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Headlight Alignment

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by aragorn, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    Ok folks the MOT is due in a few weeks and i'm trying to get all the niggles sorted for it

    The headlight alignment is out due to me fitting facelift headlamps. Ive adjusted them up a bit by hand but what i really need is some more accurate way of setting them

    I've noticed that if i shine them onto a wall from a distance the beam pattern from the projectors makes a ---\___ type effect, however this pattern doesnt actually overlap from both projectors, the nearside being a bit higher and a bit to the left than the other.

    I imagine there is a procedure such as "park 10m from the wall, get the beam patterns intersecting along the midline of the car then set the beam cutoff line to be 1.3M up from the ground"

    Any ideas on this? or where i could find this info?

    Thanks
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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    I wouldn't worry, they'll fail it on headlights whatever adjustments you do, just pay them the required £10 and they'll do it for you.
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  4. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    http://www.modifieda4.com/web/tech/headlight-aiming.html

    i found this, and barring them using a declination of 0.7% (i'm sure we use 1.2% here in the uk?) the only thing i found odd was that they seem to be suggesting that the beams dont intersect even from 10M?

    Can anyone confirm this is true?
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  5. Blue_Thunder
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    Blue_Thunder Active Member

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    I need this info as well since fitting my facelift headlights. Nugget here thought I was adjusting the height screw and wondering why the beam wasn't crawling up my leg. Turns out I've adjusted the sideways aim and have no idea how they should look.

    My current beam pattern is very poor as I seem to illuminate signposts up from miles away, but the road infront of me throws up plenty of surprises at speed!
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  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    hmm i found an image from a merc forum that seems to confirm they dont intersect the way i thaught they did!

    i'll get them adjusted before the MOT, i aint paying no garage a tenner to turn some knobs that i can turn myself for free!
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  7. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    Blue: the guide i posted should work. Everything it says makes sense to me! Just remember to use 1.2% instead of 0.7%
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  8. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    But you'll end up paying it anyway (just like everyone else) as you're hardly going to let the car fail for the sake of a tenner
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  9. Blue_Thunder
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    Blue_Thunder Active Member

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    Thanks Aragorn, we posted around the same time before. That looks spot on.

    Can't wait to get them sorted, there have been some scary moments!
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  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    andymac: headlight alignment is a free retest anyway, so its actaully not in the garages interest to fail it on them for no reason as its just going to take up more of their time having to retest the car for nothing later anyway.

    Any garage that tried to bum me for headlight alignment wouldnt be getting my business again, and i'd like to point out i've never had a car fail on that, and the only reason they'd ever need adjusted is if they've been removed or replaced as in my case. I'd imagine the MOT stations you use must be full of cowboys if you get hit for it everytime, unless you make a habit of adjusting your headlights before every test...
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  11. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    Well you're the first person I know not to have to pay the £10. They only usually do it if there's nothing else wrong. All my friends and family have exactly the same experience so it's not just the cowboys I use. Couldn't give a toss TBH as £10 to pass the MOT is a bargain.
    Yes I know it's a free retest, but they make more on the headlight adjustment than on the MOTso of course it's in their interest to fail it unless you hand over the tenner. I doubt many people are so tight that they take the car away to have a fiddle themselves and then take it back only to be told it's still out.
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  12. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    Its more the principle, if you havent removed the headlights from the car, or rammed the car into a wall and the alignment was set at the last MOT, it shouldnt need done at the next one.

    Perhaps its more that if the tester thinks your the kinda person that will happily just hand over a tenner, ie not someone who's going to do their own mechanics, then they'll try hump you for it.

    Seen as you dont know anyone who hasnt paid a tenner for the alignment, can i ask how much you normally pay for the test itself?
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  13. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    I've never had my headlamps out come MOT.

    I've had customer's cars I've taken for MOT require headlamp adjustment to pass.

    Never been asked to pay, even the last car I took down for test - 2 weeks ago, a '90 Ur quattro 20V with seized adjusters, that took almost 10 minutes to adjust.

    This is at different MOT stations.

    I pay the trade £38 for the MOT too.
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  14. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    I think the difference there is "trade". Trade won't rip off trade, it's an unspoken rule.
    I paid £45 for the test last month.
    "if the tester thinks your the kinda person that will happily just hand over a tenner"
    What rather than take the car away, fanny around with lines on a wall, take the car back etc etc. Maybe it's because I look like someone who's got better things to be doing....
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  15. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    i've never paid more than £35 for an MOT round this way

    The guy i use normally does it for £35 plus a free retest within 10 working days for any fault.

    Some places want >£50 and only give you the statutory free next day retest for a small list of faults, but then i guess its down to the consumer to shop wisely!
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  16. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    I'm not trying to make this all personal. All i'm saying is that you should never just expect the car to fail on headlamp adjusters and pay the garage to "fix" them.

    By all means if they're out, and you dont want to fix them, pay the tenner. But trying to tell me that its perfectly acceptable for a garage to charge you for it every time, out or not, just isnt right.

    For me, every tenner counts, if something needs fixed then so be it, i've just had to buy a cat and front pipe for the MOT, but i dont have the money to be throwing around when i can fix it myself with 10mins and some reading of instructions!
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  17. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    [Oct 13, 2008]
    I've never been charged to have headlamps aligned even at non-trade prices.
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