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Q: Headlights are really dim, car is brand new

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I have a hard time understanding how my 2013 Chrysler 200 made it from the factory with headlights that work so poorly in the low beam position. I consider myself to be a smart consumer with automobiles so I never buy the first year of a new car. I liked the 200 since it came out so in late 2012 I went out and bought a brand new 2013 model. Loved it right away but I took it back the first week because I thought the low beams were faulty! Turns out they’re all like that! I have put just over 20,000 miles on this car, and now use the high beams as much as I can at night. Is there a way to improve low beam performance without replacing the entire headlight? I would replace the lights if that’s the only way, very fond of this car!

The headlight system on your car is controlled by a module and this module will put out a low voltage to the headlights on low beam and maximum voltage on high beam. The lighting system is programmed in the module and if you tried to replace the lights with an aftermarket light assembly then the lights electrical system will most likely need to be modified to accommodate the new lights. There are tons of aftermarket light solutions that claim better lighting for you but do not tell you how they do this. They may require wiring modifications and light housing body modifications. Both may void any factory warranty on the lighting system of your car. I would not recommend modifying your existing system unless it is a manufacture update or modifications that would not void any warranty you may have. In the meantime you could lower the brightness on your dash lights to help you see better at night. Most owners see an improvement in night driving after they lower the instrument dash lights.

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