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Properly Maintaining Headlights

Keep the Night Bright with Maintained Vehicle Headlights

Many drivers believe that the simple fact that their headlights turn on is enough to keep them safe while driving at night, in the dawn or dusk hours of the day, or during poor weather conditions. While having functioning headlights is important, so is making sure these lights are bright enough for the driver’s vehicle to be seen as well as for drivers to see clearly when it is dim or dark outside. For those who are concerned about the brightness of their headlights, here are some helpful tips to maintain them.

Brightness Check

Headlights tend to dim over time, and even though they may still work, it may be time to replace the headlights if they seem too dim. The easiest way to check your headlights’ brightness is to park the car on a level surface about five feet from a wall or garage door. Turn the vehicle’s headlights on – the pools of light coming from the headlights should be bright white. If the light is dim or yellow in color, it is time to take out the old headlight bulbs and replace them with new ones.

Keep Focused

When checking the headlight bulbs, it is also a good time to check the bulbs’ focus as well. When the headlights are shining on a wall or garage door, both the left and right headlight beams should be hitting the same height on the wall. Should one or both of the bulbs be aimed too high or too low, this can be the result of a number of factors including hitting potholes on the road. It is possible for the headlights to actually create a blind spot for other drivers, which makes it hard to see your vehicle while on the road. Should the headlight bulbs be misaligned, ask a mechanic to realign them for you.

Lens Check

In addition to checking the actual light bulbs, it is also important to check the headlight lenses. Lenses should be completely clear – should the lenses be yellow in color or “foggy” looking, you may want to look into using a lens restoration kit to resolve the problem. Lenses can naturally become foggy or discolored over time, and this greatly diffuses the light coming from the headlight bulbs. This not only impairs a driver’s visibility on the road but can also make it harder for other drivers to see you.

Think you or someone you know is need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is a Linwood driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.

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