Let Your Car’s Light Bulbs Shine with a Replacement Plan
Your vehicle has a lot of light bulbs that illuminate the road and its surroundings.
There’s no need to wait until bulbs burn out before getting them replaced. In fact, replacing bulbs regularly provides a simple, effective way to improve road safety.
According to research by AAA Foundation for Auto Safety, clouded or yellowed lenses lose 80% of their brightness. Sunlight, especially those intense summer days, deteriorates plastic headlight coverings causing them to cloud or yellow.
The AAA study identified replacing sun-damaged headlight coverings with manufacturer parts as the most effective way to increase headlight brightness.
The problem is exacerbated by old headlight bulbs. Tests by manufacturers such as Philips Automotive have shown traditional headlight bulbs lose as much as 20% within two years.
Replacing bulbs and sun-damaged lenses play an important role in vehicle safety. If you’re driving on a rural highway at night, improving brightness can mean the difference between spotting a road hazard and having enough time to react.
Follow these headlight tips to help prevent autumn nights from keeping you and your vehicle in the dark. Consult with your service advisor about replacing your headlight bulbs and, possibly, treating or replacing the lens itself.
- Are your headlights clouded or yellowed? According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, that means your headlights may generate as little as 20% of their original brightness.
- Headlight bulb intensity diminishes by up to 20% in the first two years if driven up to 15,000 miles per year (does not include LED bulbs).
- Are the beams aimed correctly? Potholes and bumps can throw off the settings. If the cones of light coming from the headlights look cock-eyed, ask your service advisor to check the direction of the beams and make necessary adjustments. Headlight alignment improves road safety for both you and any on-coming drivers.
- Ask about upgrading older bulbs to high performance halogen or Xenon bulbs.
- LED bulbs found in newer vehicles may last for years and provide a consistent level of brightness to their end of life. Like all bulbs, however, LED lights eventually burn out and need replacement.
Here’s a checklist of vehicle light bulbs that illuminate the road and keep you safe. Ask your service advisor to check these lights during your scheduled vehicle maintenance:
- Headlights (LED, Xenon HD or Filament/Halogen)
- Fog lights
- Exterior bulbs
- Interior bulbs
- Incandescent lights
- Sealed beam lights