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Why aren't my headlights working?

Why aren't my headlights working?

When you're driving your vehicle and night comes, or you enter a dark tunnel, or on a dreary rainy day, the headlights will definitely give you the most sense of security. The bright light will show you the way.

However, your headlights don't always work perfectly. It will go out, which not only adds to your driving difficulties but at the same time can jeopardize your safety and that of your passengers and even other drivers.

If your headlights haven't been working lately, we hope today's headlight troubleshooting guide helped you. By following the guide, you can quickly identify the cause of the problem, and you don't need to be a lighting expert.

The main causes of headlight failure

A properly functioning headlight is not just a matter of having a healthy bulb. It involves bulbs, wiring, fuses, and relays, etc. Understanding a headlight's basic components is the only way to know the root cause of its failure. Here are 5 common causes of headlight failure:

  • Bulb failure
  • Blown fuse
  • Poor contact
  • Wiring problems
  • Damaged relay

    Things to check for headlight failure

    When you notice that your headlights are no longer illuminated and you know the possible cause of their malfunction, you can troubleshoot the problem in the 4 areas below.

    The bulb

    90% of the time, the problem is the bulb. If the filament is broken, replace the bulb decisively.

    How to do: Usually remove the bulb after removing the cover with a Phillips screwdriver. A visual inspection of the filament will tell you if it's intact.

    The Contacts

    If your bulb is intact. You need to keep an eye on the contacts. If it's not clean and shows signs of oxidation, it's time to clean it!

    How to do: First, wipe the contacts with a small sandpaper to remove the oxidation. If the bulb base is oxidized, do the same thing once. Then, wipe off the residue with a clean cloth. Finally, spray the clean contacts with contact spray.

    The good news is that after this operation, there is a good chance that your headlights will work again.


    If the bulb is good and has clean contacts, it's time to check its fuse. Fuses are usually used to protect the safety of an electrical circuit, and if a fuse is blown, there may be a short circuit somewhere.

    How to do:

    1. Locate the fuse box. (The fuse box is on the driver's side, on the left side above the legs, or under the hood near the battery.)
    2. Locate the fuse that controls the bulb that is no longer lit. (There is usually a table of fuses and their locations at the end of the owner's manual.)
    3. remove the fuse from the housing with the ignition switch off. Do not cut the filament at the top of the fuse. If the fuse is broken, replace it with an identical fuse.
    4. After installing the new fuse, turn on the defective bulb: if it lights up and does not go out, it has been repaired. If it does not light up, check the condition of the fuse you just replaced. If the fuse goes out again, the wiring has a short circuit.


    Constant vibration from the car can weaken electrical connections. Make sure they are not loose.

    Long car trips and bumpy roads can weaken the electrical connections to your headlights. The wires may be disconnected if your headlights suddenly don't come on. Please check them carefully.

    How to do: Open the hood and locate the battery. One or more wires should be connected to the "+" terminal. Make sure they are securely connected to the battery. Next, check that the wires are making contact with the bulb sockets. Gently pull on them. They should not move in the socket. Finally, visually inspect all wires under the dash. None of the wires are cut or disconnected.

    People Also Ask

    Why my both headlights stop working?

    It is almost rare that two light bulbs go out at the same time. If by chance this happens to you, there could be a problem with your car's fuse, relay or wiring. The wires that connect the headlights to the main battery can burn out or come loose, which can directly cause the headlights to stop working.

    Why my both headlights brightness are inconsistent?

    There can be many influencing factors regarding this issue; for example, when replacing a bulb, the headlights were unevenly aligned and replaced with a bulb of a different brightness. However, other issues can cause the brightness to be uneven if you haven't had your headlights reinstalled. For example, your headlights haven't been cleaned for a long time and got dirty; the plastic cover got discoloured with age, and water fogged up inside the headlight cover. All of these can cause your headlights to dim.

    Maintenance and Repair Recommendations

    In addition to knowing the cause of inconsistent bulb brightness, maintaining and repairing your headlights is key to ensuring they function optimally. Follow these tips to keep your headlights balanced and bright.

    Daily Maintenance Tips

    • Check the headlight bulb regularly to ensure it is working properly.
    • Clean the lenses for maximum light output.
    • Ensure proper alignment
    • Check electrical connections
    • When one bulb goes out, replace both to maintain the same brightness.

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