Headlight brightness/aim - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-28-2017, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Headlight brightness/aim

My headlights don't seem to give me much visible distance. I find I need to use the high beams nearly all the time - then they really light things up. I'm thinking the regular beam needs to be adjusted - I'd guess they only project about 40 yards down the road. Anyone else notice this? I'm hoping the dealer can adjust things so I don't have to use the high beams all the time.
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-28-2017, 08:10 AM
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My headlights don't seem to give me much visible distance. I find I need to use the high beams nearly all the time - then they really light things up. I'm thinking the regular beam needs to be adjusted - I'd guess they only project about 40 yards down the road. Anyone else notice this? I'm hoping the dealer can adjust things so I don't have to use the high beams all the time.
You've got the led headlights I presume? Yes, I noticed it and one of the Scandinavian guys added driving lights. If you have leds, you have auto levelling so there are two aspects to headlight aim. The first is at the headlight and the second is at the levelling switch which is attached to the right rear suspension arm. I guess you would need to check the levelling switch and only then adjust the lights. I can give you PDFs for both if you don't get anywhere at the dealer. I think it is probably correct as far as the factory settings are concerned.

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-29-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Anchorman. Actually I think I have halogens. I bought the car used, so I don't have the window sticker to check certain options, but after looking at the owner's manual & the car itself, I do see where the bulbs are in the headlights. I have the Touring version, so that may mean the halogens - right? When I turn the headlights on in my garage, it's a distinct dark line... like there is a curtain or card blocking the light. Any other thoughts? I love the car but the dim headlights and dim dash lights during the day are driving me nuts. At any rate, I need to contact the dealer to see if anything can be done to raise the range of the low beams.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-29-2017, 05:45 PM
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Interestingly, Consumer's Reports recently did a test on newer cars and found them very lacking in the headlight department. The worst ones are from Kia with the Sorento being especially called out on this issue. I did not find the Mazdas being mentioned in the study but I would be surprised if they could be much better than the rest of the 2016-17 crop of new cars.

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post #5 of 20 Old 06-29-2017, 11:52 PM
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Thanks for the reply Anchorman. Actually I think I have halogens. I bought the car used, so I don't have the window sticker to check certain options, but after looking at the owner's manual & the car itself, I do see where the bulbs are in the headlights. I have the Touring version, so that may mean the halogens - right? When I turn the headlights on in my garage, it's a distinct dark line... like there is a curtain or card blocking the light. Any other thoughts? I love the car but the dim headlights and dim dash lights during the day are driving me nuts. At any rate, I need to contact the dealer to see if anything can be done to raise the range of the low beams.
JUst looking through the note I think auto levelling still applies but I have attached the PDFs showing how the headlights and the levelling switch are adjusted. You can raise with a dealer and they might lift them a bit for you. There is a TSB for headlights too low but that is for leds. The ordinary bulbs operate in a little globe called projectors and it is normal to have a very flat top cut off.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Lights auto level sensor.pdf (283.5 KB, 314 views)
File Type: pdf Lights Headlight Aim.pdf (391.3 KB, 403 views)

Currently CX5 SportNav 2.2 diesel automatic and AWD.
Formerly CX3 SportNav 1.5 diesel automatic and AWD.

All advice is given in good spirit and taken entirely at the readers own risk. WORK SAFELY. ©2018 anchorman

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post #6 of 20 Old 07-06-2017, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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I have an appointment with the dealer in a few days and will address the headlight issue with them. Just another observation: While driving on my street at night (no streetlights) I turned from the headlights to the parking lights and back to headlights... hardly any difference in illumination. As I said, the brights are great so I guess I'll be driving with the brights on all the time unless I get flashed to dim them. I'll report back on whatever the dealer tells me.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-26-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I took my CX-3 in to the dealer and complained about the headlights. They told me they were on spec, however they raised the aim a bit. This certainly helped. At least I can see farther. Still not very bright, but the distance factor is improved. Any suggestions on up-grading the halogens or going to LED's?
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-27-2017, 01:04 PM
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IIHS rated the CX-3 LED headlamps well but really didn't like the halogens.

Headlight evaluation

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post #9 of 20 Old 07-27-2017, 09:16 PM
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I've yet to see a decent LED conversion. I saw plenty of hopeless attempts while in the US this summer but they just generate flare which dazzles oncoming traffic and are the wrong colour temperature. I personally wouldn't while there are really good quality bulb upgrades that will maintain the focus while improving the performance.

Currently CX5 SportNav 2.2 diesel automatic and AWD.
Formerly CX3 SportNav 1.5 diesel automatic and AWD.

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post #10 of 20 Old 07-28-2017, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by anchorman View Post
I've yet to see a decent LED conversion. I saw plenty of hopeless attempts while in the US this summer but they just generate flare which dazzles oncoming traffic and are the wrong colour temperature. I personally wouldn't while there are really good quality bulb upgrades that will maintain the focus while improving the performance.
There should't be any dazzle problems with projector headlights. Or are the halogens traditional reflector lights?

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