Headlights Dim about 10% per Year

SYLVANIA asked me to review their headlight replacement bulbs.

Used their search engine to find the bulb number -1999 Jetta = #9004 – and they arrived in the mail.

Installing the new one required no tools, pop in and out.

Headlights dim by about 10% per year,
so 3 years in, and 1/3 of the brightness is gone

Built a test lab in my yard.

The car is 7 feet away, CL is the centre of the headlight, and I’m trying to measure the spread sideways, since something that darts usually comes from the side, not the front.

But the results are not translating in the photo, at all.

Plus I forgot to clean the headlights (despite blogging a cheap & fast solution on Monday.)

Through the grime though, the new lights are noticeably brighter, and woah, I’m driving in dim conditions for no reason.

Friendly reminder to replace your lights, because there’s dark times ahead guys.

Why choose Sylvania can be explained without a test, though, and in 5 words: You’re probably already using them. Because SVYLANIA supplies most of the auto manufactures.  See my old bulb in the top photo? There’s a good chance that’s the factory original.

SYLVANIA SilverStar ULTRA Headlights

Don’t cheap out on a most essential part of driving – seeing.

Available at Canadian Tire


This post has been brought to you by SYLVANIA Headlights.



Dispelling Fears about Car Hacking

Real brief: the problem is cars operate on the CAN bus network, which was designed in the 1980s, when the internet didn’t exist.

Right now, you still need physical access to the car to hack it. For now. (I’d trying coming in via Bluetooth.)

Read it online at Autonet.

Favourite line:

That’s how car hacking works: the system doesn’t ask where the message came from or who sent it, it just accepts and executes it.

Plus the ending, because it’s true. To attack, it’d be more efficient to roll that newspaper into a baton, than go after the target’s car.


All ‘Keri on Driving’ columns here.

Blog tag = auto security



First CVT I’ve Ever Liked

Found in Subaru’s 2015 WRX.

Non-car nerds: CVT - Continuous Variable Transmission, a new type of engine that’s en vogue. Instead of fixed, mechanical gears, it uses a belt that can be programmed to have an infinite number of gears.

You can identify a CVT in 2 ways:

1 – when you stomp on the gas, it’s one second two second, and then the engine kicks in and launches

2 – the high-pitched, loud whine it emits

That whine is the sound of “improved fuel economy”, which is why automakers are switching to them; CVTs claim better fuel consumption than their mechanical counterpart.

I don’t like CVTs because of points #1 and 2.

But Subaru masked the loud whine, and instead there’s a little boxer engine growl, and they definitely solved the launch lag, because over and again I was, “woah I’m at 80 already? Nice.”



Sign & Help to Improve Automotive Security

A group of security professionals have formed “The Cavalry“: dedicated to improving collaboration between the cyber security and automotive industries.

Because what if things like adaptive cruise control, electronic braking and stolen vehicle recovery technology could be used nefariously? What if all Toyotas in Canada were instructed to go left next Tuesday at 1pm? Like that.

Specifically, they’re proposing a Five Star Automotive Cyber Safety Program:

1 – Safety by Design
2 – Third-Party Collaboration
3 – Evidence Capture
4 – Security Updates
5 – Segmentation & Isolation

Why I signed: 

Sign it too, here.

Non-security nerds: I know this stuff can seem shadowy and strange, with a name like “The Cavalry” and a blank profile pic, but in this particular case it’s okay, I know one of the guys in real life; I signed with my real name, not Blog.