What is the Headlight Bulb all about?
Headlights are about helping a driver see and, perhaps more importantly, helping a vehicle be seen. Most new cars come equipped with headlight bulbs instead of the whole headlamp units, which means you can simply replace the bulb. Some cars have four bulbs in the front (two for high beams and two for low); other cars only have two bulbs (each bulb can provide both high and low beam). Also, most new cars have separate fuses for each headlamp. Before changing the bulb, the mechanic should inspect the fuse for that particular bulb. If the bulb doesn’t light up after installing a new bulb, there may be a problem with the socket, wiring, or the switch.
Keep in mind:
Some vehicles use HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights. These headlights use several components to produce a very bright light. The bulbs for these systems can cost over $100. Please confirm the type of system you have installed on your vehicle prior to booking an appointment.
How it's done:
- Inspect the bulbs, sockets and wiring.
- Remove and replace the faulty bulb.
- Operate headlamps and check operation of all other lights.
Keep the headlamp lens clean and free of oxidation. It is common for the lens to get dirty and not allow enough light to shine through. Mechanics can use a special lens oxidation restorer kit to clean the headlights. This will greatly improve the quality of light coming out of the lens.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Headlight Bulb?
- Headlights are not coming on.
- One headlight is dim compared to the other side.
How important is this service?
Cars have multiple headlight bulbs, all of which combine to project light out of the front of the vehicle. This light serves two purposes: it allows the driver to see when it’s dark out, and it allows the vehicle to be seen by other motorists and also pedestrians. When a headlight bulb goes out, that headlight will not omit any light. This decreases visibility for the driver and for the driver’s surroundings, making the vehicle less safe. A headlight bulb that doesn’t work is also illegal, and can result in a "fix-it" ticket.