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'88 Highline - headlight level system

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Location: Leeds

'88 Highline - headlight level system

Post by plip1953 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:57 am

With apologies if this has been covered numerous time before. And also apologies for the very long pre-amble!

I bought my car in 1992. It hadn't been especially well looked after in it's first 4 years of life, but it's most certainly been pampered ever since!

Soon after I bought the car I approached my local main dealer in Leeds (Scothall) and asked if they would be prepared to offer me a proper BMW Used Car Warranty. The Service Manager, a really great guy by the name of Kim Raw, explained that in theory at least it would require them to give it a thorough inspection, but after just a cursory glance at the car he presented me with the relevant Used Care Warranty paperwork, took some money off me, and that was the warranty all sorted!

Shortly after that I took the car to Scothall for a routine service. At pickup, Kim dealt with me personally and said they'd found a few things that weren't quite as they should be and suggested I leave it a month or so and then come back and they'd do them under warranty. One of the items was partial operation only of the headlight levelling system.

I duly took the car back a month or so later and everything was fixed at no cost to me. And as far as the headlight levelling system was concerned Kim told me he'd had to put his Chief Mechanic call Sid on the job, because apparently only Sid knew how to fix this particular system!

At the time I didn't really pay too much attention to what Sid had done, nor actually tested that it was now working. But what I did notice is that he had replaced one of the two semi-transparent plastic tubes that runs along the top of the passenger side inner wing - because it was more of a greeny blue shade rather than the almost clear colour of the remaining original.

Since that time ie some 27 years later, I can't honestly say I've ever verified that it either then worked properly, worked for a while, or indeed whether it might still be working (it's not easy simply to nip out to the car and check now because of how I store it over winter). My suspicion is that mostly likely it isn't working, and I'm really bothered if that is the case. However, I'm still interested to know how the system works/worked and why I've seen elsewhere on here that the system has no serviceable parts (ie given that Sid apparently fixed mine). Is it essentially that the cockpit turn knob acts to force a fluid down the two pipes to plunger arrangement units connected directly to the dipped beam headlight units? And is it a factory sealed system, or, given that Sid fixed mine, something for which a main dealer had some kind of special re-pressurisation capability? And if the latter is true, does that mean that there's is in fact a way to bring these systems back to life?

1988 Highline 635 CSi

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