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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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.

a/
Open the bonnet. Guess you know how that goes?

b/
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.

c/
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)

d/
Now open up the little box using a small screw driver to click away the little tabs. (pic 4)

THE PROBLEM
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.

3/
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.

e/
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.

d/
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.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
£55 on ebay
1/ Not genuine
2/ £55 !!!
3/ It's MUCH quicker to fix it than to change the headlight
4/ £55 = probably without the adjuster motor
5/ If you have the black GTA / Ti headlights these are less easy to find on eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Must say my adjuster motor was 100% clean! Both of them really because I checked both. :) And I've now done 180.000 kilometers. Anyhow - might also be a good idea then to clean it out completely, let it dry and waterseal it. :)

Whatever - I'm just happy I saved myself a good deal of money - and I'm sure some others will too. :)
 

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1/ Not genuine
Right. A lot of replica lights available. Originals are Automotive lightinig. I bought cheap GTA replicas, made by TYC. The light pattern is horrible and one reflector is not height adjustable as it cant move freely inside the housing. The motor works, just cant moove the seized reflector inside.
Its worth to pay the original headlights from Alfa.
 

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Had a go at fixing mine, got on fine untill I went to put it back on and broke the skoke that the linkage for the white rod goes into. It doesn't make the buzzing noise anymore at least thats something but still doesn't adjust the headlight beam. Not worried about it enough to buy a headlight and motor though,
Cheers for the tip
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Headlight motor will be fine now, too bad you broke off the linkage in the headlamp - it's hard to get to and fix it with glue / heat / couple of screws... :(
 

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thanks kayjey i bought a new motor but just having problems getting a screwdriver or ratchet small enough to fit in the restricted space
 

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i took the motor out yesterday and cleaned properly.
before i fitted it back in, i plugged the power connector back in and switched on the headlights, the motor started working (moving to the position that was set in the panel). problem is now it's too short so i can't push the rod back in place, and no matter how i tilt the lights the motor won't move again...
 

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Thanks So much!!

This advice just saved me roughly 3000 Malaysian Ringgit. My service centre said the noise was coming from the selespeed pump and i needed to replace it as it is leaking and making the noise. As i drive around with my lights on all the time I thought hey this could be what is making the noise in my car! A quick dash to the carpark an indeed it was coming from the headlight. A yank on the connector on the back of the motor and now the noise is gone! Who cares about adjusting headlights anyway! I know it doesn't solve my leaking pump but I was planning to sell the car anyway. It would have been hard to sell with the blaring noise coming from the light. The leak I can hide!

Thanks again
 

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Thanks for the advice, used this guide to give me confidence to fix my N/S motor. The motor PCB can be easily removed without breaking the pins, there are a couple of black legs that need holding in before the board slips out.

All working fine now :)

For the record, the large white cog should be rotated clockwise to retract the pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Since then I had another motor burn out, so bought 4 news one. Used one of them, the others are for sale. If anyone's interested, PM me.
 

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Great how to.

Thanks, I have stopped the buzzing but I think the unit is passed its best as there are signs of corrosion.
 

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Mine did this so just took the motors out. Never really carry any weight in the boot so hasn't caused an issue in nearly three years. As for new MOT rules you only need a working adjuster if HID's are fitted.
 
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