Possibly a silly question, but... Having had an advisory about an
indicator bulb becoming too white, I was wondering if you can paint the
things? I know bulbs get hot, but a flashing one might not. And
although they're cheap enough, throwing otherwise good bulbs away grates
a little. I see you can get amber light paint, but I think this is for
continental driving, and so might be more yellow than
amber/orange/whatever they're supposed to be.
If it's an advisory, and it looks OK to you, just ignore it.
MOT places cover themselves by writing advisories that are sometimes
complete fabrications. It reduces their chances of an unexpected VOSA check.
The one I use is not very local, but only does MOT's, so has no agenda.
If they get a fail that is a bulb, they keep common ones in stock, and will
lend you a screwdriver, then re-test for free. They have also failed one of
mine on headlamp alignment, adjusted it and re-tested it without even
If anyone is in Berkshire, Drift Lane MOT.
the covering comes off every few years, just change the bulb. There is
no point in getting a Police pull for an insufficiently coloured
indicator, for the sake of a quid, the filament will be tired by now in
you can also buy orange bulb paint:
It's 14 years old - I can hardly complain :-) This car seems to be very
lucky with bulbs.
I'm just thinking that if I had some to hand, it might be more
convenient. Or it might just be something else that sits on the shelf
and goes off. I wonder if my can of Bradex Easy-Start will ever see use
Wouldn't work on my lawns. Not using them at the moment, my mowing
criterion is when I can see the weeds over the half metre fence (garden
is terraced and the lawn is at eye level from the kitchen). I have a big
bastard Flymo with the Tecumseh engine that just mulches the lot.
Funnily enough, we were talking about this sort of thing today ... how
'modern' clear lenses with coloured lamps are (IOO) more difficult to
see in many circumstances.
In a three mile journey today we came across 3 such incidents, two
where we stopped at roundabouts where we didn't need to and one where
we had to pull up sharply because we didn't realise they were
indicating and did. ;-(
I can't remember that being the case with the pre-fashion coloured
lenses ... where the actual lens lit up, rather than it acting like a
lamp, projecting light out and often masking the other (important)
It's the opposite requirement of a lighthouse where it's the beam you
need but the same as a neon light where you want to see the light as
illumination, not like a torch.
Same as traffic lights where they 'look' red, amber or green, not
'shine' red, amber or green.
When daughter bought her second hand Suzuki 600 Bandit it had been
modified with those tiny LED indicator lights that we promptly removed
and put back to the stock offering. It's dangerous enough as it is out
there and hearing 'Sorry mate, I didn't see you indicating' is little
comfort as you are being loaded into the ambulance.
Now of course, 'some' of these clear lens-coloured lamp indicators are
better than others but it really frustrates me when someone 'upgrades'
their cars by replacing what works and works well with something that
'most people' would consider does not, making it more dangerous for
I think every car should have the old 'bee-hive' lenses like I had on
the back of my Morris Minor van or like you see on the old Land
Cheers, T i m
Plus 1 on modified lights, especially the tiny leds on motorcycles, I
saw one yesterday where the rear lamp had the indicators built in,
making it nearly impossible to see them. There should be a minimum
width apart and a minimum area. The ones on my old Suzuki were huge and
very easy to spot.
The old moggy type also have the advantage of a much wider viewing and
can be seen even from 90 degrees, probably because of the fresnel lens
I think it should be an MOT failure (assuming it isn't already on
I thought there was in the construction and use rules?
Just as they should be. But then I guess there are some people who are
more into style than they are common sense and survival. ;-(
I think the clear lenses can also be fresnel but that's not typically
what you want for illuminating an area. I think most of the sort of
lenses I've see of the traditional type generally have a prismatic
type effect on the inside, to spread the light along and within the
lens, not straight though it. ;-(
That's why it's difficult to replace a conventional incandescent lamp
with LED in a fitting that was designed for a lamp that radiated light
evenly around nearly 360 degrees in all planes.
So the lamp would both illuminate the lens directly (and evenly) and
from the specifically designed reflector. LEDs often have a fairly
tight radiation angle and hence why many of the LED > incandescent
replacements look like a corn on the cob. ;-)
Different if the fitting is designed for LEDs as they often have
multiple LEDS in a flat array pointing out. Most LED Hi level brake
lights are behind a red lens though, helping to 'spread' the light
across the lens so again, it lights the lens up, rather than just
shines though it.
Cheers, T i m
I suspect UK C&U have been trumped by EU regs.
Clearly not if you look at Passat tail lights, before the newer LL
lights there were round tail/brake lights surrounding the indicator.
When the brakes were on, as they are when someone commences a manoeuvre
by braking before signalling a turn, the indicator when eventually it is
switched on is invisible in the glare of the brake light. With an
automatic it has to be held on the bake while signalling at a junction.
New Clio, micro rear indicators, no diffuser so all you see is the
direct light from point source. It's "lens" is the little grey bit
between the reflectors, next to the hatch shut line.
Well, firstly, thanks for all the examples of crazy form-over-function
Secondly, we may have nearly witnessed a classic example of this
stupidity in action this very evening when we heard the large bang
behind us as we were out walking along the high street when a car
drove straight across mini roundabout as a car was turning right in
front of them. ;-(
We don't know if they were indicating or not but even if they were,
the sun could so easily have been masking it these days.
The bits of bumper and (plastic) headlight were still in the road when
we went home.
Cheers, T i m
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