8 Common Causes Of Broken Headlights

Driving without working headlights is unsafe for you and other drivers on the road. Headlights help you to pre-emptively identify obstacles on the road. Plus, the lights help passing cars to see and identify your vehicle.

You should never drive a car with dim, flickering or broken headlights. There are significant safety risks associated with driving at night when you have malfunctioning headlights. Try your best to fix the lights or replace them through a supplier like CIPCO as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might get stranded on the road in the middle of the night without any illumination.

Let’s learn about the reasons why your car’s headlights aren’t working:

Burned-out bulbs

Burned-out bulbs are among the most common reasons why your headlights don’t work. Just like regular light bulbs in a lamp, your headlights will wear out and stop working after a while. Sometimes, your lights may appear dim or begin flickering before they fully die.

When replacing your headlights, it’s crucial to replace all the bulbs at the same time. Bulbs rarely burn out simultaneously, so you make life easier for yourself by installing two new bulbs while working on the broken one. If you find your headlights are burning out frequently, it’s worth having a mechanic check your electronic system and ensure the voltage is adequate for your headlights.

Malfunctioning headlight switch

The switch near your steering wheel that tells your headlights to turn on is susceptible to malfunctions. Problems with the headlight stock are common in older and used cars with lots of miles on them. You may notice that the switch feels loose or doesn’t work as it should when trying to turn on your lights.

Diagnosing issues near the steering column can get complicated as there is a lot of electrical equipment installed in one area. It’s worth having someone who knows what they’re doing look at your headlight switch if it’s not working. If you end up needing a replacement, check your local car junkyard for your car’s model, and you may be able to get a new headlight stock for a few dollars.

Corroded socket

Your car’s headlights screw into sockets that transfer electricity to your lights. Without proper maintenance, these sockets can become corroded over time. Corrosion can develop for a variety of reasons, but the end result is a malfunctioning connection for your headlights.

Certain cars are designed to turn off both headlights if a malfunction is detected in one of the sockets. If you find corrosion in the socket, you can use a special electrical contact cleaner to clean the debris. If there is a significant corrosion build-up, try using a wire brush or a small screwdriver to scrape it off.

HID generator failing

If your car uses high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights or Xenon headlights, you have to consider the HID generator when diagnosing problems with your headlights. HID headlights need a special generator to transform the inner components to a plasma state which creates light.

HID generators can provide an initial burst of up to 30,000 volts when you first turn on your headlights. If you have these types of headlights in your car, make sure you check your generator for problems.

Headlight fog

Dirty headlights can make it seem like there’s something wrong with your car. Headlight fog originates from chemical damage, so it’s not as easy as simply wiping it off. You can use various home remedies, including toothpaste, citrus fruits, or baking soda, to remove layers of fog from your headlights.

Faulty wiring

Electrical systems designed for cars are pretty complex. Dealing with electrical issues can quickly get expensive, especially in old cars where a certain level of expertise is needed to understand the system. Numerous factors can cause your electrical system and wiring to fail.

For example, rats can climb into your engine bay and chew on your wires if you park your car outside. You can use a voltmeter to identify which connections in your car have stopped working. Sometimes, the fix may be as simple as reconnecting a loose wire. Other times you’ll need a detailed inspection to determine why electricity isn’t going to your headlights.

Blown fuse

All headlight systems are designed to work with fuses that prevent damage from power surges. If too much power comes through the system to your headlights, the fuse will activate and break the circuit to protect all the other components. Blown fuses will prevent your headlights from working at all. Replacing the fuse is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix that will get your headlights working again.

Damaged relay

Relays are used in cars to complete the circuit after receiving electricity from the switch. Your vehicle may be sending electricity to your headlights when you use the switch, but the relay can prevent the connection from being completed. Most cars use separate relays for the high beams and low beams. If one relay stops working, it’s worth your time to replace the other ones as well.

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