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Why Dim Headlights? All Potential Causes and Solutions!

Why Dim Headlights? All Potential Causes and Solutions!

Have you ever asked yourself, “why dim headlights?” Here are potential causes and solutions:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  1. The ground wire might be corroded
  2. The inner gas of your bulb has discoloring issues
  3. Your alternator is not working properly
  4. The headlight lens is aging
  5. The alternator belt is loose

With early sunset due to the end of daylight-saving time, many people are now getting to their homes during dusk or sometimes when it's completely dark. Therefore, maintaining a good headlight is extremely critical for safety purposes, not only for you but also for the people around you.

Over time of use, your vehicle's headlights might get dimmer due to a variety of reasons. Understanding what causes dim headlights helps you prevent the issue if it's preventable. However, in some instances, dim headlights might be caused because of some problems to be resolved to enjoy better visibility in your next ride.

This article provides you with all you need to know about the importance of maintaining good headlights and the main reasons why your headlights are dimmer than before. Finally, it provides you with some solutions to resolve the issue without needing a mechanic if possible.

Why is it critical to resolve dim headlights?

Before we dive into the details about your question, “why dim headlights?” It's very important first to understand the importance of resolving dim headlight problems.

Your headlights are extremely critical to provide you with the best visibility, especially if you leave your house early morning and come back during dusk or complete darkness. Without a perfectly working headlight, you won't see enough in front of you, which becomes critical if the roads don't have sidelights to help improve your visibility.

For instance, with a good working headlight, you'll be able to see signs or unexpected obstacles that could make a big difference between life and death. Plus, your headlights help you see the obstacles early enough to avoid them, so you don't damage your vehicle and deal with very expensive repairs.

Therefore, experts recommend inspecting the headlights continuously, especially if you're approaching seasons where visibility relies heavily on the performance of your vehicle's headlights.

Furthermore, depending on the headlight issue, sometimes you might get pulled over because of headlight problems. For instance, if the headlights aren't dim enough to show that they're about to get burnt, you might get a ticket or probably get involved in a situation that is unpleasing with the police officer.

Why dim headlights?

Now we understand how critical it is to maintain your headlights, let's look at what could be the reason for your dimmer headlights:

  1. The ground wire might be corroded

One of the most common reasons for dimmer headlights is issues with the ground wire. The ground wire is typically connected between your vehicle’s chassis and the bulb circuit itself. It's not rare to deal with situations where the ground wire gets corroded over time of use, and as a result, you'll deal with electricity not flowing properly to the headlights, and that's why you will have issues with their outputs in your bulb.

  1. The inner gas of your bulb has discoloring issues

Another common reason for dimmer headlights is when the inner gas of your bulb builds a specific film that looks more like a brown or Gray substance to cause some discoloration. This issue is most common in vehicles equipped with halogen bulbs. The more the discoloring develops, the harder it is to get brighter light out of your bulb, and that's why you'll see that the headlight is dimmer than before, even if the bulb is in good condition. Therefore, experts recommend that you replace the bolt immediately to resolve the issue.

  1. Your alternator is not working properly

There is a very common misconception that your vehicle's battery is responsible for providing the electric current tour electrical components in your vehicle as you're driving it. However, that's not the case.

It's the alternator's responsibility to continuously charge the electric components by converting the engine's energy to electric current. Since the alternator is not designed to last forever, it might get to a point where it's not working properly. It cannot generate enough electricity to function all electric components. Thus, you'll notice that the headlights are not as bright as before.

Keep in mind that dimmer headlights are linked to a bad alternator which means that you don't necessarily need to replace the alternator whenever you notice your headlights are not bright as before. Thus, with recommending that you consult your mechanic to confirm the real culprit.

  1. The headlight lens is aging

In many scenarios, your headlights might look dimmer not because of a problem with the bulb or the flow of electricity, but in fact, it's a problem with the headlight lenses themselves.

As the headlight’s lenses age, they get yellower, which means that whatever light is coming out of the bulb won't, of the lens the way it should. Therefore, you'll find it's hard to see in front of you when driving during the night.

  1. The alternator belt is loose

Finally, the headlights might look dimmer because of another electricity issue but not necessarily the generator or the alternator. It could be just an issue with the loose alternator belt.

Luckily, this issue can be solved without installing any major component, which means that repair costs are not a big deal. All your mechanic needs to do is tighten the belt to the point where it is not loose, and the flow of electricity is good enough.

Keep in mind that before just tightening the alternator belt, your mechanic needs to perform a thorough visual inspection to confirm that there are no signs of cracks or other internal damages that require installing a new alternator belt.

If your dim lights had to deal with a bad alternator, then you're dealing with a critical situation, and repair costs can be slightly more than any other problem. Alternator replacement is between $500 and $1000, which depends heavily on your vehicle type and where you get the job done. InstallingIn addition, installing requires a specific l

How much does it cost to fix dim headlights?

Costs required to fix the dim headlights vary significantly depending on the cause of the problem. For example, if your issue has to do with the bulb itself, you can easily install a new one, and it should cost you Between $15 and $20 on parts and $50 on labor costs.

On the other hand, if the issue is an aging lens, you can easily perform a quick clean up using either toothpaste or probably baking soda. However, if the lens got to a point where you need to install new ones, it might cost you somewhere between $130 and $430 depending on your vehicle type and where you get the job done.

Why are my headlights still dim after replacing the bulb?

As we indicated earlier, your headlights might be dim not only because of a bad bulb but also of issues with other components. For instance, if the problem is related to a yellow or dark lens, you must get it cleaned or replaced. Similarly, if your problem has to do with a major component like the alternator, you need to have your mechanic inspected and confirmed that it's resolved or install a new component instead.

Can I make my headlights brighter?

Absolutely! If you tried resolving the issues in your vehicle’s headlights and you're still not happy about how bright they are, you can try some simple DIY's or upgrades to help improve the headlight brightness, which could be a great decision before certain seasons approach.

According to automotive experts, there are five different ways that you can try to make your headlights look brighter:

  1. Try using LED lights

One of the first things you might need to increase the brightness of your headlights is to try using LED or light-emitting diode lights. Although you might already be familiar with these types of lights as energy savers bought, they might provide you with about 500% brighter headlights than regular halogen bulbs.

The nice thing about the LED light is that they don't emit yellowish light. In fact, they rely on a bright white color which is much brighter than yellow and provides you with additional visibility while lasting for a long time without any breakdowns.

Manufacturers and other automotive experts are now switching to using LED lights and some high-end luxury vehicles. For instance, some cars like BMW and Audis rely on high-quality LED lights in their luxurious vehicles.

If you haven't converted your headlights from halogen to LED light before, you might want to learn more about certain conversion kits or consult your mechanic to understand better how this thing is done.

  1. Consider using HID bulbs

Other experts consider using the HID or the high-intensity discharge bulbs as the first and most common upgrade from regular halogen bulbs. These bulbs provide much brighter headlights and do not consume a lot of energy. In fact, expect your HID bulbs to last at least five times longer than the standard halogen lights.

There are plenty of available conversion kits to help you go from halogen bulbs, so and hi D both here. These kits have detailed instructions about what needs to be done for the best conversion without any issue.

  1. Clean the headlights lenses

As we indicated earlier, some of the common reasons for dimmer headlights do not have to do with the bulb itself; instead, it's related to an issue with the lens. Typically, lens problems occur more in older vehicles than brand new cars.

If, for any reason, your lenses look much dimmer, try using some of the available commercial kits that are designed specifically to restore your lenses and make them look brighter. If you're not comfortable using any of these commercial kits, you might want to try using some household products like baking soda and vinegar or probably toothpaste.

  1. Consider premium halogen bulbs

Finally, if you're not still happy with older mentioned options to upgrade or improve your headlight brightness, you might want to consider what's known as the premium halogen bulbs. These bulbs come with much higher quality, and they provide you with either 25% or 50% much more brightness than with your existing halogen bulb.

The nice thing about this option is that upgrading to the premium halogen bulbs does not require many repairs or costs, which means you can do it yourself without needing a mechanic.

Conclusion

Your vehicle's headlights are extremely critical components, and they play a major role, especially if you drive during nighttime when visibility is not as clear as it should be. Over time abuse, you might deal with a situation where you ask yourself, “why dim headlights?”

This article provided you with five different causes for dimmer headlights: problems with the bulb itself, issues with a headlight lens, and troubles with the alternator belt or the alternator itself.

Before you pay a penny in fixing the dimmer headlights, it's critical to evaluate the situation carefully. In other words, if you realize that repair costs are piling up and approaching 75% of your vehicle's value, you should consider selling your vehicle and using its value to purchase a car that doesn't have major issues.

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