Out-of-focus headlight

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Discussion Starter · #1 · Oct 2, 2009

So I noticed the other day that the main beam on my driver side headlight appears to be out of focus. Is there a way to fix this, besides replacing the whole headlight assembly?

I’ll post an image in a bit, to give a better idea of what I’m referring to.

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out of focus, or out of alignment? I’d believe the latter, rather than the former…

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I believe it, because my passenger side is out of focus, too. I’m just living with it, but I’m sure it’s making some glare with my HIDs.

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If it is indeed out of focus the reflector inside of the headlight assembly has probably somehow come loose from one or more of its mounting points inside. I know I personally separated the reflector from one of the bottom fasteners when I was changing the headlight bulb by pushing the bulb into its mounting position too hard. I had to remove the bulb and pull the reflector back against the fastener and luckily it snapped back into place. You should be able to tell if this is the case if the focal point of the beam shakes very badly.

Also another reason for the beam to be out of focus could be an incorrectly installed headlight bulb. If it is not fully seated it might possibly be out of focus.

My father-in-law also had the same problem with the reflector being loose inside the housing after hitting a deer. Snapped it back into place also.

If the headlight is out of adjustment then you have an entirely different method. There are adjustment screws on the headlight and you are probably better off taking it to a garage or inspection facility and having them adjust it for you. More than likely there won’t be a charge. I know I’ve had it done for free before at a garage.

Good luck.

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Is it possible that you’ve put in a bulb that has a slightly different length than standard, so that the light isn’t properly located from the reflector? It would only have to be off a fraction of a cm.

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I agree, it’s easy to get the bulb crooked due to the tight access.

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sorry to jack your thread but you do not have an address in your paypal??

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Discussion Starter · #8 · Oct 3, 2009

Only used the correct bulbs. In fact it was only replaced once from the factory (unless the previous owner borked it). Upon replacement that’s when I first noticed the issue, and I’ve owned the car for 5 years, although I originally bought it for my wife and didn’t start driving it heavily until last year.

If the reflector did come loose, what do I need to look for and how does it snap back in to place?

I’m hoping to get the images of the “out of focus” up here for prosperity, once I get my laptop back that can read the memory cards from my camera. To say its been a “fun” week puts it lightly.

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The reflector is held in place by three plastic “ball and joint” fasteners. One for each adjustment screw, 1 x vertical and 1 x horizontal. The third is towards the bottom outside of the headlight either on the headlight level adjustment motor or on just a plain fixed mounting point for headlights without level adjustment. If the reflector is loose you will be able to move it very easily if you attempt to move it with the bulb removed. You will probably also notice some vibration during idle.

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