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Old 02-09-2014, 10:37 AM   #1
12secondscooby
 
Drives: 2009 yaris hatchback
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2009 Hatchback Headlight level adjustment

I am having an issue with not being able to aim the headlights on my 2009 Yaris 3 door. Here is what has transpired so far:

The D/S headlight bulb (9003) recently burned out on our 2009 3-door hatchback. Replacing that bulb was a pain, mainly because of the rubber boot being stuck to the old bulb. However, I was able to get the new bulb in. I can see that the 9003 bulb is fully seated in the housing and the retaining clip is properly located against the bulb and in the housing slots.

When I took the car for a test drive after replacing the headlight, I noticed that both headlights were aimed very low, with the driver side being significantly lower than the passenger side. The Yaris is my wife's car, therefore I do not drive it that much at night and am not sure if this is a new development or a problem which existed before.

I then tried to re-aim both headlights up. Page LI-102 has the instructions for a 2008 Hatchback, here:
http://www.microimageonline.com/down...s/Lighting.pdf

Other people on the forum have described the vertical adjuster as a "white phillips head screw". My 2009 does not have a screw like this. Apparently the 2009 models received redesigned headlights with different adjusters. Here are some crappy iphone pictures of the adjusters on my wife's car (they have been significantly mangled because they were frozen):



I moved both adjusters significantly in both directions and was not able to get the headlights aim to raise vertically.

So these are my questions:
Are the adjusters pictured the vertical adjustment on 2009-2011 hatchback headlights?
If not, where are the adjusters for vertical adjustment located?
If the pictured adjusters are the correct ones, which direction is up? Is it clockwise = down, counter-clockwise = up, as indicated in the 2008 service manual?
If I reach the end of the adjustment range, and the headlights are still too low, then what?

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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My 09 and a spare set of 09 headlight that I have both have the white circle which accepts a phillips to adjust it. It looks like yours has the adjustment mechanism there, but it uses a socket, rather than a phillips. Perhaps they are aftermarket replacement headlights?

As for why they are not making the bulb move, the round piece is a gear that drives that shaft that sticks out the back of that assembly. If it is not moving that shaft, then it may either be stripped, or just moved past the limit of grabbing the threads on the shaft. It might be best to pull one of the headlight to get a better look.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. They could be aftermarket replacements. The socket drives move the shaft you are talking about, but I can try adjusting further. Does clockwise = down relationship hold true for the driven shaft on your lights? So as that shaft threads into the headlight, the lights are adjusted down...?
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12secondscooby View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. They could be aftermarket replacements. The socket drives move the shaft you are talking about, but I can try adjusting further. Does clockwise = down relationship hold true for the driven shaft on your lights? So as that shaft threads into the headlight, the lights are adjusted down...?
Correct. That's how mine move.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:07 AM   #5
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CTScott thanks again for your help. This job has developed into a debacle over the past week. It turns out they are aftermarket replacements from when my wife had an accident. Here is how things have played out to this point:

My next step was to actually removed the adjuster body from the headlight body (1/4 turn and it pops out). When I did that, it became clear that the only way the adjuster could aim the headlight reflector was if they pushed up against the back of the headlight reflector housing (i.e. threading the rod into the adjuster housing would push the end of that rod against the back of the headlight reflector, causing the headlight to aim up). However, the threaded rod in of the adjuster bottomed in the adjuster housing before making contact with the headlight housing.

CTScott, if I could bother you for a bit more insight, how does this compare with the functionality of Yaris headlights that you have seen? Do these aftermarket headlights function differently?

My wife brought the car back to the shop that did the repair this morning. They told her that the headlights were aimed appropriately (even though they intersect with the ground ~ 30 feet in front of the car). I will be calling the insurance company that covered the work tonight and wanted to get the opinion of some people more experienced with Yaris headlights.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
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I realize pics would be helpful, sorry I haven't taken more. I will try to post some more pics tonight.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12secondscooby View Post
CTScott thanks again for your help. This job has developed into a debacle over the past week. It turns out they are aftermarket replacements from when my wife had an accident. Here is how things have played out to this point:

My next step was to actually removed the adjuster body from the headlight body (1/4 turn and it pops out). When I did that, it became clear that the only way the adjuster could aim the headlight reflector was if they pushed up against the back of the headlight reflector housing (i.e. threading the rod into the adjuster housing would push the end of that rod against the back of the headlight reflector, causing the headlight to aim up). However, the threaded rod in of the adjuster bottomed in the adjuster housing before making contact with the headlight housing.

CTScott, if I could bother you for a bit more insight, how does this compare with the functionality of Yaris headlights that you have seen? Do these aftermarket headlights function differently?

My wife brought the car back to the shop that did the repair this morning. They told her that the headlights were aimed appropriately (even though they intersect with the ground ~ 30 feet in front of the car). I will be calling the insurance company that covered the work tonight and wanted to get the opinion of some people more experienced with Yaris headlights.


Looking at an OEM 09 set that I have sitting here, they work the same way (but actually work). The adjuster shaft has a half ball on the end of it with a groove behind the ball. That half ball end rides in a slot in the back of the reflector assembly. If you remove the adjuster and push the device that the shaft mates with the reflector pivots upwards. When I put the adjuster back in and crank it clockwise I see the reflector lift the same way. The OEM headlight has about 1" of shaft travel, which allows significant adjustment of the reflector.

If you can find a brand name on your replacements, post it, as it sounds like that is a brand we should all avoid.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:18 AM   #8
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That makes a lot of sense, thanks! I think the slot where the half-ball/groove is meant to ride may be broken or missing in both of these aftermarket headlights. Either that, or the half-ball/groove is not appropriately locating in the slot. I will have another look tonight and try to get a brand name off the lights. On Ebay, I was able to find aftermarket Yaris headlights with adjusters that match mine (if you look closely, you can see they have the socket-style adjusters rather than the phillips head style):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Pair-Set...item35d22031e5

So, I have to identify whether the slot you refer to is broken/missing, or if the adjuster ball-end is just failing to locate it. I will post my findings.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:14 PM   #9
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Update again with some more pics. The threaded adjuster rods are 100% bottomed out in their housings and still barely contacting the reflector. I included pics below of: (1) the adjuster removed from the headlight housing and (2) the beam pattern. It seems like something is not right with the reflector mounting. If you remove the adjuster and press against the back of the reflector housing it doesn't really tilt up. The reflector just kind of pushes toward the front lens of the headlight.

There weren't any brand names that were visible (in the dark at least). My insurance company is telling me that the beam pattern seen below is acceptable. As you can see, the low-beam light ends about 30 feet in front of the car.



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Old 02-17-2014, 09:44 PM   #10
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The adjuster looks to be the same length as the OEM one, but the lack of proper movement of the reflector definitely explains your issue. Unfortunately to check them out you would have to pull the lens off (which means heating them in the oven to soften the adhesive).
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:54 PM   #11
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So, progressive insurance is denying my warranty claim, saying the headlights must have been tampered with to fail. I will be baking the headlights to determine what failed in the headlight assembly.
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