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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have an old 2002 Passat Wagon, which has been a rock-steady workhorse. I never was satisfied with the lights, and I finally decided to get new headlights, as the lenses were yellow, and the height adjustment was broken and the lights just illuminated the ground in front of the car.

I bought a set of new lights (Ebay), and put them in yesterday. Putting them in was a bit more work than I had anticipated, but not too bad. When it was dark, I took the car for a spin, and there is much more light than I was used to. I then started to adjust the lights, but for some reason I cannot adjust them high enough. I don't want to break that flimsy plastic adjustment wheel, so rather than trying to force it, I decided to check if anybody here has had the same problem, and found a way to correct that.

Also, can someone tell me what the relatively large white plastic part with 3 "fins" is? It says "lock" on it, and it turns perhaps a quarter turn and feels like it is locking something. But what? I tried the adjustment "locked " and "unlocked". Made no difference. Here is apicture I copied from the web. I am talking about the white part that the arrow at "city light" is pointing to.
Passat headlight.jpg

Thanks.

Mike
 

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The plastic ring around the city light just locks the bulb in place. The part labelled aiming screw in the picture is for the side to side adjustment, the other one is for the height.
 

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Make sure you are turning the screw in the correct direction. I believe if you're doing it from the top screw it is CCW to raise the light. The screw turns the gear which actually then moves CW to pull on the top lamp housing.

Also, did your turn signals blink fast with the new units? If so, you may need to move one of the terminal wires to a different position on the bulb socket.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@redline: Thanks. I feel stupid now :D

@Hirnbeiss: All lights work as they are supposed to do. Blinker works fine in both directions. I also parked my car in front of my garage and watched the lights move as I turned the adjustment screws. You are correct that a CCW turn raises the lights. However, I get to a point where the turning gets harder (and I don't want to break the mechanism) before I get to a reasonable adjustment of the lights. As it is, they are nice and bright, but they seem to be directed at about 30 - 40 feet in front of the car (I see the same pattern I see on my garage door, only on the street). I don't think they are installed incorrectly, as the 2 (small) screws at the top, and the 2 (longer) screws at the bottom are both in place. The bottom screws are a bit weird. They go through an adjustable (not sure what the word is) "hollow" screw (sort of like a sleeve that is adjustable, you can also see one of those in the picture right under "city lights") When I received the headlights, these sleeves were screwed all in (i.e., with the most of it showing underneath. I also tried to raise these to change the headlight level, but I don't think it helped. What are those for?
 

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I don't think they are installed incorrectly, as the 2 (small) screws at the top, and the 2 (longer) screws at the bottom are both in place. The bottom screws are a bit weird. They go through an adjustable (not sure what the word is) "hollow" screw (sort of like a sleeve that is adjustable, you can also see one of those in the picture right under "city lights") When I received the headlights, these sleeves were screwed all in (i.e., with the most of it showing underneath. I also tried to raise these to change the headlight level, but I don't think it helped. What are those for?
Those are to set the lights to the correct height, so they fit correctly with the body and hood.
 

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You definitely don't want to go too far and pop the adjuster ball out of its socket. Did you mark the height on the garage with the old units (or with another car)? The aftermarkets usu. have a different light scatter pattern than OEMs, and it may not be a height issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Hirnbeiss. No, I did not mark the old lights, as they were clearly not working well. In fact, When I took them out and inspected them, the height adjustment on both of them is broken. The adjustment wheel that sits on the end of the rod that turns and movs the mechanism inside were both missing. I guess you can't expect too much of a cheap plastic piece after 15 years ... So the lights in the old headlights were essentially loose and tilted all the way down. Together with the yellow lenses, that explains exactly why I felt I had a couple of candles as headlights. The new ones project both more light, and I see a pattern on my garage door, which looks roughly like a check mark (something like this : __/) I think the horizontal part is the cutoff so that you are not blinding on-coming traffic, and the inclined part is where the cutoff is removed to get more light on the side of the road (pedestrians, signs, etc.). The problem is that I see the same pattern about 30-40 feet ahead of me on the road surface (in the highest position), and not much light further ahead. Normally I would think that the cutoff should be somewhere where the horizon is, perhaps a bit lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Tomvw. That's what I thought, but how exactly are they used? They have an outer diameter of (I guess) 3/4 inch, and are "hollow" with a hole of maybe 1/2". Then there is a screw that goes through the hole with maybe 1/8" diameter, that connect to a nut below and a washer on top. So, it is possible to move the screws up or down (which one would be the position to get the highest beam position?), and there is plenty of "wiggle room" inside of the screw. How do I use these screw combinations to find a good position?
 

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Those are not for aiming the lights.
Close the hood and check how well the lights are aligned to the body and hood, use those adjusters to better align if required.
Then adjust the beam aiming.
 

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Make sure you are turning the screw in the correct direction. I believe if you're doing it from the top screw it is CCW to raise the light. The screw turns the gear which actually then moves CW to pull on the top lamp housing.

Also, did your turn signals blink fast with the new units? If so, you may need to move one of the terminal wires to a different position on the bulb socket.
I have that problem with the fast blinking. What do you mean by moving one of the terminal wires to a different position on the bulb socket? Are you talking about the turn signal bulb?
 

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I have that problem with the fast blinking. What do you mean by moving one of the terminal wires to a different position on the bulb socket? Are you talking about the turn signal bulb?
Yes. If you remove the blinker bulb holder and look into the socket, you will see the two copper terminals that contact the bulb. Easier when the headlight is removed form the car, of course. If you look even closer, you will see markings in the plastic where one of the terminals could go (apparently different configurations for US vs rest-of-world cars). I think it's the top terminal - slide it off and into the vacant position.
 

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I have that problem with the fast blinking. What do you mean by moving one of the terminal wires to a different position on the bulb socket? Are you talking about the turn signal bulb?
Fast blinking usually indicates (pun!) that one of the turn signal bulbs is not operating, perhaps because the bulb has failed, perhaps because something has interrupted the current flow to or from the bulb. Hirnbeiss' suggestion to move the electrical connector assumes that you too have changed a light assembly, and that a difference in the new assembly has interrupted the current flow to the bulb.

If you haven't changed a light assembly, then the chances are good that it's a failed bulb. Replace the turn signal bulb that isn't blinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Those are not for aiming the lights.
Close the hood and check how well the lights are aligned to the body and hood, use those adjusters to better align if required.
Then adjust the beam aiming.
Ok, but that leaves me at my original question: why can't I adjust the lights sufficiently? Looking at the lights from the outside, they seem to be where they are supposed to be. I guess I have to bite the bullet and remove them again to see if anything is obstructing the movement...
 

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I would try to measure more accurately before assuming they are too low. They should shine a bit below headlight height at 25 feet away, so they don't blind oncoming drivers. My cheap aftermarkets have a different pattern than OEM, and I suspected they were too low also, but they pass the test and are sufficient for nighttime visibility.
 

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Yes. If you remove the blinker bulb holder and look into the socket, you will see the two copper terminals that contact the bulb. Easier when the headlight is removed form the car, of course. If you look even closer, you will see markings in the plastic where one of the terminals could go (apparently different configurations for US vs rest-of-world cars). I think it's the top terminal - slide it off and into the vacant position.
Thanks Hirnbeiss, I will take a look
 

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Fast blinking usually indicates (pun!) that one of the turn signal bulbs is not operating, perhaps because the bulb has failed, perhaps because something has interrupted the current flow to or from the bulb. Hirnbeiss' suggestion to move the electrical connector assumes that you too have changed a light assembly, and that a difference in the new assembly has interrupted the current flow to the bulb.

If you haven't changed a light assembly, then the chances are good that it's a failed bulb. Replace the turn signal bulb that isn't blinking.
I replaced both headlights but since then the problem with the fast blinking started.I Thanks for the advice.
 

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So, I have an old 2002 Passat Wagon, which has been a rock-steady workhorse. I never was satisfied with the lights, and I finally decided to get new headlights, as the lenses were yellow, and the height adjustment was broken and the lights just illuminated the ground in front of the car.

I bought a set of new lights (Ebay), and put them in yesterday. Putting them in was a bit more work than I had anticipated, but not too bad. When it was dark, I took the car for a spin, and there is much more light than I was used to. I then started to adjust the lights, but for some reason I cannot adjust them high enough. I don't want to break that flimsy plastic adjustment wheel, so rather than trying to force it, I decided to check if anybody here has had the same problem, and found a way to correct that.

Also, can someone tell me what the relatively large white plastic part with 3 "fins" is? It says "lock" on it, and it turns perhaps a quarter turn and feels like it is locking something. But what? I tried the adjustment "locked " and "unlocked". Made no difference. Here is apicture I copied from the web. I am talking about the white part that the arrow at "city light" is pointing to.
View attachment 81386

Thanks.

Mike
Hey Mike, have had all sorts of problems adjusting my new light, especially the high beam. I have spent 4 months trying to adjust them. I kept looking though, Watched 20 videos and I never saw the same light, but,,,,,,,,finally I saw something, This nice guy showed us retards that there are 5 ways to adjust the lights. 2 of the adjustment bolts are on top of the light, the bolts have 2 jobs, hold the light and also adjust the beam up and down. Keep watching these vids until you see what I saw, or hopefully you can find what 2 bolts I am talking about. The 2 bolts that I am talking about are under a flat piece of metal and in between the flat piece of metal there are the wierd looking adjustable 6 sided nuts. and that is what you adjust to bring your lights up. Good luck Ken
 
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