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Manual Headlight Adjustment Question

ItsEasyEmKay7

New member
Location
Northern IL
Ride
2016 GTI w/PP
First time owning a VW and I I've always wanted a GTI. Glad I'm here. With that said...

I got a 2016 GTI with the lighting package. Wanted it for the aesthetic look and assumed it would have slightly better visibility at night. Anyhow, the car appears to be lowered. I bought this the other day and didn't think anything of it till my neighbor, who is a sort of Golf aficionado, thought that it looked lowered to him. That night I drove it around to do some errands and noticed I had an awful time seeing anything past 30-50 feet in front of the vehicle. Seems the car's lights are pointed down too much. I'm comparing the cut-off to previous vehicles I've owned with projector headlights (some halogen others LED). I'm used to sitting at an intersection and see the cut-off just at least up halfway on the door body panels for most sedans that come across the intersection. In this car it looks like it's sitting just at or below the rocker panel. It seems having the car lowered will do this, from what I've read.

Of course I search the internet and I'm told I need to use some expensive cable and software to change configuration of the lights. Others say I can use the manual adjustment screws to fix my problem. I tried that first since it's free and I noticed there is no change at all when adjusting the screws. I'm afraid to keep turning the screw and break something. I've read that using the manual adjustment can damage the adaptive lighting system. (I believe the screws I should be adjusting the the lower ones at bottom of housing, not the top one)

Is there anything I'm missing with the manual adjustment or am I just gonna have to bite the bullet and use the expensive interface and software?
 

mopar22

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Va/MI
Get obdeleven and the pro version, sub 100 and you have multiple use for it too. Or you can also post in your states thread to ask for someone to help sine i know someone has obd11 or vcds
 

ItsEasyEmKay7

New member
Location
Northern IL
Ride
2016 GTI w/PP
Get obdeleven and the pro version, sub 100 and you have multiple use for it too. Or you can also post in your states thread to ask for someone to help sine i know someone has obd11 or vcds
I bit the bullet and got the VAGCOM. Seems pretty capable and could come in handy for other stuff. Anyhow, does the ODB11 tool work with iOS? It seems like on their website it is listed as beta and that some of the features and functions are missing compared to Android. Thanks for your reply. :)
 

George Ab

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Pacific NW
Surprised that moving the lower screw is not moving the headlight. The basic setting you input using vagcom is the neutral position for adjustment, but likely not absolutely necessary. This is the procedure per the factory manual.

 

ItsEasyEmKay7

New member
Location
Northern IL
Ride
2016 GTI w/PP
Surprised that moving the lower screw is not moving the headlight. The basic setting you input using vagcom is the neutral position for adjustment, but likely not absolutely necessary. This is the procedure per the factory manual.

So yeah, I turned the screw and looked at the beam assuming there’d be some change in the height and didn’t see anything after a few turns. I checked to make sure I was actually turning the white plastic screw. I figure I’d do the other side and noticed no change. Took a drive to see if there was a noticeable change. Nothing. Still felt like I was driving into a dark abyss. Maybe the previous owner did something funky.
 

Carlosfandang0

Drag Race Newbie
Location
UK
Ride
2016 3Dr GTi DSG CSG
So yeah, I turned the screw and looked at the beam assuming there’d be some change in the height and didn’t see anything after a few turns. I checked to make sure I was actually turning the white plastic screw. I figure I’d do the other side and noticed no change. Took a drive to see if there was a noticeable change. Nothing. Still felt like I was driving into a dark abyss. Maybe the previous owner did something funky.
Maybe you adjusted the left/right adjustment screw instead!
 

Carlosfandang0

Drag Race Newbie
Location
UK
Ride
2016 3Dr GTi DSG CSG
Do the basic settings on the headlight level control using VCDS, if it had been lowered and not reset then this will bring them back up, if running basic settings doesn’t alter the level control then just adjust them up a little, there is no need to run basic settings after manual adjustment as it will have no affect, the cut off can appear not to move when adjusted if you are too close to the surface you are viewing the beam on, there is a specific procedure/distance when adjusting headlights but as a rule of thumb make sure you are at around 3-4 car lengths back when adjusting, this will allow you to see the adjustments made.
 

ItsEasyEmKay7

New member
Location
Northern IL
Ride
2016 GTI w/PP
Do the basic settings on the headlight level control using VCDS, if it had been lowered and not reset then this will bring them back up, if running basic settings doesn’t alter the level control then just adjust them up a little, there is no need to run basic settings after manual adjustment as it will have no affect, the cut off can appear not to move when adjusted if you are too close to the surface you are viewing the beam on, there is a specific procedure/distance when adjusting headlights but as a rule of thumb make sure you are at around 3-4 car lengths back when adjusting, this will allow you to see the adjustments made.
I was wondering if I had been doing it wrong. I was about 30 feet away from my garage door when attempting to move them. Perhaps I needed to be farther away. I will try through VCDS in the coming days as I receive my parts. Thanks.

The screw I was adjusting was the white one towards the bottom. From my understanding, this is the one you want to mess with to adjust UP/DOWN.
 

George Ab

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Pacific NW
This video talks about adjusting the headlight. It has a warning about going too far and knocking the headlight off the adjuster. I hope this is not the case.
 

ItsEasyEmKay7

New member
Location
Northern IL
Ride
2016 GTI w/PP
This video talks about adjusting the headlight. It has a warning about going too far and knocking the headlight off the adjuster. I hope this is not the case.
I hope not. I know the lights do their thing at night when I turn the car on. If they had been knocked off the adjuster, would the auto level system still work? It appears the system attempts to calibrate, but sets the lights too low.
 

mopar22

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Va/MI
I hope not. I know the lights do their thing at night when I turn the car on. If they had been knocked off the adjuster, would the auto level system still work? It appears the system attempts to calibrate, but sets the lights too low.
It's set too low because when it's lowered it doesn't know the whole car is. It thinks just the rear is and the front is normal level from being loaded
 
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