Headlight thingys :)

Why do some headlights have bits of plastic protruding out of them? I was cleaning off the headlights to my car the other day after another couple inches of snow fell, and I started wondering about this. Are they just there to mess up my ice chipping?

My sister says they’re there to mark where the lights are in case it snows. I have my doubts about this for several reasons. 1) Any decent amount of snow will cover these little 1/4 inch deals. 2) How many people can’t find their headlights, seeing as (with the exception of a few classic cars that aren’t typically left out in the snow) most cars have their headlights at the outer edge of the car, not the hardest thing to find. 3) She tends to use alternative medicines to ease her mind, if ya know what I mean.

Anyways, I can’t see the auto companies spending the extra 1/100000000th of plastic on these nubs. My WAG’s are that they either have something to do with stress relief in case a rock hits them, or more likely, they are simply there so the robotic arms can line up the headlights when they are installed.

I’ve always assumed that they are little “feet” so you can place it in a stable position on the floor of the garage without it scratching up the smooth glass front.

this has been discussed here in the past three or four months. use the search “thingy.”

i thing the conclusion reached was that the nubs were there so that the headlight installing machine at the factory had something to judge the position of the bulb by when it plugged it in the socket.

Can you be more specific? Is there one nub to each headlight? Are they roughly dome shaped? Are they about a millimeter wide? I think I know what youre talking about, but I’m not sure. My best guess is that the headlights are cast, and those are to let the air out of the cast.

Close. They are reference points for use with headlight aiming devices. The tool attaches to the headlight (with a suction cup? Since the end of annual inspections here I haven’t seen one) and is positioned releative to these nubbins. Level vials on the device (and maybe mirrors - as I said it’s been a while) allow the mechanic to adjust headlight aim.

Found a set in a Snap-On online catalog, but can’t post a link because they do some fancy frame thing that loses the address. You can find them if you dig there a little.


Thanks mdf. I’d buy ya a beer for helping me win this little (pathetic) argument with my sis, but i have no clue where to send it. :slight_smile: Thanks to everybody for helping me with my headlight crisis as well. :slight_smile: