Headlights for France -please help.

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JohnyCat

New Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
25
Location
Barnard Castle and Hérisson France
Car
E350 AMG Night Edition Estate, 2016
Hi there.

I am needing some advice urgently about a major problem I have to get my vehicle transferred to French plates and to be accepted in the French system. My problem is my headlights.



I have a Mercedes E35O -AMG Night Edition Estate -2016 with ‘intelligent LED light system.



I thought that these lights were adaptive, and I was told when I bought the car 13 months ago from a Mercedes main dealer that they would automatically adapt to right hand driving.

After living in France for nearly a year and last week getting my application for residency approved, I went to my local MOT station to get the car a French MOT which is required for French insurance and to register it in the French System. The test station was good enough to look at my lights in advance of the test and told me that they would fail, as when parked for the test they did not meet the requirements and that the lights were illuminated as per a left-hand drive car.

He advised me to check with Mercedes to see if they were adjustable to right hand drive (either from within the car or by the dealership).

I contacted my local dealership in Montlucon who told me that they are not adjustable and that I would have to buy new headlights at 4000 euros for the two, plus the cost of fitting them. I was given an estimation of about 500 euros to fit. So that would be 4500 euros in total.

This is a huge blow for me. Especially as I will incur other costs for completing the process of about 500 euros if things go smoothly. Because of my situation of arriving in November last year, I should not have to pay import or vat charges. If that was the case, I would have to pay 37% of the cars value.



I have looked at sourcing the headlights from parts suppliers in the Uk and France. For the equivalent headlights I can get in the Uk from just under 1000 pounds each. Which saves me about two thousand pounds over Mercedes in France.

Also surprisingly, Mercedes dealerships in England will supply and fit the right hand driving headlights for about 2500 pounds. Which all though a big kick in the nuts , is two grand cheaper than in France.

So, this is where I need some advice. I have been told that to have them fitted they need to match the codes to the computer to make them function properly (intelligent lighting system) and that it is a quite time consuming job to fit correctly. So, am I tied to getting them fitted by a main dealer?

Also, of the three dealerships that I called in the UK (all on the face of things were really helpful) I got three different answers regarding weather or not they could be adjusted. All took the time out to look into the situation with their service departments and all rang me back when they promised to.

The dealer prepared to sell and fit at the price quoted, said that they thought that it should be possible to adjust them. From in car-through the menu system on the driver’s wheel. If not, to get back to them and they would make inquiries to see if it could be done on their computers.



Another dealer told me that they could be adjusted but not in car, but by a switch at the back of the headlight. Which means removing the lights to do it.

Which if true would be worth doing. Does anyone know if this is the case?



The third dealership that I spoke to, the main dealer where I bought my car and for various reasons, I don’t have much confidence in, just told me that

‘we have checked and good news ….You have the intelligent LED system and they self-adjust and you don’t need to do anything……

Which is obviously not correct.

So armed with this information I am struggling to find anywhere in the menu system that has anything to do with headlights. But I am a bit old and slow when it comes to these things. Can anyone advise me where/how to look please?

So, I have joined the forum in the hope that some kind person can tell me whether they are actually adjustable or not, how to do it if so, and any advice on buying fitting right hand drive headlights.

Obviously, I am considering selling my car in England especially as prices are strong in England but second hand prices in France are ridiculous.

For example, a direct replacement for my car would be nearly 10,000 euros more!

A neighbour is selling his bog-standard Renault Megan hatchback -2008 for 15000 euros – for a quick sale… And it really is a standard family edition.

So for what I will get for mine in the UK, I am going to struggle to get anything even near the quality.



I also love this car. Having come from a long history of Audi/BMW in the past, this is my first Mercedes and I love this E350 Night Edition. With the power for overtaking in sport mode, I have never had any problems with it being right hand drive.



I would be really grateful for any advice.



Thanks

John
 
Your headlights are adjustable with a setting in the infotainment system, the intelligent part will no longer work but you will have the correct dumb beam pattern.
 
In the menu on the steering wheel there is a sub menu called light settings, you can switch between left and right side driving. It does not do it automatically. Once you have switched it consider going to a different garage. There is a lot of inconsistencies in French garages regarding right hand drive cars, some will not accept the stick on beam benders when they are perfectly legal.
 
Your headlights are adjustable with a setting in the infotainment system, the intelligent part will no longer work but you will have the correct dumb beam pattern.
Wow! Thank you so much. I will Try and find how to do it. I struggle with these things but I will be dancing 🕺 if I can do it. There will also be some beers and accommodation if you are ever passing my way in France. I so hope that you are right 🙏
 
In the menu on the steering wheel there is a sub menu called light settings, you can switch between left and right side driving. It does not do it automatically. Once you have switched it consider going to a different garage. There is a lot of inconsistencies in French garages regarding right hand drive cars, some will not accept the stick on beam benders when they are perfectly legal.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am not very good at these things. I will look in to the stick on beam benders situation as this test station said that they are ok for visitors but we’re made illegal for the mot just a few years ago. in any case, thank you for taking the time and if you are ever passing me in Central France , get in touch. My village was recently voted 3rd best village in the whole of France by French TVs number one channel. I always have cold beers in the fridge and a spare room👍
 
Thank you so much for your reply. I am not very good at these things. I will look in to the stick on beam benders situation as this test station said that they are ok for visitors but we’re made illegal for the mot just a few years ago. in any case, thank you for taking the time and if you are ever passing me in Central France , get in touch. My village was recently voted 3rd best village in the whole of France by French TVs number one channel. I always have cold beers in the fridge and a spare room👍
If you have the led intelligent system I don’t think the beam benders will work, but if the garage fit them and it passes the CoC then happy days. Any problems, there is a Facebook site I think is called Strictly Legal that have comprehensive files on the motoring laws in English and French which you can print off and take to the garage to show they are legal. Where in Central France, we have properties in 36 Indre.
 
Wow! Thank you so much. I will Try and find how to do it. I struggle with these things but I will be dancing 🕺 if I can do it. There will also be some beers and accommodation if you are ever passing my way in France. I so hope that you are right 🙏

Hi , my car has the ILS head lights and as stated before adjusted from RHD to LHD in the driver menu.

The performance of the head lights is OK when on LHD menu but not as good as RHD.
 
Hi , my car has the ILS head lights and as stated before adjusted from RHD to LHD in the driver menu.

The performance of the head lights is OK when on LHD menu but not as good as RHD.
Thank you so much for taking the time. My car is a bit older than yours. I will check tomorrow because actually I am in a Boyband too…lol I am playing sax with my covers band in France tonight 😀
 
Just to clarify. My car is a W212 version. I hope that the above posts apply to this version. Big thanks anyway
I have a W212 and just went out to try to change the lighting to LHS.
Its easy. Turn on the ignition and use the scroll buttons on the left side of the steering wheel to go to settings.
When in settings, scroll down to lighting.
When in lighting, scroll down to "switch lights to LHS" and click OK.

Back out of the settings to your preferred display.20210925_171024[1].jpg20210925_170943[1].jpg
 
I would just like to point out the beers and accommodation in France were promised to me. 😉
 
prices in France are ridiculous

MB parts prices in France are ludicrous. Don't buy in France.

Examples: front pads for my 300CE-24 W124, 160€. UK price £60.

Ignition controller 2300€ in France, 1100€ in Germany.

You get the picture.

RayH
 
just want to say Big Thanks to all who took the time . Thanks to you, and members of a different forum (one guy actually got in his car and took pictures on how to do it for me ) and it took all of 90 seconds -lol. Proof of the pudding is at the testing station…..I will let you know how I get on.
Thank you 🙏
 
MB parts prices in France are ludicrous. Don't buy in France.

Examples: front pads for my 300CE-24 W124, 160€. UK price £60.

Ignition controller 2300€ in France, 1100€ in Germany.

You get the picture.

RayH
Wow..Thank you so much….I will obviously remember this when I do need parts. The German quote is interesting as it’s in the EU and no import duty/vat to worry about. Obviously finding a way to get parts from the uk would be the preferred method. Thank you for your time. Much appreciated 👍
 
I have a W212 and just went out to try to change the lighting to LHS.
Its easy. Turn on the ignition and use the scroll buttons on the left side of the steering wheel to go to settings.
When in settings, scroll down to lighting.
When in lighting, scroll down to "switch lights to LHS" and click OK.

Back out of the settings to your preferred display.View attachment 119024View attachment 119023
I think I just thanked you on another forum and referred to you in my general thanks above. You are an absolute star. The world needs more people like you. 🙏
 
I would just like to point out the beers and accommodation in France were promised to me. 😉
Seriously. I live on my own (and 50kg dog lol) my door is always open. He is a good dog but not always the best conversationalist….
I know when people travel through France they need a break somewhere. I am a couple of km from the geographical centre of France , in the ‘3rd most loved village in the whole of France. So a good spot for taking a break. So seriously if you or any other poster is ever passing….
 
If you have the led intelligent system I don’t think the beam benders will work, but if the garage fit them and it passes the CoC then happy days. Any problems, there is a Facebook site I think is called Strictly Legal that have comprehensive files on the motoring laws in English and French which you can print off and take to the garage to show they are legal. Where in Central France, we have properties in 36 Indre.
If you have the led intelligent system I don’t think the beam benders will work, but if the garage fit them and it passes the CoC then happy days. Any problems, there is a Facebook site I think is called Strictly Legal that have comprehensive files on the motoring laws in English and French which you can print off and take to the garage to show they are legal. Where in Central France, we have properties in 36 Indre.
Fantastic information. I am a out 15 k from the geographical centre of France. A lovely little medieval village called Hérisson. It was recently voted 3rd best village 2021 in the whole of France by TF1 ( french number 1 tv channel) in a competition that took about 6 months of knock out rounds to complete. You obviously know France well so you know how many amazing villages there are. I only moved here end of October last year. Just got my Carte Séjour. Like I say, central France isn’t really considered a great tourist region and I get that, but we are 5k away from the biggest natural oak forest in Europe. For a small village there is a hell of a lot of entertainment here. We have an international theatre company based here, An Oscar winning song writer (think Commitments and Once) and erm ….Me! Lol. So anyone who has helped, Pm me if you are passing 🍻💃🕺
 
I would say....:

1. If you can sort it out from the instrument cluster menu as suggested, then great.

2. If not, you may have a case against the selling dealer under the Consumer Protection Act 2015, the goods are both 'not as described' and 'not fit for purpose', as long as you have proof that you explained to them that you needed the car to be legal in France, in essence try and get them to fit EU headlamps at no cost to you or (threaten to) take them to court.

3. If neither 1 or 2 above work for you, the only people I would trust with this conversion are forum members Richard and Alfie at www.comandonline.co.uk in Lightwater in the UK (SE).
 

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