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      06-11-2019, 09:49 AM   #1
Solaris5
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Another Adaptive Headlight Failure

2011 135i with adaptive headlights. I have the adaptive headlight failure warning on the dash. BMW dealer wants $2000 to replace headlight and code. Just trying to find out what my options are;

1. Go with dealer quote and replace.
2. Just switch lights on manually and don't use the auto feature.
3. Code out the adaptive headlight feature.
4. Replace adaptive headlights with non adaptive and code out.

I have seen other threads on this and have been scouring Google, but not come up with a best plan of action yet.

Has anyone had this problem and how did you resolve it to your satisfaction?

FYI - FRM has already been replaced, dealer has diagnosed it has headlight replacement and ALC module replacement.
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      06-11-2019, 12:30 PM   #2
christofis135i
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Hopefully I can shed some light on this subject. I had the same issue with my 11' 135i about 3 months ago and had at least 4 trips to the dealership in 2 weeks.

Option 1: Never go with what a dealer charges. (Break My Wallet) is only true if taken to a dealer for PARTS, labor is different.

Option 2: I did this for a week and the stupid warning light kept popping up with that dinging noise and it drove me crazy. Also the adjust feature can sometimes leave your headlights in a weird position, still pointing straight but it looks off.

Option 3: Did not think about this, could be a good idea but will always know in the back of your head that they don't work.

Option 4: As tricky as BMWs are with electrical systems I wouldn't go this route because you have no idea what other codes could be thrown for xenon or whatever.

I ended up buying replacement VALEO headlights. VALEO is the original manufacturer of BMW e8x headlights. Only difference is no BMW logo stamped onto them. Also instead of $1000 for one headlight you can find them from $499-$599 per headlight.

Search these part numbers with "BMW" before or after and you'll be able to find what you're looking for.
left: 63127164931
right: 63127164932

I also needed to purchase a 63117180050 control unit for both sides, the headlights come with the electronics box but it does need to be coded. I believe the headlights come with the xenon bulb as well.

I had my dealer insist that I don't buy from a dealer, lol. They were able to install them and code them for me for free. (They messed up my car previously which is why it was free.) If you can find a reputable BMW shop that has the right tools to code them Id go there if the price and labor is right.

While your add it, like me, you should replace your DRLs(Halos). The stock headlights have that dumb amber color. www.luxangeleyes.com offers a great set! I got the color adjustable ones and leave them at around 7,800K and they are so bright If i unlock my car at night people have to cover their eyes lol.

Hope this helps man, I had a huge headache dealing with it myself and didn't find any threads on it either. If you have any more questions let me know!
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      06-11-2019, 02:27 PM   #3
Solaris5
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Thanks for the detailed response. I think I am going to do it the same way you did. The control box, did you buy OEM or an aftermarket one, I see there is a huge difference in prices. Aftermarket are about $30 - $40 each from a quick prelim search.
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      06-11-2019, 03:37 PM   #4
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I replaced the headlight bulb for one that failed over the weekend. The error code only shows up win the lights come on. The new bulb (phillips DS1(?)) seems to work perfectly. How do I get rid of the error warning?
Thanks!
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      06-12-2019, 07:54 PM   #5
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I've replaced both headlights after an accident and it's a relatively simple job if you have tools and patience. The control box is also prone to moisture and can corrode inside and cause the error. I've also replaced the control box in one and no recoding was required.
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      06-13-2019, 01:11 PM   #6
Solaris5
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Still haven't got the car back from the dealer yet. I will update once we decide what to do, I'm leaning towards replacing both headlights and control boxes away from the dealer. It has been a little frustrating working with the dealer, although I can't entirely blame them for all the problems.
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      06-13-2019, 03:30 PM   #7
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Try replacing just the control boxes first, as those are likely the problem. I was able to replace my driver's side ALC box myself in a couple of hours after it failed from water getting in.
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      06-13-2019, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerAg View Post
Try replacing just the control boxes first, as those are likely the problem. I was able to replace my driver's side ALC box myself in a couple of hours after it failed from water getting in.
I had that done maybe 6 months ago but it has now failed again. could be because I used an eBay part rather than from a more reputable place. We are trying to find out from the dealer why they think the headlight needs replacing and not just the control box. In fairness they are working with us after a bit of confusion in the first place, they are just taking their time!
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      06-13-2019, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaris5 View Post
Thanks for the detailed response. I think I am going to do it the same way you did. The control box, did you buy OEM or an aftermarket one, I see there is a huge difference in prices. Aftermarket are about $30 - $40 each from a quick prelim search.
I purchased OEM from the manufacturer which is that number I wrote out. Search that then Bmw, should give you the right one.

Totally forgot the reason I switched my headlights was because my DRL connector blew up some how.

Either way, I'd try replacing the control box first before spending $600 on a headlight. Seems like the eBay part was eBay quality lol. Try the part number I gave you. New headlights do look really really good tho.
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      06-23-2019, 11:04 PM   #10
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Dealer recommended to replace my passenger full headlight assembly and control module 3 years ago. Took it to my mechanic and he said to leave it until it completely stops working. Headlight works fine, pointed in right direction but no longer adaptive. I get the dash warning light but have gotten used to it.

Wondering if anyone has had any luck finding a used/salvage headlight assembly?
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      10-12-2020, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fast1eddy View Post
I've replaced both headlights after an accident and it's a relatively simple job if you have tools and patience. The control box is also prone to moisture and can corrode inside and cause the error. I've also replaced the control box in one and no recoding was required.
Hope you're still lurking in here.
I was reversed into and one of my headlights had an adaptive failure. Then a few weeks later I got moisture inside the lens and it was pretty much game over. So I bought a new light, well, used from a dealer on Ebay and when it arrived it was missing the whole control unit thats attached to the underside. I already have a replacement ballast but what else do I need ? I unscrewed the box that the ballast attaches to and there was another circuit board inside that has a plastic electrical socket soldered into it. Presumably this is the AHL control, correct ?
Question is, will any BMW AHL work or does it have to be for an E82/88 ?
I've found them for E90/92 etc , other than that I am waiting for one to ship from China.....having to take the bumper off again does not enthuse me....

Any ideas ?
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      10-13-2020, 10:32 PM   #12
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The control units I swapped were from another E82. According to realoem they are not the same as E90
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      11-15-2020, 11:54 PM   #13
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From my experience when my AHL went out due to water intrusion, I first replaced the AHL stepper motor (small cylinder like motor with a rod/ball) thinking that was my issue. Didn’t fix but at least it was new and only $45. Eventually I bit the bullet and bought just the control unit from eBay PN 63117180829. Cost on it was around 50(shipped from China) or around 75 from the US. Plugged the headlight back on, and the adaptive worked. No coding needed.
If you can take the headlights off, I’d recommend this before buying headlights.
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