Valvoline Night School

Bulbs

The Specs: How to Troubleshoot Exterior Lighting Issues

There are multiple issues that cause headlights to act up. From dimming over time to blown fuses, here is a guide to troubleshooting headlight problems.

It’s not uncommon for headlights to just burn out over time. Before jumping to conclusions check to see if the bulb is blackened or if there are loose filaments. If that’s the case the bulb probably just needs to be replaced.

Problem: Headlight Bulb Keeps Burning Out

There could be a larger issue behind the bulb burning out. If bulbs are burning out more often than they should, there are a couple of things that could be causing this. Check to make sure the bulb and bulb socket are free of corrosion. If they do have corrosion, replace or clean the socket with corrosion cleaner or a baking soda water mixture. Cheaper bulbs can burn out faster, so it’s a good idea to order bulbs that are specifically for the make and model. Check your owner’s manual to find the specific kind recommended. 

Problem: Dim Headlights 

Overly dim headlights can be a sign that they are getting close to the end of their life span, but before replacing them, there are a few things you should check.

First, check the headlight lenses. If they are clouded and frosted, clean and polish them with headlight lens polish & cleaner. You may be surprised how much light cloudy lenses block. Next, check the alternator output with a digital multimeter. Sometimes dim headlights are the result of inadequate power due to a bad alternator or electrical grounding issue. 

Problem: Bad Connection

Flickering headlights is a common issue with HID headlights. It is typically due to a poor connection. Before replacing the bulb, check your battery clamp connections. The constant engine vibrations can cause these connections to become loose. To ensure each wire is secure, wiggle the wires in the headlight circuit to see if any are loose. 


Don't miss out on new content

An error occurred while submitting your email address to the mailing list. Please try again or contact us for assistance.

By submitting your email address you agree to receive email information, great offers, and more from Team Valvoline.

Thanks for signing up. Set your password and start earning reward points for everything you do on the site.

You already have a Team Valvoline account. Sign in here.

Did you forget your password?


Valvoline Night School