Despite all of the incredible safety upgrades cars have experienced within the last ten years, the best safety feature remains your headlights. With improperly maintained headlights, you can't see where you're going, and other drivers also can't see you. Whether you frequently drive at night or just occasionally, you have to take care of your headlights to remain safe when driving. This is especially true before you take a road trip or a long drive.
Check Your Lenses
Have your lenses gotten foggy over time? One of the main reasons you can tell an older car from a newer car is because their lenses have become yellow and opaque. This isn't just a cosmetic issue. An opaque lens is going to disrupt light, preventing it from illuminating the road properly. If your lenses are no longer bright and clear, it may be time to have them replaced.
Check for Brightness
Do you know exactly how bright your headlights are? As your headlights dim, you might just get used to them. Over time, your once bright lights become more difficult to see, and though you may have adjusted to using them, other people may not be able to see you. Additionally, you might think you can see clearly, but actually, you may be missing many things within the dim light. Checking for brightness should be done at least every few months, so you can tell whether you need to replace them.
Check for Focus
Where are your beams aimed? Many people may not realize that their headlights aren't aimed properly until they go to check. Your headlights should be professionally aligned, as they can become misaligned any time your car is "rattled." That can include difficult terrain or driving over things such as potholes and train tracks.
Always Replace in Pairs
It may seem cost-effective just to replace the one light that's burned out. But you should always replace your lights in pairs. Headlights don't go from "on" to "off." Instead, they get progressively dimmer over time, eventually turning off entirely. If you replace only a single light, then you'll have lights of uneven brightness. When driving, this can make it difficult for you to judge what you're seeing, as you'll be dealing with an environment that has different levels of brightness. For others drivers, they may misjudge your distance or orientation.
Of course, headlights aren't the only thing that you should check regularly. You also need to check your brake lights, tail lights, turn signals, daytime running lights and any additional lights to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive.
Luckily, at Concierge Auto Repair, we are currently offering a FREE Seasonal Check-Up! It includes a cooling/heating system check, brake check, all fluid check, suspension check, headlight, taillight & brake lights check, radiator & coolant check, belts & hoses check, tire safety check and a dash warning light scan. Call or stop by today to learn more and to schedule your car's next maintenance appointment.