Q: Keep needing new headlight bulbs, why is this happening?

asked by on November 03, 2015

Not sure why, but my higher-mileage (105k miles) 2006 Kia Sorento is burning through headlights just one after another. A headlight lasts 6-10 weeks on average. This is starting to get expensive, and now my brake lights are burning out too! What is the issue here? The wiring? The battery? I have no idea where to start.

Hello, replacing bulbs frequently can be bothersome.

A couple of reasons come to mind. If you are using the cheapest bulbs possible, the cheap filaments may just be failing. Trying a good quality bulb may be a good start.

You may also be having a problem with your alternator. If the alternator is over charging, it can cause undue stress and overheating of the filaments. An intermittent fault with the alternator could be harder to find. Unfortunately, the charging system warning light is not the best indicator of a problematic charging system voltage.

To properly check the charging system for failure requires connecting a volt meter and then driving the vehicle to see if the voltage goes higher than the recommended max voltage. It is possible that when the voltage spikes and the bulbs are illuminated, the filament is being overloaded.

A certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can evaluate your headlights and brake lights to find the underlying problem.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Ignition switch won't turn

The first thing to try is to try and rock the steering wheel while turning the key to see if the steering is binding it. If this does not work then try another key if you have it. If none...

A/C won't turn off. 2006 Ford F150

Hello - there are 2 possibilities here: (1) an electrical switch - HVAC control in the dash or the low pressure switch in the refrigerant line) is keeping voltage on the compressor clutch, keeping it engaged, or (2) the compressor...

Help with Kia Sport shift / TPS

The TPS controls the fuel supply in all modes. Changing the mode will not bypass the TPS as this is the car's method of regulating the amount of fuel being injected into the motor based upon the position of your...

Related articles

How Long Does a Headlight Closure Relay Last?
With 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...
What Are Daytime Running Lights
Once Once upon a time, the average vehicle only had a handful of lights – headlights, taillights, brake lights, reverse lights and turn signals. Today, there are others, including fog lights and daytime running lights (DRL). Read on to find...
How Frequently Do Headlight Bulbs Burn Out?
Headlights Headlights aren’t just convenience accessories – they’re required for driving at night. They’re also important for safety, which is why so many modern cars come with daytime running lights as a standard feature. Of course, light bulbs have a...