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Headlight adjustment problem

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tcraiglee, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. tcraiglee

    tcraiglee New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Berlin, OH
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    2005 Prius headlights are called self-adjusting. Mine point way too low on high-beam. Took to mechanic and Toyota dealer and told they don't know how to adjust them. Also have been getting red triangle alarm on dash and then a headlight symbol.

    Anybody have similar problems or know how to adjust headlights?

    Thanks.
  2. Ct. Ken V

    Ct. Ken V Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bolton,CT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Hi, tcraiglee,

    You've got a really stupid Toyota dealer!!.. But you don't want to touch any headlight adjustment at the lights themselves (even though there's a page or 2 on how to do it somewhere in the owner's manual). Your REAL problem is the HID leveling sensor failure (assuming you have HID's---you do if you have fog lights in the lower grill). The sensor is attached between the car body & the left side of the rear axle.

    The part costs between $270 & $335 at the dealer (as far as I know there are no aftermarket replacement parts for this item). The dealers then sock it to you with about a $200 labor charge for a couple of hours (get a quote from your dealer to find out what they may charge you). The thing is you only have to remove either 3 or 4 bolts & disconnect a wiring harness. If you want to spend the money on a new part, they were re-designed to be more durable by the time I had mine replaced on my '05 at 13 months & 21,000 miles under warranty. The countermeasure or updated part number has a letter "G" either as a prefix or suffix (I can't remember which now).

    Your other option before you flip for a new part is to try to repair your own by cleaning it up inside & replacing the corroded contact springs with some ball point pen refill springs as some of the Prius owners have done with success. I will try to find one of the posts on that & return here with a link for you later.

    Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
  3. Ct. Ken V

    Ct. Ken V Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hi again, tcraiglee,

    If you want to try to repair your own HID headlight leveling sensor instead of paying a few hundred dollars for a brand new one, here is the link I promised : http://priuschat.com/forums/knowled...04-broken-auto-leveling-headlights-fixed.html

    Go to Pg #1 (if it comes up on any other page) & click on either the link in post #1 or post #3 (they are both the exact same thing on the repair). Post #3 has a link to a pdf that displays the pictures full size for you, but the link in post #1 will also display the individual pictures full size if you just click on each small picture.

    The headlight leveling sensor is most likely your problem, so I wouldn't try individually adjusting your headlights as described in the owner's manual because typically when the sensor fails your headlights get tipped way DOWN (to only illuminate no more than 20 feet ahead with low beams). Others have reported that their headlights get tipped way UP, so if you do any individual upward adjustments on your own & suddenly something causes the sensor to send out a signal again, then yours could get tipped WAY up.

    Of course none of what I have said applies if you don't have the HID headlights (always paired with the fog lights in the lower grill). If you don't have the HID's/fogs, then you have halogens & it's O.K. to go ahead and do the individual adjustments (because you won't have the self-leveling sensor), but I would question why they went so far out of adjustment to begin with (if you don't have a bad sensor attached to your rear axle).

    I hope this helps you. Please report back & let us know how you make out.

    Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
  4. kueker87

    kueker87 New Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
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    I had this problem in my Prius, so I used the DIY instructions on how to replace the sensor several months ago. The warning light went away, but my headlights still point very low. Also, the warning light will come on during heavy rain, or anytime there is rain/snow getting underneath the car. I've sealed the sensor twice, so I don't know how it could possibly be getting wet. Regardless, how do I get my lights to point normally so I'm not straining to see on curvy roads at night? Any pointers?
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
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    Adjust them higher or do a retrofit with real projectors.

    There is a little white plastic screw on each headlight that adjusts the vertical height of the headlamps. Be very careful you don't aim them too high or you'll blind oncoming drivers and they could crash into you.

    There is a specific method to aiming headlights and remaining DOT legal and safe. The instructions can be found in the Morimoto projector retrofit thread I have linked in my signature.