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Americans don't reverse? 'Into the void!' .

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Battpower

Active Member
Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2019
2,567
2,620
Uk
I like symmetry. It really irks me having one high intensity fog and one reversing light on the back of my MS Raven.

I've been hunting for a fix to what I feel is a much bigger problem of just how ineffective my one, asymmetric reversing light is. I know I'm not completely alone in having this issue, but it strikes me as being so bad that I can't understand why I'm not seeing far more noise about it. May be Americans just don't reverse, and the English are too polite to say anything?!

From posts elsewhere, it sounds as though this could be related to a change in rear camera. Some have noted recent MS's have less grainy but much dimmer image than earlier cars. All I know is that reversing in otherwise unlit surroundings is very stressful. The brake lights illuminate the area much better than the reversing light, but still not very well, and reversing while braking is hardly a solution.

Anyone else suffering, especially with UK spec late model S? Any one raised with service? Any solutions? As long as I'm in the driver's seat, I can ignore the lack of symmetry, but the abysmal illumination while reversing is a different matter.
 
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I like symmetry. It really irks me having one high intensity fog and one reversing light on the back of my MS Raven.

I've been hunting for a fix to what I feel is a much bigger problem of just how ineffective my one, asymmetric reversing light is. I know I'm not completely alone in having this issue, but it strikes me as being so bad that I can't understand why I'm not seeing far more noise about it. May be Americans just don't reverse, and the English are too polite to say anything?!

From posts elsewhere, it sounds as though this could be related to a change in rear camera. Some have noted recent MS's have less grainy but much dimmer image than earlier cars. All I know is that reversing in otherwise unlit surroundings is very stressful. The brake lights illuminate the area much better than the reversing light, but still not very well, and reversing while braking is hardly a solution.

Anyone else suffering, especially with UK spec late model S? Any one raised with service? Any solutions? As long as I'm in the driver's seat, I can ignore the lack of symmetry, but the abysmal illumination while reversing is a different matter.

Me!

I also have a Raven Model S. Exactly the same problem. Its woeful by comparison with other cars' reversing lights and I drive a lot on tiny lanes where you sometimes have to reverse a long way when you meet someone. I'm therefore ordinarily perfectly happy reversing quite long distances but in the Tesla it's suddenly much harder to keep things straight.

I wonder if we can retrofit a more powerful light?
 
That may or may not be true, but on Model S they get twice as many reversing lights because Americans don't have rear fog lights. One of the reverse light positions got pinched to add rear fog to the EU variant.
I wonder if the extra light output from the 2nd light makes a big difference to the camera image? You'd think if it made that much difference it wouldn't have been difficult to have a combi light unit with reversing and high intensity fog for both sides.
 
That may or may not be true, but on Model S they get twice as many reversing lights because Americans don't have rear fog lights. One of the reverse light positions got pinched to add rear fog to the EU variant.

Only one on my S and it;s crappy. I reverse on the hazards when i have to. If it wasn't for the warranty I'd do something about it.
 
I found that disabling auto tilt of rear view mirrors helped a great deal but still not convinced that auto dim does not hinder things too - still no confirmation as to whether its active in reverse irrespective of chance of being dazzled.
 
Not wanting to make any warranty complications, I haven't explored this :

I wonder if we can retrofit a more powerful light?

But there must be a solution as the reversing camera is useless in many common night time situations.

There seem many aftermarket interior light 'upgrades' but nothing for reversing lights. In any case I don't want to wait years for a post warranty solution.
 
I found that disabling auto tilt of rear view mirrors helped a great deal but still not convinced that auto dim does not hinder things too - still no confirmation as to whether its active in reverse irrespective of chance of being dazzled.

I've played around with that too. It does marginally help in some situations, but not with spotting the rock or tree stump that the ultrasonics miss. And, I find it off-putting to not consistently see the same view in the mirror.
 
Possibly because 1/2 of the cars in the UK only have one reversing light. People get on with it because what else can you do. Personally haven’t found it a problem.

One reversing light is common, but I'm not so sure it's as common to have reversing lighting this poor. Whether it makes a difference depends where you live/drive I guess. Where we live we have to do quite a lot of the kind of reversing that a lot of people find a bit scary/difficult even in daylight. In the dark having enough of a reversing light that it helps you to see where you're going is indispensable.
 
If the second reverse light is repurposed as a fog light then maybe turn on the rear fog light when reversing in the dark?

This bugs me on our M3 also, the mirror dimming makes it an order of magnitude worse as they stay dark even when there is no other car that could possibly dazzle.
 
If the second reverse light is repurposed as a fog light then maybe turn on the rear fog light when reversing in the dark?

This bugs me on our M3 also, the mirror dimming makes it an order of magnitude worse as they stay dark even when there is no other car that could possibly dazzle.
Funny, I haven't tried that with the fog light. Technically, I think it is a code violation to have a fog light on except in foggy conditions in the UK.
 
This is absolutely the worst reversing light on any car since the 1950's! It is clearly not fit for purpose. The camera is no substitute for good lighting. It is particularly annoying with a rear window which has zero visibility.
There must be a fix for this, by way of a brighter light or a retro fit light?
 
Here to say that the US Model S does have two reversing lights and they're still terribly dim for some reason. The red light wash from my brake lights tends to illuminate behind me much better than the dim white lights, so I count on barely feathering my brake lights while reversing to see. That wouldn't work well with @LukeT's scenario of reversing a long way.

I've replaced all my interior lights with Abstract Ocean's much brighter ones. I wish there were a readily available replacement for the reversing lights.
 
TBH most cars now days are bad with reversing lights, but there is no excuse now with LED lights, but I agree Telsa are really bad, when you add a dirty camera which is most of the time this time of the year, and Dipped Wing mirrors that everything is black in, add that in the 3 a rear view that is pretty poor due to the high level.

Have had to get out sometimes to actually wipe the rear camera.

This is where Telsa really lack over the other high end manufactures and it is the little things as well on a daily basis that just annoy you.
 
The odd thing that others have discussed is that the visible brightness to the human eye isn't terrible, but the camera image hardly brightens at all when the reversing light comes on. The brake lights do a better job.

Another idea is that earlier cars have a different camera - or at least it gives a more useful image in dark situations.

I'm really tempted to get an old 1960's aftermarket reversing light for some mock up photos. 'The essential add on for your Model S'.
 
On my L reg 200sx I fitted a cheapo ebay reversing light under the bumper...about a tenner. It has a half doz IR leds and does a good job at night and it's over 10yrs old new. On the loaner Jag XF I have (pending Tesla actually doing soemthing about the failed power steering on my S) the reversing camera is brilliant even in pitch black (and the auto wipers work well too). It all just reinforces my opinon that Tesla has a good motor and battery pack bolted onto cheap tat they can sell as an expensive car
 
That may or may not be true, but on Model S they get twice as many reversing lights because Americans don't have rear fog lights. One of the reverse light positions got pinched to add rear fog to the EU variant.

When I had my Mini Cooper (made in UK), it has rear fog lights. I had a lot of fun playing with them. Stop at the light and turn on the rear fog lights and watch the panic at driver's face right behind you. Or if someone following you really close on the freeway, turn on the rear fog light and off... immediately back off!

BTW, I have Model X and Model S in the US and reverse is clear as day with just normal residential street lights.
 
So here is 2017 MX loaner reverse cam:

IMG_20200305_215200.jpg

And this is from my 2019 Raven S under similar light levels:
IMG_20200309_204422.jpg


I will post some identical pics when I get chance.

It isn't just the reversing lights, as clearly the MX is making a far better job of getting a useable image.
 
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