Why do American cars have red rear turn signals?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Jovial, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Jovial

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    Seems like most European and Japanese cars have yellow rear turn signals but most American cars have red rear turn signals. :confused:

    This has been bugging me for many years, please explain. :redface:
     
  2. B_Hickboy

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    Just to piss you off.
     
  3. B_Morning_Glory

    B_Morning_Glory New Member

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    actually they aren't yellow they are amber. but i know what you mean as their are only a few American cars that aren't all red tail lights. i have read in one of hubby's old car repair manuals that red is suppose to be a safer color as to the rear lights. because the majority's of the older cars had amber turn signal lens on the front. so i guess Detroit must have thought we didn't know the front from the back LOL. some of hubby's old car photos he has had. had a blue center in the tail lights, in his older books it seems that this was a special order option back then. if i recall only about 3 American cars has had amber turning lens in them including his trucks as well. now tho they have an amber bulb to plug in to the socket behind a clear lens up front to make it flash the amber color. go figure huh?
     
  4. arthurdent

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    What do you mean by rear turn signals? Do you you mean the reversing lights or the left/right turn indicators?

    In the UK, brake lights are red, left/right indicators are amber and reversing lights are white. They are different colours to denote the different functions and thus inform other road users about the movement of the car. For example, if the brake lights and the reversing lights were all red, how would the car behind be able to tell, from a distance, whether the car was braking or reversing?
     
  5. B_Morning_Glory

    B_Morning_Glory New Member

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    when the rear lights are all red and the brake is light is lit their are two philments in the bulb one for the brake and one for the regular lights and the philment for the brake light lights up much brighter than the regular lights do. thats how they are separate from the other light function. Lu's indicating to other drivers what their intentions are before hand, if they turn left or right, or just braking to slow down or what ever. for brakes and turning the bulb is brighter for these two functions. than the normal ruining lights are. its called a double phliment bulb. the back up lights have a signal philament bulb for that function. and that is a different circuit altogether. as it is connected to the transmion shifter for revers on standards. and connected to a small switch on the bottom of the steering colum on automatic transitions. dont know about the UK cars but i would think they would be the same or close to it really.
     
  6. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    The simple answer is, "It's cheaper!" and amber turn lights aren't required by US law. I agree that amber turn signals are safer and it's just one of the myriad reasons I drive an imported car.
     
  7. Altitude

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    What jason_els said, but also, on a lot of cars, having both red brakes and red turn signals simply looks better, sleeker even. numerous imports have the same thing; my accord coupe has rear turn signals that are red
     
  8. kalipygian

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    It is regulated by federal law. Front turn signals/parking lights used to be white,(clear) they were required to change to amber in new cars in 1963.
    Red is standard for tail lights, rear turn signals, and brake lights, backup light lenses are clear, as are rear license lights.
     
    #8 kalipygian, Mar 18, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  9. midlifebear

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    My 1995 Jeep: The front turning signal lights are white, but covered with amber plastic covers. My rear brake lights are white, as are the turning signal lights, but they're both covered with big red plastic covers. My backup lights are white and not covered by anything.
     
  10. Mr Ed in Mass

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    Chevy trucks had amber rear turn signals for many years.
     
  11. kalipygian

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    Clear bulb, red lens= red light. Some bulbs come in yellow, I don't recall seeing a red automotive bulb.

    I am referring to incandescent, I don't know if the new LED's ever have colored bulbs.
     
  12. Jovial

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    It is cheaper, but just how much do they save by not having a separate bulb for turn signals? Using the same bulb for brakes and turn signals requires slightly more complicated circuitry also. I've seen some cars with separate bulbs for taillight/brakes and turn signals, but on some cars (at least in the past) I've seen the same 2-filament bulbs used for all three purposes.

    The dimmer filament is for illumination at night, the brighter filament is used for brakes and turn signals. So if the brake pedal is pressed, then the brake lights shine bright, but if the right turn signal is switched on, the right brake light will now blink. If the flashers/hazard lights are on, then the brake has no effect on the lights since they will be flashing on both sides. (Maybe there are new laws so that the turn signals have to be separate now?)

    Anyway, it just makes these cars look cheaper to me.
     
  13. HazelGod

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    Here's a better question:

    Who told the fucking retards in the GM/Chevrolet design division that using the white reverse-indicator lights for ANY OTHER PURPOSE was a good idea???

    Every time I see those lights come on suddenly in a parking lot I want to kick these morons in their nutsacks.
     
  14. Jovial

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    Which cars are you talking about? Are you saying the reverse lights are also used as turn signals?
     
  15. midlifebear

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    Yeah, I know that clear bulb + red lens = red light. Same with yellow lenses on the front sides of my Wrangler. But I'm still living in an 1995 automotive world when I return to the USA. My vehicles are so low mileage and rarely driven so it doesn't make much sense to buy a new vehicle.

    It's those ultra bright bluish beams of light on new autos that scare me. I feel as if they're burning the back of my retinas.

    I'd much rather go back to 1961-63 and drive my Continental Convertible on 100 Octane "Ethyl" in ignorant bliss. It's such a lovely automobile with its center-opening doors and rag top that completely retracts into the trunk with the push of a single button. And the double headlights are so much easier to interpret at night if set to bright or dim. You just press a button on the floor near left of the break pedal. None of this multitasking turn-signal/wash blades/bright and dim headlight crap that sometimes tilts the steering wheel when you least expect it. You just put it in Drive then point and go as the vacuum controlled C6 transmission seamlessly hurtles through 3 speeds. And when you're going 75 to 80 mph and punch the accelerator it still jumps into passing gear at warp speed and you don't feel like you're going 100 mph at all. What a lovely old barge.

    But I'm realistic and live in large foreign cities with remarkable public transportation systems. Not as private, but much more efficient.
     
  16. thadjock

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    yup, mine sure does.
     
  17. HazelGod

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    All the recent GM/Chevy vehicles have a new "feature" where the reverse-indicator lights come on whenever you use the remote to lock/unlock the doors.

    So, someone walking toward their car across a parking lot will unlock it, and it appears to the rest of the world that someone has just put the vehicle in Reverse and is backing out.
     
  18. Mem

    Mem
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    I haven't noticed. I will have to pay more attention.

    What pisses me off more are plastic bumpers.
     
  19. ZOS23xy

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    Well, GM is in deep shit for many reasons other than this one, and it shows that it just wasn't one bad idea that is tanking the company, but a whole gestalt of them.
     
  20. Jovial

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    Oh, I see. I'll have to look for that.

    As a side note, when I am backing out of a parking space and I see someone coming I will take the transmission out of reverse just to let the other driver know that I see them and will not try to back out. Other drivers will just leave it in reverse and keep the brakes on. I mentioned this to a woman I know and she said she doesn't even notice the lights, so I guess it doesn't make a difference to some people. :irked:
     
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