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Headlamp Maintenance

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Headlamps provide beams that allow drivers to see in times of low road visibility. At night, these lamps can either produce low beam, which is used when there is oncoming traffic, and high beam, which is suitable on one way roads as it gives a widely distributed light that may blind other divers. Headlamps vary in types. There are sealed beam headlamps which require replacement of the entire sealed beam when the filament burns out. There are also those that are mounted into the car or are considered part of it. These types are called lens-reflector assemblies that just require the bulb to be replaced when it fails. It was widely used in North America in the late 1980s. The way bulbs are accessed and replaced is the prime factors of the different variations.

How the headlamp is aimed must checked and adjusted frequently. Misaimed lamps are ineffective and cause hazards while driving. Headlamps require occasional maintenance as the lens may get cloudy resulting to less illumination of road in times of low visibility. Abrasion to the lenses due to road particles that corrodes with them can lead to small cracks allowing water to get in. This eventually leads to oxidation inside the lamp. Once the reflector inside the lamp is oxidized, it loses its luster, thus, losing its reflective properties. It can also happen when bulbs of higher wattage is used. It can be remedied by using car polishes and sanding can restore the lamps’ shine. There are cases, however, wherein complete replacement is necessary. Constant polishing also damages the lens as it strips off the protective coating of the lens, leading to faster deterioration.

The wiring that controls headlamps can also crack or snap. This causes the lamps not to function at all. The broken wires can be replaced to fix the problem. Another way is by installing a wire harness to be able to get the headlamps back into function.

Proper care and maintenance of headlamps clears you of many road hazards and can bring you to you, and your car as well, in your destination in once piece.


How to adjust HID headlights

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Most car accidents happen at night or at times when there is less light illuminating the roads. It is indeed difficult to maneuver a vehicle when you don’t clearly see the road you are passing through. It can be compared to a 90-year old man trying to read without his glasses on or looking for a needle at the bottom of a river with musky water.  Hence, the importance of a vehicle’s headlights. Headlights minimize the risk one takes when driving at night. They make us more aware of the hazard signs that we come across as we drive. It guides us and enables us to get to our destination safely.

But just like any other part of your vehicle, they also need regular maintenance.  There are times when they get cloudy providing less light output, or they are not adjusted to an angle that will enable them to illuminate the road best. Therefore, someone who drives must ensure they work properly at all occasions.
Adjusting the headlights is quite a simple task. It does not take a mechanic to get it done. All you need are a few tools.  What you will need is a Philips screwdriver, or any that fits the adjusting screws, and a masking tape.
The best time to do it, of course, is at night. And then, follow these simple procedures:

1. Park your vehicle on level ground with the headlights near a garage door or wall.
2. Mark the horizontal centerlines of the lights on the wall using a masking tape. Mark the vertical centerline for each light as well. The marking will tell you where exactly the headlights should be centered.
3. Move the car back about 10 to 25 feet away from the garage door or the wall.
4. Find the adjusting screws of the headlights. It is better to find these screws before turning on the lights. It will allow you to touch the headlights before they warm up. There are horizontal and vertical screws which have small spring behind them.  Some cars come equipped with a small level attached to the top of the headlight under the hood. It helps you get an accurate adjustment.
5. Turn on the headlights on the low beam setting. Your high beams should set to the right level as well when you adjust the low beams.
6. Use the markings you made on the wall or garage door, check where the light shines and see if there is any uneven light beam. Check if the beams match.
7. Make the necessary adjustments with the lights still on and while watching the lights beams. Turning the top adjusting screws in a clockwise direction will raise the beam while counterclockwise turn will lower it. Turning the side adjuster screws will adjust the lights to the left or right. Continue the adjustments until the light beams are even. It is recommended that the lights are tilted slightly downward so they won’t blind approaching motorist.

Cars, however, can differ. So, it is best to check first your vehicle’s manual, which would also indicate how often the headlights should be adjusted. It is usually recommended that headlights be adjusted annually or as often as necessary, whenever they are out of alignment.

A few simple tools and few easy procedures and presto you are ready to hit the road.


Finding Quality HID kits

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There are great deals of HID kits available in the market varying in output, component specs, prices and brands. Among the most recommended brands are McCulloch, Bellof, Matsushita, Helios, Prolumen, MTEC and Philips. There is a lot of preference in Philips bulbs set up with Generation 3 ballasts when it comes to kit components.

But what should one consider most when buying an HID kit?

– The brand of ballasts and igniters.
– Color rendering – check the illustrations on every website to check the color temperature the bulbs produce. Pick the ones that have less blinding effects.
– Warranty and the length of it, look for vendors offering at least a year.
– Quick turnaround time of the kits delivery
– Vendors customer service – are your concerns or any inquiry on their products and services promptly attended.
– Vendors that sell and install at the same time.
– Your vehicle’s type – if yours use the same bulb for DRL (day time running light) and low beam, the DRL would have to be relocated or turn on the HID all the time which can be quite cumbersome.

Always be wary of the quality of the kit you will be buying. It is best to check forums posted on websites to check for others opinion on best HID Kits, check their recommendations. Ebay showcases great deals on HID kits and it has a feedback section where one can see buyers experiences on different brands and vendors.