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First tow and my auto leveling lights were blinding

J17GT

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First time towing with my 23 Lariat 502a yesterday. Just my mustang on my open trailer, nothing in the bed. Was just going to a test session, so did not have a weekend worth of stuff with me.

The truck was sitting basically level with the load, maybe even a touch higher in the rear. On the way home in the evening, my lights were BLINDING everyone. Really bad. On the two lane roads, oncoming cars were flashing their lights at me. On the highway I was lighting up the signs so much they were almost blinding me!

It seemed the lights adjusted upwards instead of down. I think if they did zero adjustment it would have been better. When I go to an actual race event, I’ll have way more stuff with me. Bed will be loaded and I’ll have an ATV sitting on the front of the trailer as well. I fear it could get even worse!

Is there anyway to reset the system and force it to re-level itself? It’s like it got confused. I do know the lights will dance around at startup sometimes. What does the truck use to know it needs to adjust the level? The truck has max tow with CCD (no scales).

Here is what the setup looked like yesterday, pretty basic here. The truck towed like a dream otherwise. Let me know what you guys think.
Ford F-150 First tow and my auto leveling lights were blinding IMG_2163
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Sounds like you need to do a test. Once dark take your truck and trailer with car to a flat lot with a building on it. Disconnect trailer and mark both low and high beam locations. Attach trailer and do the same.
 

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I always thought the "dance" was the self leveling working.

Perhaps the leveling is turned off with trailer connected?

I'm assuming you had truck running whole time connecting trailer. Did you shut the truck off completely and restart it to trigger the light dance after connecting trailer? Seems annoying but that might be what is required.
 
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J17GT

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Sounds like you need to do a test. Once dark take your truck and trailer with car to a flat lot with a building on it. Disconnect trailer and mark both low and high beam locations. Attach trailer and do the same.
Great idea and that is the plan. Hope to do that some night this coming week.

I always thought the "dance" was the self leveling working.

Perhaps the leveling is turned off with trailer connected?

I'm assuming you had truck running whole time connecting trailer. Did you shut the truck off completely and restart it to trigger the light dance after connecting trailer? Seems annoying but that might be what is required.
Right, I think the dance is the lights calibrating/leveling. Truck was started many times with the trailer connected and loaded. Just did not know it was an issue until the drive home from the track at night.
 

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iirc the whole point of auto leveling is so the headlamps are still level while hauling or towing, definitely sounds like some sort of issue with the calibration
 

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I have the same headlights and had a heavy load in my truck.(no trailer) The headlights where blinding everyone. I also couldnt see shit. I had to stop and adjust the headlights down on a wal-mart wall in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. The auto leveling doesnt seem to adjust much vertically.
 
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J17GT

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I have the same headlights and had a heavy load in my truck.(no trailer) The headlights where blinding everyone. I also couldnt see shit. I had to stop and adjust the headlights down on a wal-mart wall in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. The auto leveling doesnt seem to adjust much vertically.
Once you were done with the heavy load, were they then too low with the truck empty or did they automatically adjust upwards? Would stink to have to keep adjusting them…. Are the adjustment screws easy to find?
 
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fordtruckman2003

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Seems a common issue with people that level their trucks. Still seems like the lights would adjust for a trailer.

Got me curious how they work now.
The only thing I can think of is that the lights are self adjusting as far as possible but can't self adjust any lower. Could be that the lights are sitting a little high without trailer.

Did find a video on how to adjust. Looks easy enough.

 
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J17GT

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Seems a common issue with people that level their trucks. Still seems like the lights would adjust for a trailer.

Got me curious how they work now.
The only thing I can think of is that the lights are self adjusting as far as possible but can't self adjust any lower. Could be that the lights are sitting a little high without trailer.

Did find a video on how to adjust. Looks easy enough.

Great find! That looks easy enough and I found the adjustment instructions in the manual. Good point about being a bit high from the factory. Iwill check unloaded first to see where I’m at, hen with a loaded trailer.

Assuming I will need to adjust them down with the trailer, I’m curious what they will do once I’m unloaded with the truck empty. Hopefully they will be able to adjust enough and not be too low. As I mentioned above, would be annoying to have to adjust them every time for towing.
 

fordtruckman2003

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One thing to try point at a wall and get up in bed or stand on bumper see if they adjust. You might need someone else standing by to see if the lights move. If they don't then something is not working. 🤷‍♂️
 

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J17GT

J17GT

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One thing to try point at a wall and get up in bed or stand on bumper see if they adjust. You might need someone else standing by to see if the lights move. If they don't then something is not working. 🤷‍♂️
Yeah, that could be a quick test to see if they are doing anything. I’m just hoping all that is needed is a slight adjustment. I rather not deal with the dealer for service!
 

dolsen

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One thing to try point at a wall and get up in bed or stand on bumper see if they adjust. You might need someone else standing by to see if the lights move. If they don't then something is not working. 🤷‍♂️
They also adjust during heavy acceleration and braking, so that’s another easy way to test. It’s a little hard to notice though because it’s sorta subtle
 
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J17GT

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Did the testing tonight with my buddies loaded up 20’ enclosed landscape trailer (my trailer is at a storage place, this was just easier).

Did the measurements per Ford‘s instructions, put the line level on the wall (used painters tape) and the headlight level was perfect with the truck unloaded. Dropped the trailer on the hitch and started up the truck, lights did their dance and now the lights were 14” above the line. They made zero attempt to level.

With the truck still loaded down by the trailer, I adjusted the lights down with adjustment screws so they were within spec against the line on the wall. It took MANY turns to get them down to the right spot. Then unhooked the trailer and started the truck to see if the lights would try to adjust themselves up. Nope. Zero indication there was any movement up. The lights were now 14” below our level line and way too low for regular unloaded driving.

We both stood on the bumper, nothing. Lowered the trailer on the ball in slow increments, nothing. Never once did they budge to re-level on their own.

I guess it’s a phone call to my local dealer. I know we all believe they are ‘self leveling’ but where does Ford say they are? What does the truck use to sense it needs to make a headlight level adjustment?
 

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I guess it’s a phone call to my local dealer. I know we all believe they are ‘self leveling’ but where does Ford say they are? What does the truck use to sense it needs to make a headlight level adjustment?
Good luck. I've never seen an actual proper self leveling system for trailering trucks. It should have been codified when backup cameras were mandated. They try to get all cutesy with per-wheel position switches. A practical / economical solution would use a front and rear ground firing sonar sensor to monitor where the frame is in relation to the ground and adjust the lights accordingly. Per-wheel indicators don't take into account tire pressure / deflection. Given the capabilities of the IPC / menu system, the driver should be able to very easily knock the beam down in the menu. That just makes too much sense though.

Given it's now the future and cameras can see other vehicles, matrix headlights should now be mandated.

 

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Given it's now the future and cameras can see other vehicles, matrix headlights should now be mandated.

I thought that is the concept behind the Ford glare free. I agree such things should be included in USA vehicles. At least if you get OEM LED lights it should be included because they seem to be the most blinding on the roads.

Having a Canadian truck with glare free enabled by default it is neat to watch the lights dim on the left side for oncoming traffic then kick back up to full bright after cars pass.
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