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Amazon return

After work I belted around to the post office, having noted that they now close at 5pm rather than quarter past (Covid was a great excuse to cut back on post office opening hours). Afterwards, I popped into the little bio shop run by a perky granola girl... and instead found a bunch of people talking in an unknown language, and an assortment of packets of things written using Latin letters adorned with all sorts of peculiar accents. At a guess, I'd say Turkish.

Well, if the bio place wasn't classed as an essential business, or if people just didn't go there during the various lockdowns, I would imagine Covid pretty much killed that business. Which is a shame, but then with the mess the economy is in, ought not be a surprise.

After that, a quick visit to the library. I had to rummage around and dig up my vaccination pass. Haven't needed that in a while. I got three DVDs, that I'll rip over the weekend to watch on the tablet...when I get around to it.

By the time I got home, Amazon sent me a message to say that my refund had been issued as a credit to my account (I had the option of being refunded to my bank card, but I use Amazon often enough that it didn't matter either way). They talked about how nice the instant reimbursement is, and then in the next paragraph said they'd reclaim it if the item doesn't turn up. Well, given that I have a photo of the parcel at the post office and a stamped proof of posting, if it doesn't turn up they ought to look at the carrier...



Following the library, I did a quick whizz around the supermarket. Quick enough that I pulled into the MOT place at twenty to six. The man came out and started to tell me that these sorts of cars don't need a test. Then he recognised me. "Oh, I thought you said it was a Citroën", he said.

I know my accent sucks, but "Aixam" (ayk-sam) and "Citroën" (sit-row-en) don't sound even remotely similar!

He took it into the garage and popped the bonnet. "Nope, not there", I thought to myself. I wasn't allowed into the test area else I'd have told him it's some stupid nonsense that you have to turn the steering wheel to full lock and try to shove your hand up through the gap. God help me if I need to change a headlight... They could have designed that a little better...

He fiddled around a bit, and came back and said that the lights were a little high, but he can't do anything as it needs a specialist tool to do the job and that I should go to a garage. I thanked him and asked how much I owed, and he just waved his hand.
Nice bloke. ☺


I came home and looked at the user manual, which gave clear instructions about how to change the bulbs, with photos and diagrams conveniently omitting the bloody great wheel in the way. <sigh> But it said absolutely nothing at all about adjusting the headlights.
I have a repair guide, and that gives all sorts of fault diagnostics for the engine, plus a stripped down view of how the CVT is assembled. It even talks about how to glue the plastic bodywork onto the frame. But aligning headlights? Not a word.

So I grabbed a torch and took a look.

A headlight fitting
A headlight fitting.

To put this into context, this photo was taken by resting my phone on the tyre, as I couldn't be bothered steering it out of the way for a photo. Accordingly, every bit of mud and grot and cow poop will be flung off the tyre into the wheel arch and, of course, all over the back of the headlight unit.
I do spray this with the hose when I'm washing the car, but I've not done that recently as the weather hasn't been great. Poor Caoimhe looks a bit naff, so I might wash her over the weekend if it's decent enough weather and I'm not too knackered ... remember, this Saturday I start at 5am, so I might just come home and watch Dwayne Johnson practising his smouldering intensity in several new films on Netflix - nothing that requires any actual cerebral activity as I doubt I'll be up for that.

What stood out most to me were those two plastic lugs. One very visible on the right of the picture, and the other lurking behind the wire on the left.
They were plastic rods with an X-shaped cross section. Which just so happened to fit a 9mm spanner.

I decided to turn one, and see what happened. Left light, lower knob, didn't seem to do anything. The left wheel upper knob, turning it made the top of the lit up area created by the left headlight start to go down.
For the right wheel, the lower knob (the obvious one in the photo), made the top of the lit area of the right headlight go down.
I think I turned both anti-clockwise.

I adjusted both to drop the lit areas. I have no idea what they're actually supposed to illuminate, suffice to say that being too high kept getting me flashed which was not good for my photosensitive eyes.

Since I had been burning the headlights without the engine turning, I started Caoimhe to go out for a short drive to test the headlights and dump some charge into the battery.

Got to the top of the access lane, turned left, and wham - a wall of fog. I had to do the back road at twenty as it just wasn't possible to see anything. With the fog lights on, the low lying front lights helped to show where the edges of the road were. Don't want to fall off the road, given the ditch is variously a quarter to a half metre deep (and in places twice that!).

I drove the same route that I took for my test drive video, one of the first videos I made with this car.

Over a few hills, the fog went away and there was lots of moonlight instead.

The headlights were certainly lighting up less than they used to.

What the headlights illuminate
What the headlights illuminate.
However I did not consider this to be a big deal for two reasons. Firstly, at the speed my car goes at, there's a comfortable 4-5 seconds reaction time with what the headlights show, which might not be enough to emergency brake for a cat, but it's not like I'm driving blind. And secondly, I did this journey with regular headlights specifically as a test. If I was driving normally, in the absence of other drivers I'd flip up to main beams.

I was passed by five and a half vehicles (the half was a bastard white van that kept mains on the whole time), and nobody flashed me. I consider that a good result, given that three people flashed me on the way home.
It was getting to the point where when I saw an oncoming car, I'd rest my fingers on the headlight stalk to flash them right back to say "no, these aren't main beams". So being done with that nonsense would be good.


Bedtime in an hour. I'm getting up at 5.45 tomorrow (normally 6.45), and at 4.45 on Friday, so the wake at 3.45 on Saturday won't be too traumatic. Well, that's the plan... ☺



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David Pilling, 18th November 2021, 13:46
The top ranking page for Aixam headlight adjustment.
Matt Harris, 20th November 2021, 13:26
The two adjusters on the back of the headlight are usually, for want of some better phrasing, 'pitch' and 'yaw'. 
So the first one you adjusted likely moved the 'yaw' of the headlight. This would not be easy to see unless parked up close to a wall. 
Each headlight has a rough beam pattern like '---/' (as it's LHD an up-tick to the right) and it's essentially the position of where that up-tick is focused that you're adjusting. 
Hope that helps explain it a bit
J.G.Harston, 24th November 2021, 00:36
he he. This was my journey to work one day last winter:

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