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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
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Lightbulb Adjusting Headlights

The headlights on my 17reg 500 are not fit for purpose, they are virtually non-existent unless on main beam.

I've had the bulbs upgraded at Hellfords at great cost (£55!) However, this has made the problem worse not better!

As a next step I think that they may need realigning? Is this something I can try myself - will this improve things?

I'm on the verge of trading in the car on the basis of totally scary night time driving, any advice gratefully received. TIA.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

Assuming the adjuster is the same on the new headlights as on the old there are two screws. Black multi-crossed, a bit like a big Phillips screw. One dies up and down and the other side to side.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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Adjusting Headlights

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

I'm suffering the same thing on my '18 Abarth.
The standard halogen dip beams are pretty awful on unlit roads.
What makes it worse is our Vitara has LED projectors as standard and the light off them is fantastic, the difference is literally night and day!

I recently spent a good five hours driving back through the French country side at night kicking myself for bringing the wrong car, I felt like Stevie Wonder at a night out at Spearmint Rhino.

You really need to take it to a MOT station to have the alignment checked and adjusted properly, they all have a machine to test the beam patterns and aim.

You can sometimes judge if you've one lamp too low/high by parking up close to a wall or garage door, but to get them spot on without dazzling anyone, you need them set properly, though I wouldn't hang much hope on a big improvement.

Wish I'd forked out for the factory Xenons, £675 is starting to look like a bargain now.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

I've found that factory projector headlamps fitted with Halogen bulbs are terrible( I suspect they were always intended to be fitted with HID ) bordering on dangerous/not fit for purpose, I fitted HID to my standard (Halogen) clusters, as said before the difference is like night and day and in my opinion a great safety improvement, before people jump on me they've been checked with the new MOT regs. and pass.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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Quote Originally Posted by Sunday View Post
The headlights on my 17reg 500 are not fit for purpose, they are virtually non-existent unless on main beam.

I've had the bulbs upgraded at Hellfords at great cost (£55!) However, this has made the problem worse not better!

As a next step I think that they may need realigning? Is this something I can try myself - will this improve things?

I'm on the verge of trading in the car on the basis of totally scary night time driving, any advice gratefully received. TIA.
£55 ouch..!!
What service did they provide for this?

As importantly how did they ascertain the lights were correctly adjusted..and producing an MOT standard beam pattern before letting you out on the road

FIAT headlights have traditionally been at the 'bare minimum' end of the scale.

A LOT of people on here will recall the 35W incandescent bulbs....

So.. I am not really suprised.. by the cars limitations.
But I am intrigued by your expectations.
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 3 Weeks Ago at 20:50.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

varesecrazy - "Half's" provided two improved bulbs and fitted them. The passing comment was that they looked about right, I now know to have asked for a check on alignment!

My expectation of a headlight is that it does what it says on the tin! I've owned cars for over 40 years and these are the worst by a country mile.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

I think thereís something wrong here. Are the bulbs in properly? Itís been a while since Iíve driven my 500, but the lights certainly werenít dangerous.

Iíd say itís either not aligned properly, the bulbs are in wrong OR thereís something electrically wrong with the car.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

306maxi - Thanks for the advice, I think it is best if a mechanic looks at this problem.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

Quote Originally Posted by John202020 View Post
I've found that factory projector headlamps fitted with Halogen bulbs are terrible( I suspect they were always intended to be fitted with HID ) bordering on dangerous/not fit for purpose, I fitted HID to my standard (Halogen) clusters, as said before the difference is like night and day and in my opinion a great safety improvement, before people jump on me they've been checked with the new MOT regs. and pass.
Regardless of passing the MOT the conversion is still illegal and probably causing dazzle. You have just shown the MOT station are not competent.


The problem with the original lamps will almost certainly be the design, quality of manufacture and degredation of the reflector and lens rather thn the bulbs or electrics. The bulbs are the same as those in "good" cars. Fitting HIDs or LEDs to a poor reflector and lens just makes dazzle even worse.
Interestingly, years ago before HIDs etc Renault fitted different lamp assemblies to the performance versions of at least two of their cars. Only discovered this after loosing a lens to stones and finding the lamp is 4 times the price of standard and unobtainable as used or pattern part.


Robert G8RPI.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

Don't get why people have such issues with the headlights in the 500 mines only got Bosch 110 % bulbs in
And frankly I don't see much need to even use full beam unless it's. A very dark lane




Has Sunday got the headlights set correctly. E g set to 0 on the instrument cluster for the leveling setting?
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

We replaced the 12 year old factory fit halogens in our panda.
As they gave a yellow tinged light.
Result.. a dim..yellow tinged light.

Oh well at least these bulbs are cheap.

Reflectors and lens LOOK fine.

I suspect the 'fastfit' technique of fitting new bulbs in a dark tent.. then failing to check beam pattern.. isnt helping.
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

chris3234

Thanks for you reply. The beam is indeed set to zero on the dash - first thing I checked.

There certainly is an issue with these headlights, main beam is great but dipped is virtually non existent, with virtually no more light than the running lights It is time for an engineer (with a little bit more knowledge than the guy in Halfrauds) to have a look at what is going on. I'll report back what the result is.
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Re: Adjusting Headlights

Quote Originally Posted by Sunday View Post
varesecrazy - "Half's" provided two improved bulbs and fitted them. The passing comment was that they looked about right, I now know to have asked for a check on alignment!

My expectation of a headlight is that it does what it says on the tin! I've owned cars for over 40 years and these are the worst by a country mile.
Sunday, I would check the new bulbs are seated correctly as I have seen lots of cars with one light up and another down for this reason. The Phillips extreme vision bulbs are a noticeable improvement. That said I feel my light's need tweaking up a bit.
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