BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General BMW News and Cars Discussion
 
Evolve Automotive
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      08-28-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
iguassu
New Member
 
Drives: X1 20d Sp
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Aberdeen

Posts: 6
iTrader: (0)

Angry Xenon headlights on new BMW models

Xenon or Bi-Xenon headlights on new model BMWs (2009?? / 2010)
________________________________________
( 23rd August 2010 ) To BMW UK via website query.
I recently took delivery X1 20d.
Being summer, I have not required use of headlights much but recently I noticed that the headlights are very weak compared to my recent X5. I checked further and fuses are OK but note that the innner pair of lights do not work at all.
I checked various vehicles with Xenons at our dealer and note that none have the inner pair working. I must assume that I paid around GBP600 for a fancy decoration on the front of the car ? Dealer sales were unaware of this.!!
________________________________________

( 28th August 2010 )
Thank you for contacting BMW Customer Information. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

I can advise that the inner headlamp on your vehicle will only illuminate when the full beam is required, for example when driving down a dark road. The function of this headlamp is to also provide charge to the outer headlamp whilst it is in use.

I trust this is of clarification to your enquiry and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

BMW Group UK
________________________________________

( 28th August 2010 )
Having been somewhat surprised by your answer to my query, I have opened up the headlights on my car and checked to see if my concerns were valid.

I can confirm that the inner headlights will not and cannot ever illuminate/work.

What I found was that the outer headlights are as they should be and have the Xenon discharge assembly fitted.

The inner "lights ?? " are dummies and have no bulb, discharge unit or anything else other than the low wattage halogen bulb for the sidelight/parking-light/daytime running light corona-ring.

I can therefore confirm beyond any doubt that the inner headlamps are totally non-functional when Xenon or Bi-Xenon headlamps are installed.
Halogen headlights are very different and function as would be expected.

I must assume that it is the same situation with all the other vehicles we have checked.

I have to admit that I am extremely disappointed.

BTW - my car is Reg No: XXXXXXX VIN No: XXXXXXXif you would like to check the specifications.

I shall be arranging to deliver my car to our local dealer to have various problems addressed and hopefully put right and will advise them of this subject as well so that they will be aware
________________________________________
( 28th August 2010 )
Thank you for your reply to BMW Customer Information. I am sorry to learn that you were disappointed with my response.

After further investigation I can advise that the inner headlamp functionality on xenon headlights varies from one vehicle to the next and for the X1 there will be no illumination from the inner headlamp. I apologise that I was incorrect in the previous email, however, I can confirm that the purpose of this headlamp is to conduct and provide charge for the outer headlamp. We would not fit a headlamp in a vehicle if it served no purpose, as this would add additional cost to the vehicle and would be a waste of resources.

I can advise that this issue will not require investigation by the dealership, as the mentioned headlamp is performing as it should be. If you would like additional technical information regarding this matter then the dealership are able to submit a technical enquiry to address any concerns you may have.

Your continued disappointment is acknowledged, however, I trust that this clarifies our position on this matter. If you have any further queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

BMW Group UK
________________________________________
iguassu is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 01:52 PM   #2
Kev
Resident Anesthesiologist
 
Kev's Avatar
 
Drives: VW bug with a misplaced engine
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Seattle, WA

Posts: 8,815
iTrader: (24)

Garage List
So?

What's the news here? The inner lights on the M3 only works in reverse or if you flip your turn signal stalk (but only for 10 seconds).

What's the eff-ing big deal here?
__________________
kev { divinum est sedate dolorem }
Kev is offline   Hong Kong
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
iguassu
New Member
 
Drives: X1 20d Sp
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Aberdeen

Posts: 6
iTrader: (0)

Wow do you live anywhere near Microsoft ?
No need for the attitude really, is there?
If the M3 main headlights only work in reverse then have you ever wondered if there is something wrong? They are meant to illuminate the glorious road ahead - reversing lights are for going backwards on most other cars.
The real point is that there are headlight units installed in the vehicle but they seem to just be decorative and even BMW and their dealer tech personnel didn't even know they do not work and it seems that BMW-UK didn't know either. Watch this space it will develop since it is now a question at BMW-AG.
iguassu is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
dekaliber
Major
 
Drives: '07 Z4MC, '06 ZHP, '12 ZX-6R
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Los Angeles

Posts: 1,111
iTrader: (1)

This isn't unusual. The inner "bulb" of the Z4s are also dummies as well, but there's a corona around it for DRL. An aspect of BMW's design has always been double bulbs on each side, but it seems like the inner bulb is not always necessary these days to provide additional illumination.

I've never found BMW's Xenons to be dim though. Perhaps the leveling on your headlights need to be adjusted?
__________________
dekaliber is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 02:35 PM   #5
Kev
Resident Anesthesiologist
 
Kev's Avatar
 
Drives: VW bug with a misplaced engine
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Seattle, WA

Posts: 8,815
iTrader: (24)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by iguassu View Post
Wow do you live anywhere near Microsoft ?
No need for the attitude really, is there?
If the M3 main headlights only work in reverse then have you ever wondered if there is something wrong? They are meant to illuminate the glorious road ahead - reversing lights are for going backwards on most other cars.
The real point is that there are headlight units installed in the vehicle but they seem to just be decorative and even BMW and their dealer tech personnel didn't even know they do not work and it seems that BMW-UK didn't know either. Watch this space it will develop since it is now a question at BMW-AG.
So? Obviously you have no knowledge of how your xenon headlights work either. Your xenon lights have a much higher light output when compared to the two little H3 or H7 halogen bulbs in the milddle. The Bixenon design specifically allow the projection angle of the xenon beam to allow for a higher angle projection when you turn on the high beam. If you are not satisfied with the stock configuration, try to aim your headlight slightly higher (~3/4 - 1 turn up). Trying to turn on the halogen in the middle is not the solution. I have those lights on my E55 AMG as well. They work as high beam flashers, but still don't provide additional lighting when the Bixenon is switched to on.

It is also not news that your dealership does not know what's going on with the vehicles that they are servicing. So, save a breath.
__________________
kev { divinum est sedate dolorem }
Kev is offline   Hong Kong
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
iguassu
New Member
 
Drives: X1 20d Sp
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Aberdeen

Posts: 6
iTrader: (0)

We have some really horrible roads up here in Scotland, even worse at night with deer and other creatures lurking all over the place. I just noticed that the headlights in this X1 are well below the brightness of the ones on my 2006 X5 xenon ones. The X5 had xenon in the outer headlights and a halogen in the inner lights and illuminated very well. The X1 xenons have a big long-distance dark area in the centre, unlike other cars I have had (8 BMWs in 7 years between wife and I and others). Will see what BMW-AG have to say about it all. I have some good contacts there.
iguassu is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
Kev
Resident Anesthesiologist
 
Kev's Avatar
 
Drives: VW bug with a misplaced engine
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Seattle, WA

Posts: 8,815
iTrader: (24)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by iguassu View Post
We have some really horrible roads up here in Scotland, even worse at night with deer and other creatures lurking all over the place. I just noticed that the headlights in this X1 are well below the brightness of the ones on my 2006 X5 xenon ones. The X5 had xenon in the outer headlights and a halogen in the inner lights and illuminated very well. The X1 xenons have a big long-distance dark area in the centre, unlike other cars I have had (8 BMWs in 7 years between wife and I and others). Will see what BMW-AG have to say about it all. I have some good contacts there.
Aim your headlight higher so you can cover more of the crown of the pavement.
__________________
kev { divinum est sedate dolorem }
Kev is offline   Hong Kong
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 03:09 PM   #8
iguassu
New Member
 
Drives: X1 20d Sp
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Aberdeen

Posts: 6
iTrader: (0)

Err - just as a note. Qualified Porsche, Maserati, Jaguar, Lotus, TVR, MV Agusta, Triumph/Norton and Yamaha mechanic.
I know how to adjust headlights - dealers and other always seem to adjust them very low to be conservative and receive no complaints of being flashed by other drivers. The headlights are definitely inferior to other recent vehicles. I have checked the deflector offset in the headlights and they are within specs. I have a solution and will implemet it. If it all works out OK then I will post details here for reference and possible interest.
BTW - Interlagos blue M3 - nice. Many, many years ago I used to race cars at Interlagos and Rio in the days before Fitttipaldi - was great fun then, really wild stuff.!!
Just an old dog now - had my fun...!!
iguassu is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 04:08 PM   #9
bavarian19
General
 
bavarian19's Avatar
 
Drives: Car
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: VA

Posts: 18,812
iTrader: (23)

Other than slightly adjusting your headlights up, I don't know what else to say.
bavarian19 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
fatjoez
baller
 
fatjoez's Avatar
 
Drives: lambo
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: the crib

Posts: 675
iTrader: (0)

epic shutdown of the haters iguassu, good stuff
__________________
fs: oem lip spoiler - from e82 135i , pm me
fatjoez is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 08:47 PM   #11
Kev
Resident Anesthesiologist
 
Kev's Avatar
 
Drives: VW bug with a misplaced engine
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Seattle, WA

Posts: 8,815
iTrader: (24)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by iguassu View Post
Err - just as a note. Qualified Porsche, Maserati, Jaguar, Lotus, TVR, MV Agusta, Triumph/Norton and Yamaha mechanic.
I know how to adjust headlights - dealers and other always seem to adjust them very low to be conservative and receive no complaints of being flashed by other drivers. The headlights are definitely inferior to other recent vehicles. I have checked the deflector offset in the headlights and they are within specs. I have a solution and will implemet it. If it all works out OK then I will post details here for reference and possible interest.
BTW - Interlagos blue M3 - nice. Many, many years ago I used to race cars at Interlagos and Rio in the days before Fitttipaldi - was great fun then, really wild stuff.!!
Just an old dog now - had my fun...!!
Uhuh, master techinician? It's probably safe to assume that you are proficient in your mechanical knowledge. However, you seem to lag in your knowledge of automotive lighting. If you want a nice, sharp beam cutoff pattern, then you should replace the frosted lens on your BMW with a clear lens either from Acura or Infiniti. The Germans are not particularly good with their optics in terms of beam pattern and sharpness of their high / low beams, whereas the Japanese had it nailed right from the get go. Also, the way BMW points the light from factory is also lower than most automotive. I have to turn both 335xi's and my M3 at least 3/4-1 turn up to get a nice, usable cut-off pattern. Now, the projectors on my M3 fill the middle portion nicely even with just the low beam. In your case, since you drive with you high beams on during those situations, using the inner lights as high beam is not a solution to the problem. It will only create glare to the oncoming traffic.
__________________
kev { divinum est sedate dolorem }
Kev is offline   Hong Kong
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 08:57 PM   #12
///Mperative
Second Lieutenant
 
///Mperative's Avatar
 
Drives: like grandma
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England

Posts: 280
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2014 BMW 550xi  [0.00]
2011 E92 M3  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev View Post
So?

What's the news here? The inner lights on the M3 only works in reverse or if you flip your turn signal stalk (but only for 10 seconds).

What's the eff-ing big deal here?
+1

To OP: You are one annoying dude. The car is what it is. If you don't like it, sell it. Get with the program or piss off.

__________________
///Mperative is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      08-28-2010, 09:33 PM   #13
bluefly
Second Lieutenant
 
bluefly's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 e90 335i + NB miata
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Canada

Posts: 207
iTrader: (0)

The tone of discourse on both sides is pretty poor, but putting that aside the OP has some interesting points...

First issue the OP raises: If the X1 inner headlight is not used for illumination (the primary function of a headlight) then it is serving a largely decorative function.

Some may choose to add "not that there's anything wrong with that".
Yet, many automotive enthusiasts prefer their automotive engineering to put function before form, and I think this is the angle the OP is coming from.

Mind, there is some function... as BMW wrote to the OP, the inner headlight comprises part of the circuit to light the outer headlight... fine, but a bit of a disingenuous answer as well.

The second issue is reporting that the X1 may have poor headlight illumination compared to other BMW models. To the OP I would say, be careful not to conflate the first issue (inner headlight not illuminating) with the second (unsatisfactory light performance). You don't need twin headlights to provide good forward lighting, as many cars with HID's have only a single lens for forward illumination at high / low beam. Basically, HID lighting performance cannot be judged just by the number of headlights.

Interesting, either way. I'll poke around the various models (Z4, X1) when I visit my local dealer next, out of engineering curiosity more than anything...
bluefly is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      08-29-2010, 03:11 AM   #14
iguassu
New Member
 
Drives: X1 20d Sp
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Aberdeen

Posts: 6
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev View Post
Uhuh, master techinician? It's probably safe to assume that you are proficient in your mechanical knowledge. However, you seem to lag in your knowledge of automotive lighting. If you want a nice, sharp beam cutoff pattern, then you should replace the frosted lens on your BMW with a clear lens either from Acura or Infiniti. The Germans are not particularly good with their optics in terms of beam pattern and sharpness of their high / low beams, whereas the Japanese had it nailed right from the get go. Also, the way BMW points the light from factory is also lower than most automotive. I have to turn both 335xi's and my M3 at least 3/4-1 turn up to get a nice, usable cut-off pattern. Now, the projectors on my M3 fill the middle portion nicely even with just the low beam. In your case, since you drive with you high beams on during those situations, using the inner lights as high beam is not a solution to the problem. It will only create glare to the oncoming traffic.
The lenses are clear, not frosted fluted or anything else.
BTW - I dip my headlights when there is oncoming traffic, for safety and politeness.
The issue here is that they install a headlight that only seems to serve as 1)- a support for the conical light guide to the corona rings used for side/park/daytime running lights. 2)- to hold a clip supporting the inline cables to the outer xenon lights. Adjustment of the headlights is not an issue here - anyway, the xenon/bi-xenon headlights are self levelling as you no doubt know already and once aimed correctly, maintain thei level aim automatically.
Maybe if you investigate lighting a little further you might learn a lot yourself.
BTW - the reversing lights are pretty good when driving backwards and they only come on when reverse gear has been engaged..!
iguassu is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      08-29-2010, 03:14 AM   #15
san~man
Tired
 
san~man's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW-less
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA

Posts: 2,610
iTrader: (7)

They're actually fresnel lenses, not optically clear.
__________________
BMW-less
san~man is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      08-29-2010, 05:07 AM   #16
Bimmer-Bob
!
 
Bimmer-Bob's Avatar
 
Drives: 2010 128i
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Camp Lejeune, NC

Posts: 2,238
iTrader: (2)

Garage List
The Xenons utilize the same bulb for high and low beams...the inner bulb has the corona ring for DRL and I think lights up for corner illumination (at least on my 128i). I think the dual lenses are pretty much to maintain consistency across the model range (as I believe they are more functional on the halogen-equipped cars, which require separate bulbs for high or low beams). The issue, however, shouldn't have anything to do with the number of functional bulbs - the xenons with one bulb are still much brighter than the halogens with two. In other words - if you have xenons, you don't NEED two functional bulbs - so who cares?
__________________
Bimmer-Bob is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      08-29-2010, 10:10 AM   #17
Kev
Resident Anesthesiologist
 
Kev's Avatar
 
Drives: VW bug with a misplaced engine
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Seattle, WA

Posts: 8,815
iTrader: (24)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by iguassu View Post
The lenses are clear, not frosted fluted or anything else.
BTW - I dip my headlights when there is oncoming traffic, for safety and politeness.
The issue here is that they install a headlight that only seems to serve as 1)- a support for the conical light guide to the corona rings used for side/park/daytime running lights. 2)- to hold a clip supporting the inline cables to the outer xenon lights. Adjustment of the headlights is not an issue here - anyway, the xenon/bi-xenon headlights are self levelling as you no doubt know already and once aimed correctly, maintain thei level aim automatically.
Maybe if you investigate lighting a little further you might learn a lot yourself.
BTW - the reversing lights are pretty good when driving backwards and they only come on when reverse gear has been engaged..!
Seems like you have your mind set about lights and won't listen so adios. Here's my final bid:

1. All the new generation of BMW (from the E92 on) have similar design of headlights. The inner lights have two light source, one is an H8 bulb / LED bulb to provide light source to the fiber optics of the angel eyes / corona rings; the other is an H3 bulb that lits up only in reverse or transiently when the blinker is turned on for that side. As I said before, turning on the H3 as a high beam assistant would not provide much additional benefit to the BiXenon. The BiXenon has so much lumen output compared to the H3, it's not even funny. There is no gain by turning on the H3. The feel of lack of light output and a sharp cutoff point for the Xenon light is due to the frosted / Fresnel lens on your headlights. If you want a sharper output, replace it with the Infiniti FX35/45 projector lens. That might actually improve light output and sharpness instead of trying to use the inner lights.

2. I drive on backroads at night multiple times a week for work related reasons. I have never found my bixenon to be deficient under those circumstances, even only with the low beam, and on unlit roads. Looking back, you are indeed the only one complaining about it. You might want to see your ophthalmologist to have your eyes examined. Alternatively, the cheap way out would be to install a set of BIG PIAA xenon driving lamps on your X1.

3. Self-leveling is not a be-all-end-all solution to YOUR PROBLEM. It absoutlely has NOTHING to do with the AIM of YOUR CHOICE. If you left the aim "within BMW spec", then it will still auto-level to the same spec, which is too low for your application apparently.

I have studied the E9X lighting system and had dissected the headlight completely for a pre-LCI E90 and pre-LCI E92. I had also done my research with the online EPC and repair manual on the X1 to make sure that they have not changed design. I also happen to study and conduct part-time R&D for the optics of bronchoscopes and laryngoscopes, which uses the same type of xenon bulb as an automobile.

So, farewell, Mr. Master Mechanic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by san~man View Post
They're actually fresnel lenses, not optically clear.
+1, what Sanford said

Your Infiniti has better lens than the Bimmer.
__________________
kev { divinum est sedate dolorem }
Kev is offline   Hong Kong
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:52 AM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST