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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited with Package 23 and popular package 5
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have issues with the "auto-leveling" headlights on the 2015 Outback 3.6R? They seem a little too low. There are no visible adjustments to them.
They are ok for city driving, but not good enough for rural roads. The car is empty except for me.
I have had about 9 close calls with deer.
I will be taking it in for an oil change and discussing this with the dealer. But has anyone else had problems with theirs?
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited - Twilight Blue
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Sorry - I haven't taken delivery of my 3.6R yet but I found with my other car which has projector-based auto leveling HIDs I have had to use high beams on rural roads because the cutoff on the HIDs is very drastic unlike halogens.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R with Eyesight
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Anyone have issues with the "auto-leveling" headlights on the 2015 Outback 3.6R? They seem a little too low. There are no visible adjustments to them.
They are ok for city driving, but not good enough for rural roads.
Perhaps there is an adjustment on the leveling sensor on the rear axle?
 

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Outback 3.6R 2015 - Lapis Blue
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96 Posts
auto-leveling?

Anyone have issues with the "auto-leveling" headlights on the 2015 Outback 3.6R? They seem a little too low. There are no visible adjustments to them.
They are ok for city driving, but not good enough for rural roads. The car is empty except for me.
I have had about 9 close calls with deer.
I will be taking it in for an oil change and discussing this with the dealer. But has anyone else had problems with theirs?
Wait, auto-leveling HID? Never seen any mention of it... Could you link to an official reference?
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,323 Posts

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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7,429 Posts
I would suppose the beams would be high unless incoming headlights are detected where height would be lower.
No. The headlight angle (with respect to its fixed mounting surface) is adjusted to compensate for vehicle loading F/R ... at least in theory.
 

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2017 Forester XT, 2015 3.6R Ltd (sold)
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This can be a problem for those moving from a non-HID car. Drivers are often unaccustomed to the rather distinct light/dark cutoff line that is a characteristic of HID lamps, and often mistakenly conclude that their lamps are aimed too low.

Try parking in a dark place about 25-30 feet away from a wall. You should see the distinct line between the illuminated area and the non-illuminated area. It is night and day, so to speak. The light/dark line should be just below the typical level of side view mirrors on other cars, or about 3-4 feet up the wall. Any lower and you won't see things far away at night. Any higher and your lights will glare other drivers, both those in front of you and behind you.

The aim must be fairly precise and is definitely affected by loads. Hence the self-leveling.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited with Package 23 and popular package 5
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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry - I haven't taken delivery of my 3.6R yet but I found with my other car which has projector-based auto leveling HIDs I have had to use high beams on rural roads because the cutoff on the HIDs is very drastic unlike halogens.
This works better without oncoming traffic. But it's a pain in the arse constantly switching them.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited with Package 23 and popular package 5
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Discussion Starter #10
This can be a problem for those moving from a non-HID car. Drivers are often unaccustomed to the rather distinct light/dark cutoff line that is a characteristic of HID lamps, and often mistakenly conclude that their lamps are aimed too low.

Try parking in a very dark place about 30-50 feet away from a wall. You should see a clear, distinct line between the illuminated area and the non-illuminated area. It is night and day, so to speak. The light/dark line should be at about 4-5 feet up the wall. Any higher and it will blind oncoming drivers. Hence the self-leveling.
Not a neophyte to them. They need a few degrees more to be good and not blind oncoming traffic.
I loaded 3 more people in and it got worse. So either the sensor needs a tweak or this crap needs to be disabled.
 

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2015 • 3.6R • BLACKOUT
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125 Posts
FYI, in the EU, by law, HIDs should have:
1) auto-leveling
2) built-in cleaning mechanism

AFAIK both are because of the very-high intensity of the beam which can cause total blindnes for oncoming drivers (worse than high beam halogen).
You are right, but it's irrelevant to say X light is brighter than Y light and therefore will blind someone worse. It doesn't really matter what the light source is... HID, LED, or halogen. Any headlight improperly aimed at eye level is blinding and dangerous for everyone. I've seen regular old low beam halogen headlights that are blinding because the owner failed to properly aim them.

Cheap eBay retrofit kits cause a ton of false information to be spread regarding HIDs. I've had HIDs in every vehicle I've owned since 2002. I've had both OEM setups and have handmade high-end projector retrofits. In all cases, aiming the headlamps is of critical importance. Do not trust the pre-set factory setting with something so important as night visibility. Even if it was set properly, so much can happen during transit. Take the time and measure your beam pattern on a garage door/wall and make the appropriate adjustments.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited with Package 23 and popular package 5
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Discussion Starter #14
Well I took it in to the dealer for it's first oil change, first 2015 they worked on, woot-woot, ha. They adjusted the headlights. Although, they went a little too far, lol. The cutoff is slightly above level, at least it isn't diving down. I haven't been flashed yet.
I haven't crawled under to see if there is a sensor to adjust, or wonder if this is software thing. There are no visible adjustment screws on the headlight buckets.
I will drive it until I get flashed all the time. I know it is nowhere near as bad as someone placing HID bulbs in a halogen housing.:p
 

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Well I took it in to the dealer for it's first oil change, first 2015 they worked on, woot-woot, ha. They adjusted the headlights. Although, they went a little too far, lol. The cutoff is slightly above level, at least it isn't diving down. I haven't been flashed yet.
I haven't crawled under to see if there is a sensor to adjust, or wonder if this is software thing. There are no visible adjustment screws on the headlight buckets.
I will drive it until I get flashed all the time. I know it is nowhere near as bad as someone placing HID bulbs in a halogen housing.:p
If you do crawl under there and take a look, would you mind snapping a pic or two of it? It should be attached to one of the rear axles. We're trying to find out (in another thread) if us 2.5 owners can retrofit the factory 3.6R HIDs into our cars and we're curious what the plug/harness looks like that plugs into the axle-mounted auto-leveling sensor. We're wondering if our cars even have the harness and only lack the sensor or if it's all missing. I'd look on my 2.5 Limited, but I'm still waiting for it!
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited with Package 23 and popular package 5
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Discussion Starter #16
I have been working 50-60 hours a week. I haven't had a chance or desire to crawl under the car. LOL
I have been flashed a couple of times, but it's worth it. Last weekend I saw 3 elk well before they were a hazard to me. And with passengers in the car, the headlights are perfect.:D
 

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2015 Limited
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have 2.5, which does not have auto-leveling but can say they appear to be low. only a few weeks with it, trying to see if i can get used to it rather than adjusting (and blinding other drivers)
 

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My 3.6r seems to be aimed a little high, have been flashed yet though... I see it more when going up hill, I would think that it would lower. It seems to just go higher and would be blinding when going up hill.... Not sure though.
 

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2015 Outback Limited
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There is an actuator within the real suspension, a box with an arm connected to the movable part of the suspension. Right now I can't find the picture of it within the 1227 service manual pdf. I know I have looked at the proceedure for testing the sensor etc., but have forgot where it was.
 

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Auto leveling is an ECE regulation requirement for low beam light sources that have a potential output intensity of >2000 lumen, that’s why an Outback with LED low beam has auto leveling. It’s not an SAE (USA) requirement but I guess they just keep it to reduce market differentiation. There will also be a manual adjustment screw on the Headlamp to manually adjust vertical aim (vertical only in the US, horizontal as well in ECE countries due to different low beam cutoff patterns)
Don’t mess with the auto leveling or axle sensors! Just use the manual adjustment, but there’s a regulation on how far that can be adjusted too. Trust me, I work in this space!
 
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