Please read this FIRST! How to get the most from this forum

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Alaric Darconville

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The automotive and motorcycle subforum of this board is one of the internet's best resources for good, reliable information on this complicated topic. Here's how to quickly and easily make the best possible use of this forum:

  • Use keywords in the search box at the top right of each page (especially the Google™ Custom Search), and browse other threads before posting a new one; the information you need may well already be available. If you find a thread that's related but still doesn't quite answer your question, go ahead and add your question to that thread.

  • Stating your vehicle's year, make, model, trim level, and equipment specification (even if you just know a designation such as "Sport" or "XLE") will help get you the best answers. Also please state what country the vehicle was built for, and any modifications that might have been made to the lighting system.

  • Be mindful that there are a lot of bad ideas and bad products in the vehicle lighting world. All of them are hyped and promoted as great ideas. CPF Rule 11 is particularly important here because of the safety concerns with motor vehicles and their lighting.
    This means (among other things):
    • Homemade headlamps, taillamps, stop lamps, turn signals, fog lamps, etc, are not safe, effective, or legal. We will not help you build or troubleshoot them. We will not argue this point.

    • "HID kits", "LED conversions", and "projector retrofits" aren't safe, effective, or legal. If you want one or think you want one, you don't want one. If you already have one and it's not working, we're not going to help you fix it. (If you have one and you think it's working, it's not; get it off your vehicle before someone gets hurt.) We will not argue this point.

    • Only very few of the "LED bulbs" for non-headlamp/non-foglamp use available on the market work safely and effectively; most of them are unsafe junk. The ones FOR headlamp/foglamp use are ALL unsafe junk. We will not argue this point.
  • For a large number of vehicles out there, there is a safe, legal, and effective way to upgrade the lighting. For some, it may require carefully-chosen auxiliary lights. Whatever the manner, we will try our best to help you find that upgrade. It might not always be cheap, and it might not always be easy-- but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. And that is another point noöne can argue.

One quick hint at determining if the product you wish to buy is really safe, legal, or effective is to see if the manufacturer claims it is "DOT approved" or "SAE approved". Claiming so is a clear indication that the product is a no-go; regulations in the US and Canada do not work on a type-approval basis, and DOT and SAE are not approval agencies. Regulations in North America work on a self-certification basis: the "DOT" marking on a piece of lighting equipment means its manufacturer or importer certifies that it conforms to all applicable requirements of FMVSS 108 (or in the case of brake fluid to FMVSS 116; motorcycle helmets to FMVSS 218, etc). The DOT performs no pre-sale testing or approval.

There's another difference between this forum and other forums associated with automotive products, or fandom of particular automakers or recreational automotive activities (for example, a site oriented solely to Toyota models, or one for Jeep Wranglers, or perhaps an off-roading or motorsports forum): Yes, we do have some advertisements here, but you may notice that none of them make or sell regulated motor vehicle lighting equipment. We may speak highly of particular brands, or particular offerings from certain brands—these recommendations are genuine, not shilling for a particular company paying us to do so. And speaking of paying us: Moderators volunteer their services and expertise. They are not paid to do this.

Thanks for reading and applying this advice—when you do so, the board works better for everyone, including you.
 
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Alaric Darconville

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,256
Location
Stillwater, America
FONT/SIZE/COLOR tagging & Pic quoting

A note on font, size, and color tagging: Please don't use it in this subforum unless it is absolutely necessary to convey meaningful information. The nature of this particular subforum often means that when a post is quoted to be answered, it's split into smaller sections to address individual points. It makes it harder to do that if there's also font or color tagging, since that will have to be edited out.

If you prefer to do editing of your posts in a word processor, use Notepad or Notepad++ rather than Microsoft Word or OpenOffice (or similar). This ensures you paste plain text into the forum-- free of font and font size changes, colors, and other unecessary formatting. This helps make sure that even those people using mobile devices have an easy time reading and quoting your posts.

A further note on quoting: If you're quoting a post that has an image in it, it's usually not necessary to quote the image. Quoting the images just makes people have to scroll more and can use more data than is necessary.
 
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