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Hawkeye Headlight Levelling

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Old 12 January 2012, 02:19 PM   #1
Beastie
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Talking Hawkeye Headlight Levelling

My headlight beams are currently coming closer to the car as i drive. They end up shining immediately in front of the front bumper which aint any good on the dark roads around Scotland.
I checked the linkages, cleaned the connecting plugs and rotated the sensor shafts, but its still happening.
There is no fault indicated on dash.
My suspicion is that there is water in one of the sensors, that is moving when i drive the car and causing the problem.I guess it is a resistive bridge set up with two potentiometers?

The car will go in for service beginning of April, what can i do in the meantime?

The headlights align properly on first start, if i then unplug the sensors will this keep them from dropping? is one sensor enough to work the system? as i believe rear sensor recently replaced. I could unplug front and see what happens? The cars load is only driver and so is constant, apart from fuel.

Any advice gratefully received Thanks
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Old 12 January 2012, 02:46 PM   #2
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How difficult is it to get the sensor mechanisms off and clean/dry them?
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Old 12 January 2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Alcazar
The units are sealed. I am only assuming some water may have got in. Alternately there may be an earth fault somewhere in the system. However, as the fault develops when the car is moving i guess its water.
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Old 12 January 2012, 05:06 PM   #4
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Mines started doing the same but my headlight warning light came on but went back off and hasn't been back on since. My lights still shine at the floor though. So if anyone has a clue without going to the dealer would be very helpful. Cheers
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Old 12 January 2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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Either that, or one of the units is faulty?
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Old 12 January 2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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Mine started to the same this week too. I am waiting till the weekend to get a look at the sensors, so intrested in the out come of this thread.

Mine are also ok on start up but they rise about 2 inches on back of garage wall, but by the time I drive a few miles they have dropped. The car is not long serviced 50k cambelt, tensioner so not looking to spend any more this month.
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Old 13 January 2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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Ok we have to assume that this is a sensor fault. For those with the light on i would suggest that this could be a bad connection at one of the connectors.I think this or a sensor failure is the only thing that will activate the warning light.

Basically what the two sensors do, is the same as the headlight adjustment scroll switch normally in the cabin.Only difference is it uses the suspension position for control.

Today i switched on the lights and they aligned in normal position. I then have pulled the plug on the front sensor. I believe that this should disable the whole system and the lights will remain constantly in the position they are now. The warning light has come on as a consequence of this. I will test tonight and see if any control on the lights from the rear sensor but as i think they will be linked through a circuit i am not expecting any.
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Old 13 January 2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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Obviously this will now be an mot failure and will need to be fixed before next MOT.
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Old 17 January 2012, 02:31 AM   #9
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So disconnected the front sensor. The headlights no longer self levelled and the warning light was on the dash. This seemed succesful and the system seemed disabled.

I say seemed, as about 2 days later the headlights again dropped to just below front bumper. I would say that there may be a possible short circuit type fault, whether this is in the rear sensor or the wiring is unknown.

The car will now be booked in to get this fixed, once i find out i will post result. It certainly cannot be used at night the way it is.
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Old 17 January 2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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Never got a chance to look at mine yet so will be curious to hear how you get on. Thought japenease electrics were failproof.
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Old 17 January 2012, 01:48 PM   #11
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AFAIK, self-levelling systems typically consist of 1x sensor at each corner of the car which are all connected to some kind of central brain, and this in turn has connections going out to each headlamp unit. If any one of the sensors or the brain go wrong, it's anyone's guess exactly how the overall system will behave.
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Old 17 January 2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjmd View Post
AFAIK, self-levelling systems typically consist of 1x sensor at each corner of the car which are all connected to some kind of central brain, and this in turn has connections going out to each headlamp unit. If any one of the sensors or the brain go wrong, it's anyone's guess exactly how the overall system will behave.
Yes, it could be the brain, but i really dont think the system is that complex on Subaru.

Its going in on 20th so we should know about 1 day later.

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Old 19 January 2012, 09:49 PM   #13
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Ok, as expected this is a known fault.
[7:11:27 AM] Wife: yes derek said that the leveling unit mulfuctioning
[7:11:35 AM] Me: ah
[7:11:40 AM] Wife: ordered new one
[7:11:51 AM] Wife: he didnt say anything about sensor
[7:11:56 AM] Me: is that the brain?
[7:12:19 AM] Wife: i suppose so and its in the back of the car
[7:12:26 AM] Me: oh
[7:12:44 AM] Me: underneath?
[7:12:49 AM] Wife: it shouldnt take long apparently, we will see
[7:12:54 AM] Me: ok
[7:12:59 AM] Wife: i think so
[7:13:29 AM] Me: ok that will be good
[7:13:30 AM] Wife: it thinks there are kids sitting at the back
[7:13:49 AM] Me: oh?
[7:14:23 AM] Wife: thats why it lowers the headlights
[7:14:51 AM] Wife: (nerd)
[7:14:55 AM] Me: its a bit excessive though
[7:15:12 AM] Me: doesnt it like kids
[7:15:19 AM] Me: wants to kill them

Like my "style"
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Old 20 January 2012, 12:56 AM   #14
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What is it, rear sensor or is there a controller at the rear ? and how much do the stealers want for the part ?. Fed up driving with main beam on.
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Old 20 January 2012, 04:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daviee View Post
What is it, rear sensor or is there a controller at the rear ? and how much do the stealers want for the part ?. Fed up driving with main beam on.
Cars going in 20th. Will let you know how much it cost once i know. We are told its the controller which is somewhere at the rear. Its not the sensors.


Last edited by Beastie; 20 January 2012 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 21 January 2012, 08:38 AM   #16
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Well chaps i hope you are sitting down:

It turned out that both level sensors had water in them. This required their replacement. The units are vulnerable where they are situated under the car and eventually they will get water in them.

Now my car has only done 24000 miles and sits in the garage most of the time.

Now the sitting down bit:

The sensors are 240 GBP each. We got 86 GBP discount , not sure why, but total price for the two sensors and fitting including vat was 540 GBP.

That is what a set of snow tyres cost, i am totally stunned.

Anyway there it is.
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Old 21 January 2012, 12:15 PM   #17
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Ridiculous price.

So what are Subaru or IM doing about weatherproofing the sensors?
Apart from coining it, that is?
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Old 21 January 2012, 07:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcazar View Post
Ridiculous price.

So what are Subaru or IM doing about weatherproofing the sensors?
Apart from coining it, that is?
It would seem that the design of the snsors has not changed. Unfortunately my wife didnt get one of the old ones as i could have maybe sourced an alternative.

The garage put vaseline on as a cure. Where exactly i dont know. However, either the water would get in at the plug or at the shaft.
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Old 21 January 2012, 09:05 PM   #19
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540 !!!
That seems like an awful lot of money for a couple of sensors .
I'm not surprised they got the Vaseline out !
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Old 21 January 2012, 10:06 PM   #20
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After paying 174 + vat for a cambelt tensioner I am not surprised but ho hum at 900 a pop for the head lights, cheap at half the price
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Old 22 January 2012, 06:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastie View Post
It would seem that the design of the snsors has not changed. Unfortunately my wife didnt get one of the old ones as i could have maybe sourced an alternative.

The garage put vaseline on as a cure. Where exactly i dont know. However, either the water would get in at the plug or at the shaft.
Give them a ring and say you want BOTH sensors. DO NOT accept any guff anbout them having "gone".

Then get them home and see if a) there was any way YOU could have waterproofed them, and b) if anyone else has them.

I VERY much doubt they are made by Subaru.
Bosch, Nismo, Denso, yes, but NOT Subaru
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Old 22 January 2012, 08:12 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby Dan View Post
540 !!!
That seems like an awful lot of money for a couple of sensors .
I'm not surprised they got the Vaseline out !
Clearly there wasnt enough vaseline before, because my a#rse is sore with that bill
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Old 23 January 2012, 04:13 PM   #23
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Mine are doing the same thing but after I skoosh the little arms attached to the suspension with WD40 they start working again - for a while. I reckon all the salt/grit on the roads is seizing up the little arms so the sensor thinks the car is squatting with the rear suspension lower than the front and the lights point down, or else it just decides there is no changing information and defaults to putting the lights at the lowest position.

I would have thought that if it can be temporarily cured with WD40 then it's not the sensors at fault but the arms need stripping and lubricating properly, at least that should be checked first before assuming that the sensors need replaced!

Stuart
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Old 23 January 2012, 06:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weatherman View Post

I would have thought that if it can be temporarily cured with WD40 then it's not the sensors at fault but the arms need stripping and lubricating properly, at least that should be checked first before assuming that the sensors need replaced!

Stuart
Aye, you'd think so but, and I quote from the handbook of modern car repair:

"If a part should be suspect in it's working, it should be removed and replaced with a working part. No effort should be made to repair the actual defective part."
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Old 24 January 2012, 02:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
Mine are doing the same thing but after I skoosh the little arms attached to the suspension with WD40 they start working again - for a while. I reckon all the salt/grit on the roads is seizing up the little arms so the sensor thinks the car is squatting with the rear suspension lower than the front and the lights point down, or else it just decides there is no changing information and defaults to putting the lights at the lowest position.

I would have thought that if it can be temporarily cured with WD40 then it's not the sensors at fault but the arms need stripping and lubricating properly, at least that should be checked first before assuming that the sensors need replaced!

Stuart
I checked everything underneath the car myself. Nothing was seized. I took the arms off and refitted them. The only way the lights could have moved after disconnecting one sensor was by electrical fault (water in remaining sensor) or by the control circuit monitor.

The vaseline mentioned is to waterproof the sensor not to lubricate it.
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Old 24 January 2012, 02:16 AM   #26
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Yeh I was really meaning my own symptoms and others who have posted in earlier threads, to check the arms before settling on the sensors themselves. I can't get the arms to move at the moment. I suppose I will try and properly loosen the arms but knowing me I'll either break something or not know how to put it back together!

The price for a couple of simple components is outrageous, I remember when I started driving that you could find exchange engines for that!

Stuart
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Old 24 January 2012, 06:20 AM   #27
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Yeh I was really meaning my own symptoms and others who have posted in earlier threads, to check the arms before settling on the sensors themselves. I can't get the arms to move at the moment. I suppose I will try and properly loosen the arms but knowing me I'll either break something or not know how to put it back together!

The price for a couple of simple components is outrageous, I remember when I started driving that you could find exchange engines for that!

Stuart
I am going to write Subaru UK and ask for assistance with the bill. Its a bit much to accept. They should have left a twiddly **** in the cabin instead.
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Old 08 February 2012, 06:09 AM   #28
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Quote:
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What is it, rear sensor or is there a controller at the rear ? and how much do the stealers want for the part ?. Fed up driving with main beam on.
front sensor or rear sensor i need ,may be there an fault somewhere in the system.rear view
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Old 14 March 2012, 09:29 PM   #29
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feel physically sick after reading this!

My levelling light comes on for ages before dissapearing and there is no way i can afford that! got a 50k service to fork out as it is! that price is mental. luckily my lights seem to be pointing ok although i have no idea how it should look but will soon find out in november when its MOT time
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Old 15 March 2012, 06:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by chewystickypeanut View Post
feel physically sick after reading this!

My levelling light comes on for ages before dissapearing and there is no way i can afford that! got a 50k service to fork out as it is! that price is mental. luckily my lights seem to be pointing ok although i have no idea how it should look but will soon find out in november when its MOT time
Its more likely that you have a dirty plug or a bad connection at one of the sensors. If water is in the sensor the lights will behave erratically.

I have had a reply from Subaru UK but havent read it yet. My wife says that they say the cost was due to the fact the brackets were renewed as well. I am hoping we may get to the point we have a part number for the sensor part only which may make it a cheaper repair.
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