See how bright -- and how risky -- an HID headlight upgrade can be
Hey folks Cooley here with another one of your emails about high tech cars, and modern driving.
This one from Andy who has got a headlight upgrade question.
He says I have a 2018 Subaru Impreza sedan.
My friend told me I should upgrade my headlights to HID, that's high intensity discharge.
A little gas plasma tube instead of a filament bulb.
I saw conversion kits online for about 50 bucks.
Would those void my warranty?
Now, this starts to get in to warranty rules regardless whether it's a headlight or any other part you change on your car and that's addressed by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, here in the US anyway.
And what it says is Warranty denials must be compartmentalized.
So if you were to change your headlight parts like this and then screwed up some other part of your headlight system then yes they can deny warranty coverage on that part of the car if they can reasonably show that your upgrade or your after market part caused the problem.
The onus is on the dealer to show that.
They can not though deny warranty on other parts coverage of the car just because their mad at you.
Because you changed the headlights and now we're not gonna give you coverage on the pain that's peeling or some gauge is not working.
So it's very compartmentalized so you have limited risk although anything on a car can be pretty expensive to fix once you **** up that just one sub system.
So think about that because these kits that you've seen for 50 bucks They're not real cool to me.
They look real shady, real fly by night.
A lot of them, anyway.
I don't see a lot of them from name brands, right?
And you just don't know what it's gonna do to anything from the heat dispersion inside the lamp module to the electrical draw or whatever else it may do electronically in the vehicle.
Now, once you make peace with that idea, if you're okay with damage It may cause, know that you may not get the gain you're looking for.
Yes, you're gonna get more light.
Those HID modules are wicked bright and it's also a very blue light typically.
It's gonna look very impressive.
But that doesn't mean it's better light cuz the key to light for illuminating things is to control them.
Our photographer, Charlie, when he lit our shoot today made sure we had the right amount of light in the right places and not going where it shouldn't be.
That's analogous to the kind of control a good headlight does, but if you go and plug in an HID module, it might be like putting a couple of huge klieg lights in here.
It would just be blown out in places, harsh shadows somewhere else.
Not necessarily really very pleasing and the other thing is youve got less control because youre putting in unknown light source that the manufacturer didnt design for.
Regardless of brightness.
This is not a module that they built the reflector, and the lens and the whole module housing to get the most out of.
So you have a lot of things going on here that a $50 upgrade kit is not going to properly address.
I would do it with a very great degree of hesitation, and be ready to swap back the old ones if you look t it and say yeah, it's brighter, but it's not better.
Especially for the person who's in the oncoming lane.
Keep those emails coming, I'm here to answer your questions about high tech cars and modern driving, it's firstname.lastname@example.org.
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