I am chatting with Pat Kenny this morning on the problem of ‘one-eyed monsters’ – cars with one working headlight.
Most people will realise this is lethal especially at this time of the year. In darkness or poor light – which is all but a few hours of the day in January – cars with one defective light will look like a motorbike to oncoming traffic.
The next AA Motorists’ Panel Survey will issue this week. We will be asking people’s views on a range of motoring topics and we will also be asking how often people come across dangerous or badly lit cars. Do you want to take part? Click Here and give us your email address – we’ll add you to the list and you will receive the questionnaire when it issues.
This is nearly more dangerous than no light at all. A pedestrian walking towards you on a country lane may think he has loads of room; likewise an oncoming car may think he has 2 metres more space than he has.
This seems to be more common recently. We are hearing a lot of reports about it this winter both via the blog and via AA Roadwatch. The reason may be partly to do with the ongoing economic situation. We know for sure that cars are not being as well maintained now as they were in previous years.
Another factor is that changing a bulb used to be a very straightforward job – 5 mins tops. This just isn’t true any more. In modern cars you often need to remove the bumper or the headlight housing, and then you have to be very careful with focus and alignment afterwards. It has become a garage job rather than a DIY job. I suppose progress does not always mean that things get better.
It is a good idea to check the cars lights regularly. It only takes a moment when you have someone to help you out. Try each of the car’s lights separately and have someone standing outside the car tell you if they are working.
Even if the bulbs still work they may drift out of alignment. This is a very common reason for failing the NCT. If other cars seem to be flashing you a lot for no reason it could well be that your beams are mis-aligned and dazzling them.
Motoring expenses are no joke, and if you know that your car needs to be serviced but you also know that it will cost you €200 or more it is very tempting to let it slide.
You can sort of get away with that in the short term but it will come back and haunt you. Poorly serviced cars will have a shorter lifespan for critical components and will cost you more money in the long run.
That might not matter much for some parts of the car but for key safety components, including headlights, it is critical.