Back to all

A Bright Idea

June 5, 2022

You've probably noticed how much easier it is to see when you're driving in the daytime as opposed to at night. It's one of the main reasons about half of all fatal vehicle accidents happen when it's dark.

That's why it's important that your vehicle's headlights are in top condition and working the way they should.  That means that they're aimed correctly and producing the amount of light they are intended to produce.

For many years, headlights were a standardized size and shape.  They were what is called a "sealed beam," and when you needed to replace one, it was pretty simple.  You just took the old one out and plugged a new one in. 

But now there are hundreds of different types of lighting systems on vehicles, producing light with such illuminating technology as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), halogen bulbs, high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs and more.  Some vehicles have systems that turn your lights in the direction you turn your steering wheel so you can more clearly see where you are going.

Now that it's not so simple to change headlamps or bulbs, it's wise to consult your service advisor.  She or he can tell you what your options are.  There may be ways you can upgrade your lighting with new headlamps or components, but it's important not to install new parts that could damage your vehicle.  For example, the headlight housing could be damaged if a bulb burns too hot for its design. 

It's also good to check regulations and laws where you live.  Some regulate the color of light your headlamps can shine and how bright they can be. It's wise to leave it up to a technician to replace your headlamps.  Some are tricky to get at, and modern engine compartments can be packed so tightly, it's hard to maneuver around all of the other engine components to reach the headlamp compartment.

Oh, one other thing to keep in mind.  Even if your headlamps are both working, you might notice people are flashing their lights at you, even when you don't have the high beams on.  That could mean your headlamps are aimed wrong; for the safety of the other drivers and yourself, have your technician check your headlamps' aim.

You'll see the light when you have good visibility at night.

South Side Garage
9117 S WALKER AVE
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma 73139
405-308-1514

More articles from Southside Garage

That Squeal is Telling You Something (What Causes Squealing While Steering)

May 12, 2024

If you hear a squealing noise when you turn your vehicle, it's trying to tell you something is wrong. After all, it never made that noise before, right? The sound you hear may becoming from a few sources. Let's take a look (or a listen) to some of the possibilities. First, you almost certainl... More

The Sign of the Shield (Heat Shield Repair and Replacement)

May 5, 2024

Even in the months where temperatures are cooler, heat is still an enemy of your vehicle. When your engine runs, it creates heat, so there are numerous heat shields that protect other parts from those higher temperatures. Heat shields are installed around several areas of the exhaust system. Ot... More

A Non-Starter (Alternator Problems in Cold Weather)

April 28, 2024

As the temperatures dip, we all know there could be problems starting our vehicles. After all, batteries can grow old and not hold a charge as well as when they were newer. Or starters can go bad. But there's one more component to keep an especially sharp eye on during winter: your alternator. T... More