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A car’s headlights – or headlamps -- are essential for safe driving at night or in inclement weather. They not only improve your view of the road, they also make it much easier for other drivers to see your vehicle. High beams provide bright, long-range illumination – which is why they are often referred to as “brights” – and let a driver see farther down the road.
The lighting system in your car is relatively simple, but there are several things that can go wrong with it. While the problem is most often the bulb itself, it can also be the fuse, relay, switch, or faulty wiring.
Like any bulb, headlamps have filaments that provide the light used to illuminate the road ahead. Some systems use a single multifunction bulb that can switch from high beam to low beam. Other headlight systems use two halogen bulbs in each headlamp -- one for high beam and one for low. None of them will need to be frequently replaced, but they won’t last forever either. Some experts recommend replacing all headlight bulbs or filaments at the first sign of failure, particularly if they are original equipment. Replace all filaments, not just one at a time.
The main job of a fuse is to protect the electrical circuits in your car from a shorting or overloading. They are rated by their amperage and are designed to blow or open when the current being drawn through it exceeds its design rating. If a device draws enough current to blow a fuse, you've probably got a more complex problem somewhere else in the system that will cause the fuse blow again, sooner or later. Occasionally, fuses will fail for no apparent reason. Many modern headlamps have one fuse per headlamp. If it is burned out, change it. If it’s not and the low beams work, the problem is more likely the switch, relay or wiring.
Bad high beam relay
By definition, a relay is an electromagnetic switch operated by a relatively small electric current that can turn on or off a much larger electric current. In a car, there are lots of small, low current relays that are used to activate larger, higher voltage components. A relay bridges the gap between the two, making it possible for small currents to activate larger ones. The high and low beams will have their own relay. The switch is only used to energize the relay, which then provides full power to the headlights.
Malfunctioning high beam control
This is the device that “switches” between high and low beams. In modern cars, there is a switch lever on the steering column that a driver either pushes or pulls to switch between high and low beam headlamps.
The wiring has a break in some point in the system, stopping electricity from getting to the relay, switch or headlamps.
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the source and cause of the high beam malfunction, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
A mechanic will inspect the entire lighting system, including all bulbs, fuses, switches, wires, and relays.
Headlamps are required by law in every country around the globe. Some U.S. state laws even require them during the day, when it rains, in reduced visibility situations, and in work zones. Check your state’s laws for specific requirements, but first book a mechanic to perform a thorough inspection of the high beams so the issue may be promptly resolved.
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