How to Know When It's Time to Replace Your Headlights

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Headlights

All too many drivers wait until there is no other option to replace their headlights or headlamps. In doing so, many put themselves at increased risk of an accident, getting pulled over or experiencing more severe complications with their vehicle.

By changing your headlights and headlight bulbs in a timely manner, you can prevent any complications from worsening or lasting for longer than what is necessary. The following is an overview of how to know when it is time to replace your headlight bulbs and headlights.

When to Change The Headlight Bulbs

Headlight bulbs are to be changed far more frequently than the headlamps. It is easy to change the bulbs without the assistance of a mechanic, and you can easily find bulbs at Headlights Depot.

Every two years

The lifespan of your headlight bulbs depends on a range of factors, including how much the car is driven at night. In general, headlight bulbs last around 750 hours, and it is best to change them around 500 miles before issues develop. Another good rule to follow is that if you have used the same bulbs for more than two years, it is encouraged to change them as soon as possible to avoid any issues.

Dim headlights

Dim headlights do not always mean there is an issue with the bulbs, and you might be required to change the entire headlights as well. However, bulbs generally start bright and working great and slowly go out over time. Therefore, if the headlight lens is clean, then the bulb may require replacement.

Flickering headlights

Flickering bulbs are an early sign that their time is limited. If the lights begin to go in and out while driving, then it is best to order a new set of headlight bulbs. In most cases, flickering headlights are not a huge concern and the vehicle can be driven limited distances until the new bulbs arrive, but it does suggest that they do not have long.

A headlight is out

In almost every instance, the lights will go out at separate times. Any driver who gets to the point where they are driving with only one headlight working, it is time to purchase new headlight bulbs for both headlights(not just the one that is working). Without new bulbs, the second headlight will likely go out soon as well.

When to Change The Headlights

A common mistake many make is replacing the headlight bulbs only to find the problem is not solved. There are times when the headlights – which is often referred to as the headlamps – need changing, rather than the headlight bulbs alone. In other instances, the driver may prefer to change the headlights for aesthetic reasons or to fix damage.

Headlights are outdated

Headlights can last anywhere from fifteen to twenty years on average before it is best to replace them. For vehicles that were made before the year 2000 that still have the original headlights, it is often recommended to change them. This ensures they are not too foggy from dirty lenses and normal wear and tear and the driver is able to see as they should while driving at night.

Headlights are damaged

Anytime the headlights are damaged, it is best to replace them with a new set. Of course, after an accident in which the headlights are severely damaged, the car likely cannot be driven until there are new ones installed. For small chips or scratches, the driver may still risk getting pulled over or not being able to see as well at night.

Your car needs a makeover

There does not have to be anything technically wrong with your headlights to replace them with a new and improved set. In some instances, a new set of headlights can significantly improve the vehicle’s appearance. Whether you are preparing a car to sell it or want to give your current vehicle a makeover, consider changing the headlights if they are dirty or outdated.

You have dim headlights

As mentioned previously, dim headlights are often a sign of a larger issue than just burned out bulbs. In some instances, the headlight lenses are dirty or damaged, which can make even the highest quality bulbs not shine through the way they should. If this is the case, then it is best to order a new set of headlights.

How to Make Your Headlights Last

While all headlights and headlight bulbs have an expiration date, there are certain things owners can do to make the most of them while they last and keep them working properly and looking great.

First and foremost, avoid damage by driving carefully and ensuring a fender bender due to tailgating does not occur. Ideally, it is best to follow the two-second rule, which states to stay two seconds back from the vehicle in front of you while driving.

It is also helpful to keep the vehicle clean by storing it under cover (garage, carport, etc.) when possible and cleaning them often. To extend the life of your bulbs, be sure to keep them turned off when not in use.

Find Your New Headlights at Headlights Depot

Are your headlights or headlight bulbs outdated, damaged, not working the way they are supposed to or just plain ugly?

If so, you might want to consider checking out headlight inventory at Headlights Depot and purchasing a new headlight set that looks great and allows you to see the road better while driving at night. With a plethora of options, you’ll be able to receive high-quality headlights, bulbs, taillights and more for numerous different makes and models.

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Aaron Westbury
Aaron is a content writer with a passion for cars. He enjoys learning new things and loves to share what he learns with others. Aaron also has a Bachelor's in English and years of experience as a writer, and he constantly seeks to improve and make his writing more informative and helpful for readers. Although a writer by day, Aaron enjoys his free time by getting outdoors and staying active anyway he can.

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    1. Please also note that if you have a vehicle with H.I.D headlights flickering can be a bad ballast!

    2. Very informative information especially because most people don’t realize their headlights are outdated or that they can do things like changing a bulb themselves.

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