Hyundai i30 headlights not bright enough?
When our Tony Bosworth wrote about his Hyundai i30 headlights not being bright enough it sparked quite a bit of debate. Seems plenty of other people felt the same way.
I’ve mentioned the process of adjusting the Hyundai i30 headlights in this blog so that you know it can be done, but I, like Hyundai Motor Company Australia, can’t and don’t recommend, or endorse individuals adjusting their own headlights. And the reason for this is that if you angle your headlights incorrectly, you could dazzle oncoming traffic and cause an accident. Headlight adjustment should only be performed by your local Hyundai dealer, so please don’t try this at home.
ALL OF THE PEOPLE that mentioned they too found the i30’s headlights to be “not as bright as other cars they’d owned” lived in rural areas. One had even spoken to his local Hyundai dealer about the problem, but was told there was nothing that could be done.
“I have had my i30 SR for about 2 months. I live on the outskirts of Adelaide and often travel at night on country roads with a 80/90/100km/h limit, that offer no street lighting. I find the short throw of the low beams downright dangerous. When dipping the high beams (eg, for oncoming vehicles) I often find the low beam does not illuminate enough of the road ahead to accommodate the posted speed limit.
“When this was mentioned to the dealer at the 1500km service, they advised the HID lights were deliberately set low due to a dazzling issue, and there was nothing they could do about it!?” wrote one Practical Motoring subscriber.
This prompted Practical Motoring to contact Hyundai about this ‘owner’ concern, and Hyundai Motor Company Australia, PR manager, Guido Schenken, informed us that i30 headlights (indeed all Hyundai vehicle headlights), both high-intensity discharge (HID) and non-high-intensity discharge (non-HID, or projector headlights), can be adjusted manually and that this was regularly done with press vehicles.
That said, Schenken went on to stress that Hyundai Motor Company Australia in no way endorses members of the public adjusting their own headlights and recommends discussing this issue with ‘your’ Hyundai dealer. In addition, Schenken provided the following:
If your vehicle has manually adjustable headlights (for when carrying heavy loads/towing) ensure the dial is set to zero. Dial is located on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel on Hyundai vehicles;
Make sure your vehicle does not have headlight protectors fitted;
Ask your local dealer to adjust your vehicle’s headlights at your next service (both vertical and horizontal positioning can be adjusted), they will have the necessary alignment tools required to do the job correctly; and
Headlight alignment standards/rules can very between the different states and ADR, thus manufacturers have their vehicles default set to comply to all states/ADR (this means depending on the state there may be more scope for adjustment).
To look into the issue, I borrowed two i30 vehicles (one an i30 Active with projector headlights, and an i30 SR with HID headlights) and drove them out onto a dark road in the Blue Mountains. Essentially, I was looking for a road that didn’t have any street lights.
For me, the i30 SR offered more than enough throw on low-beam to drive around at the posted speed limit, however, the i30 Active (with projector headlights) did need some adjustment. So, I took the car to an underground car park and, with the car facing a wall, and using a phillips head screwdriver adjusted the headlights (raising the headlight very, very slightly on both sides). I could see on the wall in front of the car that the light was now a little higher.
I then went back out onto the road and found the throw on low-beam to be much better. I then returned to the carpark and returned the headlights to their previous position. I also measured the throw on both beams and found the i30 SR to be extending out to 25 metres while the i30 Active was a little shorter than this, but not be much. What I did notice about both lights (on low beam) is that they have a very hard cut-off, meaning the beam ends abruptly rather than softening out at the edges – I think it’s this hard cut-off that’s causing some of the concern, particularly along dark country roads.
It’s worth noting that headlights are described in legislation as being the combination of high-beam and low-beam lights. Low-beam lights are generally asymmetric (improper adjustment could alter this), meaning the beam points down slightly and to the left to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic while still providing adequate illumination for the driver. Practical Motoring’s policy is to drive with low-beam lights on at all time.
Those owners who’ve experienced problems with their i30 headlights, as in not shining far enough down the road when on low beam, should visit their local dealer and ask to have the headlights adjusted. That might help solve the problem
And, if your dealer won’t assist you with this, then forward Practical Motoring the name of the dealer and other relevant details and we’ll ask Hyundai Motor Company Australia to look into it. Indeed, HMCA has asked to be informed of any dealers not helping out owners with this and any other problem.
So, rather than go onto forums and discuss things like swapping out your headlight bulbs for higher wattage units (not recommended at all) it’s worth looking at getting the units adjusted by your local dealer. This will most likely solve your problem. If not, do let us know.