Technology is always changing and what is current and preferable today may be outdated tomorrow. It is the case with the auto industry. Every new development helps companies to bring new models with new facilities and features. Like, all modern BMW cars use cornering headlights to improve safety and nighttime driving. However, with all additions to these cars, benefits are great, but it does mean that there is an additional component to maintain.

The cornering lights on fewer models of BMW vehicles with xenon and adaptive lights are often easily mistaken for the vehicle’s high beams since they are located in the interior lamp circle, which is normally used for cornering light. These cornering lights are added as a safety feature to illuminate the side area of your car, considerably increasing safety in the dark or in poor lighting conditions. However, there are several different headlight assemblies depending on model, year of production and lighting options. Cornering lights can be operated and activated by setting turn indicator signal or speed parameters. Cornering lights are generally meant to provide extra brightness to help with sharp turns or parking whereas adaptive headlights are designed to illuminate long, tight bends, junctions or sweeping bands.  Therefore, drivers can recognise the course of a bend sooner and adapt to their driving style accordingly as well as pedestrians and other possible hazards are picked out more quickly and proactively by the light beam.

What BMW’S Cornering Lighting Does?

BMW’s adaptive headlights or cornering headlights are able to move the light projector to the left or right reflexively as you drive. The cornering light is activated when the front wheels are turned, increasing visibility around the corners and illuminating otherwise hidden objects. These lights are helpful for the drivers to clearly see the part of road they are turning towards thereby reducing the chances of accidents and blind spots. However, cornering lights could be halogen lamps, LEDs or bi-xenon systems; some BMW models are equipped with automated LED headlights that are capable of changing their brightness when faced with incoming traffic.

With most modern BMW models using the LED variant, older models of BMW are typically equipped with xenon headlights that allow the fog light to illuminate at slow speeds when making a turn.

How To Tell If Your BMW Model Uses Automated Cornering Lights?

If you are a new buyer of BMW and not aware if your model features automated adaptive headlights, then you can do this simply by leaving your car parked with a running engine and asking your friend to turn the steering wheel to the right and left to make you watch the response of light to this movement of steering. If the low beam projector moves, it means your BMW has adaptive headlights.

What are the Symptoms for Adaptive Headlights Failure?

You could check and notice for a list of symptoms to identify failure of your BMW adaptive headlights. These may include:

  • Adaptive headlights turn to only one side;  only turn right, not left or Adaptive headlights only turn left, not right.
  • Adaptive headlamp control malfunction message and warning light
  • Warning message: Adaptive headlight control malfunction. Have the system checked by your BMW center
  • The low beam stuck off-center.
  • Greenlight flashing by the headlight switch

What Causes The Error?

As with most of the electronic parts failure, adaptive lighting may also fail.  Whenever there is any problem with the adaptive light or any of its part, dashboard of your BMW displays a message “Left Right cornering light malfunction” for which there could be several possible causes but mostly it is the adaptive headlight module that fails. Now, the main cause for the failure of adaptive headlight module is water that could enter in the module if the car has driven through heavy rain or flooding, or going through a car wash. Water/ condensation in the headlight can cause the module to stop working.

How to Prevent Failure of Adaptive Lights?

BMW’s headlight access door has a seal to prevent water from entering headlight assembly. Therefore, it is important to make sure the seal is properly secured after cleaning or replacing the bulb.

A cracked headlight or a loose access door in the headlight's back easily allows water to enter the headlight so it is imperative that you keep checking your headlight cover frequently because the Adaptive Headlight Drive Control Unit Lighting Module is at the lowest point of the headlight so when water gets into the module, it gets damaged and the warning message is triggered.

How to Fix the Error?

BMW engineers were kind enough to leave access to the bulb on the top of the headlight assembly, making it an easy procedure for even the most beginner of mechanics.  To fix this left right cornering light malfunction error, all you need to do is just locate the cornering light and flip the cover cap of the headlight assembly and remove the bulb by turning it counterclockwise. You don’t need to remove the whole housing, only a bulb replacement will do the job.

You can buy the bulb for your model from any online store or contact a certified technician to help you with selecting the bulb and fixing this error.