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Ducato headlamp levelling motor noise( 08)


snowie

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Been back from Spain trip about 10 days now and thought I'dshare an experience.

 

When in Europe I generally use dipped headlights at all times; I also avoid driving during the hours of darkness; after an unfortunate experience in Greece in a hire car when I was much younger I prefer not to drive "on the wrong side of the road" in darkness. I became disorientated in an emergency situation, and it wasn't very pleasant.

 

But I digress.

 

On about day 3 of the trip I noticed a noise coming from under the bonnet, the sort of noise that, years ago I would have associated with a worn alternator pulley bearing. The noise went away. I don't remember hearing it until about 4 weeks later, and this time it persisted. I couldn't track it down so proceeded, expecting the worst, and mentally rehearsing calling out the AA !

 

I parked up and switched off, and forgot about it for 24 hours, whilst celebrating a wedding with some friends.

When I investigated the problem I started the van, and the noise had gone; I switched on dipped headlights and it came back !

At least it was not going to be a cause of breakdown (I guessed), so we proceeded, sans dipped headlights, and got home without incident.

I suppose if headlights were mandatory it would be a problem.

 

I've googled the problem, and it sems to be quite common on Fiats, cars and vans.

It's going to the garage on monday, and I'm expecting a replacement headlight unit. As it happens the affected headlight unit appears to have a condensation or water ingress problem.

 

Just thought I'd share my experience. Otherwise the van ran perfectly over the 3.5K mile trip.

 

regards

alan b

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The headlamp leveling system is to allow the driver to compensate for changes in the vehicles attitude( nose down to nose up) between the unladen and laden state.

 

Motorcaravan are alway relatively close to fully laden so there is little change in attitude and the leveling system is effectivly redundant. Providing the lights are correctly aligned ( using ther inbult manual adjustment) there is no requirement for an MOT tester to use the system.

 

Hard luck about the moisture ingress though.

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Hi George; that makes it all the more galling; but the noise is really penetrating!

I also suspect that the affected headlight might be sort of pulsing/jerking up and down; only very slightly, but at a distance of 20-30 meteres maybe irritating. I recall being flashed a couple of times, but can't remember whether the light was making the noise.

regards

alan b

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  • 3 weeks later...

It sounds like there are stripped cogs in the leveling motor drive system. If it were mine I would just unplug the electrical supply to the motors. the fun bit is finding the connectors.

 

Once disconnected take the vehicle to an MOT station and use the headlight alignment equipment to manually adjust the lights. to pass standard. Once done they should stay put.

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