Audi A6 C6: How to Align Adaptive Headlights

Adaptive headlights, due to their complex nature, will sometimes fall out of alignment. This article shows you how to correct the alignment if necessary.

This article applies to the Audi A6 C6 (2005-2011).

Adaptive headlights are designed to automatically adjust and level your headlights as you drive. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t fall out of alignment. Sometimes, one of the mechanical parts will slip up and put the headlight out of alignment. Or, maybe the self-leveling sensor is on the fritz. You can still adjust your headlights manually; however, it requires using the VCDS software and interface.

Materials Needed

  • A wall
  • Masking tape or erasable marker
  • A long philips screwdriver
  • VCDS software suite and adapter interface
  • Laptop

Step 1 – Prepare for the headlight adjustment

In order to adjust your headlights properly, you’ll need a wall to point the headlights at, preferably in a dark garage, and the car needs to be parked on a level surface. Start by moving the car up directly in front of the wall. You’ll need to make three marks on the wall. One mark is for the center of the car; use the Audi logo on the front grille as a reference. The other two marks will be directly in front of the headlight bulbs. These three marks should make a line which you can fill in. Now move the car back twenty-five feet, away from the wall.

Step 2 – Activate headlight adjustment using VCDS

With adaptive headlights you need to first activate the adjustment function using VCDS. Otherwise, you’ll risk damaging the mechanical arms that move the headlight. It’s really simple.

First, c onnect your VCDS interface to your car and your laptop with the VCDS software installed.

Start the software, then go to «Select Control Module» and click on «55-Xenon Range.»

  • Figure 1. Select Control Module.
  • Figure 2. Select «55-Xenon Range.»

Select the «Basic Settings — 04» option. You’ll see a group number with a button that says «Go!» and four boxes next to it. Click the «Go!» button and it will start a detection process.

Figure 3. Select «Basic Settings — 04.»

Wait until all four boxes no longer say «wait» then click the «ON/OFF/Next» button. It will take a moment to read the headlight positions.

Once it says «Adjust Headlights,» proceed with the next step.

Figure 4. VCDS headlight setting page.

Step 3 – Adjust the headlights manually

Open the hood and look at the headlight you’re adjusting. You should notice two screws that look different from the headlight mounting screws. The screw on the inside is for height adjustments while the screw on the outside is for lateral adjustments. To adjust the headlight’s height, turn both screws the same number of turns. To adjust the headlight horizontally, turn the lateral screw only.

Figure 5. 1 is the height adjustment screw; 2 is the lateral adjustment screw.

When you turn the headlights on you’ll notice there’s a point where the light gets squared off near the top. Use this cutoff to help you aim the lights. Turn the adjustment screws to raise and lower the headlight beams. Your target should be slightly lower than the marks you made so that you don’t blind incoming drivers.

Figure 6. Adjust your headlights.

Go back to the VCDS software and click the «ON/OFF/Next» button, and it will learn the new positions. Once all four boxes say «Learned» you can click «Done, Go Back.» Before you start putting things away, quickly check «Fault Codes — 02» to make sure there aren’t any new fault codes caused by the adjustment. If there are fault codes, clear them then go ahead and exit the program and disconnect the interface.

Figure 7. Clear any fault codes before you finish.

Related Discussion and Sites

  • Aligning Adaptive Headlights — AudiWorld.com
  • How to Properly Re-calibrate and Adjust Adaptive Bi-xenon Headlights — Audizine.com
  • Audi A6 (4F) Headlight Aim Control (Adaptive Light) — Ross-tech.com

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