is affected by copper in the aftermarket world. Unfortunately as the price keeps reaching new altitudes, in turn, this keeps increasing the retail prices for our beloved car accessories.
First up & mostly penalised is copper main power cable. Generally used to supply positive & negative to all sorts of colourful toys in our cars today. The more needed, means the more we are separated from the precious paper we call money. Result; more high powered systems from amplifiers to winches have become tremendously hit by the increase in price.
There is a solution for this painful impact; CCA! So everyone can understand; Copper Coated Aluminium. Without going into detail resembling a NASA afternoon tea break; high grade wire cable is oxygen free copper. With good quality CCA, the majority of the strands compiled to make a power cable are aluminium & the remainder copper at a ratio of around 70% aluminium to 30% copper. Is this better; nope! But, it is definitely a cheaper relief that can do nearly exactly the same job except for extreme necessities. For all of us in the practical world of cash versus value; this does bring a smile to our face when the time comes to pay, because this brings the price down by nearly 50%!!
Next up is one of the most needed tools for the car enthusiast because as is commonly known, most fanatics use their car less rather than more! Why? Because their cars are normally tucked away in a garage just sitting pretty. Curious? A car battery conditioner. This really should be in use for all the time the car is parked in it’s tomb. Occasional drives, oh & the pathetic distances of these so called “cruises”, do no help to the battery condition whatsoever.
This brings us back to the battery conditioner which is imperative for the health of our car’s electrical system. The heart of that electrical energy is the storage system known as the Battery. It is vital we keep the battery fully topped for it to give us that cranking power when needed. When left hibernating for extended periods, the battery loses voltage & although it has enormous cranking capacity, it will burst the car into life but, every time it does so after being dormant, it does permanent damage to its storage capacity. Slowly killing the battery, so to speak! A conditioner will keep the battery in a healthy fully charged state by trickle charging; it also recognises it is not needed & simply shuts down charging until needed again.
HID – High Intensity Discharge
I did mention in my last article LED lighting, which may compliment your ride. Cool, funky, attractive or even spooky are just few descriptions for this method of illumination. But, the priority is to be seen! Hence, the definition of Daytime Running Lights (DRL) With safety in the minds of those boffins who created DRLs, these have now become compulsory on new cars in Europe. HID lighting on the other hand also extends the safety of your headlamp lighting; by assisting further vision, much further.
The massive leap from Halogen yellow fever to the pure white spread out in front of your car, is exactly like watching your favourite cartoon the next morning, after a dark horror movie the previous evening. It’s just like having your own personal segment of daylight right in front of your car in the middle of the night! Such is the beauty of HID headlamp lighting. Road signs light up as if painted with fluorescent & paint on tarmac becomes clearer to navigate. A definite improvement. Your companion will ask why you’re taking the long route home after a night on the town!
Most manufacturers may provide daylight from the front headlamps for a small fortune. But as a HID aftermarket option, this is much, much cheaper. In most cases, they are not even detected that they have been installed, giving the impression they are OEM.
Price wise, this will bring you up to speed; OEM HID lighting will easily set you back close to a tear jerking € 1000. Aftermarket HIDs start from € 150.00 fitted!
The most important factor, they must be properly installed. Experience installation is key here! Poorly aligned headlamps & unprotected bulbs are a huge No No for the men in blue. For these reasons, VRT stations will gladly supply an immediate failure on normal halogen lamps let alone HIDs. These should be to the accordance of the manufacturers specifications to begin with.
The majority of headlamps have a bulb cover in some form or other; this is very important. As the HID lamp is bare, it cannot be exposed as the light produced will blind anything in its path & be totally unsafe. Keep this in mind.
Projector lights, the ones with a lens in the headlamp, are the best candidates. They are in front of the bulb & so the bulb cannot be seen. With the aid of this lens, they manage to throw a perfect beam ahead plus a perfect cut off of light so not to distract oncoming traffic. Many cars are equipped with such, from Fiat Puntos to Porsche Boxsters.
Scrambling through internet web sites is definitely not the best place to source HIDs. If you are on a quest; then good luck! Promises are made that they will work but the reality is, there is no 100% guarantee. Not because of any fault. It is just the necessity to apply the correct HID kit, being that not all cars have the same electronic brains. A well equipped professional installer will have variations of HID kits & even additional electronics to support the install. Each car will be different & this is the only real way that you will get smooth & reliable equipment fitted to light your way forward.