Category Archives: Bi-Xenon

Enabling static cornering lights in the Volkswagen Golf Mark VI with factory fitted fog lights

Enabling static cornering lights in the Volkswagen Golf Mark VI (Mark V is covered here) only requires a few changes via Vagcom/VCDS.

The cornering function works when your headlights are activated (either manually or via the RLS) under the following conditions

  • The indicator is activated either by holding it down or clicking it into position (not when comfort indicating)
  • The car is in P, N, D, S or Manual (not when in reverse)
  • The steering wheel is turned 85° from the straight ahead position.
  • The speed is under 50kph (once the car drops below this speed the light will activate and once it goes above this speed the light will fade off)

The fog light on the side of the car that the wheel is turned towards will light up, depending on the speed of the steering wheel the light will either fade in slowly or turn on instantly but the light will always fade out slowly.

You will need a 30 Byte Central Electronics Convenience Module (CECM) which are fitted to MY08’s models onwards.

Open Controller 9 and select Coding – 07

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Click the Long Coding Helper, do not copy down the coding seen as these are specific to each car and it’s options/setup.

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Select Byte 14 and bit 7 – cornering lights via front fogs active.

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Select Byte 17 and bit 0 – adaptive light/cornering light variant (0=cornering light/1=adaptive light) and bit 4 – assistance driving light (auto mode)

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Select “Do It!” to save the coding.

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If the code is accepted select “OK”

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Close the controller to finish.

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To test the cornering light function turn the headlights on and turn the wheel left or right, the engine doesn’t have to be turned on.

 (Some of the screen shots are from a Mark V)

Volkswagen Golf Mark V Headlights – Halogen and Xenon

The Golf Mark V came with a number of different headlights from the factory, generally a chrome H7 reflector unit for the base models, a black H7 reflector model for GT/GT Sport/GTI and a Bi-Xenon fitted to some GTI and R32 models either optional or standard which was also available on some other models (depending on the country and spec).

 

GOLF Mark V Headlight Grey Reflector (10/03 ->05/04)

Part numbers:

Pricing (each): UK £90.00

 

GOLF Mark V Headlight Chrome Reflector (05/04 ->)

Part numbers:

Pricing (each): UK £90.00

 

GOLF Mark V Headlight Black Reflector GTI (05/04 ->)

Part numbers:

Pricing (each): UK £110.00

 

GOLF Mk5 2003> Headlight Xenon D2S Bi-Xenon (05/04 ->)

(does not include D2S bulb, ballast control unit or igniter)

Part numbers:

Pricing (each): UK £210.00

GOLF Mk5 2003> Headlight Design (Xenon look) H7 + H7 (05/04 ->)

Part numbers:

Pricing (each): UK £210.00

 

Adjusting operation of the RegenLichtSens (Rain Light Sensor)

Adjusting the operation of the RegenLichtSens (RainLightSensor) is possible through Vagcom/VCDS or the VAS tools that Volkswagen dealers use however adjustments do not make a large difference in the operation of the sensor especially where you have the standard green glass.

Using Vagcom/VCDS open controller 9

Select the dropdown box and select option 2

Select config helper (may require version 10 of VCDS)

Light activation threshold can be adjusted here along with Highway light function (see Volkswagen Golf Auto Headlights above 140kph) and Rain Closing (see Volkswagen Golf Auto Rain Closing Windows and Sunroof)

Light sensor correction.

Rain sensor correction.

Volkswagen Cornering Headlights, Dynamic Steered Headlights and Static Cornering Lights

The following information is for the Touareg but the principle is same on many Volkswagen cars with this feature.

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Volkswagen’s cornering headlight system consists of dynamic and static cornering lights that are installed together in the headlight housing.

The cornering light functions are automatically activated when the dipped or high beam is switched on.

The cornering lights are also active if the headlights are switched on in daylight.

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The Bi-Xenon units are swiveled independently when driving around bends.

The headlight on the inner side of the bend by max. 15° and the headlight on the outer side of the bend by max. 7.5°.

Swivelling only takes place at a vehicle speed above 10 km/h.

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The design is very similar to that of a conventional Bi-Xenon unit.

However, the module is mounted in an additional swiveling frame (for the horizontal motion).

The sensor is for detecting the swivel angle.

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The static cornering light is a light that is switched on in addition to the dimmed headlight. It illuminates the surface to the side of the vehicle.

The static cornering light is only switched on at a vehicle speed below 50 km/h in narrow bends.

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Halogen light H7 for static cornering light.

The H7 light bulb can be replaced after removing the plastic bush

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Networking between J745 (control unit for cornering light and headlight range control) and the power modules for headlights J667 and J668 via CAN light.

CAN light is a separate CAN databus only for networking the cornering light system.

Physically, the CAN light is identical to the CAN drive (voltage level, data rate and cable colors).

The power modules are installed in the headlights. The power modules process sensor signals (swivel angle of dynamic headlight and position of headlight range control) and control the respective servomotors.

The static cornering light is switched on and off by the corresponding power module.

All other lights in the headlight are switched by the on-board control unit.

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G85 – Steering angle sensor

J104 – Control unit for ABS/ESP

J197 – Control unit for level control

J220 – Control unit for Motronic

J285 – Control unit in the dash panel insert

J519 – On-board network control unit

J527 – Control unit for steering wheel electronics

J533 – Diagnostic interface for databus

J667 – Power module for left headlight

J668 – Power module for right headlight

J754 – Control unit for cornering light and headlight range control

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Faults in the cornering light system are signaled to the driver by flashing control lamps for monitoring the light bulbs in the dash panel insert.

Retrofitting Xenons (HID) Lighting to reflector housings

Retrofitting Xenon or High Intensity Discharge (HID)  lights to replace the standard halogen reflector setup may seem like a good idea and a whole lot cheaper than paying the $1000-2000 premium for the factory Xenons / Bi-Xenons but in reality not only is it illegal but not a very wise move.

Firstly there are a number of different ways to deliver light, lens optics, reflector optics and projector (polyellipsoidal) however only the latter two are still used.

Reflector lamps which are used by the majority of cars and the other is a projector lamp which are used by cars with Xenons and some cars with Halogen globes.  Projector housings have a few drawbacks and one is that there is a very sharp cutoff of light and the other is that due to the optics used some light is lost so using them with Halogen can result in a drop in light output. Some older cars came from the factory with Xenon’s fitted to a reflector housing but they used a bulb designed for this application and the reflector shape was designed for the Xenon however they still suffered from some light scatter.

Problem 1. Light scatter

The biggest problem is glare and blinding oncoming traffic, the reflector is designed for use with Halogen and not Xenon and you end up with a lot of scatter as the diagram below demonstrates. You could have a light source that measures 10,000 lumens but it would be useless because of poor reflector design, to utilise Xenon correctly you need to use a projector lense hence why every car on the market with an OEM Xenon / Bi-Xenon option uses projectors.

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Xenon globes can output up to three times the light of a Halogen globe, this is a key issue with these retrofit kits as the reflector on the left is a standard reflector and the design is to send the light in one direction with some scatter whereas the projector housing on the right is designed to focus all the light on the projector lense, a cut off shield prevents most of the glare and gives the sharp cutoff.

With much of the light being scattered the performance of Xenon’s is generally nowhere as good as that of Halogens, the improvement that is seen is a lot more light in front of the car but a lot less in the distance on the road where you need it. Daniel Stern sums this up well “It’s tricky to judge headlamp beam performance without a lot of knowledge, a lot of training and a lot of special equipment, because subjective perceptions are very misleading. Having a lot of strong light in the foreground, that is on the road close to the car and out to the sides, is very comforting and reliably produces a strong impression of “good headlights”. The problem is that not only is foreground lighting of decidedly secondary importance when travelling much above 30 mph, but having a very strong pool of light close to the car causes your pupils to close down, worsening your distance vision…all the while giving you this false sense of security. This is to say nothing of the massive amounts of glare to other road users and backdazzle to you, the driver, that results from these “retrofits”.” (see link below)

At this point hopefully you’re having second thoughts about fitting that cheap chinese Xenon kit you won on the online auction site but don’t dispair because purchasing a projector housing could give your Xenon/HID lighting without blinding other users.

Problem 2. Colour of the globe

The colour of the globe (known as the kelvin) is often marketed as the bluer the better by the sellers of the kits, nothing could be further from the truth as the following shows.

Here are some light outputs of some common Xenons and a standard halogen for comparison purposes.

4300k D2S Philips = 3200 lumens
4300k D2R Philips = 2800 lumens
4800k D4S/R Osram = 3800 lumens – Best performing globe on market
5800k D4S/R Osram = 3300 lumens
7000k D2S Chinese = 1790 lumens
7000k D2R Chinese = 1390 lumens
8000k D2S Chinese = 1180 lumens
8000k D2R Chinese = 780 lumens

Standard OEM halogen 55W H7 = 1500 lumens

Just because this hid conversion appears to put out more light doesn’t mean that it does, the scatter makes you think there is more light and you loose depth perception and night vision the higher the colour temperature of the globe.

Under 4500K you get more yellow, between 4500K and 6500K you get more white and over 6500K you get more blue.

No OEM globe is 8000K and generally OEM is 4300K to 4800K because this gives out the most light. And there are no 10000+K globes either, these are globes that are ~8000K with a coating over the globe that further reduces the light output.

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(photo from Bay Area HID Specialists)

Problem 3. Quality of the components

And how good are these “german designed and chinese made” kits? The decent Osram/Philips globes sell for around $200+ each online. The cheap chinese made kits comes with a pair of globes, ballasts and installation kit for around $150 so quality has to suffer, components to put together a decent OEM kit will come to $2000 and this doesn’t include the cost of the projector lamp.

Other then poor quality, high failure rate and poor performance the cheap ballasts can catch fire, your insurance may not pay out when your car burns to the ground or your wiring loom gets melted. Example 1,  Example 2.

To summerise, the higher the kelvin (temperature) the less light output you get (lumens) so stick around 4300K, if you must go for a retrofit get a projector light housing (oem where possible) and buy a good quality kit with brand name globes and avoid fitting Xenons to reflector lamps.

A few videos on why retrofitting Xenons should be avoided.

Video 1 Video 2

Daniel Stern is one of the worlds foremost experts on automotive lighting and has written an excellent article.

Tests by the DOT and CalCoast Labs on Halogen headlights fitted with Xenon’s.

Test 1 Test 2 Test 3

Nearly every country in the world has banned retrofitting Xenons.

NHTSA Crackdown NHTSA 1 NHTSA 2 NHTSA 3

Banned in Europe Banned in Hong Kong Banned in New Zealand