Thanks foama, that will be informative to the US based members. I was aware of those restrictions, nut I had heard that they were only rigorously enforced in Germany. I found it interesting that Germany still has a tuning industry, despite the fact that even tire brands are regulated. Presumably getting TUV approval is somewhat slow and bureaucratic but also possible.
Originally Posted by foama
When I left the UK in the early 80s, only french cars with their traditional soft suspensions had adjustable headlamp height, sometimes without dashboard control. I remember Renault 4 and 16 with a level by the headlamp lens to aim higher or lower.
You would be horrified by the state of headlamp aim in the US. When they relaxed the requirement to have only sealed beam headlights in the late 80s, they got European style sharp cutoff low beams, and although states with "inspections" seem to have rules on aim, these seem to be poorly complied with, and I have never heard of anyone being ticketed for that. I was even at a traffic light once, and in the lane to my left was someone parked behind a police car at night with their headlights shining brightly into the police car. Cop didn't seem to care, didn't run off to any other emergency, just set his dipping mirror.
Even worse here is what are laughably called "fog lights". They are in the position on the car where fog lights should be, but rarely have a beam pattern suitable for use in fog. The Mirage ones on my ES have no lens pattern or reflector pattern. Americans like to use these as extra light to use in conjunction with their low beam headlights, and these are usally arranged to turn off with high beam. Unfortunately once the fog light switch is enabled, it will stay on for ever, and the lights will always be on with low beams.
Also unfortunately these lights seem never to be subject to any aiming rules, and so are often aimed so as to dazzle oncoming drivers , even though low beam headlights may not.
The UK used to have a rule about using fog lights only in fog or falling snow; presumably this was a European rule coming from France or more probably Germany.
Anyway, I like sharp cutoff lights, but they need to be aimed correctly, and the Mirage is nearly as softly sprung at the rear as those 70s Renaults, so I'd like the dashboard adjuster. Tomorrow I will have 4 and luggage in the car, and will be adjusting the headlamps down. And then back up a day later. :-(
View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 46.0 mpg (US) ... 19.5 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.2 mpg (Imp)