Piston Slap: Blinded by the Light or BGE Clarity? (Part II)

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC Commentator Sam Hell Jr writes:

A few questions in follow-up to the discussion of blind-spots and glare… I drive a current-gen Malibu and live in a fairly well-heeled suburb on the edge of farmland, so a lot of my miles are coming on unlit roads surrounded by extra-tall SUVs and and extra-legally illuminated pickups. (With special commendation for the tailgating lifted Ram driver who, upon seeing me adjust my rearview mirror to avoid his aftermarket LED glare, flipped on the high-beams. Boo this man!)

The Malibu’s left sideview mirror adjustment is fairly limited, meaning I’ve still got to check over my shoulder around the driver-side B-pillar before changing lanes, even with the mirror at its widest angle.

  • I’m thinking about installing one of those fisheye mirrors, but doesn’t a fisheye mirror’s shape basically guarantee that I’ll be blinded by brodozers irrespective of my side-view mirror position?
  • Also, you mentioned the possibility of a light rear-windshield tint to combat headlight glare, is there a difference in tints if the priority is night visibility and glare reduction? Some sunlight shading would be welcome, because I do occasionally drive in my glasses, but that would be a lesser priority.
  • The Malibu’s auto-dimming rearview mirror already needs a fair amount of optical prodding before it engages. Would tinting the windows impede the rearview mirror’s light sensor?
  • I live in Ohio and use the rear defroster an awful lot. Is that something to take into account when choosing a tint?
  • Last one’s addressed to Sanjeev: for the next time that Ram pulls up behind me, your thoughts on installing a powered rear-facing reflector styled after the bullet-proof shield on the Goldfinger DB5?

Sajeev answers:

Sorry to hear your Malibu’s mirror isn’t Blindspot Glare Elimination ( BGE) savvy! Window tinting is almost mandatory in my part of the country, so perhaps we can hammer this one out quickly:

  • My limited experience with fish eye mirrors is they’re small enough to keep a large amount of reflections in your face. I guess its okay to try it, because if you gotta do it…
  • Do keep in mind that everyone’s rod and cones are a bit unique. Visible Light Reflectance is real and I will vouch for both clear and (especially) darkened tint giving illegal headlights a serious wallop. This link is the only one I’ve googled with a clear ranking of glare reduction: perhaps going to a tint shop and reading their spec sheets is in order!
  • Yes, window tint impedes an auto dimming mirror’s duty cycle (so to speak). But the on/off switching still happens, and the mirror dims less frequently because the need is less dire. That said, I lament the days of adjusting mirror sensitivity (see the lighted #8 in the video below), because the original, 1980s GENTEX mirror had a 0-10 sensitivity thumbwheel which really comes in handy in this era of illegal headlights.
  • Nope. Granted my Houston home ain’t Ohio, but the defroster always works in every tinted car I’ve experienced for decades.
  • Son, never listen to Sanjeev. Never ever.

[Image: Chevrolet]

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.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • JimC2 JimC2 on Jul 13, 2018

    Never had a problem with defroster lines and rear window tint, but I got a decent place to put it in each time. I put little round fish-eye mirrors on both of the side mirrors of my car- mostly to help spot the lines on each side of a parking spot. I like to back in to spots but it's hard to judge side to side lineup (I also despise people who park cockeyed and I've given out many door dings to the most cockeyed of parkers, but I digress). I put the little fisheye mirrors in the bottom inside corners of my side mirrors after trying them in a couple other places on the mirrors. This works best for parking and it doesn't detract from the using the mirrors to see my blind spots when I'm driving (I always adjust my mirrors out so that I can't see the edge of the car in them... no point adjusting them so close that you can't see anyone until they've already hit you!). Here is the lucky part- they're in the perfect spot so that when there is some dummy behind me and offset slightly to one side, who left his high beams were on, then these little fisheye mirrors are covering that part of the mirror that would normally reflect that headlight straight at my eyes. So I say go for the small fisheye mirrors. If you don't like them then they're a cheap experiment and you can take them off. I've had mine on for a few years and I love them.

  • Akear Akear on Jul 14, 2018

    My Fusion has the same problem. I am almost completely reliant on the mirrors.

  • Ajla There is inventory on the ground but as pointed out it is generally high dollar trims of high-dollar models and at least around here dealers still aren't budging off their mandatory nitrogen tires and Summer weather protection packages.You aren't paying '21-'22 prices anymore but it's still a long way to go.
  • Slavuta Every electric car must come with a film about lithium mining
  • Sobhuza Trooper Drop a good, high-strung German engine in this and you'd have American flair with German repair costs!
  • Kwik_Shift I'll just drive my Frontier into the ground as planned. Possibly find an older "fun" car to collect.
  • Lorenzo The solution is so simple: if the driver shifts into neutral without applying the parking brake, the horn sounds and lights flash until the parking brake is applied. After the third time, the driver should be insulted by a voice saying, "Shouldn't your wife be driving?", or "Where did you get your license - Dollar Store?"