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By on July 13, 2018

TTAC Commentator Sam Hell Jr writes:

A few questions in follow-up to the discussion of blind-spots and glare… I drive a current-gen Malibu and live in a fairly well-heeled suburb on the edge of farmland, so a lot of my miles are coming on unlit roads surrounded by extra-tall SUVs and and extra-legally illuminated pickups. (With special commendation for the tailgating lifted Ram driver who, upon seeing me adjust my rearview mirror to avoid his aftermarket LED glare, flipped on the high-beams. Boo this man!)

The Malibu’s left sideview mirror adjustment is fairly limited, meaning I’ve still got to check over my shoulder around the driver-side B-pillar before changing lanes, even with the mirror at its widest angle.

  • I’m thinking about installing one of those fisheye mirrors, but doesn’t a fisheye mirror’s shape basically guarantee that I’ll be blinded by brodozers irrespective of my side-view mirror position?
  • Also, you mentioned the possibility of a light rear-windshield tint to combat headlight glare, is there a difference in tints if the priority is night visibility and glare reduction? Some sunlight shading would be welcome, because I do occasionally drive in my glasses, but that would be a lesser priority.
  • The Malibu’s auto-dimming rearview mirror already needs a fair amount of optical prodding before it engages. Would tinting the windows impede the rearview mirror’s light sensor?
  • I live in Ohio and use the rear defroster an awful lot. Is that something to take into account when choosing a tint?
  • Last one’s addressed to Sanjeev: for the next time that Ram pulls up behind me, your thoughts on installing a powered rear-facing reflector styled after the bullet-proof shield on the Goldfinger DB5?

Sajeev answers:

Sorry to hear your Malibu’s mirror isn’t Blindspot Glare Elimination (BGE) savvy! Window tinting is almost mandatory in my part of the country, so perhaps we can hammer this one out quickly:

  • My limited experience with fish eye mirrors is they’re small enough to keep a large amount of reflections in your face. I guess its okay to try it, because if you gotta do it…
  • Do keep in mind that everyone’s rod and cones are a bit unique. Visible Light Reflectance is real and I will vouch for both clear and (especially) darkened tint giving illegal headlights a serious wallop. This link is the only one I’ve googled with a clear ranking of glare reduction: perhaps going to a tint shop and reading their spec sheets is in order!
  • Yes, window tint impedes an auto dimming mirror’s duty cycle (so to speak). But the on/off switching still happens, and the mirror dims less frequently because the need is less dire. That said, I lament the days of adjusting mirror sensitivity (see the lighted #8 in the video below), because the original, 1980s GENTEX mirror had a 0-10 sensitivity thumbwheel which really comes in handy in this era of illegal headlights.

  • Nope. Granted my Houston home ain’t Ohio, but the defroster always works in every tinted car I’ve experienced for decades.
  • Son, never listen to Sanjeev. Never ever.

Send your queries to Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 


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