy and overcast. Also, when they reprogrammed the car, my auto windows stopped working! Had to turn around and go back again.
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      10-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
daninny
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The lights came on even with the sun not low on the horizon. The sun was shining directly on the car.
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      10-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daninny View Post
The lights came on even with the sun not low on the horizon. The sun was shining directly on the car.
I agree, BMW screwed up on this and should have gave us control on sensitivity like audi does
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      10-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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One could also argue that it is better that the headlights switch on too early instead of too late?

Last edited by Renaud; 10-21-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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      10-20-2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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One could also argue that it is better that the headlights switch on soon too early instead of too late?
there's no such thing as too late, in worst case scenario you turn the switch on.
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      10-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Wonder if the coding wizards can figure this out
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      10-20-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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I have the same car - 2013 X3 35i - and I also noticed that the headlights come on a little earlier than I'd like, but certainly not in full sun.

Where is the sensor? Is it the clear plastic dome on the bottom of the mirror? I guess you could tell be covering it up and seeing if the lights come on.
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      10-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #9
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The sensor is located above the mirror in the console up against the windshield. If you look at your car from the front, you'll see it where the whole mirror attachment is up against the glass.

As for going on too soon, I agree it's better than too late, but this is ridiculous. Full sunlight and the light turns on? As for a bit of dusk, well, that's what the DRLs are for - so that you can easily be seen. And for seeing road conditions by you, yes, you can turn the lights on yourself.
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      10-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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The auto headlights feature in the X3 is an unqualified failure. There's no other accurate way to frame it. I have auto headlights on my 2010 Audi A4, and it works perfectly. Why BMW wasn't capable of achieving this, and why they apparently thought that a note in the owner's manual was just as good as fixing it, we will likely never know.
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      10-21-2012, 02:50 PM   #11
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This is a -3 on my scale of 1 - 10 car issues...
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      10-22-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voerman View Post
From the owner's manual for my wife's 2011 X3, under Automatic Headlight Control:

"A blue sky with the sun low on the horizon can
cause the lights to be switched on."

Lou
It does make me smile that you both have to make reference to your wives. Would the headlights be ok if they weren't involved with these cars? As a matter of interest, my car does the same thing on sunny days and I now keep auto lights switched off.
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      10-22-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X35D For Me View Post
It does make me smile that you both have to make reference to your wives. Would the headlights be ok if they weren't involved with these cars? As a matter of interest, my car does the same thing on sunny days and I now keep auto lights switched off.
Actually, my wife never even noticed. I tend to notice things like this.
As an aside, we have a mineral silver X3. The loaner was a gray. As I was leaving the dealer, I was joking with the service guy about whether my wife would even notice. As it turned out, she happened to drive up as I was getting out of the car. She said, "how come the car looks a little darker?" So, she sorta noticed.
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      10-22-2012, 10:09 PM   #14
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Meh....

You want to complain about auto-headlights? Drive a Mazda CX7 for a day or two.

Drive under a bridge for 3 seconds and they'd turn-on. Drivers thought I was flashing em with my lights. Now that was irksome...
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      10-23-2012, 08:42 PM   #15
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They screwed up the control on the side dimming mirrors too.
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      11-10-2012, 04:39 PM   #16
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I too have the same problems on the auto headlights and side mirror dimming with my 2013 x3. I.e. the auto headlights often (not always through) turn on in a bright sunny day and the side mirrors do not dim at night on other headlights behind. Clearly bmw screw up on these. I also drive a 2009 335 with no issues on these functions and know exactly how they should work. These functions do not work on my 2013 x3. Period. Brought the x3 to the dealer many times with no luck. I wrote bmw on this, but they toss it back to the dealer. People, please voice your dissactifaction to bmw and dealer. Maybe if there are enough people complaining, they may do something.
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      11-11-2012, 07:24 AM   #17
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Seems to me the headlights are operating as intended. When you're driving straight into the sun it can often be a glaring situation where vehicles are difficult to see because of the bright light or falling in a shadow. Headlights on also turns on the marker lights making your car more visible from the back. With the sun in front, cars can sometimes become hard to discern from the surroundings, and the lights can help.

To me, it seems like a good mode of operation and mine seem to work just as I'd like them too. Having the lights on more often than you might prefer doesn't seem much of a bother.

Dunno about the mirrors. Mine work fine. Hope you're able to figure something out about them.
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      11-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #18
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+1 nahoa

I notice them getting brighter when I am in a tunnel and they are set to auto...but then again...that's how they are supposed to work. That's why they are adaptive and auto-leveling. I forget which position, but one of them leaves the rings on only and does not auto adjust the brightness level.
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      11-11-2012, 12:08 PM   #19
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mine work fine, infact never touch the switch since we got the car -always been in auto.
And as soon as they come on at night I switch the auto dim on and this too has been 100% faultless.
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