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21 RAV4 XSE Hybrid Magnetic Grey
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed the headlights are aimed really low on my 21 XSE and I don't have the best visbility at night. The auto high beams are amazing however and help mitigate the problem but since they can't be used all the time I really would like to adjust my headlights to aim them a bit higher.

Has anyone noticed any issues with poor headlight visibility and adjusted it? If I take it to the dealer would it just be a waste of time? Would they just say "it's normal like in every other rav4" or would they adjust it a bit higher to my liking?
 

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I thought the 4.5's had better headlights. The Halogens I had on my 4.4 sucked. I adjusted them up to help with night time visibility but then kept getting flashed by oncoming drivers. I had the dealership reset them to factory and I was back to poor visibility. It is one of a number of issues why I traded mine in. It is worth getting them checked out. Maybe they will find that they were not set correctly at the factory.
 

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I have a '20 XLE Hybrid and I had the reverse problem. Mine were aimed way to high and was being flashed by almost EVERY oncoming vehicle. When I got my 5k service done and told them about it, their response was "that is normal, they are LED projection so they will be brighter". There is a 10mm hex head on the back on the headlight housing that adjusts the headlights up and down. I went to a parking ramp that had a flat spot and a concrete wall and was able to part about 25' away. I adjust the beams so that they were pretty much level. When I drove at night I noticed them a little low, so on a flatter back country road I would drive for a bit, pull over and adjust them up a little, then drive more until I felt the cutoff was at a good point. Since then, I rarely get flashed, but being LED projector lights, a low car driving alone at night seeing our headlights could confuse it with high beams. A quick flash of mine when they flash me shows them that I can get a lot brighter.
 

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I have a '20 XLE Hybrid and I had the reverse problem. Mine were aimed way to high and was being flashed by almost EVERY oncoming vehicle. When I got my 5k service done and told them about it, their response was "that is normal, they are LED projection so they will be brighter". There is a 10mm hex head on the back on the headlight housing that adjusts the headlights up and down. I went to a parking ramp that had a flat spot and a concrete wall and was able to part about 25' away. I adjust the beams so that they were pretty much level. When I drove at night I noticed them a little low, so on a flatter back country road I would drive for a bit, pull over and adjust them up a little, then drive more until I felt the cutoff was at a good point. Since then, I rarely get flashed, but being LED projector lights, a low car driving alone at night seeing our headlights could confuse it with high beams. A quick flash of mine when they flash me shows them that I can get a lot brighter.
I thought they put the adaptive projector headlights on the hybrids or is that only an option package? I really miss them from my 2009 BMW X3. It was cool watching the beam move back and forth when it was foggy but I also miss that they would move upwards if the car was pointing down; such as a stop sign at a bottom of a hill. Now everything ahead of me is dark where as before, I could see where I was headed since the lights adjusted upwards. Yep, the high beams work great but the auto high beam turns off when you slow to a stop sign. Oh well, technology. Come to think, the BMW headlights could have been one of the contributing factor for the car having to be totaled due to a fender bender into the right headlight assembly.
 
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I thought they put the adaptive projector headlights on the hybrids or is that only an option package? I really miss them from my 2009 BMW X3. It was cool watching the beam move back and forth when it was foggy but I also miss that they would move upwards if the car was pointing down; such as a stop sign at a bottom of a hill. Now everything ahead of me is dark where as before, I could see where I was headed since the lights adjusted upwards. Yep, the high beams work great but the auto high beam turns off when you slow to a stop sign. Oh well, technology. Come to think, the BMW headlights could have been one of the contributing factor for the car having to be totaled due to a fender bender into the right headlight assembly.
I was going to mention that. I thought on the XSE and Limited Hybrid, they had the auto adjusting headlights. I can say my XLE Hybrid does not have auto adjusting headlights.
 

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21 RAV4 XSE Hybrid Magnetic Grey
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought the 4.5's had better headlights.
So far the visibility in mine is pretty bad but I'm sure it will be better once the headlights get adjusted a bit higher.

I have a '20 XLE Hybrid and I had the reverse problem. Mine were aimed way to high and was being flashed by almost EVERY oncoming vehicle. When I got my 5k service done and told them about it, their response was "that is normal, they are LED projection so they will be brighter". There is a 10mm hex head on the back on the headlight housing that adjusts the headlights up and down. I went to a parking ramp that had a flat spot and a concrete wall and was able to part about 25' away. I adjust the beams so that they were pretty much level. When I drove at night I noticed them a little low, so on a flatter back country road I would drive for a bit, pull over and adjust them up a little, then drive more until I felt the cutoff was at a good point. Since then, I rarely get flashed, but being LED projector lights, a low car driving alone at night seeing our headlights could confuse it with high beams. A quick flash of mine when they flash me shows them that I can get a lot brighter.
That's interesting. Sounds like a lot of work to adjust it yourself though. I have not gotten flashed a single time yet, which makes sense because my lights are really low currently, I think I'd be ok as well if a few low riding cars get annoyed with my lights.


The XSE Hybrid doesn't have any option for adaptive lights sadly. I would gladly give up my weather package with rain sensing wipers in exchange for adaptive lights. It's only the Limited that includes the adaptive lights and you have to get a special options package.

167946
 

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The only reason I did the adjustments at night on a back road was because the "25 feet away and 3 inches below the height of the lights" put the cutoff of the headlights closer than I liked when driving. I would drive for a bit and see if they were still too low and hop out with my 10mm socket and do another quarter to half turn on each headlight adjustment bolt and drive a little more. I mainly did it until the cutoff was right at the top of the road where it meets the sky. Makes it so I can see plenty far down the road, but not too high that I get flashed. I put up a quick video on how to adjust the headlights last July on YouTube,
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Here are a few videos on how to adjust the projector headlights:

I have adjusted my driver side projectors 1-1/4 turns (counter clockwise if looking from the driver position) and it seems better for night time driving.
 

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Here are a few videos on how to adjust the projector headlights:

I have adjusted my driver side projectors 1-1/4 turns (counter clockwise if looking from the driver position) and it seems better for night time driving.
Love how you referenced my video right after I did, lol. Glad it is helpful in some way :)
 

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Love how you referenced my video right after I did, lol. Glad it is helpful in some way :)
I’ve actually referenced your video on another post as well. Thank you for posting it, it was helpful!

I was in the process of replying before you posted, looking for the video links, then it was my turn on the game with my son, which delayed me hitting the post reply button 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I really appreciate the videos! And thank you juniorkirk for making that video!

I just tried to adjust my headlight and it was pretty simple enough thanks to the videos:) , the problem is I'm not sure where to do it so I can see the difference. I'm worried I might accidentally adjust my headlight too high or make both lights uneven.From what I understand the easiest way is to aim that at a garage at a distance around 25 feet away is that correct?

Thanks for the help again.
 

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Anywhere that has a flat level ground with a wall that is 25' away. I did mine in a parking ramp in my downtown area. When you do find a spot, I would take some masking tape (easy to peel off) and a tape measure with you so you can measure the height on the wall so you have a good reference for were to adjust the lights to. I did 3" down, but that seemed a little too far down, so I would say about 2" would be a good starting point.
 

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So this must have been why the headlight rating for the projector style a bit better than the reflector style. It would appear that people with the projector style are adjusting down and reflector style are adjusting up.
 

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2020 Gas Limited here so I have the reflector style, I also feel like mine are aimed too low. It’s on my list to tinker with when I have some time. At night the beam seems to cut off very low and I feel like if an animal ran into the road in a dark area it would be too late to react quick enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Anywhere that has a flat level ground with a wall that is 25' away. I did mine in a parking ramp in my downtown area. When you do find a spot, I would take some masking tape (easy to peel off) and a tape measure with you so you can measure the height on the wall so you have a good reference for were to adjust the lights to. I did 3" down, but that seemed a little too far down, so I would say about 2" would be a good starting point.
I appreciate the help!
So this must have been why the headlight rating for the projector style a bit better than the reflector style. It would appear that people with the projector style are adjusting down and reflector style are adjusting up.
Thats a very interesting explanation. I think I would of preferred to have had the projector style then haha. Would of saved me work having to make it higher but then again I'd probably be a jerk if they were too high and I didn't adjust it to make it a little lower.
 

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I appreciate the help!


Thats a very interesting explanation. I think I would of preferred to have had the projector style then haha. Would of saved me work having to make it higher but then again I'd probably be a jerk if they were too high and I didn't adjust it to make it a little lower.
I was planning on doing a half turn counter clockwise rotation of both screws to raise the beam ever so slightly but only after marking the original position. I can't imagine that a half turn will do much but I can either go farther or back to the original position. I think the really issue is the LED beam. I replaced some fluorescent tubes in my house with an LED version. They are great but I went with the clear tube. I noticed that there was a hard break in the light emitted without any diffuser. Like the RAV4. I replaced them with a frosted version, and this frosted covering broke up this light edge and created a gradual edge which actually lit up the are better. I've noticed this same think on my RAV4 with the reflector LEDs. When you come to a stop sign when the road goes up after the sign, there is a definite cutoff of the light beam. It the lens was frosted, granted the output and length of the beam would be diminished, but the area of the road now completely dark would at least have some light rather than complete darkness.
 
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