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Old 10-05-2002, 03:54 PM
Achieving Salvation
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Madison, Wis.
Posts: 223
Advice on headlights

Hello friends:

Here's a question about headlights. I have the regular headlights on my 190e 2.6 ('93 model year). For the most part, the headlights are OK, but I really have problems when it's raining outside and I'm driving, or there's low visiability. I'm blind in one eye and have vision problems to begin with. I drive some country roads, and with winter coming, I'll tend to do quite a bit of night driving. I scared myself a couple of times this summer when I was driving late at night in the rain, and don't want that same feeling in the snow.

Do you think that I could get a brighter light bulb for my headlights to fix this problem, or do you think I would have to look into getting those european model headlights? I did find a pair for $249 on a web site somewhere. It's kind of a lot of money for headlights, and I guess I'll pay it if it will help me to see the road better. But if a simple change in light bulbs would work, then that might be a cheaper route for me.

I would have to have these european lights installed I guess. I'm not very mechanically inclined and can't see small things, so I don't really attempt any repairs. How much would it cost to have european lights installed? Where could I go to have them installed? I would really be grateful for your input.

Thanks for reading and for responding.

Take care,

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Old 10-05-2002, 07:21 PM
BlueBabyBenz's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 151
Have you tried using your fog lamps?

I find that the standard equipment fog lamps really do improve close range night visibility, particularily to each side. I don't do it when I am in traffic, because I don't want to overwhelm other drivers with light, but on a dark desolate country road, it really does help.

To turn them on, pull the light switch outward from the dashboard when it is in the headlight on position, (in case you hadn't tried them yet.)
MB 1986 190D in my past
MB 1987 300E on the street
MB 1994 'Smoke Silver' E420 in my driveway
1999 Mazda Miata in the fun stable
1964 E-Type Jaguar Coupe- Sold
1970 E-Type Jaguar Coupe- Sold
1968 Corvair Monza Conv. with Turbo Transplant- Sold
1986 Merkur Xr4ti- abandoned
various mundane American autos

If I'd known then what I know now...

Hell, I'd probably still have done it anyways.
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Old 10-05-2002, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Woolwich, Maine
Posts: 3,598

I am very near sighted and as I get older have also noticed I have difficulty decoding visual information in poor lighting situations. The answer for me is not brighter lights in the normal headlamp and high beam locations as these tend to merely reflect off the wet road surface into the eyes of the oncoming traffic and send very little additional information back to me. I have found higher power fog lights, which are typically aimed at a steeper angle to the road and spread light out to the sides, gives me a better view of the upcoming road. The steeper angle adds to the amount of light reflected back to me off the road surface, and the wider angle of dispersion tends to light up the rougher road surfaces along the sides of the road for a greater distance.

I am also very particular about the condition of the windshield. I carefully clean the plasticizer vapors that condense on the inside surface, and add to the difficulty seeing through the windshield at night, on a regular basis. I have taken to using Rain-X on the inside as well as the outside, and have found if you wipe off the Rain-X residue with a damp cloth the tendency to leave smeary or streaky deposits is overcome. Rain-X seems to work best for me, a little like the multi-coating technology used on camera and now eye glass lenses to change the abruptness of the density change between air and glass, and lead more light to be transmitted and less to be reflected. As any windshield gets older though, it gets chewed up and pitted by road debris. This pitting adds to the problem of getting enough light through the glass and cannot be effectively repaired or improved with Rain-X or any other such treatment I am aware of at the moment. On my 1982 240D I recently had the front glass replaced and that made such a difference I will be replacing the windshield 1986 190E 2.3-16 this Fall.

So, my suggestion is you attack the problem on all fronts, meaning better illumination and ensuring the best conditions for getting the information you need to pass back through the windshield to the sensor and processor behind the wheel. Good luck, and I hope this helps. Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 10-05-2002, 09:27 PM
Achieving Salvation
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Madison, Wis.
Posts: 223
That's a great suggestion. I will give that a try and see if I can see any improvement.

Do you know if the fog lamp bulbs are expensive to replace when they burn out? I thought I read a post somewhere on here about that, and that was why the owner didn't use his lamps much. But maybe I'm thinking about something else.

Do people run those brighter looking halogen bulbs in standard Mercedes headlights? It seems that they are so much brighter than the regular ones.

Thanks for writing.
2005 W203
Running as fast as I can to stay behind!!
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Old 10-05-2002, 09:29 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
I don't believe the European headlights will make that much of a difference. A brighter bulb might, but in doing this you may be creating more of a hazard than you are fixing, oncoming drivers need to see too!
It may be worthwhile to make sure the headlights are aimed properly, I would have someone with proper tools and training check them out, there are a number of very effective optical headlight aimers available now, i would try to find a shop that has this type of aimer, they are very accurate, it may be contributing to your problem. If you find a shop with the Bosch aimer, it will also have a light intensity meter, it would be good to have this checked, maybe there is a problem that is keeping your lights from acheiving full intensity.
I've never recommended this before, but some also claim having better night vision by using a different type (ie "blue" bulbs, or Xenon-looking bulbs) in a slightly higher wattage than stock, this could also be tried, but only if aiming the headlights is of no help.
These types of bulbs are usually found at the larger auto-parts retailers, ie Autozone or Pepboys, I'm sure the people there can direct you to these types of products, but please please have the headlight aim rechecked first.
Finally, I feel it's important to remind you that if you truly are having problems driving at night, and none of this is information helps you at all, you MUST consider the safety of others. Not just yourself, there are families out there at night, don't be a hazard to other road users or yourself PLEASE!

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Old 10-05-2002, 09:35 PM
Gilly's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
Oh, it's you Michael! DUH!
I can help get you fixed up, we have a good headlamp aimer, it's a Hella aimer. Hella-va-good aimer. On the bulbs, we don't sell them, as I said, Pep Boys, Autozone, somewhere like that, I can put them in n/c (easy), and check the aim. When are you in Mad-town again? Email me if'n you want.

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Old 10-05-2002, 11:30 PM
ebennz's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Hurricane, West Virginia
Posts: 878
brother michael

i am 42 and don't see as well at night as i used to.
i still like to travel at night because very often the "crazies" aren't out then.

the ONLY WAY to put MORE USABLE light on the road is with EUROS. PERIOD.

the source member michael made about
is your best bet for them. oem hella or bosch is the best way to go for these, if your car is a keeper.

use the "search feature" and type in euro headlights. make sure you have a lot of time.

my euro's are the best money i have ever spent on my mercedes.

look closely at the pattern of this glass, it really does its job

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*92 400e 124.034, SOLD

*92 300e 124.030, SOLD
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Old 10-06-2002, 12:21 AM
Posts: n/a
I agree that if you were to upgrade your headlights, that the eruos are your best bet. I have them on my 190E 16valve and love them.

A note on merely uping the wattage: I did so on a previous set of headlights (on my 240-D). I think typical wattage is 55 low and 65 high. I ran 80 low and 100 high beams! Yeah, they were really bright, but like others have mentioned, they also reflected a lot of light back into my eyes. Street signgs became beacons of light that I could see a half mile away! A bit too much.

I wear glasses and am near sighted, though not more than a typical eyeglass wearer. A trick I have learned to dramaticaly reduce glare when driving in the rain is to wear polarized sunglasses. Mine are tinted brown and are also not very dark. The difference they make when driving in hard rain is great! Just make sure:

1. they are polarized
2. they are not too dark since it obviously gets darker outside when it's raining.

Hope this helps.

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