Headlights on 2006 Sonata

Page 1 of 2  
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have a problem with the headlights on my 06 Sonata GLS. Basically, it came from the factory with the headlights so
high, it blinded (verified by me driving towards it in another vehicle, while my wife was driving it) oncoming traffic. Anyway, first trip to the dealer resulted in headlights that were so low, they might as well not be on.
Next trip to the dealer the next day resulted in me lighting the trees better than the road. On advice from people here, I adjusted them down such that they lit the road, and didn't seem too high. I still got blinded from oncoming traffic flashing because they think I've left the high beams on. (Believe it or not, the NC DMV driver manual says to do that! http://tinyurl.com/a444l )
Off to the dealer I went again. They cranked them way down again. Anyone else have a similar issue theirs? It seems the choice is either lights too low to be usable, or blind the other guy which results in them blinding you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Nope, mine were fine out of the box. I haven't looked at mine, but assuming they adjust with a screwdriver or hex wrench like most other cars, just adjust them yourself. Turn them down one revolution of the screw at a time until you get them where you want them. This isn't rocket science.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

that. If I adjust them so they light the road for a reasonable distance - similar to my other vehicle, there's alot of light that projects well above the surface of the road that annoys oncoming traffic. It's almost like a second beam that's angled up. You can actually adjust them with your fingers on the adjustment screws. The dealer says they've had several complaints, but "these new headlights are just that way".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Find a level place to park ~10'in front of a wall with horizontal lines on it, such as bricks, concrete blocks or siding. Adjust your headlights so they both project to the same line on the wall. Test drive it. If necessary, come back to the same place and re-adjust the lights. This method allows you to adjust your lights in small increments and keep them both at the same height.
BTW, there are DOT specifications for the adjustment of the headlights and Hyundai provides specs. The dealer SHOULD have the equipment to adjust the headlights properly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The specified distance is 118.1 inches. I can adjust them on a dark straight road, but there appears to be a second beam that juts up, and blinds the oncoming drivers. The dealer uses marks on the wall that they use for ALL vehicles. I've adjusted them DOWN from where the dealer has set them, and they still blind oncoming traffic. I have seen this for myself driving at the car on a two lane road. There is something very different about the lights on this car from those that I have owned previously.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Do you see this second beam if you pull up to within 10' or so of a wall? I know that many of the new cars with the reflector headlights have a very sharp cut-off compared to the old sealed beam headlights. This causes the lights to appear to be flashing when an oncoming car is on a undulating road as the intensity changes very quickly with just a little vertical distance. I personally don't like this either as a driver of such a vehicle or as someone approaching such a vehicle. The flashing affect is annoying when coming at you and the sharp cut-off is a real pain when driving in the hilly terrain around my house. When driving down into a valley, you can't see up the other side at all as the beam cuts off so sharply. The old sealed beams had such a diffuse beam that you got enough light going sideways and upwards that you still have some sight distance even when approaching the bottom of a valley or large dip.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Matt Whiting wrote:

The point of having the sharp cutoff on the left side of the beam is to NOT blind drivers in the opposite lane. The right side of the beam is not cut off, so it can illuminate road signs. Overall, this scheme works pretty well. It's nothing new, as I had Hella headlights with a similar pattern 25 years ago. Back then, they weren't street legal, since they weren't sealed beams, which were still required by the DOT at the time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brian Nystrom wrote:

I know the purpose of it, however, the assumptions aren't right for where I live. This sharp cutoff is only useful if you always drive on smooth, flat roads. Here in northern PA and upstate NY, either assumption is good on virtually any road I drive other than the interstates. And even then only on certain stretches.
In the real world, a sharp cutoff is dumb and is very annoying as you now see a rapidly varying intensity from oncoming car headlights rather than the fairly steady intensity with the old sealed beams. Maybe the intensity was higher on average in the old days, but I much prefer that to the "flashing" affect of the newer light designs.
Also, the right side of my Hyundai's pattern is cut-off pretty far to the right. It doesn't illuminate signs well on low beam, not as well as my 94 Chevy truck, and it makes the white background signs so bright on high beam that they nearly blind me! The cutoff portion of the pattern extends clear across the road well onto the berm as I can't see the road ahead worth beans when going down into a dip.
I haven't pulled up to a wall yet to look at the pattern in more detail, but will try that some night to see if I can tell where the cutoff ends.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Matt Whiting wrote:

The alternative would be worse, which is having the full height beam blinding you. At least with the cutoff beam, it only occasionally pops up enough to be an issue. IMO, it's an advancement, as it allows brighter headlights with minimal annoyance to other drivers. No, it's not perfect, but there is no better alternative. Besides, there's nothing you can do about it.

I haven't experienced those problems. Perhaps your headlights are aimed too far to the right. You can try bringing them back to the left a bit.

That's what high beams are for. Switch to them or simply flash them if necessary.

It's certainly worth a shot. You may find that the two beam heights are not aligned or that one or the other is aimed off to one side. When attempting to determine the aiming. I've found it easiest to stand on the center of the rear bumper and look over the roof and hood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brian Nystrom wrote:

No, an alternative is to have more of a Guassian distribution with just the tail going high enough to be seen by oncoming drivers. My Chevy truck is close to this and it has great headlights, probably as good as the Hyundai, and doesn't "flash" incoming drivers.

I'm talking about the high beams. The cut-off is still rather pronounced compared to my pickup.

Yes, definitely worth looking at when I get a chance.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I noticed similar on ours. While driving in front of my wife I noticed that depending on what side of the lights your viewing bias is from, that side appears brighter than the other. Switching your viewing bias produces the same effect on the other side. I can only think that the beams are a more focused than lights I've previously seen on other vehicles...........Doc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi, Bob. Sorry to hear about your adjustment woes at the dealership. I live in neighboring Virginia and notice when I visit my small hometown that oncoming drivers sometimes flash their lights. This occurred in my 96 Dodge Avenger, 2002 Sonata, and 2006 Sonata. I think the connection is the driving/fog lights on all three vehicles. I suspect some drivers see four distinct lights and assume high beams are on. I do not experience this in the city (but lanes are often futher separated.)
GeoUSA, moderator www.HyundaiExchange.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why would you be driving around with your fog lights on? That IS distracting to most drivers. If it's not foggy out they provide no benefit except to illuminate about 6 feet in front of your car and annoy oncoming drivers.
You *do* know there is a switch to turn them off, right?
Eric
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

going to submit it to NHTSA. I suggest all others that have the same problem do the same.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The problem with them is that they bother oncoming traffic to the point that they turn their high beams on, subsequently negatively affecting my ability to see. Not all new car headlights are that way. The very worst ones are the HID headlights on the high end cars. The problem is that there is a significant amount of light being projected above the road surface from the lights in my car.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

They won't if they are adjusted properly. I've had my Sonata exactly one month now and I've had only two drivers flash their highs at me in 1500 mmiles of driving. And one was on the way home the night I picked up the car. I thought I might have a problem, but I don't.
I still think your problem is 80% improper adjustment and at most 20% the brightness or design of the headlight beam.
I find that lots of new cars make me think they have their high beams on, especially those blue light specials.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've tried my best to adjust them with no success. I've taken it to the dealer three times, and they adjust them so that they either light the trees, or light the road in a nice spot 30 feet in front of the car. The dealer insists that the precision aligned concrete block wall is the way they adjust all headlights. I've tried the reasonable approach of lighting the road for a decent distance, which is lower than the dealer adjusted them twice. Maybe someone at Hyundai reads the NHTSA submittals, and will realize they've got an issue. Calling Hyundai and asking them what to do about the fact that the dealer can't align the headlights, and asking for suggestions resulted in me being told that I need to talk to the dealer because they handle all issues related to the vehicle. As far as continuing to mess with it myself.... It's under warranty. I need to drive it, put gas and windshield washer fluid in it, and do PM's to it. Anything else is Hyundai's problem to resolve.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Is there a different Hyundai dealer within a reasonable driving range? Might be worth giving someone else a shot. Maybe even an independent dealer. Unless the lights on my Sonata are different than yours, mine are proof that they can be adjusted reasonably well. On low beam, mine illuminate as much of the road on the level as does my pickup and illuminates much better than does my Dodge minivan. The only complaint is the cut-off when I'm driving into and out of a dip. My van has a similar cut-off problem, but my pickup lights up a good part of the hill ahead even before I start coming up out of the dip.
On high beam, the Sonata is one of the better vehicles I've ever had. It is as good as or better than my truck, and nearly as good as my Kawasaki Voyager motorcycle was. Yes, you heard that right, my Kawasaki Voyager, with only one headlight, lit the road better than any other vehicle I've ever owned ... on high beam. On low beam, it has the same cut-off problem as the Hyundai. It as a real pain when you rolled into a corner and saw the inside of the corner get really dark really quickly.
I wouldn't give up yet, but I can certainly understand your frustration with your dealer. I think it is a long shot, but it certainly is possible that you got a defective headlight reflector or two. If something got distorted during manufacturing, maybe that is the problem. Might ask the dealer to let you drive another Sonata or two at night to see if they are any different than your car.
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Many years ago I had a new car with a similar problem on the drivers side head lamp. Eventually it turned out that the bulb filament had not been properly positioned within the bulb itself when it was manufactured. Therefore no matter how you adjusted the lamp assembly, the filament was never in the centre focal point where it needs to be for a clean distribution pattern. This didn't come to 'light' until the low beam burned out & I replaced it. The new one showed me how it should have been from the start! BCinBC

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.