Behind the wheel, the majority of your decisions depend on what you see directly in front of you – your headlights must always be effective, especially at night and in adverse weather conditions. Over time, exposure to the elements – sun, hail, and salt, can cause headlights to become damaged or less resistant. Make sure yours stay effective this winter! Here is our guide to headlight maintenance, common repair procedures, and replacing bulbs.
To spread further awareness on automotive care, owners should follow four best practices when it comes to proper headlight maintenance, not just during National Car Care Month, but year-round:
Understand the choices in headlight performance levels: When it comes to headlights performance, many consumers should know that there are a variety of choices available on the market to help suit their individual needs. For instance, there are options available that offer brighter down road visibility or whiter light which improves contrast and helps drivers distinguish objects on the side of the road better than basic headlights.
Replace before burnout: All too often, vehicles with a burned out headlight can be found traveling on dark roads, posing a risk to both the driver and others on the road. With one headlight out, drivers are essentially seeing half as well as they potentially could. If a vehicle owner cannot remember the last time headlights were changed, it may be time for replacements.
Always replace in pairs: It’s very important to replace headlights in sets of two. Since headlights dim over their lifetime, a new bulb paired with an old bulb will create an uneven field of vision, which can be a major distraction on the road for both drivers and oncoming traffic.
Do it yourself: Changing a vehicle’s headlight bulb can be a simple process that doesn’t require a mechanic or service professional. In fact, various online guides and resources exist to help consumers swap out headlight bulbs in a matter of minutes. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual for bulb/headlight replacement procedures, needed tools and safety precautions. Always wear safety glasses and work gloves, as well.
Keep in Mind … Safety First! When repairing or replacing your headlights, be aware of hot objects and sharp instruments. Don’t substitute tools unless you’re sure you won’t compromise your safety or the performance of your vehicle.
Keeping your headlights in top condition is of utmost importance in winter, when visibility tends to be low for drivers.
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