Defective cars?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Re: Defective cars?

Postby SA_SA_SA » 9 Jan 2016, 12:45pm

Vauxhall seem to think headlamps can be adjusted manually using what I presume would be the the lower cut off:
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Re: Defective cars?

Postby fastpedaller » 9 Jan 2016, 1:30pm

I've always adjusted headlamps myself and never needed adjustment at MOT, likewise (but not a check item at MOT) I set my own tracking - the tyre/exhaust places are notorious for setting it wrong whilst 'checking' thus generating future trade!

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Re: Defective cars?

Postby rmurphy195 » 9 Jan 2016, 6:51pm

Brucey wrote:It is fair to note that whilst many new cars have LED lighting now, most of the cars on the roads are a few years older and have tungsten bulbs.

A few years ago most of the factories that manufactured automotive lamps for both OEM and the aftermarket were relocated to cheap labour markets. Suddenly bulbs were a bit cheaper to buy but were often also instantly (and disastrously) less reliable in some instances. Vauxhalls, Fords and VWs seem to be the worst offenders; presumably they buy at the lowest price and expect their customers to deal with the issues; bulbs are not a warranty item, they are 'a consumable', so cynically, I think that the car makers don't give a damn if the bulbs fail after a few months.

I have had bulbs fail in cars which then failed again and again and again in quick succession, simply because the only replacement bulbs I could buy were just rubbish. I genuinely couldn't buy decent bulbs anywhere. I got so desperate that I began to remove bulbs from cars in the scrapyard; if I took a bulb from (say) a 20-year old Honda, the chances were excellent that it would be a Japanese-made Stanley bulb made with an expected lifetime of many thousands of hours, and even though already old, it would outlast any new bulbs I could buy. In a few cases I couldn't find the right kind of bulb and then I took to carrying multiple spare bulbs in the car so that I would have a fighting chance of remaining lit up.

I could have a proper moan about automotive lighting in general; I do not believe that the direction it is going in is in many cases a good one; the designs are skewed heavily for the benefit of styling and a (marginal) benefit of some kind for the driver of that vehicle; in the meantime the fact that every other road user can't see a blessed thing and is inconvenienced by these crappy lights seems far away from the cares of the car lighting designers.

Current EU rules for lighting permit (in fact encourage) as sharp a cutoff of the dipped beam as possible, and if it isn't aimed a long way up the road, you car will fail the MOT! It is as if bumpy/undulating roads don't exist in 'Lighting Regulation World'. Even if the lights are set correctly (which they are often not) oncoming traffic is often blinded by what are effectively bright flashing lights from oncoming traffic on such roads. I don't think that it is terribly difficult to see that this does not in any way improve road safety! astonishing is going on????

Another gripe is car indicator lights; again they are now designed not with common sense, but to a bad set of rules. 25 years ago an indicator lamp would be designed with a prismatic outer face, amber in colour. Such lamps are clearly visible from all angles even in bright sunlight and furthermore you would easily know where to look for a flashing indicator light on the vehicle. Modern lights mostly have clear lenses and are NOT clearly visible over such a wide range of angles (or in bright sunlight) and in addition it is not clear where even to look on any given vehicle for such a signal. I am pretty sure that whoever designed the rules did so for the benefit of other motorists (an failed there too BTW) but they certainly never thought that the most vulnerable road users need to be able to see these lights at funny angles if they are to stay alive. If you have just been squashed by a left-turning car, it is scant consolation that 'they were in the wrong'....

enough ranting for now...


Blimey - my thoughts exactly, especially the observation re indicator lights. Could add a comment about only having one high intensity (fog) rear lamp, and one reversing lamp - the latter is a great way of knowing if the car stationery halfway out of a driveway is going to go forwards or backwards, but with only one lamp then only if you are travelling the right way!
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !