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Info guides and mods

Euro/UK Light Adjustment

Going abroad? moving abroad? taking your smart with you? want to conform to their road laws? bored of questions already?

Modification Details




Left Or Right Hand Traffic

In the UK we sit on the right and drive on the left, same with Australia, Japan and a few others.
In Europe, USA and others sit on the left and drive on the right.

The position of the car in the road obviously means that the oncoming traffic will differ,
either to the left or to the right of the car you are in. Headlight beams are shaped to give
the best view of the road without shining into the eyes of incoming traffic. Much of the beam
is aimed away from other motorists to illuminate the side of the road and street signs.

If you then take your car to a different country where they drive on the opposite side of the road,
the illumination meant for road signs now shines straight into the faces of on coming traffic.

On the 451, Roadster and Forfour, it is easy to adjust the lights to suit.

Light Unit Adjustment

This adjustment is only available on the Roadster, the Forfour or the new Fortwo 451.
The above stated car models have projector headlights which have a physical cut off
point built into the headlight unit. The cut off point can be adjusted for LHD or RHD.

The process is usually quite simple and involves moving a part inside the headlights.
Check further down this page to see the guides on how to perform this adjustment.

Adjusting The New Fortwo (451) Headlights

This adjustment is probably best done with the headlights removed.
Remove the outer most rubber cap and look underneath the bulb assembly.
You will notice a metal tab with a hole in it, this moves to control the light shut off line.



From the inside shot you can see the shutter is down. This is for driving on the left.



Looking into the bulb hole you can see the final Z-line shape.



To change the light output to make it suitable for driving on the right, the tab has to be moved.
The tab needs to be pushed forwards and moved over to the right.



With the tab moved over you can see the cut off line is straight.



Looking into the bulb hole you can see the straight cut off line very clearly.



So to recap, if you are driving on the left like UK traffic, the tabs need to be on the left.
If you are driving on the right like Europe or America, the tabs need to be on the right.

The tab must be moved over in both headlights, not just the one.

An ideal tool for moving the tabs over is an allen key. The small shank of the allen key can be placed into the hole allowing you to push and slide. Another possible tool would be a hooked dentists tooth pick.

Adjusting The Roadster Headlights
The Proper Way

Remove the headlights by following 
this guide.

Look on the back of the lower unit, this is the dipped beam that we are going to be adjusting.
You will see two bolt holes next to each other but only one bolt plus letters below.

The L/G means Links/Gauche which is Left in German/French.
The R/D means Rechts/Droite which is Right in German/French.

This has nothing to do with what side your steering wheel is on, it is what side of the road you will be driving on. The English drive on the left so your lights should be on L/G as below.



Using a Torx25 screwdriver, remove all three screws.



If you look on the bottom of the unit you will see a point that can only sit in one of two positions. Pull the back of the light off and replace it with the point in the opposite space.



The top bolt should now only go into the R/D side of the two holes.
Replace the other two bolts and tighten them all down. Refit the lights.



The Quick Way

If you travel abroad a lot and need to change your Roadster headlight quite often,
you can do a fairly easy mod so you change the orientation in under a minute.

This was apparently originally done by Jeff H and was sent in by Paul M.

Mill off the plastic that prevents the movement between LHD and
RHD seen here between the tail and tip of the green arrow.



Mill out a curved slot between the L/G and R/D holes
so that the shell can turn without removing the screw.


Refit with the screws nipped up but not too tight. You should now be able to
reach in under the bonnet and twist the light housing for LHD/RHD at will.


Adjusting The Forfour Headlights

The Forfour uses exactly the same headlight optics as the 451 fortwo.

This adjustment is probably best done with the headlights removed.
Remove the outer most rubber cap and look underneath the bulb assembly.
You will notice a metal tab with a hole in it, this moves to control the light shut off line.



From the inside shot you can see the shutter is down. This is for driving on the left.



Looking into the bulb hole you can see the final Z-line shape.



To change the light output to make it suitable for driving on the right, the tab has to be moved.
The tab needs to be pushed forwards and moved over to the right.



With the tab moved over you can see the cut off line is straight.



Looking into the bulb hole you can see the straight cut off line very clearly.



So to recap, if you are driving on the left like UK traffic, the tabs need to be on the left.
If you are driving on the right like Europe or America, the tabs need to be on the right.

The tab must be moved over in both headlights, not just the one.

An ideal tool for moving the tabs over is an allen key. The small shank of the allen key can be placed into the hole allowing you to push and slide. Another possible tool would be a hooked dentists tooth pick.

How It Works

On the inside of the unit is a shaped metal plate that creates the cut off point.



Because the polyellipsoidal lens inverts the image you will get this...



When the light is twisted, the metal plate also moves.



Again, because of the lens, the lit image is turned upside down so you now get this...



It's just like magic but useful.


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