Top 5 Headlight Problems & How to Fix Them

5 Common Headlight Problems

Front headlight problems

When one or both headlights burn out or stop working, you need to get them fixed ASAP both for safety on the road and to avoid a ticket. Here's what might be going on with your headlights and how to get them back up and running again.

#1 - Dull or Dim Headlights

When your headlights are dull: 

1. The plastic on your headlight covers is oxidized from worn UV coatings


2. Your headlight bulbs are burning out. 

It's rare both bulbs will burn out at the same time. If both headlights are burnt out, see problem #4. 

How to Fix Dull Headlights

If your headlight covers are the culprit, wash them with soap and water or pick up a headlight cover brightening kit from your local hardware store. 

If your headlight bulbs are dim, disassemble the ground cable connections and clean them, then reconnect the cables. If there's brownish or gray residue on the glass bulbs, replace the headlights, taking care not to touch halogen bulbs with your fingers - the oil on your fingers can cause them to heat unevenly and burn out faster.

#2 - Flickering Headlights

auto headlights in the dark

When headlights flicker, the bulbs could be dying or there could be an issue with the connections or internal wiring.

What to Do When You Have Flickering Headlights

Take your car to a mechanic to see if your car has electrical issues. Hopefully, your headlights are flickering simply due to a poor connection. 

#3 - One Headlight Doesn't Work

If just one headlight is burnt out, the bulb is the most likely issue.

What to Do If One Headlight is Out: 

Before replacing the burnt-out bulb, save yourself a trip by checking the appearance and connection of the other bulb, too. It often makes sense to replace the second bulb at the same time as the first one. 

#4 - Both Headlights Are Out

If both headlights are out, check for power to rule out burnt-out bulbs, but you likely have a wiring issue or a blown fuse.

What to Do if Both Headlights are Out: 

If you know how, replace the main fuse for your headlight circuit. Otherwise, head to the auto shop.

#5 - Only High Beams Work

 High beams working without low beams indicate a bad relay or a wiring issue.  

What to Do if Only Your Low Beams Don't Work: 

Take your car to a mechanic to have them investigate and repair the source of the problem.

Keep Your Headlights in Top Condition 

Keeping your headlights in great condition means more than just avoiding a ticket-  visible, functioning headlights are critical to your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Find Cheap Used Headlight Parts at Sturtevant Auto

If you’re comfortable fixing your headlights on your own or you know someone who will do it for you, buying used headlights can save you cash. Call Sturtevant Auto today to find affordable used headlights for your car.