Kia Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
2017 Kia Optima SXL
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sky Automotive lighting Asphalt Mode of transport Road surface


Hello,

I bought a 2017 Kia Optima SXL about a year ago and have been having an issue with the headlights. They have motors that swivel them during a turn and level them with speed. Unfortunately, the level feature gets stuck pointed down after going over any hill and will not return to normal until I come to a complete stop. The photo above is me on the highway coming to a complete stop to make them level out (I used hazards, checked my surroundings, used the lane that ends, etc).

I've taken it to CarMax where they couldn't fix the issue who told me to go to a Kia dealership, then I took it to a Kia dealership where they couldn't fix the issue and told me to take it to another Kia dealership.

Does anyone know how I can possibly fix this??
 

· Registered
2017 Rondo LX 2.0L
Joined
·
364 Posts
The headlights are controlled by the BCM which communicates via comms lines, the signal to the BCM for some reason does not acknowledge the headlights aiming. This would require a top end scanner and possibly a scope, not to mention the services of a diagnostician, which I would bet the dealer does not have access to.
 

· Registered
2017 Kia Optima SXL
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The headlights are controlled by the BCM which communicates via comms lines, the signal to the BCM for some reason does not acknowledge the headlights aiming. This would require a top end scanner and possibly a scope, not to mention the services of a diagnostician, which I would bet the dealer does not have access to.
Would replacing the BCM module have any effect?
 

· Registered
2017 Rondo LX 2.0L
Joined
·
364 Posts
Doubt it, it reacts to light sensors and forwards on the desired position, that all appear to work, somewhat.

I do not subscribe to guessing and changing parts before testing and proving the cause.
 

· Registered
2019 Kia Optima SX
Joined
·
2 Posts
My 2019 Kia Optima SX has the same problem and it is terrible. When new, my low beam headlights were bright and shined into the distance so that I could easily see the road ahead of me very well. That is not the case now and these headlights currently pose a dangerous and hazardous condition when driving at night.

Starting November 22, 2022, my low beam headlights started giving me problems.

When I have my low beams on at night, there is a cut off point about 50 feet in front of my car where the headlight beam ends in a straight perpendicular line across the entire road and total blackness extends on the other side of that line where nothing can be seen. When there are dips in the road, the low beam headlight only shines about 25 feet in front of me. This is extremely dangerous when driving freeway speeds and around curves.

Compounding the situation and diagnosis is the fact that sometimes the low beam headlights do work properly and shine into the distance. The low beam headlights seemed to work properly one time until I rounded a curve in the road. After completing the curve and straightening the wheel, my headlights were only shining about 50 feet in front of me.

Something is wrong. It seems to be in the auto adjustment feature of the lights. I scheduled an appointment with my Kia dealer and will see what it says about the issue.

Update 12/13/2022: My Kia dealership stated it could not find any problem with my low beam headlights at this time and that everything was working properly. I understand that an intermittent problem is hard to find and diagnose but this is still a dangerous situation when it occurs. The dealership also stated that it checked with Kia America and that no such problems were reported. That being the case, I am going to report my problem to Kia America and ask everyone else who has this problem to report it to Kia America since we may just be the first people to experience this problem and it needs to be documented.

Update 12/22/2022: I received an email from Kia America stating my case is being escalated.

Update 12/31/2022: My 2019 Kia Optima SX has automatic headlight leveling and dynamic bending light features. After doing more research on the internet about others who have experienced similar problems as mine and learning more about how the Advanced Front Lighting System (AFLS) function, I found that other owners do have similar problems, and that the problem might be related to how much weight is in the car when driving at night. The 2019 Kia Owner’s Manual page 4-111 states, “To ensure proper headlight beam is used under various conditions, the headlight beam levels are automatically adjusted depending on the number of passengers, the weight in the trunk, and other driving conditions”. The 2019 Kia Owner’s Manual page 4-111 also states, “Dynamic Bending Light uses the steering angle and vehicle speed to keep your field of vision wide by swiveling and leveling the headlamp”. The AFLS has a control unit that evaluates the data from front and rear axle sensors and triggers the actuator motors on the headlamps accordingly. I had four people in the car, with weight about 800 pounds, when I first noticed the problem on November 22, 2022. That was the first time I had people in the back seat at night. Maybe the AFLS control unit, sensors, actuator or wires are malfunctioning when multiple passengers and extra weight are in the car.

I tested my theory that my car’s AFLS was malfunctioning when four people are in the car at night by using two different methods.

1) I parked my car in the back of my garage on a level floor so there was 9 feet between the front of my car and the garage’s back wall. I put blue painter’s tape on the garage wall so I could mark the headlight beam during the tests. I started the car’s engine and had the headlight control set to “Auto”.
  • With nobody in the car, I marked the blue painter’s tape where the horizontal headlamp line showed the top of the right and left low beam lights. This was my baseline mark.
  • With one person in the driver’s seat and one person in the passenger seat, I checked to see if the right and left low beam lights changed position. The horizontal headlamp line showed the top of the right and left low beam light was only down a negligible 1/8 inch compared to the baseline mark.
  • With one person in the driver’s seat, one person in the passenger seat, and two people in the back seats, I checked to see if the right and left low beam lights changed position. The horizontal headlamp line showed the top of the right and left low beam light was down a huge 1 3/4 inch compared to the stationary baseline mark.
2) I pulled my car out of the garage and parked on the street with the headlight control set to “Auto”.
  • With one person in the driver’s seat and one person in the passenger seat, the low beam headlight shown about 150 - 200 feet (a proper distance) in front of the car and I could not see any discernible horizontal headlamp line showing the top of the right and left low beam lights.
  • Then, two people got into the back seat of my car. The AFLS dramatically dropped my headlights down, and the horizontal headlamp line showing the top of the right and left low beam lights was very noticeable because the headlight beam only cast light out about 50 feet in front of my car.
  • Next, the two people got out of my car. The AFLS raised my headlights back to the same position as they were with one person in the driver’s seat and one person in the passenger seat.
Conclusion: The results of those tests demonstrate and prove that the AFLS in my car is creating an unsafe, dangerous and hazardous situation when there are four people in the car at night because the low beam headlights only show light about 50 feet in front of the car instead of the normal 150 - 200 feet they should be showing. The results show the AFLS in my car is automatically adjusting the low beam headlights dangerously too low instead of adjusting properly to the baseline mark. Thus, causing the illuminated line of sight to be much shorter than it should be.

I will be scheduling another appointment at my local Kia dealership to convey the information shown above.
 

· Registered
2019 Kia Optima SX
Joined
·
2 Posts
Based on all the information shown in my post above, my local Kia service department tested my car’s headlights and AFLS a second time, and stated they were working properly according to Kia’s specifications and general test procedures. I and the dealership had more discussion about the real problem occurring when people were in the back seat, and the dealership’s service technician having no documentation about how to correct or adjust the AFLS problem. After some strong persuasion, the dealership stated it would contact Kia America technical engineers to determine what might be causing the problem and look for a solution. The technical engineers at Kia America asked my dealership to run some specific tests that were not part of the normal testing. After running the tests requested by Kia America with four people in the car, Kia America reported that everything was working properly and no repairs were indicated. My local dealership has done everything it could to assist me but can't go any further because Kai America states there isn't a problem.

This problem is not being taken seriously enough by Kia America even though it presents a dangerous situation. If anyone else has this problem with their headlights, please contact Kia America or Kia corporate, and submit a complaint to Kia’s customer care escalation department. I will be following up with my Kia America Escalated Case Associate.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top