147 how to: fix the headlamp adjuster when it just keeps buzzing.
Do you hear a buzzing noise coming from one of the front wings? When you open the bonnet your find out it's coming from the headlamp(s)? Then you've got a problem with the headlamp height adjuster. Here's how to fix it. Make sure to go through this step by step and study the pictures closely.
Open the bonnet. Guess you know how that goes?
Open the headlamp back-cover: just pull the metal clips to the side and pull away the plastic. (pic 1) You'll see a small black box: the adjuster. (pic 2) Undo the screws (they're quite long but with a fairly short thread, so don't be afraid to lose them. You can use a ratchet or a short screwdriver because it's tight in there.
Once unscrewed, disconnect the connector: just pull the wires. Be careful when you unhook the black unit from the linkage - point the rod as much down as possible and unhook it first before pulling it out. (pic 3)
Now open up the little box using a small screw driver to click away the little tabs. (pic 4)
To describe the problem (pic 5): When the motor turns the rod will be screwed into / out of the housing, moving the reflector in the headlight unit. In our case the little peg will have gone outside the clip of the rod. So the sensor will have kept the motor spinning and it screwed out the rod entirely. In the picture you see how it SHOULD be, with the little peg inside the white clip.
WAYS TO FIX THE PROBLEM
There are two (well... three) ways to 'fix' our problem ourselves. One is to hook up the motor to a small battery (take 1.5 or 3 volts to be safe) and make it turn, so the gear is turned regardless of the sensor position. Or you could take out the electronics and turn the gears manually so the rod is screwed back inside the casing (take some time, it's very slow!). Then, you just push the sensor peg back inside the rod.
(I actually used #3: a 'brute force' way, which is also described below)
1/ Slide out the electronics
The white rod that is sticking out - linkage - will be left inside. There's two places at the back of the box that have little tabs that keep the electronics inside (hooking to the small print plate): one in the corner where the printplate is visible and one in the center where the printplate is visible. Try to stick a small screwdriver to keep away the tabs, while using another to push on the printplate. Once it's moved out a little bit you might have to pull away the tab on the side of the motor a bit (outside cover), and you can use a very small screwdriver to stick in the holes of the printplate and pull it out further. Don't be afraid to use a moderate amount of force.
You'll end up with the two covers (the big one still holding the white linkage rod), the electro (including motor) and a gear.
2/ Getting the rod out
Manually turn the white gear (using yet again a tiny screwdriver) until it's inside the box again (halve a centimeter). Or, as I did: put the black box on the ground, with the rod pointing up. hit the rod with a hammer. 4 plastic bits ('thingies') will break off but apart from a little bit of play in the rod position, this has no adverse effect because the white gearing is kept in place by the printplate.
Now, put everything back inside how it should be. I chose to actually glue to peg inside the white clipping to make sure it won't happen again. (pic 6 and pic 5) Just put the thing back together.
Back to the car then. First connect the connector again on the adjuster. It might buzz for a few seconds to match the sensor position to the chosen headlight height. (It will also buzz if you've used the hammer method and touch the rod.) Then it's on to the linkage. This might prove difficult / near impossible. But there's a trick: first, set the headlamp height adjustment (next to the steering column) on position '0' (see dashboard when the headlamps are ON). The rod will come out as far as the car wants it to go. In my case, this was still a bit short, so what I did was use my ratchet to pull the part of the linkage inside the headlamp back. You could use a bit of rope / wire too. Using your other hand, hook in the adjuster.
Screws back in, and you're finished! Don't forget the headlight back-plate!
It might be wise now to just pass by your garage to adjust the height of the headlamps again. Or face a wall with the headlights on and use the adjuster on the back of the headlamps to put them to the correct vertical position.
NOTE: those adjusters knobs can work loose (getting lost in the engine bay), and when you 'adjust' too much in one way they can be impossible to fit back in, so make sure you're using the correct (vertical) adjuster knob (left headlamp: the one most to the middle of the car) and be careful. (I found out the hard way and was only lucky that some brute force made them go in enough to be able to adjust back.)
Last edited by Kayjey; 30-09-09 at 23:14.