Headlights Don't Work - Most Common Reasons

In this post, we talk about what the possible causes are if your headlights don't work, or don't work properly. This article will deal primarily with halogen headlights, the most common type in use on auto-mobiles today. Driving with damaged, broken or malfunctioning headlights is dangerous.  Contact us at Hansma Automotive if you have malfunctioning headlights or require any other type of car repair.  


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Headlights Don't Work

Generally speaking, if both your headlights don't work it is most likely that you have an electrical problem. However, if only one headlight is out, it is probably a failed bulb. 

Damaged Bulb Needs Replacing

Most modern vehicles use halogen bulbs which have a thin tungsten filament, or fine wire, inside the bulb's protective casing. This wire will eventually burn out and need replacing. The average motorist can expect a bulb to last somewhere between 500 and 2000 hours of night driving. This means that you can expect to have to replace bulbs about every 5 years of your cars life. If you drive frequently at night, or if you travel particularly bumpy roads like gravel side-roads, the bulbs may wear out more quickly. Replacing a bulb is not particularly difficult but some may find it intimidating. Call us at Hansma if you are unsure how to do this. Check this link showing how to change a bulb.

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 A Blown Fuse

Cars, like houses, use fuses to protect their electrical circuits.  A fuse is simply a weak point in a circuit that is designed to blow if the vehicle is drawing too much electrical charge.  In this case, the relatively inexpensive fuse then blows, thus protecting costlier items in the circuit, such as your headlight. If the fuse is blown then you should replace it. If you have replaced both the fuse and the headlight bulb and the light still does not come on, you may have a costlier electrical problem. Check out this link demonstrating how to change a blown fuse.

Defective High Beam Relay Switch

If your high beams don't work but your low beams do, then the problem may lie with a defective high beam relay switch.  The relay switch is the component that allows you to switch from low beams to high beams. If it does not work, your headlights will remain stuck in one position. It could be that the problem lies in the  high beam to low beam switch on your steering column. Our professional automotive technicians can quickly determine if this is your problem. 

Faulty Or Damaged Wiring

There are many wires in a modern vehicle and sometimes wires can be broken, corroded, poorly connected or otherwise damaged. A wire in this condition will be unable to transmit the electrical power effectively to your headlights. If your lights flicker often, this may be a clue that leads to a faulty connection. Unless you are competent with electrical systems, it is best to leave electrical problems to the professionals.

Our Professional Approach

The lives of you and your loved ones are important to us, so don't take any chances with your headlights. Take advantage of our professional approach and contact us immediately if you have any concerns regarding your lighting system.  Don't hesitate to ask us about our free shuttle service. We are located at 88 Shoemaker Street in Kitchener and can usually repair your vehicle in a few hours or less.


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Posted on January 30, 2016 .