4 Ways to Maintain Your Headlights

Headlights are a vital component of driving at night. Maybe that's obvious, but it's critical to keep them clean and in proper working order so that you can drive safely. They provide the assistance you need when the sun goes down, illuminating the road and any obstacles in your way.

Remember that your headlights need proper care and maintenance. Inspect them regularly to identify any failures, defects, or dimness. You may need a buddy to help with your brake lights, but you can inspect your headlights on your own. Here are some helpful tips.

Clean Your Headlights

When dirt builds up on your windshield, it's likely to build up on your headlights as well. When you stop at the gas station to clean your windshield, give your headlights a scrub, too. When your windshield is dirty, it's hard to see through, so you can also bet that it's hard for your headlights to illuminate the road.

If you clean your headlights regularly, you'll have higher visibility and be safer on the road at night. Use a damp cloth and wipe down the headlights once a week. It makes sure that they're free of dirt and dust, so they can't prevent you from driving safely.

Fix Clouding and Yellowing

Headlights can yellow or cloud over time due to normal wear and tear or condensation. When this happens, they give off less light, making night driving dangerous. Sunlight can also cause the yellowness you see, and it not only discolors your headlights but also makes the plastic covers deteriorate faster.

When the plastic deteriorates, it can allow extra moisture to seep through the seals, making them dull and cloudy. Other things like smog and chemicals discharged from your car's engine can cause more yellowness, perpetuating the cycle.

Not only does this create unsafe driving conditions, but it can affect the value of your car. If your vehicle looks aged, it hurts the resale price, and yellow headlights make your car look old. However, you can seek headlight restoration services or buy do-it-yourself systems that can help you turn your yellow headlights back to their original state.

If you still have yellow headlights, make an appointment with your local dealer to have them replaced.

Check Illumination

If one of your headlights goes out, you may not notice right away, because you still have one working. However, it compromises visibility because you don't have as much illumination as you did before, making driving at night risky. It's also illegal to drive without two properly working headlights.

Because it's hard to tell while you're driving whether both headlights are illuminated or not, it's important to check them often. Park your car in a safe place and turn on the headlights. Get out and walk around your vehicle to make sure both headlights are working.

You can also park in front of a structure such as a wall or the garage door and then check its surface to make sure both of your headlights are working as they should. It's not as efficient as getting out and checking but can work if you're in a hurry.

If one or both of your headlights is out, always replace them in pairs. If one of your headlights is burnt out, it's likely the other one will go out shortly, so replacing both at the same time is smart and proactive. It prevents you from running into the same predicament you're already in.

Check Headlight Alignment

You may be familiar with the idea that misaligned wheels cause a lot of problems while driving, but it may surprise you to know that your headlights can also be displaced, meaning they don't illuminate the road properly, causing unsafe driving conditions for you, your passengers, and other drivers.

Headlights are supposed to point in the same direction, but sometimes rough driving conditions can cause them to dislodge or move. Accidents can also cause these displacements.

If your headlights are misaligned, they don't provide the visibility you need. They could potentially point up or down too much. If they point in the wrong direction, they could possibly shine brightly in the eyes of other drivers on the road.

If you sense that something may be off, check them again, or shine them on your garage door to see in which direction they point. If you do have a problem, take your car to the shop to have a professional address the issue appropriately.

These four tips can help you maintain your headlights and make sure that you're always driving safe at night and in other inclement weather. If you need any help, seek the assistance of a licensed mechanic you can trust. Southwest Motors can get you into quality used SUVs and trucks that suit your style.

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