Why Doesn’t a ‘Headlight Out’ Warning Exist; When Will Gas Stations Go Extinct?; EV Tire Wear

Why Doesn'T A 'Headlight Out' Warning Exist; When Will Gas Stations Go Extinct?; Ev Tire Wear 1

For all the warnings on today's modern vehicles, why don't cars have an alert that a headlight or taillight is out? In the new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander with a Max powertrain, is there risk of the hybrid battery depleting when carrying a large payload? And if it seems like your EV tires wear much faster than you'd expect, you're not alone. We give expert insight into these questions, as well as the availability of active head restraints, a replacement vehicle for an Audi A3 convertible, and if the days of the local gas station are numbered.

How CR Tests Headlights:

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Early Review:

When to Replace Your Tires:

Audi A3 Road Test Results:

EVs vs. Gasoline – Which is Right for Your Life:

Ratings and test results on every car CR purchases and tests:

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Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly! Send us a text at TalkingCars@icloud.com to send a photo, video, or text directly to the Talking Cars team!

:47 – are gas stations in danger of disappearing?
6:20 – why do EV tires seem to wear out so fast?
12:34 – why is there no head light/tail light out warning?
17:50 – are active head restraints still available on new cars?
21:07 – what's a good replacement for a 2015 Audi A3 convertible?
28:00 – what happens if you drain the hybrid battery on a Toyota Grand Highlander Max while towing a heavy load uphill?

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23 Comments on "Why Doesn’t a ‘Headlight Out’ Warning Exist; When Will Gas Stations Go Extinct?; EV Tire Wear"

  1. Arneldo Bumatay | September 27, 2023 at 3:28 PM |

    My experience with a burnt out Toyota tail light was the turn signal started acting very odd. I don’t remember exactly what I did to determine that, but it had to do with walking around the back end of the car and/or pressing on the brake in my garage to see if both red stop lights lit up. One of the lights did not light up. Wound up replacing both left and right bulbs and all returned to normal.

  2. 2001 Accord has a taillight out indicator on the instrument cluster, which was quite useful in alerting to replace the brake bulb.

  3. My dad had a 77 Buick Electra sedan. There were small display devices on the front fenders where some little light transmitting cables (probably just transparent plastic) terminated that lit up when headlights and/or parking lights/turn signals were illuminated. There was a similar display, above the rear view mirror if I recall, showing when rear lights were illuminated. Simple, couldn’t have cost much to make and worked like a charm.

  4. They made a comment about how turn and brake lights have gotten so much better over the years, but for years I’ve been noticing Hyundai and Kia brake lights out on 2 or 3 year models. I guess their vender is to blame. In contrast my 26 year old GMC Sonoma ( I purchased new) has never had a headlight or brake light burn out. Ever. 🤷‍♂️

  5. CustomExcelVideo | September 27, 2023 at 6:43 PM |

    I had a cheap 1986 Chevy Spectrum (we called it the rectum) that had dashboard warning light for taillights. I always wondered why the more expensive cars I bought later didn’t

  6. On vacation in Idaho and Montana this week. I was surprised that I actually saw one Tesla 3. There are many states that are too cold or big distances for the electric fan. Maybe hydrogen will solve that.

  7. On older cars, if a turn signal bulb is burned out, the blinker would blink much (maybe 2x?) faster than normal. I don’t know if that was something the engineers designed, or it just happened “by accident.”

    • John Dahlmeier | September 27, 2023 at 8:48 PM |

      That was because there was less resistance. Same reason that if you put led turn signal bulbs in the rear in a car that didn’t come with them they flash too fast and a resistor needs to be installed so they blink at normal speed.

  8. Men Guarding Their Own Wallets | September 28, 2023 at 5:39 AM |

    A ‘light-out’ indicator does exist, it is called ‘GLASS WINDOWS’. Just position your car in front of a grocery store, and look at the windows of the grocery store to see the lights on your car, so you can see them in action. Use your rear-view mirror to see the brake lights and turning signal lights in action.

    • Yes this is what I do but you’re expecting a lot from most people who could never think of doing this. As a commercial driver I see many cars with 2 burned out rear lights, incredible.

  9. I frequently see people driving in the evening with taillights off, which means only daytime lights are on. so dangerous. we need a hand signal to notify drivers these drivers.

  10. Our BMW 3 series has light warnings. I would assume most luxury manufacturers had this feature. Issue is the technology hasn’t gone down stream in the market unless the feature has a sellable impact or is mandatory by law

  11. Howard Markert | September 28, 2023 at 10:11 AM |

    Volvo has had a light out warning system that identifies the bad bulb since at least 2001. My 2001, 2003, and 2006 Volvo XC70s all have this system; they even can notify you that multiple bulbs are out at once. My earlier Volvos (1984, 1986, 1989, and 1991 240 series wagons) had an indicator that a bulb was out but it did not specify which bulb.

  12. My brothers 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee had a nice little diagram of the car in the center console and it would show exactly which light was out. It wa pretty neat. To Jens point, i dont remember the last time i had to change a lighbulb in my car in the last decade. The technology has gotten so much better that it is probably unnecessary.

  13. Most of the shortcomings of an EV (range, charging on trips, cost..) are not much of an issue when a small inexpensive EV is a families second around town car. Our family has a perfect “hybrid fleet” : a Nissan Leaf SV plus and a Subaru Outback Onyx.

  14. EV owners need to be sure they get their tires rotated frequently.
    I get a rotation with every oil change, which they don’t get.

  15. Regarding EVs eating through tires, most EVs (maybe all?) have different drive modes – they often have an Eco mode but it still will accelerate fairly aggressively. I would like to see a “tire saver” mode that really backs off from the immediate torque unless you put the pedal to the floor for emergent situations.

  16. 3:05 gas would also get more expensive as there would be a lot less refineries and the distribution to get that gas to those stations would be stretched so much more thin as a result.

  17. Indeed there were many cars for years that had bulb-out indicators, but as briefly implied in the discussion, part of the deal was that with conventional incandescent/halogens, it’s pretty straightforward to detect that the circuit is interrupted or no longer carrying a full load.

  18. Nolan Goldberg | October 3, 2023 at 2:08 PM |

    Jen made a great recommendation about pulling up to a wall when parking to see if the headlights are functioning. Even better, when pulling up to a glass storefront, you can use the glass as a mirror and check all of your lights from the driver seat. You can back in and do the same with the rear lights.

  19. Patrick Beeson | October 8, 2023 at 1:05 PM |

    Y’all need to visit Oregon or Washington. The switch to evs is real and noticeable. Also, your point about “let’s see what happens to our children’s future” is interesting. Our kids won’t have a future if we all keep driving ice cars.

  20. This is probably out of your wheelhouse, but my major gripe is that most motorcycles do not have self-cancelling turn signals. I have been riding for more than 50 years, and I can tell you that this is a serious problem. If you forget to manually cancel your signal (and we all do it from time to time) you are sending a false message that could easily get you killed. The ironic part of this is that the technology has been available for a LONG time. My new 1981 Suzuki had self cancelling turn signals. There are a few (mainly very expensive) bikes that do have it now, but very few relative to the number of bikes sold. I am shocked that there has not been safety legislation on this.

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