Saturday, 12 January 2019

Headlights moan and squeaky windscreen wipers.

I don't know if it's just me, or because I usually drive low-slung cars where my eyes are directly in the beam of other cars'  headlight beams, but headlights seem to be a lot brighter nowadays.

The whole thing is counter-productive - up to a certain level, brighter headlights improve safety (see and be seen) but I am quite sure that many cars have passed that stage - they can see better but oncoming traffic is pretty much blinded, especially as so many idiots seem to leave their headlights on full beam all the time.

What's worse is, these bright bulbs don't last very long, I'd guess at least one car in twenty only has one functioning headlight (having done the counting game with my son on the way home). How on earth people don't notice is a mystery to me. Idiots. And of course, the remaining headlight is so bright that you sometimes can't see the car at all, and it's easy to mistake them for a motorbike.
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On a vaguely related topic, I tried the Halfords budget wipers (about £18) and they wiped OK but they didn't click into the arms properly.

The windscreen onomy MX5MX5  pretty much opaque after 150,000 miles of minor scratches, so I had a new one fitted (pretty good value, £200 inc. VAT if I recall correctly). I treated myself to a pair of Bosch wipers (about £21, so the Halfords were a false economy) because I was worried that the budget wipers would pop out completely and the arms would scratch the lovely new windscreen to buggery.

They wipe great, but they squeak like mad over the glass, which is really irritating. Is there any way of fixing this? Rub them with graphite powder or something?

11 comments:

Graeme said...

At my last eye test I posed this question to the optician He said that as you age your eyes get more sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum and that modern headlights tend to be cooler than the old ones. It seems to make sense. At home, cool blueish lights seem brighter to me than warm orange lights of identical lumen rating. Might be worth investigation

Sanjay Mittal said...

Re squeaking wipers, I think I read somewhere that spraying WD40 on the screen and then wiping off any surplus with a cloth can help.

pen seive said...

Sanjay,
Rather than spray WD40 on the windscreen, which can leave smears and affect vision, I rub it on the wipers every week or so, especially in the winter, removing any excess. It keeps the silicone supple and the wipers don't squeak.

Mark Wadsworth said...

G, there's an element of ageing as well of course, but I'm fine when I'm sitting high up in the wife's Ford Kuga and it's worse when I'm in the Mr2/Mx5, eyeline approx level with car head lights (which also seem to be higher up nowadays - on top of the bonnet rather than on the front next to the grille).

SM and PS, thanks, I'll give it a go and report back.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SM and PS, I've tried it and it certainly helps!

Stephen Bayliss said...

The headlight dazzle thing is according to my optician partly a consequence of getting older, the amount of damage and debris in our cornea, lens and vitreous and aqueous humour accumulates over time and both dims and scatters light it's the scattering that you notice plus which your accomodation back to darkness after the glare passes is apparently slower. Another factor is the prevalence of SUVs with lights right up in your eyeline. One solution is to join the smug bastards, much better night visibility in my wife's XC60 than in my Passat

Mark Wadsworth said...

SB, thanks, as I suspected. But I don't enjoy driving the Ford Kuga, it's just a big metal box that will get you and your baggage from A to B. The point of the MR2 and MX5 is get you from A back to A and enjoy the experience :-)

pen seive said...

SoT,
WE40 wiped on the side windows helps stop frost gathering on the window surface. Sorry, should have added this earlier.

Robin Smith said...

I use a few drops of old engine oil from the dip stick.

Unknown said...

The law (stupidly) specifies the required brightness of car headlamps by Watts (power) as opposed to light output. As the bulbs get more efficient via technical improvements, the light output increases. The standard 60W headlight bulbs really are brighter than they used to be.

Mark Wadsworth said...

U, thanks, makes sense.