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Old 02-06-2007, 08:30 AM   #1
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OT car design peeves: integrated signal/headlights & inboard signals

Peeve #1: current styling (and possibly bean counting) over functionality & safety has many manufacturers integrating the turn signal and headlight into a single unit.

Isn't it obvious that physically separating the two light sources increases visibility of the turn signal through greater contrast? And thus safety? Duh.


Peeve #2: (somewhat related). Manufacturers who place the front turn signals inboard of the headlight. Ford comes to mind as particularly guilty of this mistake.

Makes it impossible to see signals in a "line" of approaching traffic until either you or the approaching car are close enough (too close) that there's an unobstructed sight line to the signal light.

VERY Guilty:


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Old 02-06-2007, 08:31 AM   #2
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La, la, la. I like to complain.

The Blackfly is guilty on both counts.

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Old 02-06-2007, 11:31 AM   #3
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it's a conspiracy!

I like cheap, when it's cheap for all concerned. That is, cheaper to make and run and maintain and clean up after. But so many times it's cheap to make and expensive to run and maintain, like incandescent lights. Steel rims are like that too, but there the picture isn't so clear. Like, steel rims are much more forgiving of damage. Then there's the conspiracy thought: those headlight covers are unique to each car model, and much more profitable for the replacement parts biz when yours catches a rock and has to be replaced.

The govt sticks us with some dubious tradeoffs. In the 70s and 80s, we had lousy emissions controls-- the EGR valve, and the air pump and charcoal cannisters. Today the safety standards are such that it's impossible to make a light car that is strong enough to pass. I read somewhere that the Metro cannot pass current US safety standards. I've noticed some states have high "safety" standards that just happen to generate lots of business for certain industries. Like, Virginia is so picky about cracks in the windshield they might as well just say "no cracks allowed at all" instead of their more complicated criteria that makes it sound like they're not so tough. When I asked why, they claimed it was for safety. The silver lining is that windshields are a bit cheaper in VA thanks to the economies of scale and competition VA's rules cause. VA also hassled me about side marker lights. They had to work. Didn't matter that many cars don't even have such lights. If your car has them, they must work. CA by constrast didn't care about a windshield crack or two and side marker lights, as long as your car met their legendary emissions standards. And TX, well... if you're not near a big city, TX is easy.
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Old 02-06-2007, 05:16 PM   #4
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Fender-Mounted Signals

I thought of the Sable even before the post -- definitely way inboard.

With as much driving as we do on multi-lane highways in the 'States, you would think a side-marker signal on the fender would be required (as in Europe, Japan, etc).

If you're merging on the highway, it's hard to tell another driver is taking the same lane, otherwise. A few cars have it -- seems to be popular to place it in the mirror.

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Old 02-20-2007, 07:06 PM   #5
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Moose has turn signals up front that are entirely surrounded by grille shell. But there are side markers that blink with the signals, although they are ahead of the front wheel arches.

My Celebrity has turn signals mounted IN the bumper, and the side markers blink with them. However the rear turn signals are completely invisible from a side view.

The Sable you posted has the same setup. The marker lenses in the bumper cover sides are SUPPOSED to blink with the signals. Then again most people just think they're reflectors.
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