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Mk4 Mondeo Headlight Warning Message


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#1 Richyread

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:33 AM

HI,

 

First of all thank you for taking the time to read my first post.

 

I've been a (very) proud owner of an 08 2.0 TDCi Titanium X for about 6 weeks now and love the car assuming I can wrestle it off the wife! :D

 

A couple of niggles since we purchased it, but the majority of these have been resolved by our local independent garage as part of a full service.

 

The one remaining issue concerns the front headlights and specifically the presentation of an error message on the dash.

 

Overview:

 

- Car starts normally and if headlight switch is in 'on' or 'auto' mode setting, the headlights run through some form of levelling set-up procedure.

 

- Set-up completes in about 5 sec and headlights stay on with no error or warning messages displayed.

 

- After 2-3 mins of driving a 'bing-bong' audible alert will sound, a 'Front- Headlight Malfunction'  message on Converse+ and the on screen car graphic will get a yellow spot showing on front bumper.

 

- After a further 3-5 mins driving the headlights look as though they go back through the levelling set-up procedure.

 

Diagnosis:

 

- The fault only appears when using full beam/main beam - running on just sidelights is fine.

- The lights themselves remain on and seem to function correctly including the additional 'cornering lights' (which seemed opposite to threads on other forums I searched)

- The timing of the alert and message appears to be linked to either a sharp incline or sharp bends, such as a roundabout.

- Turning the car off and on again clears the error message as above.

 

Apologies for the long winded post I just wanted to make sure I had everything down in case it shows a pattern etc.

 

The lights themselves run fine (except for my little boy who calls them "Circus Lights") and in terms of driving at night the mechanics of it all seems fine, so this points to some form of sensor fault I guess?

 

My question is having a budget of £350 left to spend this year on it (after paying 12mth Tax, MOT and full Service all in last 4 weeks) I want to try and get the issue nailed down to make sure I spend that in the right place.

 

So I guess I'm looking for anyone that has had any previous examples of this issue, or could give me a couple of DIY pointers of things to check before I make the trek to my local Ford for their investigation.

 

E.g. could it be the wrong type of bulbs? Mine seem to be Halogen whereas most of the facelift models I've seen seem to have Xenons etc.

 

Thanks you for your time.

 

Richy.

 



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#2 BOF

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:47 AM

E.g. could it be the wrong type of bulbs? Mine seem to be Halogen whereas most of the facelift models I've seen seem to have Xenons etc.

 

I don't think so. It seems to me that you had to buy an option pack to get the Xenons (...many people would, because their company had allowed them the budget for a top of the range car...), specifically the Premium X pack, which could only be added to a Titanium or Titanium X, OR buy Xenons as an individual item (with washer jets, actually) OR buy an Titanium X Sport. In any case, if you had the wrong bulbs, which I'd have expected not to physically fit the socket, the lights probably wouldn't work, so I don't think this can be the explanation.

 

- After a further 3-5 mins driving the headlights look as though they go back through the levelling set-up procedure.

 

It looks to me as if this is saying that the initial self-level was not registered as successful, and it tries again. Probably a self level tries to wind a stepper to one end of the range (low?) and then march forward a certain number of steps to get to the right height. There may well not be a physical sensor, as it might rely on the motor stalling when it reaches the end of the adjustment range.

 

Things to look for:

  • Is there a sensor (switch) of some kind? I'd guess probably not, but, if there is, check that the connections look ok and maybe try a DVM across it to see if looks to be switching correctly.
  • In any case, have a look at the mechanics. I'm guessing a motor driving a screw or other gear. Check that there isn't any 'grot' that is obstructing the winding of the height from one end to another, and maybe give it a bit of lubrication (the heavily PTFE loaded bike greases are often useful in this situation).
  • Check all the connectors anyway. Joggle them in and out, and maybe a spray of WD40 (...other sprays are available..) just to ensure that the connection areas are clean and corrosion free.
  • Check there isn't anything physically obvious wrong - eg, securing screws for the headlight assemblies loose (or missing...or wrong screws fitted) so that the lights are wobbling up and down.

another possibility is to watch what actually happens as you switch on...maybe you have to remove the headlight assemblies to see what goes on, or maybe you can just watch while someone else switches things on.

 

-Apparently I'm not allowed  to abbreviate 'Titanium X Sport' in the common way.... bad news, if I ever take up birdwatching.


Edited by BOF, 17 March 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#3 Richyread

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:07 AM

I can see how that abbreviation may get you in trouble... :P

 

Thank you very much for the pointers - If/when it ever stops raining>sleet>snow>raining here I'll get out on the drive and get the headlight unit out and do as you suggest.

 

Something which my wife spotted last night actually from coming back in the snow is that the drivers headlight unit seems to have some condensation on the inside - I'm in no way mechanically minded but I'm guessing water + electrics could also be a possible cause?

 

Richy.



#4 BOF

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

Something which my wife spotted last night actually from coming back in the snow is that the drivers headlight unit seems to have some condensation on the inside - I'm in no way mechanically minded but I'm guessing water + electrics could also be a possible cause?

 

A little condensation on the inside of the headlamp 'glasses' is quite common, and does not cause most people this kind of problem (although, it is, aesthetically, a bit unpleasant). On the other hand, if it goes so far that a connection corrodes badly, then that is likely to be problematic.



#5 Pinkbazcat

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 03:39 PM

Just wondering did you find what problem was with your lights only I've got front light malfunction error message. Thanks.

#6 Richyread

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:31 PM

Just wondering did you find what problem was with your lights only I've got front light malfunction error message. Thanks.

 

Hi,

 

Yes spooky you should write here as I was just about to update this thread myself!  ;)

 

Having had the fault for 12mths now it got to a stage a few months back where (having changed jobs) I was spending far more of my time out in the evenings - hence spending more time with this error message.

 

From reading online there appears to be a few different flavors of this 'Front Headlight Malfunction' ranging from the more serious "my lights fail completely", to a more mundane "they still work fine, but" etc.

 

In my case (as above) the lights still work after the error is displayed, I simply experience a partial re-run of the auto setup 'sweep' (from left to right etc.) every couple of minutes whilst driving, certainly to the annoyance of other road users.

 

After having my car in at 3 different garages (including 2 Ford main dealers) for a combined total of around 16 days (faulty parking sensors (which I don't even have fitted) don't ask!  <_<) I have I think managed to now get a formal diagnosis.

 

At the last garage I visited I was able to spend some time with an engineer after explaining all the troubles i had previously. Anyhow, he kindly went through the fault diagnostics with me in the test station (for free which was good) and we narrowed it down to 3 possibilities in my case.

 

1. My passenger cornering lamp was only coming on intermittently (dodgy bulb)

 

2. Within the passenger foot well, underneath the glove box, there is a wiring board/fuse type unit (sorry not very technical with cars :P). We've noticed sometimes that when my wife's grandmother sits in the car (she uses a walking stick) the airbag sensor and other weird messages pop up from time to time.

Well the engineer showed and explained that on some editions either through manufacturing or over time, the carpet and board protecting this unit wears away/isn't fitted and so folks with long legs (me) or walking sticks/crutches etc. can sometimes knock this and loosen connections etc. 

 

3. Headlight leveling sensor

 

So for point one it was a fairly straight forward job of popping down my local Europarts store (very helpful chaps) and grabbing some new bulbs - think it came in at under £10 for a pair.

Took the lights out and replaced them both a fortnight ago and then refitted them. Sadly whilst this resolved the cornering lamp issue, I'm still left with he error & headlight problem.

 

Point 2 was simple - mine is still sealed and covered so fairly certain that it was only throwing up errors once some one actually hit it/stood on it etc With the headlight fault message coming on even if I'm driving the car on my own, then this wasn't likely the cause either.

 

Point 3 appears to be the problem in my case; After completing the above and booking it back in to the same garage, I've received a report that says the following:

 

- "Road test - confirm fault"

- "IDS Check"

- "Right hand headlamp swiveling feedback sensor fault"

- "Basic wiring checks complete at headlamp"

- "Requires new headlamp assembly"

 

Obviously this is output from what the computer says is a fault - I don't think there has been any human in-depth diagnosis of the actual head lamp itself, but I'm fairly accepting that this is probably the most likely cause given the error codes and what I actually witness when the error comes onto the dash.

 

What I'm less accepting of is the modern practice of making headlamps complete sealed units - £449 for one lamp!!  :angry:  I think I'll take my chances with the scrap man.

 

So that is where I am now.

 

Apologies for the lengthy feedback, but I wanted to just give you and others who may stumble across this in the future, some points to try before heading down the replacement route.

 

On a more annoying note - the late 07/early 08 titanium X models have halogen bulbs as opposed to the standard xenon of later models. So I've the extra complication of trying to make sure I find a drivers side - automatic leveling - halogen headlamp for cheap as chips as I'm currently laid off work too....The words needle & haystack come to mind...!

 

I hope this helps - even if it gives you some things to check off, that aren't the reason.

 

Good luck.

 

Richy.



#7 Pinkbazcat

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:28 PM

Thanks so much for your reply. My error message is on constantly though and doesn't go off n lights look ok. just a nightmare as only had car few weeks. Just my luck. Thanks.

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