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Life As A Car Guy, Episode 7: Lighting the Way

It’s rainy season, and wet-weather safety is a huge concern for all cars. Our M3 is no exception. Manila has been battered by heavy downpours a lot lately, so you can be sure that’s something that we’re going to address!

To start with, here are some wet weather driving tips from AutoIndustriya:

If you’ll notice, two of the biggest concerns are wipers and headlight, so this is where I’ll start. I gave a call to the guys at PIAA Philippines to help me out.


PIAA Leiaz Silicone Wipers – 20″ and 22″ for the E36 M3

Wipers sound like a simple and obvious thing to fix, but they are an often neglected and undervalued part of a vehicle’s maintenance program. The wipers on the M3 still had a little bit of life in them, but I wanted something that would really improve visibility in heavy rain. PIAA sent over a set of Leaiz Silicone Wiper – the e36 M3 uses 20″ and 22″ wiper blades. Rod Guinto of PIAA Philippines recommends to replace your wipers once a year, depending on how often you use the car. The best part about this wiper is that it leaves a coat of silicone on the windshield, which acts as a water repellent even with the wipers off! Check out his video:

PIAA Philippines’ Youtube Channel


H1 PIAA Arrow Star White bulbs

Lighting is obviously another important part of the safety equation. Aside from providing the driver with good night-time visibility, they also help other drivers see you coming as well. When I bought the car, it had a generic HID kit with a ballast that just died. I’ve read about horror stories about some cheap HIDs going wrong, but I don’t have the immediate budget to spend for a good set. With that in mind, I went for PIAA Arrow Star White bulbs (H1 for the E36 M3). They have great throw, and with a 425ok color temp, they have the same look as OE-spec HIDs, too! I also replaced the driving lamp bulbs with a set so that the entire front end has a uniform look when it up.


DSCN9694edit Foggy headlamps and foglamps filled with water. Not good.

New bulbs are only as good as the headlamp and foglamp housings, and our M3 was having a few issues. The headlamp assemblies were getting moisture from time to time – a sign that moisture has, over time, collected in the housing. A simple fix is to dry up the insides, so the guys at ARC Automotive used their blower/dryer to do this for me. If you don’t have access to a blower, a hairdryer can work, or for even less hassle, leave a bag of silica gel in the lights overnight. Once that’s done, a simple drilling of a couple of small holes to act as an air vent will prevent future fogging up. A final clean down and they’re as good as new!

The foglamps were also in poor shape, with water collecting in the housing. I could clean them up, but instead I found a pair of used foglamps in pretty decent shape.


Getting the lights worked on at ARC Automotive

Just to round out the safety equation, I decided to replace my stock horn with a PIAA slender horn, so just in case other motorists somehow don’t see me coming, they’ll definitely hear me coming!


PIAA Slender Horn

Finally, the car is ready for the rain! Honk if you see me on the road, and I’ll honk back! Drive safe everyone!

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