"Pulled over"....HID headlights "illegal??" - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012 Thread Starter
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"Pulled over"....HID headlights "illegal??"

So... I'm pulling into a rural gas station 1-2 miles from my rural house - near Ft. Worth...
Cop car right in front of the gas station, on the street.
I pull up to the gas pump, and cop car pulls right behind me - lights flashing. I get out, in prep to get gas, but address them:
"What's up?"
"Your headlights..."
"What's wrong about them?"
"They're illegal."
"Too bright?"
"Nope...those are HID's, right?"
"Sure...."
"They're illegal. Can you pop the hood?"
"Sure...HID's are illegal. Huh..."
"You install those yourself?"
"No. They came from the dealer this way. It's a new car - 6 months old."
(To partner, after briefly examining the installation: 'Yup, they're not aftermarket.')
"What's wrong with HID headlights?"
"Well, the [something about power supply/wiring - didn't get it all - was retrieving insurance/license, etc.] in aftermarket self-installs have been known to catch fire."
"Really?"
"Yours, obviously, are not a problem....really nice car!!"
"Yup - all stock, as you can see. Gets on the freeway real nice!"
[everyone smiles]
"I was beginning to feel lonely - I've driven thru town here for the last 6 months, and you guys never even pulled me over just to admire it!" [me, grinning] [They're grinning back]
"Well, sorry for the trouble - have a good night!"
"You guys, too..." They leave. I pump gas and leave.

Anyone ever heard of power, heat, wiring of self-installed HID's causing fires, etc.???? More research needed....


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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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I hadn't heard they were illegal due to fire hazard.......I know that some of the aftermarket or just ones that add blue bulbs are blinding sometimes!


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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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Yes I have, but it really is not an HID issue per se, but a byproduct of wannabes trying to look like HID's. I am an EE so I have some knowledge of the eng'g issues here. The policemen have likely seen clapped out Civics running those "blue light special" bulbs which have caused wiring to be damaged and possibly sparks/fires. It has nothing to do with HID's.

Most of the melted wiring has been caused by people using illegal, non-DOT builbs with wattage ratings much higher than the 45-55w bulbs normally found in modern headlights (halogen). Some are over 100w!!! Ohm's Law establishes that the 100w bulbs will draw much higher current, and when the higher current is added to multiple lights (such as adding 100w foglight bulbs to the same circuit) the wiring rating can exceed the draw that the wire gauge was engineered to handle. The results - higher resistance in the thinner wire causes it to heat up, and in some cases enough to nelt the insulation. If the exposed wire touches metal, a spark is likely, and that spark can ignite flammable liquids or cause flammable materials to burn.

HID's run at high voltage, but low current. They actually consume less energy than conventional halogen lights, even thoough their output is greater. The danger with them is remote:

1) Finger oils can cause a hot spot and the HID bulbs can shatter
2) The step up devices needed to raise battery voltage to the high voltages needed to ionize gases can cause nerve damage if touched by someone poking where they shouldn't be poking.

All HID conversion kits I have examined have the right components to ensure a safe install - if someone is out of their league or bypasses proper parts, then ANY aftermarket part can be dangerous. I am not aware of a blanket ban on aftermarket HIDs.

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012 Thread Starter
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Could be. Perhaps it was partly due to my 'fogs' being on. Dunno.
I know my bright lights weren't on, because the fogs go OFF when on brights.

Which is fun sometimes...oncoming traffic sees 4 headlights and hits their bright lights. I flip MINE on, and theirs go OFF...immediately. Heh heh...

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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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I've heard they were going to start cracking down on guys just adding the HID bulbs to the Halogen buckets. I'm surprised he couldn't tell the difference, the HID bulbs in the halogen buckets make a nasty blinding scattered light , the HIDs in the new Mustangs look great, very easy on the eyes when you meet one.

was it an Aledo cop or Fort Worth? I wish they would crack down on the illegal stuff, it gets crazy here in Fort Worth with the guys running three sets of driving lights on all at the same time plus their retro fit HIDs in halogen buckets..

they probably were just wanting to see your car

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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I always thought people cant have them because they blind other drivers.
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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Wtf would it matter if your car caught fire or not as to make them illegal? , a cigarette could light your car up, are those illegal now too? i swear.

Last edited by kenv; 11-28-2012 at 01:51 AM. Reason: obscene language
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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HID lights are illegal when used in housings that are meant for halogen bulbs as far as I know. 13+ mustangs come with projector style housings so they are DOT approved and legal.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxIsBackIn5.0 View Post
Could be. Perhaps it was partly due to my 'fogs' being on. Dunno.
I know my bright lights weren't on, because the fogs go OFF when on brights.

Which is fun sometimes...oncoming traffic sees 4 headlights and hits their bright lights. I flip MINE on, and theirs go OFF...immediately. Heh heh...
I knew some one else had this problem!
Its annoying haha!

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Yeah, I've only heard that hids are illegal because of it being used in reflective housing rather than projectors. And supposively only 4300ks are dot legal. The 6ks and up (blue) are illegal because they "reduce" visual ability...or at least that's what my neighbor told me...he had 8000ks on his ricer civic and got pulled over. But I've never heard of it catching fire.

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ive hard of them catching fire sometimes, the bulbs get to hot for the stock lenses on alot of ricers who don't change them to projectors and just reuse.

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aftermarket HID's are kewl all the honda's and imports have them,
in all seriousness there's a lot of cheap hid kits out there very poor quality and cheap ballest i once had a pair that enjoyed blowing fuses. just dont get them from ebay lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver88 View Post
I've heard they were going to start cracking down on guys just adding the HID bulbs to the Halogen buckets. I'm surprised he couldn't tell the difference, the HID bulbs in the halogen buckets make a nasty blinding scattered light , the HIDs in the new Mustangs look great, very easy on the eyes when you meet one.

was it an Aledo cop or Fort Worth? I wish they would crack down on the illegal stuff, it gets crazy here in Fort Worth with the guys running three sets of driving lights on all at the same time plus their retro fit HIDs in halogen buckets..

they probably were just wanting to see your car
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It sounds like they were just fishing, at least they were respectful about it.

I hope you smoked the tires for them.


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