Beam Benders in France

(stella wood) #1

I stopped at my local DEKRA testing station today… had a couple of queries for folk… and I took the time to ask about Beam Benders.

“since 20 May 2018, “beambenders” are accepted during a Controle Technique provided they are NOT fitted to any vehicle of more than 3.5Tonne (?) and provided that they have been correctly fitted to EU lights… and thus the lights’ direction etc conforms to the country (France)… IF the BB’s have been fitted incorrectly and/or do NOT do what they should… this will be a failure.”

fair comment

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(Robert Hodge) #2

That should save people the expense of having to replace the headlamp units which often cost an arm and a leg these days due to every car having a different shaped lamp unit.
Certainly good information to have. Thanks Stella.

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(stella wood) #3

Yes… it is good news.

(But, if the lights are faulty in any way (in themselves)… even suitable BB’s, properly applied, will be to no avail… :thinking: and folk will have to bite the bullet.)

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(Ann Coe) #4

Great that you took the time to clear this up Stella, there appears to have been some confusion. :dizzy_face:

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What needs changing when you register a RHD UK car in France?
(Robert Hodge) #5

One thing that surprises me is the number of vehicles that one sees, where the outer plastic cover over the headlamps is so scratched and pitted as to be virtually opaque. It’s a condition that is often caused over quite a long period of time by following too closely to the vehicle in front so that dirt and grit thrown up by the vehicle in front acts as an abrasive against the front end of the following vehicle. Such ‘opaque’ headlamp coverings must be A. reducing the amount of light emitted, and B. causing the beam to be diffused all over the place instead of being correctly directed.
In the UK such lamps would be an MOT failure, but here such vehicles seem to pass the CT with no problem. All seems rather odd to me.

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(stella wood) #6

Robert… you use the word “seem”… I can assure you that a light with dodgy plastic (for want of a better description) will not be Passed if is it so bad that the light fails the Test.

My OH has the necessary equipment to polish the covers… and has helped many friends. However, it is not always possible to achieve a high-enough finition… so, even after a “sorting” the light can end up as failure and a replacement has to be bought…

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(Torre Thompson ) #7

Its so funny seeing drivers at the ports in the UK fitting the beam benders. You get the huge A3 instruction manuals and then trying to get the backing off them and then fitting them in the correct place. Mine have been on since May, i will take them off just before my MOT

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(Nellie Moss ) #8

Just hope you don’t get stopped by a zealous police officer then

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(Torre Thompson ) #9

I hope not too:policeman: but getting the sticky backing off your headlamp is a nightmare, you have to use industrial strength acid.

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(Paul Flinders) #10

When we had a car with glass headlights it was easy - just use acetone. Nowadays the lenses tend to be plastic to save weight and acetone is not that good an idea. :frowning:

Most “beam benders” are, in fact, beam blockers but you can buy genuine “benders” which consist of fine plastic prisms.

Our problem is that there is no good place to stick the bender as the auto-levelling and steering tracking mechanisms swing the lamp both up and down and left to right.

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(John Withall) #11

Warming the glue with a hair dryer and then using WD40 or a wet wipe works well.

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(John Withall) #12

Always amazes the number of stupid people buying some fancy coloured sticky tape for beam blockers at around 7 pounds.
At least with the Fresnel lens benders you actually re direct the light rather than blocking it.

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(John McClain) #13

This was my conundrum as you know from the other week.

Since then I have tried to call and email Dekra multiple times, in French and English, without a single reply.

The annoyance was the 1 broken link I found on here that supposedly had the law in black and white.

Since then I’ve spoken with a long time resident English mechanic who has kindly sent me the black and white proof you can show the silly CT centre’s that turn you away.

The only other argument you might encounter is if they quiz you if you are a resident or tourist. Bizarre.

Oh and FYI, the ONLY accepted beam benders I have been told specifically, is if they are fitted by a garage with proper beam alignment. Sticking them on yourself will not be OK whatsoever.

You’re welcome.

Page 5 : section 4.1.2.a.2
Page 6 : section 4.1.4.b.2

IT VL F4C-ECLAIRAGE-190618.pdf (235.8 KB)

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(John Withall) #14

Whilst I don’t blame you for reporting this, it is garages trying to drum up business. The main beam is the main beam. The beam benders only effect the dip beam directing the pattern more central than to the left as normal for the UK. The Fresnel lens will do this if the manufactures directions are followed, the exact position is quite a wide margin for error. I have played around with the beam benders when I changed cars as the headlamps were a different shape.

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(David Martin) #15

It doesn’t matter who fits them, how could anyone tell? If they work they should be accepted, if the don’t, they won’t.

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(John McClain) #16

It isn’t a case of working. It is a case of precise fitment to bend the beam within limits of the test. From the horses mouth. Unless the CT centre don’t care too much, it WILL be a problem. But hey what do I know, I’ve only been researching this the last month, calling and visiting everyone under the sun to get the truth.

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(David Martin) #17

The beans will either conform or not. The benders will work properly or not.

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(John McClain) #18

No. They will pass if they are setup with a beam alignment tool at the garage. If you risk sticking them on yourself with a stupid giant leaflet, chances are you got it wrong.

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(David Martin) #19

No they will pass if they show the correct pattern. What is your problem?
Of course there is more chance o& the car passing if the bams have been checked and been seen to comply but that is quite different from saying done by a garage = pass, done by an amateur = fail.

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(John McClain) #20

Problem? Excuse me? You do not know me, do NOT speak to me like that.

Yes, if they are setup correctly, with the right tool, they will pass. Multiple garages, and CT centres alike, have made that very clear. You do not work in either of these correct.

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