Turning a British Car into a French Car - martin
Hi.

Pushing the boat out on this one and asking for some serious backroomer help. I have just had a Controle Technique (MOT) on my VW Passat CDTDI (which is British) in order to get new French licence plates as I now live in France full time. However, at the MOT the passat failed on hand brake (not serious), but also because the head lights point the wrong way (the lens is for British cars which drive on the left). The MOT chap told me to get new lenses (made in Europe, set for driving on the right) or new lights in total. VW main dealer only sells full front light sets, not lenses and guess what, they cost 400E a pair!!!! So I called a small garage and found a price for 210E a pair, which is more reasonable. Apparently the lenses are not available on there own and moreover I have already called 10 scrap yards all to no avail. Ok, so I am stuck with changing the lights and thus falling into legality with European standards? Is there any way round this?

One more thing, the stickers that most of us tape onto our head lights when touring in Europe are apparently on valid for 6 months duration, and only on a car of UK licence plates. They are only for Tourist use and the European governments are apparently annoyed that they have to put up with the dangers (so they say) that the British cars cause on the continent with their lights set for left side drive - night time blinding i suppose.

many thanks
Turning a British Car into a French Car - DavidHM
I'm not sure where you could get LHD lights; it might be worth getting in touch with a few breakers in Germany and seeing if you could source some from there by mail order.

In any case, in theory at least, LHD cars would fail the UK MOT with lenses set up for the factory. (I think RHD lenses exist for the Twingo, say, but it can't be easy tracking them down).
Turning a British Car into a French Car - DavidHM
www.mobil-parts.de/ does them. Unfortunately they're nearly expensive as the new parts from your local garage - €90 or so a side. Add P&P and you're back where you started.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - pd
A LHD car in the UK will indeed fail the MOT if the lights are still set for LHD.

Also, as in France, taped up lights would normally fail although some MOT Centres seem to miss this. Luck of the draw.

A speedo not displaying MPH (which is readable both during the day & at night) and the fog light / reversing light the wrong way round will also fail.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - LHM
For LHD German parts, try the German Ebay site www.ebay.de

Turning a British Car into a French Car - Mark (RLBS)
Presuming "Dude" wants to retain his registration, no doubt he will be less racist/insulting in future postings.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - martin
Thanks to everyone for the responses.

It is a problem, and i guess anyone who buys a LHD will have similar problems when they take it to MOT in Blighty. Main dealers really do take the p*** however, extortion all the way.

Anyway, i will try some more breakers yards, but i can't say i hold out too much hope, Passats don't seem to end up in Breakers yards as far as I can see.

many thanks again.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - chris2
how old is the car ?

on some there is a lever that will change the lights from LHD to RHD etc. If not, then see if you can get these rather than LHD lights for easy future changes.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - FergusTheDog
Just try registering a car in Geneva. They really hate anything that isn't built expressly for their market, even the rest of Switzerland seems to be "abroad".
Turning a British Car into a French Car - kex
Have you tried German French and Swedish for a price on the headlights ?????

www.gsfcarparts.com/
Turning a British Car into a French Car - kex
Have you tried German French and Swedish for a price on the headlights ?????

www.gsfcarparts.com/

They may be able to source LHD versions ?
Turning a British Car into a French Car - Colin M
The lever Chris refers to is usually only on cars fitted with xenon headlights. Conventional lights focus the beam using a pattern on the glass (hence the reason for sticky tape to blank the segments of the lens that direct light up and over to the left for RHD cars). Xenons are focussed close to the lamp like a projector and a mechanical switch easily moves the focus from left to right.

Turning a British Car into a French Car - martin
thanks for the responses, a real help.

My Passat is August 1994 as first registered date. It is the newer version of the Passat, less boxy looking than the older ones. If there is a lever to adjust the lights from LHD to RHD where would this be situated, or would it be very obvious?



Turning a British Car into a French Car - Dave_TD
It won't have one. Yours has got the fluted glass headlamp lenses, yes? As opposed to the obvious glass "eyeball" type lamps, like say a Ford Puma.
Looks like new lenses/ complete units are the only way to go. Sorry.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - Dave_TD
Found a good link:

www.rapidparts.com/new/Media/hdl_psstb45hdlmps.jpg

Yours are more similar to the bottom light than the top one, am I right?
Turning a British Car into a French Car - martin
Exactly, as the other posting says above, I do not have the handy lever to change from RHD to LND or vise-versa. Will have a look at your link though. This is going to be costly, but what annoys me is that I already have a pair of functioning headlights, just not legal in Europe that's all!!!!!
Turning a British Car into a French Car - martin
just looked at your link and yes, it is the bottom lights that are on my passat!
Turning a British Car into a French Car - DavidHM
Well, kind of. DTD's principle is right - i.e., smooth lenses

We are all talking about the old, boxy B3 Passat (but slightly less boxy than before) rather than the more rounded, post 97 Passat that is far more popular in this country - and worth far more, too.

That might make it slightly easier to source the different lights from a breaker though - not that there can be many Passats like that in France.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - T Lucas
I would guess a lot of those older Passats have made their way to Eastern Europe and beyond.There is a way of sticking some refracter lenses onto the headlamps that will correct the beam aim,its a plastic flexible sheet that Eye Hospitals use to help correct sight problems for children.They cut it to size and stick it to the childs glasses.I have thought about using this method in the past.Might work.
Turning a British Car into a French Car - martin
thanks everyone, i think on balance that i am stuck with getting the new lights. I have phoned dozens of breakers all to no avail, plus i am hesitant about getting these things posted to me aas they could arrive cracked or damager quite easily. I have sourced a supplier who can get them for 202 euros the pair, whihc aint too bad, so wqill go with that. The control technique (MOT) will not accept the plastic strips on the lens as legally permissable. In other words, pink fulffy dice
Turning a British Car into a French Car - THe Growler
Sorry for this but when I saw the thread title I thought "crikey, you must be a glutton for punishment.......":-)>

 

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