Headlights & car safety

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

Have headlights improved a great amount in the last decade or so?

I never researched headlights when car shopping but I love the lights on my Outback. They're "projector beam low beam and multi-reflector high beam halogen", which I'm guessing is middle of the road(?) (although the fog lights are responsive when turning which is nice).

I was starting to think my night vision was going bad but now realize it was poor lights on my old car. I know there's a lot of threads about car safety on here and I think better headlights is worth significant $.

If someone wants to improve headlights on an old car, what would you recommend?
strafe
Posts: 1016
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:49 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by strafe »

yes, headlights have improved.

there are aftermarket projector kits for older cars but the quality is often poor.
if your headlights are oxidized (cloudy), polishing them with a plastic polish or headlight restoration kit might improve the situation, though the effect won't be profound.
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

strafe wrote:yes, headlights have improved.

there are aftermarket projector kits for older cars but the quality is often poor.
if your headlights are oxidized (cloudy), polishing them with a plastic polish or headlight restoration kit might improve the situation, though the effect won't be profound.
Thanks for the recommendation. I have some plastic polish on hand so will give it a try to see if that helps
User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13899
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Toons »

The Halogen headlights on one of my vehicles cover a phenomenal amout of area when night driving.
Nothing I can recall comes close in auto headlights of years ago. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
User avatar
DrippingSprings
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by DrippingSprings »

The height of your car and therefore the headlights can play a huge role as I discovered when I traded in my mustang which had headlights low to the ground and poor visibility for night driving.
rokidtoo
Posts: 391
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by rokidtoo »

I have automatic high beams on my 2014 Toyota Avalon. A windshield camera detects oncoming headlights and the tail lights of cars I'm following. Although they were an option on my prior 2006 Avalon, they just seemed gimmicky to me. However, now that I actually have them, I love them.
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

rokidtoo wrote:I have automatic high beams on my 2014 Toyota Avalon. A windshield camera detects oncoming headlights and the tail lights of cars I'm following. Although they were an option on my prior 2006 Avalon, they just seemed gimmicky to me. However, now that I actually have them, I love them.
That's a really neat feature that I've never heard of. I also thought my responsive headlights were gimmicky until I saw them in action.
Ron
Posts: 6709
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Ron »

ThankYouJack wrote:
rokidtoo wrote:I have automatic high beams on my 2014 Toyota Avalon. A windshield camera detects oncoming headlights and the tail lights of cars I'm following. Although they were an option on my prior 2006 Avalon, they just seemed gimmicky to me. However, now that I actually have them, I love them.
That's a really neat feature that I've never heard of. I also thought my responsive headlights were gimmicky until I saw them in action.
Actually, the system has been around since the middle of last century:

http://wikicadillac.org/tiki-index.php?page=Guide-Matic

I remember it since my father's '55 Caddy had it (and I was all of seven years old 8-) )...

- Ron
badger42
Posts: 513
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:01 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by badger42 »

Headlight lenses also take a lot of damage from years of ozone, UV, and road debris. If the lights seem dinner than they used to be, inspect the plastic! It's a much better deal than a deductible because you didn't see something!
southbay
Posts: 471
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:40 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by southbay »

strafe wrote:yes, headlights have improved.

there are aftermarket projector kits for older cars but the quality is often poor.
if your headlights are oxidized (cloudy), polishing them with a plastic polish or headlight restoration kit might improve the situation, though the effect won't be profound.
For temporary results, polish them with toothpaste and a wash cloth. The budget method, but it works.
Afty
Posts: 1523
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Afty »

Xenon headlights are much better than halogens.
Rodc
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:46 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Rodc »

Polishing out the lens covers can make a huge difference, just depends on how bad you have let them get. DAHIKT

If really bad wet sand with 400, 600, 1000, 2000 wet/dry paper. Much faster than polishing. Can finish up with polishing compound if you want.

Or next time your car is in the shop just ask them to do it. Not that expensive and saves you the time and going to get the materials.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by The Wizard »

Afty wrote:Xenon headlights are much better than halogens.
My new F-150 will have LED headlights.
They seem rather good standing still, but I'll know more after I take delivery...
Attempted new signature...
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13091
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

For decades, I have added 2 relays in order to sense that the high beams are on, then turn on the low beams and rhe fog lights. Cheap, low tech solution.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
User avatar
N1CKV
Posts: 853
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:18 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by N1CKV »

Vehicles used to have glass lenses which were much more durable than the plastic used today. HID lighting provides phenomenal definition and clarity, however it's rare that a retrofit will focus correctly without the use of projectors (read:$$$).
Jack FFR1846 wrote:For decades, I have added 2 relays in order to sense that the high beams are on, then turn on the low beams and rhe fog lights. Cheap, low tech solution.
be careful, in some states (if not all) having more than 4 forward facing white lights on at the same time is illegal. I doubt you will get ticketed unless you failed to dim.
User avatar
LowER
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:43 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by LowER »

Look for LED replacement BULBS, not the whole assembly. They are amazing. Not sure about the legality though.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5437
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by lthenderson »

About three years ago, my then 15 year old car had headlights that made me think I was losing my night vision. I bought one of those polishing kits and it did diddly squat to improve it. So I looked online and found a set of aftermarket headlights that they make for the tuner crowd since my civic falls into their likes. I installed them myself pretty easily and it makes a huge difference in how far I can see at night. As a bonus, it has light rings in it which makes me look "cool" driving around town... in my now 18 year old civic full of dents and a faded monochrome black paint scheme!
gd
Posts: 1638
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by gd »

Can't tell you what types of headlights they are, but I often wonder why people coming at me on a narrow, curvy 2-land road think they're safer by blinding oncoming traffic with bright aftermarket (not high beams) headlights.
Ron
Posts: 6709
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Ron »

Afty wrote:Xenon headlights are much better than halogens.
I would agree. The '15 I purchased (HID standard) throws out a beam that is superior to any other headlight I've had over the years.

The problem is that they may be a problem to other drivers approaching since they are much brighter (IOW, I'm part of the problem :oops: ).

BTW, I had problems for years with other cars approaching, regardless of the type of headlight. I thought they had their high beams on, but when I would "flash" them, they would respond with the actual high beams (and I could hardly see the road). It actually turned out that I was starting to get cataracts and this was a classic symptom of the problem. A few years later (after two cataract surgery's), the problem was resolved.

It's a bit*ch getting old :mrgreen: ...

- Ron
strafe
Posts: 1016
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:49 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by strafe »

gd wrote:Can't tell you what types of headlights they are, but I often wonder why people coming at me on a narrow, curvy 2-land road think they're safer by blinding oncoming traffic with bright aftermarket (not high beams) headlights.
Sounds like the lights weren't properly aimed.
The projector lenses can be much brighter than the old reflectors because they have a sharp cutoff (lower on the driver side) that keeps the light beam low and out of the field of view of oncoming traffic.
RCL
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:48 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by RCL »

My 8 year old Acura has Xenons. I thought those were the best lights available (and they were)
My 2014 car has Led lights, and they are even better than the Xenons!!
Childay
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:07 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Childay »

The short answer is yes. The xenon HID lights are much better than the halogens which are also much better than old incandescent lights. LED is also becoming more popular.
cherijoh
Posts: 6591
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by cherijoh »

gd wrote:Can't tell you what types of headlights they are, but I often wonder why people coming at me on a narrow, curvy 2-land road think they're safer by blinding oncoming traffic with bright aftermarket (not high beams) headlights.
Do you drive a sedan or an SUV? I'm in a sedan and any oncoming SUV blinds me!
Rupert
Posts: 4122
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Rupert »

gd wrote:Can't tell you what types of headlights they are, but I often wonder why people coming at me on a narrow, curvy 2-land road think they're safer by blinding oncoming traffic with bright aftermarket (not high beams) headlights.
They're probably Xenons. I have an Acura with Xenons and people sometimes flash their highbeams at me thinking I have my highbeams on when I don't. They're just really really bright headlights. And they're OEM, not aftermarket.
Last edited by Rupert on Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PowDay
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:43 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by PowDay »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WvK5WC4ns0

Check out what BMW is doing with laser headlights
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

lthenderson wrote:About three years ago, my then 15 year old car had headlights that made me think I was losing my night vision. I bought one of those polishing kits and it did diddly squat to improve it. So I looked online and found a set of aftermarket headlights that they make for the tuner crowd since my civic falls into their likes. I installed them myself pretty easily and it makes a huge difference in how far I can see at night. As a bonus, it has light rings in it which makes me look "cool" driving around town... in my now 18 year old civic full of dents and a faded monochrome black paint scheme!
Wow, the car that made me think I was losing my night vision too was a 2006 Honda Civic. I saw the ophthalmologist this year and she said my eyes are in great shape and I have 20/15 vision. I tried the plastic polish today but it didn't help me either. Seems like I can get headlight replacements for about $100 / pair. Do you remember which lenses you bought? Was the install pretty simple?

Seems like if anyone has an older Honda Civic this could be something to look out for.
User avatar
RustyShackleford
Posts: 1503
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NC

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by RustyShackleford »

ThankYouJack wrote:... I love the lights on my Outback.
I have an Outback (2006). One thing I hate is "daytime running lights". They are something that someone thought would somehow improve safety, that actually are dangerous. The reason: you can think yoru headlights are turned on, but they are not; as a result, your tailights are not turned on at all - pretty dangerous at night.

Fortunately some folks at legacygt.com realized this and figured out how to disable the DRLs. On my car it's as simple as unplugging a little connector under the dashboard - YMMV. Best thing I ever did to the car, besides removing the little electronic chime module - my car never makes noises at me anymore - if I'm too stupid to buckle my seatbelt, too bad.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5437
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by lthenderson »

ThankYouJack wrote:
lthenderson wrote:About three years ago, my then 15 year old car had headlights that made me think I was losing my night vision. I bought one of those polishing kits and it did diddly squat to improve it. So I looked online and found a set of aftermarket headlights that they make for the tuner crowd since my civic falls into their likes. I installed them myself pretty easily and it makes a huge difference in how far I can see at night. As a bonus, it has light rings in it which makes me look "cool" driving around town... in my now 18 year old civic full of dents and a faded monochrome black paint scheme!
Wow, the car that made me think I was losing my night vision too was a 2006 Honda Civic. I saw the ophthalmologist this year and she said my eyes are in great shape and I have 20/15 vision. I tried the plastic polish today but it didn't help me either. Seems like I can get headlight replacements for about $100 / pair. Do you remember which lenses you bought? Was the install pretty simple?

Seems like if anyone has an older Honda Civic this could be something to look out for.
It took me a bit to find them but the nice thing about Amazon, your order history is forever. I bought Spyder Auto Honda Civic Halogen Projector Headlights. I think back then I paid around $100 a pair though they are currently listed for $145. I'll paste a link below.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W4 ... ge_o08_s00

The install was really simple. Just a couple bolts to remove and a couple bolts to install. The trickiest part was finding the wire I should hook the ring lights too so that they just didn't come on with the headlights which had absolutely no effect. I ended up wiring them into the running lights that come on with the first click of the staulk. As far as I can tell, since the aren't bright enough to run except during daylight or early dusk hours, they are for decoration only. I also get about three or four tuner folks asking to buy my car per year.
takeshi
Posts: 1175
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by takeshi »

ThankYouJack wrote:Have headlights improved a great amount in the last decade or so?
All of our current vehicles have HID projectors which produce much better light (very even & clearly illuminated with a sharp cutoff to avoid blinding oncoming drivers) than our previous vehicles that were not equipped with them.
ThankYouJack wrote:If someone wants to improve headlights on an old car, what would you recommend?
Depends on what the old car is equipped with and what shape it is in. A restore kit might be sufficient. New bulbs may be in order. Even newer HID's put out less light as the bulbs age. In some cases entirely new headlight assemblies and whatever related parts are required (e.g. ballasts) may be the way to go.
gd wrote:Can't tell you what types of headlights they are, but I often wonder why people coming at me on a narrow, curvy 2-land road think they're safer by blinding oncoming traffic with bright aftermarket (not high beams) headlights.
They're improperly aimed as stated above and/or improperly designed.
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

RustyShackleford wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:... I love the lights on my Outback.
I have an Outback (2006). One thing I hate is "daytime running lights". They are something that someone thought would somehow improve safety, that actually are dangerous. The reason: you can think yoru headlights are turned on, but they are not; as a result, your tailights are not turned on at all - pretty dangerous at night.

Fortunately some folks at legacygt.com realized this and figured out how to disable the DRLs. On my car it's as simple as unplugging a little connector under the dashboard - YMMV. Best thing I ever did to the car, besides removing the little electronic chime module - my car never makes noises at me anymore - if I'm too stupid to buckle my seatbelt, too bad.
I just stick the headlights in auto. Don't even need to think about anything unless you want high-beams or fog lights on. https://www.joomag.com/magazine/subaru- ... 9?page=192

Does the 2006 not have auto? If not, it could be another thing that has improved with regards to lights.
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

lthenderson wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:
lthenderson wrote:About three years ago, my then 15 year old car had headlights that made me think I was losing my night vision. I bought one of those polishing kits and it did diddly squat to improve it. So I looked online and found a set of aftermarket headlights that they make for the tuner crowd since my civic falls into their likes. I installed them myself pretty easily and it makes a huge difference in how far I can see at night. As a bonus, it has light rings in it which makes me look "cool" driving around town... in my now 18 year old civic full of dents and a faded monochrome black paint scheme!
Wow, the car that made me think I was losing my night vision too was a 2006 Honda Civic. I saw the ophthalmologist this year and she said my eyes are in great shape and I have 20/15 vision. I tried the plastic polish today but it didn't help me either. Seems like I can get headlight replacements for about $100 / pair. Do you remember which lenses you bought? Was the install pretty simple?

Seems like if anyone has an older Honda Civic this could be something to look out for.
It took me a bit to find them but the nice thing about Amazon, your order history is forever. I bought Spyder Auto Honda Civic Halogen Projector Headlights. I think back then I paid around $100 a pair though they are currently listed for $145. I'll paste a link below.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W4 ... ge_o08_s00

The install was really simple. Just a couple bolts to remove and a couple bolts to install. The trickiest part was finding the wire I should hook the ring lights too so that they just didn't come on with the headlights which had absolutely no effect. I ended up wiring them into the running lights that come on with the first click of the staulk. As far as I can tell, since the aren't bright enough to run except during daylight or early dusk hours, they are for decoration only. I also get about three or four tuner folks asking to buy my car per year.
Thanks, I appreciate it. Looks like those don't match up with the 06 but I'll look for something similar.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5437
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by lthenderson »

ThankYouJack wrote:Thanks, I appreciate it. Looks like those don't match up with the 06 but I'll look for something similar.
Here's a set for an '06 Civic EX. However, it appears that not all trim levels have the same lights.

http://www.amazon.com/Spyder-Auto-Halog ... +headlight
Khanmots
Posts: 1236
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Khanmots »

strafe wrote:yes, headlights have improved.

there are aftermarket projector kits for older cars but the quality is often poor.
if your headlights are oxidized (cloudy), polishing them with a plastic polish or headlight restoration kit might improve the situation, though the effect won't be profound.
Can be a huge improvement depending on how bad your housings are. I had a friend who could barely see the road at night due to housings that were so yellowed that almost no light got through (they'd just kind of glow rather than cast a beam). I refused to ride with him at night.

Personally, mine were nowhere near as bad but I still noticed a large improvement when I resurfaced mine.

All that said, it needs to be noted that the hazing is mostly the UV-protective coat failing. The sandpaper/polish is for taking it off, then polishing out the scratches you put in the good plastic behind it. Which is one reason you want to use a headlight restoration kit rather than just sand/polish with what you have on hand. Not because of anything special in the sanding or polishing that those kits have, but that they'll have (at least the good ones that you want...) a clear-coat UV protection to apply as the last step. Without it you'll be reworking your headlights every couple of months. With it... well, it's been 4 years and I'm just now thinking I might want to hit mine again (and I'm in Texas, so my car has had a lot of sun).
kaneohe
Posts: 6786
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:38 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by kaneohe »

Khanmots wrote:
strafe wrote:yes, headlights have improved.

.................................
if your headlights are oxidized (cloudy), polishing them with a plastic polish or headlight restoration kit might improve the situation, though the effect won't be profound.
Can be a huge improvement depending on how bad your housings are. I had a friend who could barely see the road at night due to housings that were so yellowed that almost no light got through (they'd just kind of glow rather than cast a beam). I refused to ride with him at night.

Personally, mine were nowhere near as bad but I still noticed a large improvement when I resurfaced mine.

All that said, it needs to be noted that the hazing is mostly the UV-protective coat failing. The sandpaper/polish is for taking it off, then polishing out the scratches you put in the good plastic behind it. Which is one reason you want to use a headlight restoration kit rather than just sand/polish with what you have on hand. Not because of anything special in the sanding or polishing that those kits have, but that they'll have (at least the good ones that you want...) a clear-coat UV protection to apply as the last step. Without it you'll be reworking your headlights every couple of months. With it... well, it's been 4 years and I'm just now thinking I might want to hit mine again (and I'm in Texas, so my car has had a lot of sun).

Just used the Sylvania headlight restoration kit (supposedly recommended by Popular Mechanics). Seems to work well for now. The question in my mind is the durability of the coating. What lifetime have folks experienced? Supposedly there is a lifetime warranty if you register . Has anyone attempted to collect on the warranty. I know some faucet manufacturers offer lifetime warranties and Price Pfister at least seems to be pretty good about honoring repeated claims tho intermittently (once) requesting a shipping fee.
User avatar
William4u
Posts: 1401
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by William4u »

My Sams Club will do this for about $30. I do my own lights, but it is essential to spray with UV protecting clear coat (any car UV clear coat works) at the end or it will be just as bad within a year or even a month. Waxing the clear coat makes it even more UV resistant.

Once you grind off the outer layer of the headlight, there is no UV protection. UV makes the plastic turn white from clear. If you are usually garaged, the UV will take longer to do the damage.
On another forum that I hang out at, someone mentioned that they had their dull plastic headlights restored at Sam's Club. The cost was $30, and it took about 90 minutes. The kicker is they have UV activated clear coat, a UV light, and offer a 5 year warranty.

I called my local club and they confirmed everything. I've tried the 3M kit myself, and it did make my lights better. But without a clear coat, they were back to dull in about a month.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ub ... n_Availabl
kaneohe
Posts: 6786
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:38 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by kaneohe »

Consumer Reports review of headlight restoration kits:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/head ... -guide.htm
User avatar
RustyShackleford
Posts: 1503
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NC

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by RustyShackleford »

Does the 2006 not have auto? If not, it could be another thing that has improved with regards to lights.
No. But the headlights cannot burn if the car is off, so it's sort of the same thing. Just leave the headlights on all the time, if you don't mind having the headlights on during the daytime.

Personally, I don't like all this automatic crap. Like automatic versus standard transmission, it decouples the driver somewhat from the act of driving, which I think is a bad thing. But hey, it gives you more attention to focus on texting. Just an old fogey, I guess ...
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3672
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by ThankYouJack »

kaneohe wrote:Consumer Reports review of headlight restoration kits:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/head ... -guide.htm
Very cool, thanks. I'm going to give one of those a shot. Granted the car isn't driven much at night but will probably be the best $15 I'll ever spend on car safety.

RustyShackleford wrote:
Does the 2006 not have auto? If not, it could be another thing that has improved with regards to lights.
No. But the headlights cannot burn if the car is off, so it's sort of the same thing. Just leave the headlights on all the time, if you don't mind having the headlights on during the daytime.

Personally, I don't like all this automatic crap. Like automatic versus standard transmission, it decouples the driver somewhat from the act of driving, which I think is a bad thing. But hey, it gives you more attention to focus on texting. Just an old fogey, I guess ...
You should go test drive a new one that's loaded. I bet you'll quickly like a lot of the auto crap -- I sure do, especially adaptive cruise control, auto braking, pin code access, gps, big touch screen, adaptive lights, x-mode, bluetooth, seat memory, climate control, backup camera, lane departure, heated seats, keyless access, push start, auto light gate, cross traffic alert. It sure does make it a nice, safe car to drive. My other car is 20 years older and doesn't have any of that auto-crap -- the radio barely works on the thing. It is much more fun to drive, but for me there's a big difference between fun to drive and nice to drive with cars. Fun = manual transmission sports car....Nice = luxury, safe, ease of use

Similar to driving drunk, if people are going to text while driving, they'll do it regardless of what car they're in.
kaneohe
Posts: 6786
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:38 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by kaneohe »

ThankYouJack wrote:
kaneohe wrote:Consumer Reports review of headlight restoration kits:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/head ... -guide.htm
Very cool, thanks. I'm going to give one of those a shot. Granted the car isn't driven much at night but will probably be the best $15 I'll ever spend on car safety.


You may also want to look up the Sylvania product on amazon.com and check out the reviews. Sylvania has a lifetime warranty.....whatever that means...........if you register after you buy the product. The CR Review rated the Sylvania product very highly. Most of the reviews on Amazon suggest that the practical lifetime might not be as good as CR's for whatever reason. If you have a Sam's Club near you, somewhere I read that some of them will do the headlight restoration for $30 w/ a 5 yr warranty. If you compare buying the product only for $20 vs having them do the whole job for $30, that sounds interesting to me........unfortunately no Sam's Club in the neighborhood.
User avatar
RustyShackleford
Posts: 1503
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NC

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by RustyShackleford »

ThankYouJack wrote:You should go test drive a new one that's loaded.
Ok, but I'm going to try to get 1/4 million miles out of this one first. Already in the sextuple digits ...
c078342
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by c078342 »

Once again, the Feds are interfering with advanced European technology that provide better lighting.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture ... ight-tech/

If they would just get out of the way ...
Khanmots
Posts: 1236
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Khanmots »

kaneohe wrote:Just used the Sylvania headlight restoration kit (supposedly recommended by Popular Mechanics). Seems to work well for now. The question in my mind is the durability of the coating. What lifetime have folks experienced? Supposedly there is a lifetime warranty if you register . Has anyone attempted to collect on the warranty. I know some faucet manufacturers offer lifetime warranties and Price Pfister at least seems to be pretty good about honoring repeated claims tho intermittently (once) requesting a shipping fee.
That's the one that I used.

My car was about 6 years old when I resurfaced my headlight with the Sylvania kit. I probably should have resurfaced a bit sooner. But I didn't let it go nearly as far as so many I see in the parking lots...

I didn't notice any real degradation for the first couple years. Somewhere between 2-3 years or so I started seeing some, and now I'm at about year 4 and while I don't think it's as bad as I let the factory coating get I'm thinking I want to resurface again.

So based on what I'm seeing, I'd say that their coating lasts somewhere around 75% as well as the factory one.

The kit cost me $20 or something, I didn't bother to keep any paperwork associated with it nor bothered trying to file for the warranty. For me the big "cost" is in the labor. Last time I did it all with elbow grease and it's a lot of sanding! I may see if I can borrow a random orbital sander this time though...
kaneohe
Posts: 6786
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:38 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by kaneohe »

Khanmots wrote:
kaneohe wrote:Just used the Sylvania headlight restoration kit (supposedly recommended by Popular Mechanics). Seems to work well for now. The question in my mind is the durability of the coating. What lifetime have folks experienced? Supposedly there is a lifetime warranty if you register . Has anyone attempted to collect on the warranty. I know some faucet manufacturers offer lifetime warranties and Price Pfister at least seems to be pretty good about honoring repeated claims tho intermittently (once) requesting a shipping fee.
That's the one that I used.

My car was about 6 years old when I resurfaced my headlight with the Sylvania kit. I probably should have resurfaced a bit sooner. But I didn't let it go nearly as far as so many I see in the parking lots...

I didn't notice any real degradation for the first couple years. Somewhere between 2-3 years or so I started seeing some, and now I'm at about year 4 and while I don't think it's as bad as I let the factory coating get I'm thinking I want to resurface again.

So based on what I'm seeing, I'd say that their coating lasts somewhere around 75% as well as the factory one.

The kit cost me $20 or something, I didn't bother to keep any paperwork associated with it nor bothered trying to file for the warranty. For me the big "cost" is in the labor. Last time I did it all with elbow grease and it's a lot of sanding! I may see if I can borrow a random orbital sander this time though...
K......appreciate the feedback. Guess I'll keep thinking positively. Some(most?) of the Amazon feedback was not as positive.....will mentally write it
off as technique not as thorough/careful as ours :happy . .....still.......crossing fingers.
Khanmots
Posts: 1236
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Khanmots »

kaneohe wrote:K......appreciate the feedback. Guess I'll keep thinking positively. Some(most?) of the Amazon feedback was not as positive.....will mentally write it
off as technique not as thorough/careful as ours :happy . .....still.......crossing fingers.
Personally I remind myself that replacing the headlight assemblies would cost me $450-500 for the parts, and a few hours of my labor. Resurfacing every now and then doesn't save me the labor... but does save me 95% of the cost! Even if I was only getting 1-2 years outta a resurfacing it'd still be well worth it.
User avatar
Bob B
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:52 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Bob B »

My 2014 Corolla has LED headlamps and I like them very much. Bright and a wide field of view. Once in a while somebody coming towards me on a dark two lane road will blink their highs at me, so the LED's may be a little too bright to them. Of course, they will likely be more costly to replace than the old fashioned bulbs.

I have used this to clean oxidized lenses and it works great - Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit (about $21). Available at just about any auto supply store.
Regards, | Bob | Wiki
User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 8090
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Bob B wrote:Of course, they will likely be more costly to replace than the old fashioned bulbs.
LEDs should have a life span of well over 10,000 hours.
You'll probably never have to replace them, bar a crash or a shopping cart.
User avatar
wander
Posts: 3518
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by wander »

I think some car headlights are too bright and I feel like a lot of drivers using main beam but they are actually Xenon headlights. I could be wrong or my eyes are aging.
Ricola
Posts: 713
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:38 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by Ricola »

Couple of comments:

1. I have a 23 yr old Volvo and purchased some heavy plastic lens covers that snap over the existing headlights. They have been on for about 14 yrs and the headlights are still perfectly clear. Wish they sold these for newer cars, believe the ones I have came from Australia.

2. Brighter lights are not necessarily the best idea. Brighter lights help you see only what is in the range of the lights, but hurt peripheral and vision beyond the headlight range. The brighter lights will cause the eye iris or lens to close and not let as much light in. The military trains to use very little light so that the iris will open wider to pick up more light and improve peripheral and longer range object. You can try this some time while driving at night on a highway by reducing the amount of headlights by turning off the fogs lights, which are not necessary for normal driving anyway, that is unless you have really bad headlights. Your eye's lens will gradually open more and you will be able to see more in every directions and especially longer distance outside the range of you headlights.
randomguy
Posts: 9208
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by randomguy »

c078342 wrote:Once again, the Feds are interfering with advanced European technology that provide better lighting.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture ... ight-tech/

If they would just get out of the way ...
The counterpoint would be if there are any flaws in that system, you are driving around with your high beams on. Personally I am not going to lose too much sleep if they take a couple of years to make sure they test it and get it right. Granted we are rapidly coming up on the couple of year mark:)

It should be pointed out that adaptive headlights (the ones that move with the steering wheel) have been shown to reduce accidents by 10%. Not a ton of cars have them (they tend to be a 1k+ option depending on how they get bundled).
c078342
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Headlights & car safety

Post by c078342 »

randomguy wrote:
c078342 wrote:Once again, the Feds are interfering with advanced European technology that provide better lighting.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture ... ight-tech/

If they would just get out of the way ...
The counterpoint would be if there are any flaws in that system, you are driving around with your high beams on. Personally I am not going to lose too much sleep if they take a couple of years to make sure they test it and get it right. Granted we are rapidly coming up on the couple of year mark:)

It should be pointed out that adaptive headlights (the ones that move with the steering wheel) have been shown to reduce accidents by 10%. Not a ton of cars have them (they tend to be a 1k+ option depending on how they get bundled).
Not sure how you are equating "flaws" with high beams, but ... Do you really think the moribund Feds are more knowledgeable about lighting than auto manufacturers? I have a bridge for sale that you might be interested in.
Post Reply