Headlights when driving in Europe

Chemical Matt

Active Member
Dec 16, 2020
36
33
Sorry if this has been asked already but I couldn't find a post.

Hopefully someone can help out.
I'm heading off to Europe for a Road trip on Sunday and need to know if the led headlights on my phev xcellence estate will adjust the pattern for the other side of the road or will I have to use the old stickers like in the old days.
 

dan555

Active Member
Sep 29, 2020
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92
 

Glosphil

Active Member
Nov 10, 2004
248
101
Gloucestershire
Martin j is correct. LED dip beam has no 'kick up' on left so correct for driving on the left & right.

Could be 'interesting' trying to convince a French policeman doing the usual stop the English driver & look for a reason to fine them.
 

Yern

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
537
275
Abroad 1.JPG
Abroad 2.JPG
 

Chemical Matt

Active Member
Dec 16, 2020
36
33
Hi all, thanks for your advice. I'd never looked at the beam pattern properly before and you're right - they are flat(ish). There is no kick to one side so although the manual says to use a sticky label there's no need.

Coincidentally, took the eurotunnel to France and when we got of the train the car had every failure possible with the front sensors and had the great pleasure in beeping at me to tell me every few mins for 5 hours of driving. Don't you just love modern cars. Hoping that a three day lay up now should cure the problem.
 

Damo H

Remind me, what's an indicator?
Staff member
Moderator
Oct 3, 2012
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2,720
Car Length In Front
Martin j is correct. LED dip beam has no 'kick up' on left so correct for driving on the left & right.

Could be 'interesting' trying to convince a French policeman doing the usual stop the English driver & look for a reason to fine them.

I bought some of the light deflectors and then kept them in the page of my manual just in case. That way I could try and explain to the Gendarme that I was at least willing but my manual said they weren't needed. I went past several stops on my various visits to France on both my Mk3s and thankfully no issues (even when flooring it from a toll booth :D )

Except with LEDs on the Leon, they are symmetric
This is the updated (Fixed) manual that confirms the tourist function of the LED lights being the same as the Halogen. I've been told the same information from dealers about the LED lights being completely level, which is not true.

View attachment 33211

They are still asymmetrical in their beam pattern and this can be easily seen if you park your car up against a wall or garage.

I used to have my own photos of both pre and post facelift headlights but since the Leon's gone I had a clear out of my iCloud, so you'll have to make do with the photo I stole from another thread:

View attachment 33212


EDIT: Just realised this is the Mk4 thread not the Mk3 🤦‍♂️ so not sure if the lights have changed, but I was told the same thing about the Mk3 lights and it simply wasn't true. Never had a Mk4 so the above may very well be right.
 
Last edited:

BoomerBoom

Active Member
Jun 1, 2018
593
214
Both the MK3 and MK4 qualify as tourist light compliant so nothing needs to be done for short trips abroad, neither beam pattern comes even close to the old halogen lights with the big upward kick on the left and which would get you stopped.

Only if you've adjusted the light up a bit might you have problems, so might be worth turning them back down before your trip.
 

Damo H

Remind me, what's an indicator?
Staff member
Moderator
Oct 3, 2012
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Car Length In Front
Not sure if the more expensive Audi's have it, or the Matrix LEDs that I believe are now an option on the Leon. But the BMW Adaptive LED's have the ability to swap sides of the road. Just need to go into the settings and tell it you're abroad.

Having had the Xenons on the Mk2 Leon with the sweeping left and right when cornering, I did feel the LEDs on my 280 where a step back when it came to lighting the road. I was hoping it would come back on the facelift Mk3 but sadly it didn't. Seems mad that the Mk4 is only just now getting lights as good as the old Mk2. But if I was going for a Mk4, the adaptive LEDs would be a must have option....
 

Yern

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
537
275
Not sure if the more expensive Audi's have it, or the Matrix LEDs that I believe are now an option on the Leon. But the BMW Adaptive LED's have the ability to swap sides of the road. Just need to go into the settings and tell it you're abroad.
Shame you can't do that with the steering column, instruments and pedals :ROFLMAO: ...maybe in time.
 
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