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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > Driving in Europe (Specifically France)



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      03-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
parrp
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Driving in Europe (Specifically France)

Hello,

Anyone had any issues when driving in Europe (Specifically France) and having to mask off their headlights to stop blinding oncoming vehicles?

Cheers
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      03-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Nope. Never bothered.
How much night driving will you do in towns though?
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      03-06-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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There is a small white leaver in the E92 headlight case for swapping beam angles.
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      03-06-2012, 03:58 AM   #4
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Only alittle around town at night on the way there and back by the look of the route. Will just have to find this lever then if i have issues will have a look under the bonnet. Cheers guys.
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      03-06-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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Have driven in France a couple of times with my E90 and as it has'nt got a little lever to adjust the headlights, I always buy stickers from my BMW main dealer.
I do not want to give the French Police any ammo whatsoever. IMO it's not worth the risk, in the event of a stop for speeding, to have the rule book thrown at you, for the sake of a few pounds.
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      03-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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When I had my E91 (no lever so stickers or nothing) I normally didn't bother with the stickers as I never planned on driving at night.

One year things did not go according to plan and I found myself forced to drive for about 20 miles cross country in the pitch dark.

The first car I came up behind and it was obvious that my xenon lights where causing the car in front problems. Oncoming traffic was also flashing me like mad.

Fortunately I didn't get any hassle and made it to my destination but clearly would not want to do that again.

So if you know you are going to be driving at night, get the stickers (or find the lever) as you don't want a pi$$ed off frenchie or even worse, policeman giving you hassle.
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      03-06-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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I've probably driven close to 10k in France, Belgium and Germany in the last few years, a lot of it at night. I've never bothered with the stickers, i do move the leveling switch down a notch though. Never been flashed or seemed to bother anyone else.

I've also been stopped by the French police once and the German police twice and they never mentioned it......

I figure none of the Europeans that come over here bother with putting stickers on so why should I?
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      03-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_s1 View Post

I figure none of the Europeans that come over here bother with putting stickers on so why should I?
They don't need to

The European beam pattern is dead ahead, the UK one is biased to the left (hence causing a problem when you drive on the wrong side of the road)
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      03-06-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Its nothing to do with driving in towns!

Look at how in the uk your low beam lights high up the hedge / verge on the near side, this is the UK beam pattern.

Now when you're driving on the right, that left side beam just dazzles oncoming cars on your left.

Get some stickers!
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      03-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #10
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I have been to France last 3 years. I have an e93 and there is a way to adjust the headlights. The advice on this web site said adjust one way, then when I went to the dealer the first blue overall to look at it said there was no adjustment, the second opinion from the same dealer (different blue overall) said to adjust it the opposite way to the advice on here.
I had made some adjustment but no longer know which way they are pointing. To add to confusion I also have adaptive headlights, which means they move when you go round a corner!
In 3 visits to France never had a problem, but don't drive at night much. If I was stopped by police I would tell them they had been adjusted and show them the lever and tell them main dealer had done adjustment. I would also show them how the adaptive works and blame that rather than lack of adjustment/preparation for driving in France.
Back to France in June and hope not to meet any french police.
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      03-06-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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I must admit this is one thing that really impressed me on the new car.

There is a menu option where I can select which side of the road I am driving on so I can actually make this change without even getting out of the car during the Eurotunnel crossing.
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      03-06-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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Not taken the Beemer to France but been there camping last 5 yrs on the trot in our Espace and always do the lights.

You only need to buy the clear light bending sticky things once, peel them off and re-apply next year with some Blue Peter double sided sticky tape. Sorted.

Not worth the risk not to do it IMO.

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      03-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #13
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Best thing to do is buy a set and you only need to use one, on the left hand light.

Put your car 5ft from a wall and turn your lights on, you can then move the plastic circel sticker around and see the beem being cut so it is a straight line of light rather than going up towards the left, that is it, peel the back off and stick it on.
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      03-06-2012, 05:51 PM   #14
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Remember you need a vest for everyone in the car, a triangle and now a breathalyzer too, not quite sure the rules on that, some mixed thoughts, but seems fines are being given if you don't have one.
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      03-07-2012, 04:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m@rk View Post
They don't need to

The European beam pattern is dead ahead, the UK one is biased to the left (hence causing a problem when you drive on the wrong side of the road)
That is not correct.

The light pattern in Europe is - logically - biased to the right side of the road, in order to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.

It's certainly true most people when coming to the UK don't bother with this - when I take the ferry I see very few people using the stickers.

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      03-07-2012, 04:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post
That is not correct.

The light pattern in Europe is - logically - biased to the right side of the road, in order to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.

It's certainly true most people when coming to the UK don't bother with this - when I take the ferry I see very few people using the stickers.

Alpina_B3_Lux
In the UK the beam pattern has an extra bit that lights up the walkway (hence the need for stickers when driving on the right)

The Continental Europe beam pattern doesn't have this thus no need for stickers when in the UK.
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      03-07-2012, 04:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by m@rk View Post
The Continental Europe beam pattern doesn't have this thus no need for stickers when in the UK.
On the several European Spec cars I've owned here in Switzerland the dip pattern most definitely does have a high area that lights the side of the road (right hand side over here).

You can quite clearly see it here on my old Jag (which had an auto-levelling problem) :



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      03-07-2012, 04:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
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So if you know you are going to be driving at night, get the stickers (or find the lever) as you don't want a pi$$ed off frenchie or even worse, policeman giving you hassle.
Obviously like any other deeply foreign police force you will be pistol whipped at the side of the road.

I remember a while ago reading about the (I think) Audi A8. That automatically adjusted the beam based on information from the nav system. Very impressive.
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