The lighting system creates light to make sure you can see and that you are seen, during the day or at night, increasing driving visibility and showing other road users the size of your vehicle, your position and your direction.
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Depending on their position on the car, lighting devices can be grouped into three macro families:
Other system components include the control units, the levelling motors, the headlight washing systems and the third brake light. A fundamental component in most of these products is the bulb, which comes in various types according to position and function.
The headlights are the main component of the car's lighting system, and one of the basic elements of the active safety concept. They light up the road in front of us, allow us to see at night and make us more visible to those coming from the opposite direction.
The headlights operate as dipped beam headlights, main beam headlights and side lights. In some cases, the front direction indicators may also be a part of this system. Dipped beam is the most commonly used function. It offers a beam which is around 90 yards long and 55 yards wide, which should not dazzle or irritate drivers coming from the opposite direction.
The main beam function increases road visibility for a longer stretch; in the case of Xenon headlights, the beam can reach for almost 270 yards.
The side lights make the vehicle visible to others, just as the direction indicators are used to show pedestrians and cars coming in the opposite direction that we intend to turn.
The beam distribution is controlled by the use of reflectors (or parabolic reflectors). The headlight alignment adjustment regulates the angle of the beam, allowing us to see and be seen without dazzling other road users. This became mandatory on all vehicles in Europe in 1996. It may be automatic or adjustable from inside the vehicle.
The need for improved lighting performance, increased comfort and better design has led to the development of new lighting systems.
The first Xenon headlights arrived towards the end of the 1990s, using gas discharge bulbs, and named due to the presence of Xenon in the bulbs. This is an inert gas which lights up when a high voltage is applied between the two electrodes inside the bulb. The initial voltage to induce the discharge must be brought to 20,000 V by a control unit (or ballast) which, after the ignition phase, brings the voltage to 85 V with a high light efficiency.
Xenon headlights must be fitted with automatic alignment adjustment and a headlight washing system to ensure optimum performance. Xenon headlights emit a white light similar to daylight, for unbeatable driving comfort.
LEDs have been used in car headlights since 2009.In contrast to Xenon or halogen headlights, LED headlights function using a cold light source which is generated by passing a current through a microchip. The solid state construction means that their estimated lifetime is around 10 times that of a halogen bulb.LEDs offer substantial benefits in terms of energy consumption, design and comfort, and are becoming ever more popular.
Fog lights are additional headlights used to improve visibility in bad weather and specifically in the case of fog. These lights illuminate "underneath" the fog, and for this reason they are positioned lower down than normal headlights. Fog lights illuminate the layer between the road surface and the fog, which usually forms a few centimetres from, but never touching, the ground.
Fog lights with cornering function are lights which are activated when the dipped beam headlights are switched on at speeds of less than 15 mph, for wide steering angles or when the direction indicators are used. They light up the vehicle's turning angle, widening the field of vision and improving night time visibility.
All new cars manufactured and registered after January 2011 must be fitted with a front illumination function which is always switched on, known as the Daytime Running Light or (DRL).
The purpose of this function is to improve road safety by:
The rear light cluster indicates to those behind us our position, our actions and what we wish to do. It is multifunctional and includes tail lights, brake lights, rear direction indicators, rear fog lights and reversing lights.
The first acetylene or oil powered headlights were very popular because the flame was resistant to wind and rain. Technological advantages led manufacturers to develop ever more refined systems: thanks to AFS (Adaptive Frontlight System) technology, today dipped beam headlights are automatically adjustable. On a bend, the light is directed towards the inside for instant illumination of the space in which the vehicle is travelling, including all blind spots. A control unit constantly evaluates parameters such as the steering angle, the yaw rate and the driving speed, and on the basis of these analyses, the dipped headlight beam "follows" the road, for improved illumination. The basic idea is that better visibility means increased safety and driving comfort. AFS can improve the driver's active visibility by up to 70% compared to traditional illumination systems.
The predecessor of the AFS is the SFS (Static Frontlight System), which switches on a single front fog light in two specific situations:
This is an option present on some models, which keeps the dipped beam headlights and tail lights on for a few minutes after stopping the engine and extracting the key. This can be helpful to light up your garage door or gate for a short amount of time. The headlights go off automatically after the set period. In vehicles equipped with this option, to turn on the Follow Me Home function, operate the light stalk within two minutes of stopping the engine. The lights are turned on for 30 seconds longer each time the stalk is operated, for up to three and a half minutes.
Mopar® original lighting components are the best way of guaranteeing a high quality product. Our headlights undergo tests with extremely strict specifications. More than 30 tests must be passed to obtain certification:
Mopar® original spare parts are all manufactured in certified and rigorously controlled production processes. Crash tests show that in the case of low speed accidents, very often the headlight's body remains undamaged or at the most there is a small crack in the shell at the rear, whereas the fixing stirrups, specifically designed to keep the shell undamaged, break. Original headlights allow for the use of specific repair kits should the fixing stirrups break. This solution significantly reduces repair costs. If you need to replace a headlight, make sure that an original part is used. Be sure to always choose original spare parts, they guarantee the same efficiency as components fitted on a new car.
Light beam direction
The correct alignment of the headlights is important for the comfort and safety of not only the driver but also all other road users. This is also covered by a specific rule of the highway code. The headlights must be correctly aimed to guarantee the best visibility conditions for yourself and others while travelling with headlights on. Contact a Fiat Dealership to have your headlights checked and adjusted where necessary.Angle compensation
The majority of recently manufactured vehicles are fitted with an electric headlight alignment system. When the car is loaded, it slopes backwards. This means the headlight beam rises. In this case, it is necessary to adjust the beams using the + and – buttons. In vehicles fitted with gas discharge headlights, headlight alignment adjustment is electronic and automatic. On switching on gas discharge headlights, it is normal for there to be some vertical movement of both the parabolic reflectors and the light beam, for the time required to establish the correct headlight alignment (approximately 2-3 seconds).