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Just had Valeo Euro Spec Headlights Installed - Question about Auto Leveler

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Just had Valeo Euro Spec Headlights Installed - Question about Auto Leveler

Old 11-07-2012, 04:25 PM
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Default Just had Valeo Euro Spec Headlights Installed - Question about Auto Leveler

Hi,

I just had my mechanic install a new sets of Euro Spec Headlamp assemblies into my 2001 S4. I notice that they do not seem to auto level when I turn them on, and can't recall whether my stock headlamps did much auto leveling before I had him swap these out. Can you tell me if that would have required them to swap out some electronics or hook something up from my old OEM lights to the new ones to achieve the auto leveling function? Is it OK to not have the auto leveling as I have read during my searches that some people have problems with them messing up and causing the low beams to dip down?

Basically, I'd like to know if I should have them swap out any electronics from my old lights to the new ones and hook this feature up, or just stick with the way it is set up now and be done with it?

Also, does anyone have recommendations for the turn signal lights? The pair I had that came with these euro spec lights ended up not fitting, and they were the kind that looked silver during the day, and would turn amber when being used.

Thanks.
T.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:21 PM
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If your mechanic forgot to swap out the leveling motors in the old housings, then the new headlights won't level.

From what I remember, your fingers have to be really nimble, and you have to be really gentle, or else the adjusting finger can snap.

If you need to buy new ones, looks like ECS carries them:
http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_S4-...hts/ES2561424/

Good Luck!
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for the information. I believe that is the case, he didn't swap them out from the old ones.

So my questions is this:

1. How difficult is it to install these now that the car is all back together?
2. Would it just be worth it for me to buy new ones considering that the old ones were over 10 years old if I do decide to have them installed?
3. Is it OK to just leave the headlamps without this auto leveler and just live with them fixed in one position? What are the real drawbacks of this?
4. Without having the auto leveler installed, can I just adjust the lights myself without needing to have the the vag hooked up to the car's computer?

Appreciate the help.

T.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
1. How difficult is it to install these now that the car is all back together?
Each of the headlights can come out in under 5 minutes, pending you have the right tools. Once you have the headlight housing disconnected, as I mentioned before, the motor can be a pain to install. You have a really small space to work in within the housing, and if I remember correctly, you have to adjust the floating housing via the top screws to put it in the right position to accept the motor smoothly. If you're lucky, you can install them both, and mount the headlights back in the car in a couple of hours (rough estimate of an hour each headlight).
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
2. Would it just be worth it for me to buy new ones considering that the old ones were over 10 years old if I do decide to have them installed?
Yup. I swapped housings a couple of times, and always picked up new motors. Time vs. money.
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
3. Is it OK to just leave the headlamps without this auto leveler and just live with them fixed in one position? What are the real drawbacks of this?
If I remember correctly, without the motor in place, the floating housing will remain loose, and can move when hitting hard bumps. Ultimately, you're going to blind oncoming traffic, and it *could* get you pulled over. Self-adjusting mechanisms for HID headlights are a safety measure, and can be enforced by law enforcement, as well as a really **** inspection station.
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
4. Without having the auto leveler installed, can I just adjust the lights myself without needing to have the the vag hooked up to the car's computer?
Yes... and this is where my memory is foggy. As I mentioned in my answer to question 3, I'm pretty sure that without the motor in place, the floating housing stays loose, and can become un-adjusted as you drive. There are two screws on the outside of the headlight housing that adjust up-down, and left-right. From the factory, they install the headlights with the leveling motors installed, and adjust the default position with the screws. They then use VAG to set the default position for the lights, so that a zero point is calibrated. This way, the computer now knows what to return the height of the lights to when set back to default.

Let me know if you need any more info.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:29 PM
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Thank you for the detailed response, this was a huge help. It's a bummer the lights didn't come with the leveler already installed, curious as to why they wouldn't have that in there already.

From the sounds of it, I should probably have the levelers installed to ensure I don't run into any problems with the law in the future, especially since these lights are so freaking bright compared to the old stock ones.

Just to ensure that they didn't come with the levelers already inside the housing, would a simple test be to adjust the lights on my own without the VAG connected, and then turn the car on and off to see if they moved or not? Or based on the fact that every time I've turned the lights on since the swap I haven't seen the lights move at all point to the fact that the levelers are not in there?

Thanks,
T.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
Thank you for the detailed response, this was a huge help. It's a bummer the lights didn't come with the leveler already installed, curious as to why they wouldn't have that in there already.
No problem. A lot of us went through what you're dealing with, and we didn't have any of this information at the time. Believe it or not, if you buy the stock housings, they don't come with the levelers either. They all ship with plastic plugs where the motor should go, so that the floating housing, or the motor (if it was there) won't break during shipping.
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
From the sounds of it, I should probably have the levelers installed to ensure I don't run into any problems with the law in the future, especially since these lights are so freaking bright compared to the old stock ones.
I agree. You're doing the right thing.
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
Just to ensure that they didn't come with the levelers already inside the housing, would a simple test be to adjust the lights on my own without the VAG connected, and then turn the car on and off to see if they moved or not? Or based on the fact that every time I've turned the lights on since the swap I haven't seen the lights move at all point to the fact that the levelers are not in there?
You'll know immediately whether you have the motors or not as you turn the headlights on. In the dark, put the key in the ignition and turn it to accessory. As soon as you turn the headlight switch on, you'll hear a motor gear turn on, as well as see the light beam move up and down a few inches in each direction. If you don't, the motors aren't in there.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:08 PM
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All of this sounds great, thanks for the explanation. One last set of questions for you:

1. Do you believe I will need this part as well, or would this have still been left on my car?

http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_S4-...ghts/ES370285/

2. Are you familiar with the correct bulb needed for the turn signal indicators within the Valeo Euro Spec housing? I had bought a silver looking set of bulbs that light up as amber when in use, but they didn't fit for some reason, so my mechanic just used the old ones from my stock headlamps. If you have a link to where I can find a set of these "stealth" bulbs that will fit it would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
T.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
All of this sounds great, thanks for the explanation. One last set of questions for you:

1. Do you believe I will need this part as well, or would this have still been left on my car?

http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_S4-...ghts/ES370285/
Those are the sensors that detect the suspension position of the car to adjust the headlights. There are two of them, one on each driver's side control arm (front and back). You don't need those, unless someone intentionally removed them from the control arms.

Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
2. Are you familiar with the correct bulb needed for the turn signal indicators within the Valeo Euro Spec housing? I had bought a silver looking set of bulbs that light up as amber when in use, but they didn't fit for some reason, so my mechanic just used the old ones from my stock headlamps. If you have a link to where I can find a set of these "stealth" bulbs that will fit it would be much appreciated.
The US turn signal bulb is a dual filament, due to it also being a parking light. The bulb type is: 3357A/3457A
You may have purchased a single filament bulb, which would have a different socket type, and why your mechanic wasn't able to use it.

The Valeo Eurocode headlight housings that I installed years ago had the single filament socket for the turn signal, and a small open socket between the HID and High Beam reflector for a city light (which is used as a parking light in Europe). If you don't have that hole between the two reflectors (you'll see it very clearly if you're looking into the housing from the front), then you may have US housings that someone removed the amber reflectors out of. (If that's the case, you'll notice clip holes where the amber reflectors used to be inside the housing).

The lack of the city light hole is tell tale for a US housing that's been modified. If you have the city light hole, then it's a Euro housing.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:54 PM
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Ok, so the plot thickens. After taking in your comments and seeing pictures from other threads, I poked around my old headlamps and the new Euro spec ones on the car. Here is what I've found:

1. My old OEM headlamps still had the headlight leveling motors in them.

2. When looking in that part of the housing on my new Euro Spec lights that are currently on my car, I noticed that there were indeed headlight leveling motors hooked up, and they appear to be plugged into the wiring harness, etc. These are the leveling motors that are currently installed in my light housing: http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/hell...lights/ES2364/ (after looking through my old emails, I now see that when my brother bought these lights for his car (which he never installed them on several years ago), he bought it with headlight leveling motors already installed. So this question is now solved.

3. I confirmed that this is the true Eurocode headlight, as I do see the city light next to the high beam, which is definitely not on my old OEM lights. It's funny you mention that those lights you used to have had the single filament turn signal bulb, since that is why my brother's kit had the single filament "stealth" bulbs included. I notice that there are two plastic looking conversion pieces that my mechanics left off that appear to be a dual filament to single filament conversion piece. Perhaps they didn't understand that when they were swapping things? Did your old car have a similar set up?

4. So I tried to adjust one of the lights last night using the white screw and it did nothing. Does this mean that the auto levelers are connected in with the computer and thus I'm not able to adjust without being hooked up to a VAG?

5. Based on the knowledge that I now do have the leveling motors in my lights, what could be the other reason they are not adjusting when I turn the car on? Could this have to now do with the Headlight Sensors being wonky?

6. Now that I know I have the Eurocode lights, is it worth going through the trouble to make the city lights functional? Is that a difficult process to make that into a daytime light?

Once again, thank you for your detailed responses on this subject, it is helping me greatly with navigating this issue and making sure it get's corrected with my mechanic.

T.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:25 PM
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Default http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/cars/xenonalignment.html

Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
I notice that there are two plastic looking conversion pieces that my mechanics left off that appear to be a dual filament to single filament conversion piece. Perhaps they didn't understand that when they were swapping things? Did your old car have a similar set up?
Interesting. No, both of the units that I installed only had a single filament socket. I didn't have to deal with a 'conversion' piece.
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
4. So I tried to adjust one of the lights last night using the white screw and it did nothing. Does this mean that the auto levelers are connected in with the computer and thus I'm not able to adjust without being hooked up to a VAG?
The screws in the headlight housing move the floating housing either up/down or left/right. The adjustment is *very* minor, and may not be noticeable if you're looking at the light output on a wall. If you look into the housing though as you're turning the screw, you'll notice the floating housing moving in a direction. No offense, but you should do a bit of research on Audiworld regarding this. Between your research, and your mechanic, you should be able to figure this out. It's not that complicated. Here's the link in the tech articles section on adjusting headlights:
https://www.audiworld.com/tech/ext19.shtml

Here's the article on the Ross-Tech site on how to set the default home position of the lights in the computer via the VAG tool:
http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/car...alignment.html
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
5. Based on the knowledge that I now do have the leveling motors in my lights, what could be the other reason they are not adjusting when I turn the car on? Could this have to now do with the Headlight Sensors being wonky?
It doesn't sound like you've confirmed that the leveling motors are faulty. I suggest using the VAG via the above link and see if they really aren't moving.
Originally Posted by cleandmc View Post
6. Now that I know I have the Eurocode lights, is it worth going through the trouble to make the city lights functional? Is that a difficult process to make that into a daytime light?
That's up to you. The city light is much dimmer than a US DRL [daytime running light]. Here's the link from Mark P (a senior AW member) on how to properly install the Euro housings with city lights: http://ctny.audiworld.com/mark/s4/euros/install/

Good Luck!
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