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November 17, 2020UK Cars With Defective Headlights

Halfords’ research has shown that there are more than 4.6 million road users who are driving with defective headlights. Doing this is breaking the law and can lead to being issued with a penalty.

Mercedes car headlights

Other findings from Halfords’ study showed that 12% of drivers have been aware of their defective headlights when driving on the roads and that 60% of road-users don’t know how to change their car’s headlight bulb. So with this in mind, let’s take a look at how we can rectify this issue. 

The risk of driving with defective car headlights

Car headlights are used to help when visibility is poor, and without the use of fully-working headlights, our risk of an accident increases significantly. 

Driving with defective headlights can:

  • Cause people to make a wrong judgement in gaps on the road when overtaking
  • Cause people to think that a car is actually a motorbike
  • Increase the risk of being hit should the car breakdown

The same goes for broken brake lights; these can increase the risk of an accident as other road-users will have less time to react should your car slow down or stop.

Defective headlights in summer

Throughout the summer months, road-users are more likely to forget to check their car’s lights, which is not only illegal but also means that when autumn and winter come around, it’s likely that there will be more people on the road driving without working headlights. This can lead to an increase in accidents, traffic jams and penalties being issued.

How to check that your headlights are working properly

In light of this, it’s advised that drivers check their vehicle’s headlights at least every two weeks in addition to their usual tyre, oil and coolant checks. 

Your headlights can be checked easily: either use a reflective surface like your garage door, windows, or a wall, or ask a friend to help. Turn your headlights on and check that both are bright, if one or both aren’t working or one looks dimmer/more yellow than the other, you will want to change your headlights. 

It’s advisable to change both of your headlight bulbs at the same time for two reasons:

  • If one of your headlights is defective, it’s likely that the other one will follow soon
  • Replacing your headlights at the same time will ensure that they’re both just as bright and the same colour

How to replace a headlight bulb

Generally speaking, changing a headlight bulb is straightforward, as the bulbs that are commonly used today are halogen high-intensity-discharge (HID) or light-emitting-diode (LED) bulbs. 

Car headlight bulbs are attached with the use of thin wire clips or by rotating bayonet-style retainers. Car headlight bulbs can be gently pushed out from their casing once the headlight housing has been removed. The bulbs can then be detached from the wiring and replaced with a new bulb.*

  • *Make sure that you identify the right replacement bulb before doing so – this can be checked in your owner’s manual, or turn to a car technician who can do it for you. 

Why is it difficult to remove my car’s headlight bulb?

For vehicles where the above isn’t so straightforward, it might be the case that you need to gain access through the car bonnet or through the rotating panels found inside the front wheel wells.

For help and assistance with your vehicle’s headlights, whether the bulbs have blown or the headlight housing is damaged, contact Treadfirst. We provide a range of comprehensive services including headlight lens restoration which is an economical solution, so feel free to get in touch to book in your car servicing and repairs or MOT today.

Get in touch today for the best quality advice, competitive pricing and a personal service

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