Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Headlight Bulb Last?

Headlight Bulb

With all of the different relays that are on a car, it can feel like a full-time job keeping up with them all. One of the most important safety features that a car has is properly working headlights. In some cars, the headlights fold down and are hidden from view then the car is turned off. In order for this type of system to work, the headlight closure relay will have to work properly. The relay shuts off the power to the headlight motor when the car is cut off, which then allows the lights to fold down. Every time the headlights of a car are used, the closure relay will have to work to maintain the flow of power that is needed.

The relays and switches on a car are designed to last the lifespan of the vehicle, but in some instances this is not the case. There are a variety of different things that can cause a relay to become unusable. Generally, the heat and the moisture that is produced by the engine begins to cause corrosion or rusting issues. Having rust or corrosion on the terminals of the relay can prohibit the connection that it is able to make.

If the relay is not getting a good connection, then it will be nearly impossible for the headlight closures to operate properly. In some cases, the reason why a relay will not work is due to internal issues with the wiring. Regardless of what is causing the issues with the headlight closure relay, getting it fixed in a hurry should be a top concern. Here are some of the warning signs that you may notice when it is time to replace this relay:

  • The doors on the headlights will not close when the power is shut off
  • The closure relay is only doing its job on occasion
  • The headlight doors will not open at all

Addressing this issue in a hurry will make it easy for you to maintain the functionality of your headlights. You don't want to be stuck with broken headlights. Letting professionals handle your headlight bulb replacement is your best course of action due to the large room for error that exists when trying to do it on your own.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...

Related questions

Q: Other lights work, headlights don't.

You may have a defective light switch or both head light bulbs are bad. Try to see if the high beam low beam switch makes the high beam come on or not. If the high beams work then the light...

Q: Headlights stay on after car is turned off

Hi there. If the head lights took that long to turn off then you more than likely have a failure starting in the body control module. This is a common failure on this vehicle. I typically start by reprogramming the...

Q: Headlights going in and out.

Looking at the wiring diagrams for your vehicle, I see that both the radio and courtesy lamps (interior lights) share a common ground. It could be this ground it is not making good contact and gets disturbed when going over...