Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Keep needing new headlight bulbs, why is this happening?

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

Q: battery voltage falls when engine fan kicks in

The alternator may not be charging; when you put the fan on, it could be drawing too much power so the engine needs to stay running and will stall and kill the battery if battery gets too low. Check the...

Q: Battery keeps getting drained on a 1990 Mazda Miata

The first thing you'd want to do is have your alternator checked. It could be that the alternator is not charging the battery. It sounds pretty typical to me. If it's not that, you have a really bad wiring harness...

Q: After transmission replacement, trouble starting car

If you had the transmission recently replaced, then you may have an issue with the ground cable connection at the transmission connection being loose, or the starter cable is loose. If neither of these issues are happening, then you...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.