A bad or blown-out low beam will force you into putting on your car’s high beam if you want to see the road ahead of you at night. Whereas, according to the USA traffic law, if your high beam is on while you are at about 300ft from the vehicle ahead of you, you will be fine. Aside from that, driving with a bad low beam can put you in danger as it can make it harder for you to be spotted quickly by other oncoming vehicles especially at sharp bends.
Fortunately, fixing a faulty low beam is straightforward and can be done by anyone with or without previous mechanical experience. However, if replacing the faulty bulb of the low beam does not solve the problem, the underlying cause might be an electrical issue and you will need a professional. But, if the primary cause is due to a foggy headlight lens, then you can easily restore the lenses using a headlight restoration kit.
Fixing a low beam headlight in three steps
- Identify the faulty bulb
It’s easy to tell when you have a blown-out while driving. However, confirm which of the bulbs is out by parking your car away from the road and checking your headlights while the ignition is on. Then, get back in your car and switch on the high beams. Some cars make use of a single bulb for both low and high beams. If the high beam on the same bulb works, then it’s an electrical issue. If the high beam doesn’t work, the bulb is bad and you should consider replacing them.
- Buy a replacement bulb
The next step is to buy a replacement bulb at your earliest convenience. To make sure you don’t repeatedly go back to your local auto part store due to mismatched bulbs, it’s important that you buy an exact match for your car’s headlight housing and model. Car headlight bulbs are usually labeled underneath the base in letter and numbers like H1, H2, H7, H11, and so on. Check the codes or numbers on the faulty bulb and buy a replacement with the exact same codes and letters.
- Reinstall a new bulb
Before taking your new bulb out of its packaging, I recommend you wear gloves or use a tissue. This is because the oil on your palm can compromise the glass of the bulb and cause it to burn faster – thus, reducing its lifespan. Keep your gloves on or the bulb in a tissue as you place the new bulb inside your headlight housing. If you would like to know how to change car headlights, check out our previous posts.
Now, make sure that the bulb is well-seated firmly in the headlight housing and ensure you don’t apply pressure so you don’t break or crack the bulb.
Car headlights are vital components of every vehicle and as such, it’s important to ensure your vehicle’s headlights are working perfectly. Inspect your car driving and maintain your car headlights regularly.