Although the technology behind headlights isn’t very complicated, there are a variety of various reasons that headlights can stop working properly. Therefore, if you find that your headlights have suddenly stopped working, it is imperative that you take note of the type of malfunction you are dealing with and then proceed from there.
The specific kind of issue that you’re attempting to fix will determine the steps of the troubleshooting procedure that you carry out. Keeping this in mind, it might be an extremely helpful first step to determine whether both of your headlights or just one of them has stopped functioning, as well as whether or not the high beam mode or the low beam mode are still operational.
Headlight out: How to Fix a Burned Out Headlight
Even though car headlights are made to handle big changes in humidity, temperature, and vibrations, they still sometimes burn out and need to be replaced. Headlights that have burned out can be changed at home, often without any tools at all. Your headlights are an important part of driving safely, so if you notice that one is out, replace it as soon as you can.
Taking off a Headlight That Has Gone Out.
Pull the hood up. You will have to go around to the back to get to the headlight. In most cars, you have to open the hood to do that. Find the switch to open the car’s hood near the door frame on the driver’s side. To open the hood, pull the release backward.
To open the hood the rest of the way, you will need to open the safety latch on the front of the car.
If you don’t know where to find the safety latch, look in your car’s owner’s manual.
Take the battery out.
Before you do any work on your car’s electrical system, you should always take the battery out. Find the battery in your car and loosen the nut on the negative terminal with a hand wrench or a socket wrench. With the nut loose, pull the cable up and away from the terminal. Then, tuck it against the side of the battery to keep it from touching the terminal again.
Look for the letters “NEG” or the negative (-) symbol to find the negative terminal.
You won’t have to take the positive terminal off.
Take off any parts of the trim that you need to in order to get to the headlight.
In many modern cars, you have to take off the engine cover or a piece of plastic trim to get to the back of the headlight. When removing plastic clips that hold trim pieces in place, be careful because they may be fragile and likely to break or crack.
If you break a clip, you can usually buy a replacement at an auto parts store near you.
For specific instructions on how to get to your headlight, look in the service manual for your car.
Unplug the pigtail wire from the headlight.
Press down on the plastic release clip on the wire pigtail that goes into the back of the headlight. Hold down on the release as you pull the clip back to unhook it.
Don’t pull on the wires themselves, or you might pull them out of the pigtail by accident.
Examine the interior of the pigtail for any signs of damage. If you see signs of burning or melting, there may be a problem with the electrical system in your car.
Twist and pull to remove the headlamp.
To remove a headlight bulb from its plastic housing, turn it counterclockwise. Slide the bulb out of its housing. In other cases, the bulb must be taken out of a plastic assembly.
If you can’t remove the bulb, consult your vehicle’s service manual.
Low beam headlight out: how to fix
Broken or low-beam bulbs pose a number of safety risks.
First of all, it’s hard to see at night when you’re driving. This could make you, your family, and other people on the road less safe.
Second, if your low beam lights don’t work, you’ll have to use your high beam. While your high beam is on, other drivers won’t be able to see the road in front of them very well.
Fixing a low-beam headlight is easy, and most car owners can do it themselves with a few tools.
If you still have problems after replacing the low-beam headlight, your car may have more serious electrical wiring problems that a professional mechanic will need to fix.
How to Replace a Low Beam Headlight Bulb: 4 Steps
Find the burned-out light bulb
When you’re driving at night, it’s easy to see if one of your headlight bulbs has burned out.
But to find the broken bulb, leave your headlights on and step out of the car to see which beam isn’t as bright as the others.
Some car models have one bulb that works for both high beams and low beams, while others have separate bulbs for high beams and low beams.
If the side beam is completely out, it means that the car is using the same bulb for both the high beam and the low beam.
Once you know which beam isn’t working right, it’s easy to change the burned-out bulb.
If only one of the bulbs on either side of the car doesn’t work, you don’t have to change them both.
If both the high and low beams on the same side don’t work, there might be a problem with your car’s electrical wiring that keeps power from reaching the bulbs.
Buy a new light bulb.
The model and year of your car will tell you what kind of low beam bulb to buy to replace the one that doesn’t work.
Give the clerk at the auto parts store these details so he can give you the right bulb for your headlight.
Note that the codes for the headlights are a combination of letters and numbers, like H11B or D311.
Prepare your tools
It can take more time and work than you think to change a low beam bulb. In some cars, you won’t need any tools to take out the parts, the light bulb under the hood, and sometimes even the bumper. In other cars, you will need special tools.
The car manual has a list of all the tools you’ll need to work on your car.
Most cars, on the other hand, only need a screwdriver or nothing at all to get to the headlight housing.
After reading the service manual, check your headlight to make sure it looks just like it says it should.
If you bought a used car, parts like flat-head screws may have been changed.
Take the negative end of the battery off.
Make sure you mark the side where the burned-out bulb is before you take the battery out.
Once you take the battery out of the car, the headlights will stop working.
You can loosen the nut on the negative terminal of your car’s battery by hand or with a socket wrench.
You don’t have to completely remove the nut. Make it just loose enough that you can slide the cable off the terminal.
Attach the cable to the side of the battery to keep it from coming back together with the terminal while you work.
You don’t need to disconnect the positive terminal of the battery because the circuit won’t work if you loosen the negative terminal.
How to tell if a car headlight bulb is blown?
The presence of a faulty or failing headlight bulb is one of the first signs that the headlamp itself is defective or malfunctioning. It is possible for headlight bulbs to become worn out over time, causing them to emit a light that is noticeably dimmer than when it was first turned on.
A dim headlight will not give adequate illumination, and it is also typically a warning that the bulb’s service life is getting close to its conclusion. Whether you want to know if the headlight bulb in your automobile is blown, look inside the bulb for a metal filament and see if there is a little hole in it.
In the event that the hole is there, the light bulb has burned out and must be replaced. Using a multimeter to check the continuity of the circuit is another method for determining whether or not a headlight bulb has burned out.
Connect one lead of the multimeter to the metal filament of the light bulb and the other lead to the metal contact on the base of the bulb while the ohms setting is selected on the multimeter. When there is continuity, this indicates that the bulb is functioning properly. If there is a break in the continuity, this indicates that the bulb has burned out and needs to be replaced.
Toyota pickup headlights not working: how to fix
You already know how important headlights are and how dangerous it can be if they don’t work. This problem could be caused by a number of things, but one thing stays the same: it’s an issue that needs to be fixed right away. Even if you only drive during the day, putting off fixing your headlights is dangerous and illegal. Check out the four possible reasons listed below, and then call for service right away.
If you have an electrical problem, like headlights that don’t work, one of the first things you should do is check the fuse. The owner’s manual for your Toyota will have a list of what each fuse is for.
Find the fuse for your low beam headlights, take it out, and check it. If the fuse is burned out, replace it with a working fuse of the same amperage and see if that works. If that doesn’t work, it could be one of these other things.
Your car’s wiring is complicated, and a problem with the wiring could make the headlights stop working.
In fact, a blown fuse could also be caused by a problem with the wiring, since fuses burn out when too much current flows through a system.
If the problem only happens once, the fuse might only blow once. But if it’s because of a problem with the wiring, the new fuse won’t last either.
Because your car’s wiring is so complicated, it’s best to let a professional figure out what’s wrong.
When you flip a light switch in your house, it completes a circuit and turns on the lights. Things are a little different in your car. When you flip the switch, it doesn’t actually finish the circuit.
Instead, it sends a small amount of power to a relay, which finishes the circuit. If the relay is broken, it might still get power from the switch, but it might not be able to finish the circuit. In this case, you might need a new relay.
Some cars have separate relays for the high beams and the low beams. If one of these relays stops working, the other one might still do its job.
If both of your headlights don’t work, you might not think that burned-out bulbs are to blame. Most bulbs don’t go out at the same time, after all. However, this occurs more frequently than you might imagine.
Because headlights are much brighter now. If the other bulb is giving off enough light, you might not notice that one has burned out. When the second one goes out is when you’ll know.
Headlight works sometimes: how to fix
It is extremely aggravating when the headlights on a car do not function correctly because they are an essential component of the vehicle’s safety system. If you notice that one of your headlights does not appear to be functioning properly, the first thing you should examine is the bulb. If, on the other hand, neither of the headlights is functioning, it is quite improbable that a single bulb is to blame.
There is a high probability that the issue is caused by a blown fuse, a faulty headlight relay, a headlight switch, a dimmer switch, or faulty wiring. A blown fuse is about the only cause that is simple to repair if it occurs. Find the primary fuse for the headlight circuit by consulting the owner’s manual for your vehicle, and then replace it with a fuse that has the same amp rating as the previous one.
In the event that this does not resolve the issue, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your go-to mechanic in order to receive some professional assistance.
High beams work but one low beam doesn’t: how to fix
At night, the headlights on your car are the ones that are responsible for illuminating the path in front of you. Even during the day, having your headlights on can be beneficial to your safety because they make it simpler for other drivers on the road to identify your car.
The regular low beams on the headlights will cease working, but the high beams will continue to function normally. This is one of the more prevalent issues that we find with headlights.
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss five possible explanations for why this might take place, beginning with the most prevalent explanation.
Corroded headlight socket
Many automobiles’ headlights are bulbs plugged into sockets. If these connections are slack, the circuit ground is poor, or moisture got in, the headlight socket could corrode. This may cause a blinking or non-returning headlight.
Compromised headlight wiring
Automotive wiring is resilient, but rodents can nibble on it. Perhaps the prior owner rewired the headlights, and they no longer work. If you suspect your headlights’ wiring, have a qualified technician at your local authorized dealer check it out.
Breaking headlight switch
Broken headlight switches are rare in Subarus. It may become stuck in high beams or the switch may wear out and stop working. If the switch is bad, replace it with an OEM switch.
Bad headlight relay or fuse
Your car’s headlights contain a fuse to prevent too much power from reaching the bulb. A headlight relay switches between low and high lights. If the fuse blows, you won’t have headlights. If the relay fails, you can’t switch high and low beams.
Many cars have two-filament halogen headlights. One is for the low beams, while the other is for the high beams. Others have two headlight bulbs. Low beams burn out sooner than high beams because they’re used more. If your low beams cease operating but your high beams still operate, replace the headlight bulbs with new OEM headlights.
Why is my headlight burning out: how to change
The question now is why your headlights keep going out. The most likely explanation for why your headlights keep going out is that either you are touching the bulbs while you are installing them into your assembly, or there is a poor wiring connection somewhere along the line of your headlights. However, the most likely explanation is that you are touching the bulbs.
These two primary causes are going to account for around 75% of the challenges that you are experiencing; but, there are other potential explanations as well. Continue reading to find out more information about this, as well as the other potential reasons.
Unsecured connection in the wiring
Because the wiring is sloppy, the flow of electricity to the contact point with the bulb will not be quite right and will actually cut off and back on at rapid intervals. This will cause the light to go out and then come back on again.
The repeated cycling of on and off will eventually cause the bulb to become warm. Because of these oscillations in the flow of energy, the filament inside the bulb deteriorates and breaks, which results in the headlights on your vehicle being rendered inoperable.
The headlamp may become dislodged on occasion due to the vibrations produced by the car. Therefore, it is a good idea to ensure that all of the bolts connecting to the headlamp are tight and that the mounting around the headlights is not damaged. In addition to this, test to see if the electrical contacts that keep the bulb in place are stable.
In order to prevent problems of this nature from occurring in the future, replacing the bulb’s connectors with new ones is a smart move. Therefore, you need to repair the connectors if you find out that they are burnt and showing symptoms of corrosion if you want to avoid further problems.
Making direct contact with the light bulb when you are putting it
There is no doubt about the fact that halogen lamps generate a great deal of heat. Because of this, they get exceedingly dirty whenever you feel the urge to replace them and touch them with your hands in the process. In order for bulbs to have a longer lifespan, they must be placed on a surface that is heated uniformly.
Nevertheless, as you are screwing in a new bulb, minute particles of dirt or filth and moisture from your skin could create uneven heating around the surface of the bulb. As a consequence of this, the bulbs suffer a structural collapse, which causes them to burst.
The best method for installing them is to do so while wearing latex gloves and making an effort to touch the metal (or plastic) base. On the other hand, because there is only so much room, this can be really challenging.
The bulbs were of a poor grade.
The quality of cheaper bulbs is not even close to that of the regular high-end bulbs. If the quality is poor, the filaments on the light bulb are produced from a very thin gauge of tungsten, which means they could fail in a very short amount of time. The most typical reason for these less expensive bulbs to burn out is because of vibrations.
Inadequate tungsten gauge quality can also cause failure, which is more likely if the voltage regulator is experiencing an uneven flow of current. Failures are likely to occur if technologies used in the home are applied to the automobile bulb. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for a reputable manufacturer that specializes in automotive bulbs. This particular brand is one of my favorites since it has a good amount of shine and it lasts for a very long time.
The halogen filaments that are included within the bulbs are not able to sustain an excessive amount of vibration. In light of this, examine the retaining springs that are holding the bulb in place, and ensure that they are both snug and properly fastened. In addition, the suspension springs, wheel bearings, and wheel balance should all be examined to ensure that they are not the source of significant vibrations.
The presence of condensation within the headlights
Additional condensation is a problem that a lot of people have to deal with (which can actually be solved). There is a possibility of electrical shorts occurring inside the headlights as a result of an excessive amount of humidity.
As a result, the lifespan of the bulbs is shortened, and as a result, you should check to see whether there is an excessive amount of dampness inside the housing. The design of headlights ensures that there is adequate airflow from all four sides of the housing.
These perforations in the lens’s surface are designed to let in a certain amount of airflow while also preventing condensation from forming on the lens. There are occasions in which the cover for the headlight on the back of the vehicle is not mounted appropriately, or the sealing may have become compromised. This could result in an excessive amount of condensation.
Additionally, an excessive amount of condensation may form inside the housing if there is a possibility of water leaking inside. There has possibly been a lot of rain recently.
Faulty voltage regulator
A vehicle’s electrical system should always include a voltage regulator as one of its essential components. In a nutshell, it controls the maximum amount of voltage that can travel throughout the entire wire system. In this way, it ensures that the components have access to an amount of electricity that is both safe and usable.
If you are having problems with your voltage regulator, it is likely that these problems are affecting your headlight bulbs. This is due to the fact that the flow of energy will not be consistent, which has the potential to burn out the filament in the light bulb.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why aren’t my dashboard lights working when I turn on my headlights?
Even though the lights on the dashboard of most current vehicles are programmed to brighten and dim themselves automatically depending on the time of day, you may still need to manually change the dimmer switch on your dashboard. There is also a possibility that the issue is associated with a blown fuse or a damaged filament.
Why do my turn signals stop working when I turn on my headlights?
There are a few different scenarios that could play out, but the most likely explanation involves electricity. There might be an issue with one of the switches, there might be a problem with the voltage, or there might be some broken wiring.
How long should headlights last?
The vast majority of halogen headlights are designed to operate reliably for at least a couple of years. On the other hand, this, of course, depends on how frequently you turn those headlights on and off. Having said that, LED headlights do not contain filaments as halogen bulbs do, thus they should potentially last for the lifetime of the vehicle, and perhaps even longer than that.
Will Autozone change my headlight?
You can actually stop by Autozone, which is one of the excellent retailers in the area, get a bulb, and get a little bit of assistance putting it! Having said that, if you own a car in which the installation of bulbs necessitates a significant amount of effort (looking at you, Gen 1 Audit TT), you probably won’t be able to receive much assistance, and you will be need to locate a competent mechanic.
Should I replace both headlight bulbs at the same time?
It is not strictly necessary to switch out both of the bulbs at the same time; instead, you can do it one at a time. Nevertheless, if you are going to switch types of bulbs, you should almost always replace both of them because the colors will be slightly different.
There are a few potential explanations for why the headlight on your vehicle keeps going out. Always keep an eye out for warning indications that indicate a bulb may be about to burn out, and be sure to inspect the bulbs at each service appointment. In order to assist prevent such problems, I suggest purchasing a bulb of a high grade. You ought to be fine if you exercise a modicum of caution.