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Moved to France with my Corolla - questions about driving a RHD in a LHD country


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Hello,

I recently moved to France with my trusty 2004 Corolla T3 VVTi. Registering it here is quite an ordeal - mountains of paperwork as with everything in France.

Anyway, I took it for a Controle Technique (MOT) this morning and it failed on two counts: the headlight stickers were incorrectly placed and the rear fog light should now be on the left not on the right.

I will have to make a plan with the headlight stickers (I hope this doesn't mean having to purchase new headlights), but does anyone know if I can just swap the rear fog light bulb from right to left side or must I take it to an auto-electrician?

Thanks.

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25 minutes ago, RollaCorolla said:

but does anyone know if I can just swap the rear fog light bulb from right to left side or must I take it to an auto-electrician?

I can't picture the detail on the rear light lenses of your car, but I suspect that they are 'sided', such that the red plastic (or lack of) in front of the lens is a problem with your idea, no?

But, don't overlook the 'stylish' simplicity of one of these Ring lights:-

https://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-accessories/styling-lights/ring-rear-fog-light-633453.html

 

"the headlight stickers were incorrectly placed" 

In the short term, it is quite straightforward to modify the beam pattern by parking up close to a flat, plain wall, in the dark, putting a blanket over one headlamp, and then experiment using duct (gaffer) tape to block the beam on the other, so as to achieve a flat beam cut off.  I have done this successfully plenty of times for driving abroad.  I don't know if this is acceptable for a French MoT though?

The tape to block the light is never needed it where you anticipate it to go.  I have even placed pieces of aluminium foil into the tape to reflect the light back into the headlamp, but this might be counter-productive with regards keeping the beam pattern 'tight'.

These were done an age ago (in a bit of a rush) on a 2001 Corolla:-

DSCF0002.thumb.JPG.ee31a2fafa43545f50b3fc204deb7442.JPG

DSCF0004.thumb.JPG.c049dc45b24ab1c109660b4f2b1c9910.JPG

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That’s right , you can use one of these suggested by Gerg or buy a second hand left rear light the whole thing and swap with your one, buy new stickers and place them on the head lights. Good luck 🤞 

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6 minutes ago, john p williams said:

I`d be very surprised if it passes with stickers on the Headlamp Lens`Stickers are temporary, not permanent,

I did think that too, from what I'd read of other people's experiences in the past, but that didn't read as to be the problem with these stickers, just their positioning.  Hmm, further clarification needed!

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The guy at the test centre was happy with the stickers just not with their placement. I asked if he meant I needed to replace the headlights and he said I could if I wanted to, but the stickers are perfectly acceptable.

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Thanks for your replies. I've found a number of breakers yards not far from me so will see if I can find the left rear unit and while I'm at it see if I can pick up some cheap replacement headlights...

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3 hours ago, RollaCorolla said:

Thanks for your replies. I've found a number of breakers yards not far from me so will see if I can find the left rear unit and while I'm at it see if I can pick up some cheap replacement headlights...

Rear light you will need the whole lot including the bulbs holder it’s going to be different but now comes to mind wires, you may have no wire towards the left side of the car and if this is the case you will need to do some extension from right to left. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again,

I accessed the rear light unit and cut through a plastic blanking plate so that the fog light bulb can fit. The bulb holder holds the fog light bulb which I took from the RHS. So no need to buy another unit. Of course the bulb does not work on the LHS because it's wired to the RHS. I have the Haynes manual for the vehicle which has a wiring diagram for the rear fog lights. But I failed my O level Physics so have no idea how to make sense of it! Can anyone help or is it seriously complicated and I should go and find an auto electrician?

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Hi,

I think no special tool, just connect and extend, from one side to another, you can run the wire through rear hatch closing behind any plastic trims if there are any to hide it away, will be like original, use insulation tape to insulate the connections and you are all set.

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