The Truth About Cars » head light http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:00:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » head light http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: The HID-den benefits of Xenon Lighting? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-hid-den-benefits-xenon-lighting/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-hid-den-benefits-xenon-lighting/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:53:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006202   John writes: Hi Sajeev! I’m still only three years into the car business and I still haven’t wrapped my brain around one thing: xenon headlamps. As a used car manager I’ve replaced plenty of xenon bulbs (pricey) and even some ballasts (really pricey). Are you sold on their usefulness? To me it seems like […]

The post Piston Slap: The HID-den benefits of Xenon Lighting? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

HL_B5_E39_97_DP_A_BLK_PLUS_UHP_LED_W_PLUS_HID_G

Obligatory E39 Photo. (photo courtesy: bimmerforums.com)

John writes:

Hi Sajeev!

I’m still only three years into the car business and I still haven’t wrapped my brain around one thing: xenon headlamps. As a used car manager I’ve replaced plenty of xenon bulbs (pricey) and even some ballasts (really pricey).

Are you sold on their usefulness? To me it seems like a giant waste of money.

The sales people tell me they really help on rural roads at night. Then again what $500 (to replace a ballast) means to me versus what $500 means to the average new car client here is pretty different. Is that an option you keep unchecked? What about the B&B?
Thanks!

Sajeev answers:

Good on you for considering your end of this business relative to the rest of the world, especially about High Intensity Discharge (HID) and Xenon lighting. Because there are hidden benefits to Xenon lighting: consider the lifecycle from the first geeky R&D engineer to the last junkyard scavenger.

Take the factory: they want to innovate, having gee-whiz tech to trump the competition. (If only for a couple of years!)They’ll love that extra profit, fatter margins. Even if they’ll sadly bundle Xenon lighting with some BS “technology” package that’s outdated against your smartphone.

Take the Junkyard Scavenger: depending on uniqueness of the make/model, finding a working HID lighting assembly, the ballast (or even bulb) is great eBay fodder.  Even if it’s just a unique mounting bracket or harness plug on a universal part, the owner gets something for cheap and the scavenger makes a tidy profit.

Take the customer: Xenon lighting to legal specifications (i.e. almost always never the eBay stuff to slap into your non-HID headlight body) does indeed give an amazing beam of light in rural areas, or urban roads with sparse street lighting.  Former TTAC staffer Daniel Stern has a great resource if you want to dig into the science and practice of headlight designs.

I love HIDs and gladly pay for the privilege.  I did the upgrade on my Mark VIII back in the early days of the automotive interweb, and (just last weekend) I spent $300-ish on new HID bulbs for my mother’s 2006 Lexus.  Nine illuminating years was a good run: a fantastic safety feature, especially for Mom’s well-being.

Take your Boss, the General Manager: Assuming you work in the typical New/Used/Service/F&I/Parts type of franchised dealership, let’s think about the GM.  They want to give the customer what they want. In turn, he makes a little more money in sales, hopefully a bit more on service/parts when the vehicle returns after several years…or after a front-end collision.

It’s one of those Rising Tides Lifts All Boats things.

Except when the used boat needs new ballasts. (sad trombone) Off to you, Best and Brightest!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

The post Piston Slap: The HID-den benefits of Xenon Lighting? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-hid-den-benefits-xenon-lighting/feed/ 142
Vellum Venom Vignette: Less is More…Enlightening? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/vellum-venom-vignette-less-is-more-enlightening/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/vellum-venom-vignette-less-is-more-enlightening/#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2013 11:11:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=480559 Mark writes: Sajeev, We can’t let Jeep get away with what they have done to the (redesigned Jeep) Grand Cherokee’s face. This square-peg-in-a-round-hole approach just looks half-baked, lazy, and cheap. Even the choice of filler material used to fill the void is wrong in material, color and pattern. In short, Jeep’s design team needs to […]

The post Vellum Venom Vignette: Less is More…Enlightening? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mark writes:

Sajeev,

We can’t let Jeep get away with what they have done to the (redesigned Jeep) Grand Cherokee’s face. This square-peg-in-a-round-hole approach just looks half-baked, lazy, and cheap. Even the choice of filler material used to fill the void is wrong in material, color and pattern.

In short, Jeep’s design team needs to be raked across the coals for destroying what was Chrysler’s best-looking vehicle on the market, and I think you are the man to do the raking.

Sajeev answers:

I’m honored you think I’m worthy of Raking the Design Muck, especially since your concise assessment is spot on: every element presented here is a big car design FAIL.

It leaves very little for me to prove. So let’s dig deeper. Change for the sake of change to a well-received design (i.e. not the Pontiac Aztek) isn’t normally a good thing: be it as eye-gouging as the Ferrari Testarossa turning into the hideous 512M or as minor as a Headlight Fail on the redesigned Grand Cherokee, this change uses R&D money to make something different at the expense of good taste.  Which is sad.

And inexcusable…but far from uncommon.  For example, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma work truck.

Is anyone fooled into thinking those are real fog lights?  Just make a blank panel for the fleet model instead…please! The previous model was far less offensive, even the goofy grilles of the fleet-spec Ford Ranger are better. While the Ranger is an outdated design, time has been the little Ford’s friend. Remember that “change for the sake of change” thing? It leads to the conclusion.

 And now for the key takeaway:  be it in the world of Automotive Accounting, Engineering or Industrial Design, the concept of “Less is More” is true.  Don’t waste money making parts that fight with a design (Grand Cherokee) or make it look cheaper than necessary (Tacoma). So design it right from the start.  Easier said than done, as I’ve heard (horror?) stories of designers working with engineers to get the proper end result.

So do the right thing because people are watching. Off to you, Best and Brightest.

The post Vellum Venom Vignette: Less is More…Enlightening? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/vellum-venom-vignette-less-is-more-enlightening/feed/ 54