Web myths


Headlight washer systems are compulsory everywhere, not just in Germany.

The internet knows everything and Google certainly does. Things you can’t find on the web don’t exist. Oh, and everything on Wikipedia is correct. At least as far as car lighting goes that’s not true. Here are some examples.

In forum discussions dealing with questions on retrofitting xenon lights, people like to claim that headlight washer systems for 35-watt xenon lights are only compulsory in Germany. In actual fact, they’re compulsory in all countries complying with ECE regulations. These regulations apply in the whole of Europe and in many other countries. North America is the exception, where xenon headlights neither have to have automatic headlamp leveling nor a headlamp washer system. (more…)

Different countries, different lights


Nowadays car lighting is largely internationally standardized, and there are only very few national oddities. This didn’t used to be the case.

Headlight adjustment device: this bull’s eye level helps adjust the range of the headlights to the load in North America.

Spirit level in headlights

Experts in the US often complain that headlights are only adjusted rarely and not very accurately. Glare is not seen as critical in the States, with headlamp leveling, which has been compulsory in countries with ECE regulations for more than 25 years, being largely unknown to North Americans. It isn’t mandatory.

But what do Americans do if their cars are heavily loaded and their headlights dazzle? They sometimes use a bull’s eye level. A what??! Something on a dartboard? (more…)

In a flash


544048-O-Ring-Leuchte_1_OhneWasserzeichenLet’s talk about turn indicators, simply known as indicators in everyday language. Indicators – they’re these things that can be found on the four corners of the vehicle, which more than half of today’s drivers seem to have forgotten about. But they’re great. Both in cities and in the country you come across so many different versions that you wonder whether the rules in Germany are really that clear? They definitely are. But obviously the rules are sometimes interpreted a bit more loosely, so we’ll show you a few no gos and some attractive alternatives to standard indicator lamps in our mini series. Click clack click clack … (more…)

Top of the flops – today: trafficators


Up to the early 1960s trafficators indicated the direction of turning with up and down movements

In the early days of automobiles it wasn’t necessary to show others which way you went. You mostly had the roads to yourself, at least in a car. Regular road users at the time – wagons and carriages – either didn’t indicate when turning at all (mostly) or the driver casually indicated by hand (maybe in towns). At the beginning of the 20th century, if motorists wanted to indicate where they were going, they simply held their arm out of the car, which was mostly open. When going the other way they bent their arms over their heads in an angle. By the way, this method was still used by American Jeep drivers during World War II.  (more…)

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