Sort of off topic, but close.....
I normally drive my Chevy pick up truck all the time, even though it was
intended to be a "farm truck". But recently I decided I needed another
vehicle for several reasons. For one thing, when I am working on the
truck, I have nothing else to drive. Also, my truck gets fair gas
mileage, but still uses more gas than a car.
I was looking at used small "compact" cars. I immediately saw that they
would be real hard to repair because there is no room in the engine
compartments. I also decided that I wanted more interior room. Compact
cars are meant to haul people, and little more. I am always hauling
something, like my camping gear, or some lumber, or whatever. While I
still have the truck, I still want to bring home a small amount of
lumber from a building supply store, or use the vehicle to go camping,
I ended up buying a 96 Plymouth Voyager mini van. It has enough space
inside, to haul my "stuff", has some space in the engine compartment,
and is still not a large gas guzzling vehicle. Being older, it's still
fairly simple compared to much of the newer vehicles, and I found one
for a good price with a very good body, which also runs well.
But there was one thing I did not forsee. Driving this vehicle at night
is dangerous. The headlights are horrible. In my truck, I can see a
hundred (or more) yards ahead of me. In this minivan, I am lucky to see
50 feet ahead of me, and that is with the BRIGHTS ON.
The first thing I did was to get some of that headlight lens cleaning
stuff, and clean and polish the plastic lenses. That helped a little,
but they were still far too dim. I then adjusted the lights so they
would shine higher (further down the road). That helped a little more,
but the lights themselves are just too dim.
The bulbs are the stock halogen type that push into the plastic housing
from the inside. (Not entire bulbs like the older cars had).
One consideration is to install some after market lights on the bumper.
Usually sold as "Fog Lights". I dont fully understand the law in regards
to these bulbs, but I was told they are not legal for normal (no fog)
conditions in town. I am going to ask the D.O.T some more questions
about this.... Most of my driving is on rural back roads, where there
can be deer crossing the road and similar issues. On those back roads,
it wont matter real much (to the cops), if I use them all of the time.
(And if you ask me, anything that helps see the road better should not
be illegal, but laws are made by idiot politicians who are usually
While googling about this, there are thousands of complaints about the
brightness of the headlights on this vehicle. Some recommend the
"Sylvania SilverStar Ultra Bulbs". A pair of them at the local parts
store sells for $50, but I found them on ebay for half that price. I
dont mind spending that money if they really work, but I hate to buy
them and still find them too dim. I also read that they have a short
life and need to be replaced about yearly.
There are also LED replacments, but they are very expensive.
If there was a way to do it, without ruining the looks of the vehicle,
I'd find a way to replace the entire headlight assembly with plain old
round or rectangular bulbs like on the older cars, but that would result
in lights with exposed bulbs and no trim around them. Those older bulbs
always worked well, cost less to buy and were easier to change and
maintain. But our so called "progress" has turned simple lighting into
complicated and costly lights that get foggy, need regular maintenance,
are more costly, and still lack performance.
Do anyone of you have any suggestions, tips, or other information?