When I was stationed in the UK, the rear red (sometimes amber) was a rear
"marker light" that was used when driving in dense fog. They don't stop
much, may slow down some, so you were required by law to have that, else you
get run over.
The white one, I am not sure about
Suddenly, without warning, azwiley1 exclaimed (23-Oct-06 12:36 PM):
I'd guess the white one was a backup light. On my Dakota, they rewired
the backup lights to be turn signals, since it is apparently required
that the turn signals be white. However, backup lights are not required.
I really missed mine, imagine the Ram owner added it so he could avoid
knocking down buildings in the dark :)
And, yes, the red one is a fog lamp.
The turn signals are required to be yellow, not red like in the U.S.! The
white light is the new backup light (only required to have one for the
vehicle inspection). The "fog light" does work as long as idiots don't try
to drive 70-80 MPH in dense fog. The "fog light" also works well in heavy
rainfall, which does occur in England many times a year. I don't see how
your turn signal lights working as turn signals passed the inspection.
Unless, of course, you had a brand new truck, which would have exempted it
from inspections for 3 years! All I can say, is, whomever wired that setup
for you was no friend.
The irony I encountered in the early 90's while stationed in the UK is that
come of the lighting modifications made and mandated by the military
establishment were not at all necessary. For some reason, those
"supporting" the US forces thought that turn signals needed to be amber,
vehicles need the rear fog lamp, and front parking lamps needed to be 5W and
white. This understanding of the vehicle code simply was not true and many
paid for these modifictions unnecessarily.
The motor vehicle code only requred that all vehicles manufactured for sale
in the UK have these features. This was confirmed by several frustrated MOT
inspectors to whom the modifications did not make sense either. For
whatever reason those advising the military establishment felt it necessary
to offer poor advice to our commanders, many of whom also paid to have their
The kicker is that some of the modifications are very tricky to undo once
the vehicle returns to the states. If for example the vehicle shares bulb
filaments for brake and turn signal, the modification to create a seperate
lead for each could be quite extensive. I'm not sure where this lunacy came
from, but I'm saddened to see that it still exists.
You may want to check and see how they wired the front 5w bulbs if they are
still doing that. When mine was done, they unplugged the wrap-around
parking lamps, effectively making my car invisible from either side at
intersections. I promptly plugged them back in and never heard another
From my perspective, the only thing that should have been checked and
changed if necessary are the headlights. Ours tend to illuminate with a
fairly fuzzy cut-off, favoring the right side of the roadway.
UK(Continental) verions have a very crisp cut-off and favor the left(right)
side of the highway.
For those who have been anywhere in Europe, you probably noticed that some
vehicles appear to have very dim headlights? That's not necessarily the
case. You're just not getting blinded by them because their light is being
focused at the roadway. Some modern xenon designs in the US also appear dim
until you get hit with them cresting a hill.
As a corollary, those of is who drive US-spec vehicles in Europe have become
accustomed to being flashed because our light pattern throws more light into
oncoming traffic and resembles the European high beam. And those with US
spec pick-up trucks should be prepared for to provoke all sorts of ire with
a set of lamps throwing light all over the place from 5 feet in the air.
My 2 cents.
Suddenly, without warning, Bob Snyder exclaimed (24-Oct-06 11:00 PM):
I thought that would happen too, but never once in the Dakota's 3 years
there did I get "flipped off". But then, I don't think the headlights
are much higher (might actually be lower) than the lamps on the
increasingly common Landrovers.
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