While headlight ticket prices can vary, in nearly every state, a broken headlight can get you pulled over and ticketed.
This isn’t just so departments can get revenue. Motorists who hesitate in repairing headlights can cause accidents in low visibility conditions.
Most laws require headlights to be on after sunset and before sunrise. They also require headlights for low visibility conditions or anytime you have to use your windshield wipers.
One of the most frequent reasons drivers hesitate to repair headlights are the costs associated with bringing their car to a mechanic.
In order to save costs for motorists and promote safety, most cars are designed with easy access to headlights.
If you’re one of those motorists, follow these 5 tips for repairing headlights so that you can avoid tickets and ensure safety for you and everyone on the road.
1. No Bare Hands When Repairing Headlights
Grab a pair of gardening or latex gloves before you start. If you’re using halogen bulbs, your hands could have little bits of grease and dirt that could cause bulbs to burn or burst.
Be sure that your bulbs have completely cooled off before you switch out the pair in your car.
For best results, wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve had them on before switching.
2. Pay Attention To Bolts
Not all headlight casings are created equal. You may find you need to remove some bolts to get to your bulbs.
Find a container or a safe place to keep all of your bulbs. Use the appropriate tools and pay attention to where everything goes so you can put it all back in the order you took it off.
3. Align Headlights Correctly
The ideal place to fix your headlights is a flat area where your car is pointed at a wall or garage door. If you have to remove the housing, you’ll have to ensure that you aim your headlights straight.
Once they’re switched, turn on your battery and adjust as necessary. If you can’t make it work, you might have to bring your car to a mechanic.
Cars with halogen lights typically align automatically, so no need to worry if that’s the case.
4. Loosen The Retainer
Halogen bulbs have their own particularities. When you’re replacing halogen bulbs, you might need to loosen the retainer around them. The retainer is what keeps the bulb in place.
They won’t just unplug like a regular connector so handle with care so as not to throw anything out of alignment. If you have trouble, take a look at our site to find the manual for your car.
5. Cover The Area While Cleaning
Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve washed your car, you might need to do a little cleaning before you begin. If dirt has accumulated inside of the housing, put a plastic bag over the bulb area before you begin wiping the housing out with soap and water.
For best results, completely remove the housing.
Repairing Headlights Is An Easy DIY Job
If you’ve got a car made in the last 20-30 years, repairing your bulbs should be a fairly easy task. If you need help, ask a friend who’s good with cars or take it to a trusted mechanic.
If you’re ready to fix any other minor issues on your vehicle, contact us for more tips on how to get started.