Your headlights are an important safety feature on your car. They not only help you to see better while you’re driving, but they help other drivers and pedestrians see you. You might think that as long as the bulbs aren’t burned out you have nothing to worry about, but there are other factors to consider when it comes to your headlights. Here you will learn what you need to watch for to keep them in good condition as well as maintenance involved in keeping them at their best.
Keep Your Headlights Clean
Your headlight covers will become coated with dirt and grime during regular driving conditions and even more so if you drive through an area that is dusty or stormy. To keep your headlights clean and shining as bright as possible, make it a habit to routinely wipe them down.
Even if you don’t wash your car often, wiping down your headlights on a regular basis is a good idea. Dirt and dust will not only lessen the brightness of your headlights but may also cause a glare, which will make it more difficult to see. If your headlight covers don’t look better after a good clean, you may want to consider replacing them.
Replace the Bulbs
Different types of headlight bulbs will burn out at different rates. An LED bulb may last up to 30,000 hours. Halogen lights are found in most cars and are the ones with the shortest lifespan of 500 – 1,000 hours. Obviously the less you drive and use the headlights, the longer they will last. It’s a good idea to know what kind of bulbs your headlights use and their approximate lifespan. If you notice any of the bulbs becoming dull, it’s a good idea to replace it.
Don’t wait until you’re on the road and it burns out completely. It’s a good idea to replace the bulbs them in pairs or all four at the same time. This will make sure they are the same brightness, which is important for safety. You don’t want one bright bulb while the rest are dim.
Headlight alignment might not be something you’ve thought about before, but it’s an important part of headlight maintenance. Headlights are made to beam their lights in the same direction. The lamps can become displaced during an accident (even a minor one) and when driving over potholes and other uneven roads.
You can check if the lights are misaligned by shining the lights on a wall or garage door. If one light is higher than the other, you likely have an alignment issue that should be checked and repaired by a mechanic. Misaligned headlights can cause visibility issues, which of course becomes a safety issue.
Headlights are important for nighttime driving, but are just as crucial during gloomy days and when it’s raining or stormy. Keeping your headlights in their best condition means improved safety for you and everyone else. Be sure to add headlight maintenance to your regular car maintenance routine.