Piston Slap: Blinded by the Light or BGE Clarity?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

Looooooongtime TTAC reader Robin writes:

Even after all these years on the road (driving since 1972) there are still situations that raise the hackles on my my neck. This is my cautionary tale.

The other day I was on 75, heading south to Dallas, from McKinney. It was around 6:00 a.m., a good hour before sunrise. I like to stay in the next-to-the-outside lane, leaving the furthest right hand lane for drivers entering the freeway. So I began my scan to move over one.

Immediately behind me was a late model, full-sized truck. They are high enough that those headlights pretty much flood my rear vision. I could see that he was NOT attempting to overtake me, either. But there was something in my field of vision. It was vague, flooded out by those projector headlights. I hesitated before moving. And sure enough, here came a guy on a motorcycle, passing us all. He was not driving recklessly at all. Yet I could not see him for the briefest instant as he traversed through the glare of those projector beams.

I don’t know what would have transpired, we were all tucked in pretty damned closely.

Bottom line is, no matter how safely one is operating their vehicle, no matter how safely everyone else is operating, it only takes a literal second for things to go sideways.

Sajeev answers:

While I wasn’t there with our OP, he lives in my home state: some of Our People are proud of their turbo-blindy aftermarket HID/LED kits in factory housings never intended for such bulbs, sometimes made worse by lift kits*** ensuring everyone sees your blinding light.

So protect yourself from misaligned/illegal headlights (and fog lights!) via mirror adjustment as per Blindzone Glare Elimination ( BGE) guidelines.

I was thrilled to recently learn that BGE is taught (has been taught?) in Texas Driver’s Education, this will help everyone. So a big thanks to SAE member George Platzer for writing t he definitive article in 1995: if only I was young enough to learn from his wisdom in school!

But now I embrace the BGE lifestyle, combined with a modest rear window tint, the issue Robin experienced (almost?) never happens to me. Believe that.

[Image: Shutterstock user Oleksiy Mark]

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.

***No, I’m not hatin’ on lift kits, especially since many a lifted truck saved Houston residents during Hurricane Harvey. The issue here is completing the upgrade via headlight adjustment and not using aforementioned blindy (technical term) and illegal bulbs in housings never intended for them. Otherwise, I got nothing but love for them skyward Cowboy Cadillacs, Son!

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • Iamwho2k Iamwho2k on Jul 06, 2018

    Nine times out of ten I'll be blinded by a lifted Toyota Tacoma, with its HIDs set on stun. Ironically, nine times out of ten the car whose headlights are NOT on is a Toyota, the illuminated instrument cluster apparently deceives its functionally-blind driver, who cannot tell that their lights aren't on.

  • FThorn FThorn on Jul 08, 2018

    One of my friends does/"has done", or worked on the Ford F-X50 lights. I agree that they are blinding, and dangerous, most of the time. If you're young, just wait, if you live that long. Us survivors (of age) are affected by these things.

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.
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