Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - MetManMark

We are thinking about buying a new car. So far shortlisted a volvo v60, merc b class and honda civic (thanks in part to these forums). My wife is French and typically we go over to France a couple of times a year. I seem to remember reading that some cars have a switch that modifies the angle of the headlight beam. Is this right or is this something I dreamt? If such a scheme does exist which cars offer this?

Thanks

Mark

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - elekie&a/c doctor

Some older cars have a lever in the back of the headlight to shift the beam pattern.However on most modern cars ,the design of the headlights means access to the rear of the light is almost impossible without a major strip down.Best you can do is put the levelling switch ,located on the dash,to its lowest position.Majority of current cars have flat beam headlight pattern,so the "kick up "to the left is not as severe .I think some of the MB or Bmw models have auto recognition of driving on the right and adapt the headlight beam automatically.

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - focussed

I live in France and drive uk sourced vehicles so have the expense of changing light units to dip to the right units.

I looked at changing to a Mitsubishi Outlander GX4 recently and asked Mitsubishi UK as to whether the HID headlights could be changed for driving on the right.

Their reply- which I don't fully understand:-

I can confirm that it is not necessary to use deflectors on your headlamps whilst driving in France in your Outlander GX4 as this vehicle is equipped with high intensity discharge headlamps. However, it will be necessary to turn off the Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) - for instructions on this procedure please refer to the owner’s manual.

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - jc2

Some older cars have a lever in the back of the headlight to shift the beam pattern.However on most modern cars ,the design of the headlights means access to the rear of the light is almost impossible without a major strip down.Best you can do is put the levelling switch ,located on the dash,to its lowest position.Majority of current cars have flat beam headlight pattern,so the "kick up "to the left is not as severe .I think some of the MB or Bmw models have auto recognition of driving on the right and adapt the headlight beam automatically.

You might have problems convincing French police that dropping the level of the lights works.I tried it-it may work on straight autoroutes but when I left them for the local roads,it was positively dangerous-I parked up,reset to the correct height and put tape on.At least you could drive at a reasonable speed AND see where you were going.You can buy convertors now for virtually all cars.Your life(and your families') are worth a lot more than saving a few pounds.

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - Avant

With modern headlamps I'm sure it won't be a mechanical switch any more. My Octavia vRS has the means of changing from RHD to LHD as part of the Amundsen 'infotainment' system, so I'm sure that this must be available o other makes of car as well.

I had a good long test drive in a Volvo V60 with the D4 diesel engine and was very impressed. Its performance and comfort would make it ideal for driving to and through France.

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - artill

I had a Peugeot 407 coupe. It had xenon,s that pointed where you stear. That had an option in the menu to switch from lhd to RHD settings. I have no idea what other cars have this.

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - Hamsafar

Some need beam benders, some need you to move a lever at the back of the light to put a shield in the beam that removes the left dip, some need you to enable tourist solution in the car's menus,a nd others need an adaptation via a computer plugged into the diagnostic port. Most jsut make the beam symetrical (not dipped to either side) so it can be used in LHD & RHD countries.

Switch for swapping headlights for driving abroad - Mike H

I've got the opposite situation to you - we live in Austria but visit the UK a couple of times a year. Our Saab came with us from the UK, but I bought a couple of LHD headlamps (xenons to match the originals) from Ebay almost as soon as we moved. The beam is sort of flat, but has a step in the beam to give a slightly higher flat section for the nearside. I used beam benders in the UK up until last year, but it was always a hit and miss affair getting them in the right place to give a properly adapted beam, without a raised section. For the last year I have simply been adjusting the beams down for the UK, and it doesn't seem to cause any problems. I actually get decent illumination of the verge while I'm in the UK, because the lights are aimed lower.

So in summary, as long as you can get to the adjusters, it probably doesn't matter which car you get.

Edited by Mike H on 26/04/2015 at 11:04

 

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