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Headlight adjustment on RX450h 2011

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I’m new to the forum, so hello everyone! 
My car has just failed an inspection test on headlight alignment. The guy said the near side is a bit too high. 
I always though that these self align and so am not sure if I could go to a regular garage to get it sorted, or should I go to a Lexus dealer as this problem is a bit more complex and a regular screwdriver is no good here?

The information that I gathered so far is confusion, some say it is a simple adjustment of two screws at the headlight, others link it with the AFS system and the sensor at the rear suspension. I’m completely confused at this stage. I hope that someone here will be able to clarify this. I left quite a bit of money with the dealer only a month ago and am quietly hoping that this is a job for a man with a Philips screwdriver. 


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Probably more than a Philips driver but no need for a Lexus dealer either.

Most likely to be something with the level sensor but leaning towards electrical (being as only one side affected) rather than the mechanical linkage, which I assume would affect both headlights.

This is the sort of thing you're looking at:


The mechanical bits can seize up and sometimes break but if it's alright mechanically then have a look at the wiring and connectors of the sensor itself. If you undo the four screws there are contacts and springs in there, so it could be that the contacts need cleaning or a spring has broken.

If it's beyond a clean and some TLC then new parts can be had from eBay like this sensor here for £24 or this mechanical linkage for £13.

Enjoy your car but remember that it is 'a car' just like any other. There are certain jobs that a main dealer is probably better for, such as the hybrid system for instance, but things like this or suspension, brakes, wheel bearings, radiators etc., etc., etc., can be done by any good mechanic worth his salt.

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Thanks Herbie. 
I would have thought that the sensor itself delivers the signal for the AFS on a single pin which is common to both headlights, and therefore if the issue is to do with only one side, the sensor and the bracket are most likely ok. It seems to be a 3 pin device, so that would confirm to me this theory.

there is at least one screw at the headlight (possibly another one as well) that would suggest to me that the headlight can be adjusted independently of AFS. This is for setting the main body of the headlight in a default position as the AFS only drives the low beam lens.

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I think you should check that the lights do their " dance and turn" when you switch on the engine at startup ( this what happens with my 350).  If they both do this the electrics and the sensor is probably OK.  The older sensors on the pre 2006 models did tend to leak but later models should have the new type of sensor that has better water sealing.  If the lights perform as expected it should just mean adjusting the 6mm bots behind the lights which mechanically set the null point and you should be able to lower the light beam quite easily.  I think the headlights are always set too low so they only light up the road for a very short distance when dipped.  Nowhere near enough in my opinion to be safe even at 30mph.  I alway set mine higher but not high enough to shine above the top 1/3 or so of the front of a approaching car.  The garage that does my MOT always fails it and then resets the lights and it passes on retest.  If I remembered to reset the lights before the MOT it wails pass first time.  It's very irritating as I have to reset the lights after every mot.  Good luck.

if you do need a sensor that are easy to find and it took me only about 20 minutes to change mine.  It's a lot easier if you remove the offside rear wheel first but remember to jack the axle on a block or stand so you don't rely on the jack while you are under the car!

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The lights go down and up before settling at the default point each time I turn the engine on. I thought that the AFS only does the adjustment relative to the null point, which is set for flat surface, full tank of petrol etc. If I understand you correctly katabrontes you seem to be thinking along the same lines. Thanks.

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If it's anything like my 2007 RX400H, which has AFS on the dipped beams, the 2 adjustment screws adjust both main and dipped beams together, but in my case, the dipped much more than the mains.  It doesn't make sense to me, but I've just done the pointing at a wall exercise and that's what happened.

Lateral adjustment on the dips is a bit of a waste, as the beams are very flat so as long as they point vaguely forwards, it doesn't make much difference.

But, as they say, YMMV

I was under the impression that my dips were HID, for some reason, but having looked them up on the ABD site, it seems they are standard H11.  Could somebody confirm one way or the other?

Edited by Superduner
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