Headlight Converter / France Trip

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TomH84
Joined: Sun 15 Dec, 2013 15:22
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Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by TomH84 » Tue 17 Jun, 2014 22:18

Hey guys,

Off to France in the Zed for 2 weeks next Wednesday. Yeah!! Really excited about the first road trip in the car. Pics to follow!

I bought headlight converters (and breathalysers, high viz vest etc...) to avoid trouble with the French police. They are the standard self-adhestive converters.

Has anyone fitted these before to the Zed? Do I fit these to the outer plastic lens or to the headlight bulb itself? The instructions are clear on positioning, but don't say whether they go on the bulb/outer lens. On my other car, the headlight bulb is exposed and it's easy: they go on the headlight itself.

Cheers!

Tom
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Mint
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Mint » Tue 17 Jun, 2014 22:34

I'm off to Andorra tomorrow via France and I've attached mine to the outer plastic of the headlight. You'd have to split the headlight unit to fix them to the headlight lens itself.
Enjoy your trip...
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TomH84
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by TomH84 » Tue 17 Jun, 2014 22:41

Cheers! Nice and easy :)

Have a great trip yourself!
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BladeRunner919
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by BladeRunner919 » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 07:59


Phil
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Phil » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 08:09

Be aware that the adhesive can react with your headlights and turn them cloudy. I fitted some cheapo deflectors some years ago and it ruined the headlights. Had a permanent shadow where they had been fixed. Now I only use the BMW ones and haven't had any problems with those.
There are some tiny marks on the front surface which show you where to fit them |_ One shows for left hand drive cars and the other for right hand drive.
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Koolflyer
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Koolflyer » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 08:11

Just back from France, fantastic top down all the way in blue sky! Have a really good trip guys......really envious! 8-)
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Mike
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Mike » Fri 20 Jun, 2014 20:56

I agree with Phil. The glue clouds the plastic if left on too long. Last time I tried them they only stayed fixed for about 100Km when whizzing to the south of France. I then used black plastic tape to mask off the light beam that tipped upwards on the passenger side the rest of the trip. Trouble is you then need fog lights on as its a bit dark. Good idea in France any way to light the deep ditches they favour alongside the roads in Brittany at least.

Bi11
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Bi11 » Fri 20 Jun, 2014 23:36

Last time couple of times I have been to France I took the converters with me, but didn't drive after dark, so never bothered fitting them.

Have a good trip, hoping to take the zed on a Continental road trip my self some day.
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TomH84
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by TomH84 » Fri 20 Jun, 2014 23:41

Cheers!

Am looking forward to it. Just trying to plan the route down from Liverpool to Dover - the worst bit. M25 Anticlockwise at 9.30 / 10am - arghh...

I'll post some 'zed abroad' pics when I'm back.
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Gazza
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Gazza » Fri 20 Jun, 2014 23:54

If you are going to Dover from Liverpool using the M25 it will be better to go clockwise and pay the £2.00 toll

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Mike Fishwick
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Mike Fishwick » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 07:39

Why do people have this aversion to doing something with ther headlamps?

The idea that one does not need to fit converters unless driving at night ignores the basic legal requirement to do so, and also the possibility that you may have to drive in rain or mist, when you will dazzle oncoming traffic. In either case you could be fined if the gendarmes are having a bad day, or they stop you for any other offence.

Keep things simple and legal, and fit them before you get on the ferry.
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Davejue1
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Davejue1 » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 08:21

That told you!! :D
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Mike Fishwick
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Mike Fishwick » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 09:25

People should not need to be told! This subject has long been a source of debate (if tha tis the correct word!) on the BMW Club (ie BMW motorcycles) forum, so many otherwise sensible people taking the attitude that they will 'get away with it' and ignoring their basic duty of courtesy to others, not to mention the legal requirement. Perhaps they find the whole idea as being too difficult for them to master, yet on a Z3 it is particularly easy, and even if you buy the BMW blanking kit is is not expensive.

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A lot of people tend to get rather stroppy when being criticised for this, the usual lame excuse being theat they do not intend to ride at night (forgetting about the legal requirement not to dazzle others, although a motorcycle must use dipped headlamps at all times) and the rain/mist problem. Another cop-out is that they 'know' the French (not the Dutch, not the Germans, not the Italians!) do not bother to do so when visiting the UK, so they feel entitled to get their own back. The same weak excuses are quite common in the car world too.

In a low car such as a Z3 a high-mounted headlamp on someting such as a motorcycle or white van is a real pain - and BMW GS trail bikes are some of the worst. Living in a popular tourist area like the Dordogne , and driving a Z3, I have a particular interest in this matter, but so many Brits seem to think that leaving their headlamp to dazzle others is acceptable in daytime, or regard it as some kind of revenge against the French forthem beating the Brits in the Norman Conquest!
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bertiejaffa
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by bertiejaffa » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 10:44

Make them drive on the left like normal people - that will resolve everything
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Rafolian
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Rafolian » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 12:24

I blame the Americans!!

John Wilson
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by John Wilson » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 12:37

Mike, it's not a case of just being stroppy. My headlights were damaged by using converters. I'm just off to France again in a weeks time, and you can't blame me for being a bit worried about it. I've always complied with French regulations, but just would like to be sure that it won't happen again. I'd love to take the cheap tape option, but unless I know the adhesive is alright, I'm not going to risk it.

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Davejue1
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Davejue1 » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 13:40

Myself and "the good lady" are regular visitors to France. Love the place and would give our right arms to live there! We too carry all legal requirements. Breathiliser, hi-viz vests, warning triangle, spare bulb kit,can of baked beans etc. We too always put converters on the headlights but the last set we put on the wife's shogun (halfords) also damaged the headlights and we never managed to get them right again. We haven't been across in the Zed yet but are planning on doing so next year. I will put them on again of course but not from halfords next time. :)

Cheers
Dave
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frog farmer
Joined: Thu 18 Jul, 2013 16:01
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by frog farmer » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 14:32

Dont bother with the breathalyzer it is not needed now

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Davejue1
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Davejue1 » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 15:54

They'll make there mind up at some point! Well they've been sat in the glove box now since it became law so they might as well stop there now. :)
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Mike
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Mike » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 20:09

The breathlyser law is currently suspended not removed. This means that it is illegal not to have them in the car BUT the fine for not having them is set to 0 euros so the police cannot fine you for it. My suggestion is to get one or to ( in French supermarket as they are a fraction of the cost of those on the ferrie ) so as not to have an issue.
Also be aware the STATIC speed cameras have a 0 KM/hr tolerace. 1 km/hr over and you get a fine. Its still 5 percent tolerance with handheld flicks speed camera so do not let them tell you otherwise. French Laws - such fun !!!!

Phil
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Phil » Sat 21 Jun, 2014 20:27

John Wilson wrote:Mike, it's not a case of just being stroppy. My headlights were damaged by using converters. I'm just off to France again in a weeks time, and you can't blame me for being a bit worried about it. I've always complied with French regulations, but just would like to be sure that it won't happen again. I'd love to take the cheap tape option, but unless I know the adhesive is alright, I'm not going to risk it.
Get the BMW converters then.
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OXO
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by OXO » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 08:06

Mike wrote: Also be aware the STATIC speed cameras have a 0 KM/hr tolerace. 1 km/hr over and you get a fine. Its still 5 percent tolerance with handheld flicks speed camera so do not let them tell you otherwise. French Laws - such fun !!!!
But if you are driving a UK registered vehicle, the French do not send the fine across to the UK, so you get away with it.

Of course if you get stopped by the gendarmes for speeding, it's a different matter.

Mike Fishwick
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Re: Headlight Converter / France Trip

Post by Mike Fishwick » Sun 22 Jun, 2014 08:42

Fixed cameras are supposed to be set at plus 5%, but this cannot be relied upon - I was caught by a camera st to operate at plus 3 kph in a 90 kph zone - before I had my eyes tested I could not read the speed limit sign in time! This meant a 65 Euro fine, reduced to 42 Euros for payment within the month, and 1 point, which was removed after a year - rather more appropriate than the 'Public Enemy Number One' treatment given in the UK.

At least as a resident, if caught by the gendarmes the fines etc are very low (65 to 135 Euros, unless you are being a real hero!) compared to the level applied to Brits - because the UK has not signed the agreement for cross-border pursuance. I find it amazing how some Brits get upset at the idea of having to comply with French laws when in France - as though they think they have a right to ignore the laws of any country - particularly those of France! I would prefer French fines etc to the hysterical punishments being given in the UK. Up to £10k for speeding?
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