Replacing Your Headlights


Driving at night with burned out or poor performing headlights is not only a safety hazard but it can yield you a nice ticket. If your headlights are barley visible you may as well be driving at night with sunglasses on. Sure that worked for the Blues Brothers but it is not really a recommended practice. If it is getting harder and harder at night to see the road in front of you it is time to check your headlights.

Most modern vehicle are equipped with headlights that have replaceable bulbs. Older cars and some newer trucks had sealed beam headlights which is the lamp assembly and bulb together as one. Each has their advantages and disadvantages which could be a topic all in its own for further discussion further down the road. Right now we will focus on something they both have in common which is poor performance due to age and deterioration. Both types can suffer the same consequences and when they fail or get weak your level of safety on the road declines. Not only is it harder for you to see at night but it is also harder for others to see you.

Both types will get week and eventually burn out. We have all seen that one car going down the road with a burned out headlight sometimes referred to as a “Popeye”. Not only can this yield you a nice fat ticket but it is a seriously unsafe way to drive. Both types eventually get fogged over and become opaque or yellowish limiting the amount of light output. Replaceable bulb style headlights tend suffer this condition more often than sealed beam style headlights. The lenses of replaceable bulb headlights are usually made of plastic and over time lose their clarity from road debris constantly scratching them. Sealed beam bulbs have glass lenses and tend to maintain their clarity longer.

So what do you do about these issues? How often should you change your headlight bulbs? What can be done to make foggy or discolored headlights better? How about the rest of the bulbs in my vehicle?

There is no definitive guide on the market that will tell you how long a headlight bulb will last. For a good general guideline we recommend checking the bulbs frequently for operation and change all of your headlight bulbs about every 18 months in pairs. This will minimize a chance of them blowing when you least expect it. This is only a recommendation. When it comes to headlights always replace in pairs.

Now there are several ways to deal with discolored, or foggy headlights. The best way to fix the issue is to replace the bulbs (sealed beams) or headlight assemblies (replaceable bulb headlights) once they are to dim to safely light the road. If you want to try and save some money there are also headlight cleaning kits available that can be quite successful if used correctly. These kits can bring back headlight lenses to about 75-90% of the original clarity. Although they can only be cleaned so many times before replacement becomes necessary. Going to the dealer for new headlights can be very expensive. There are a number of aftermarket alternatives on the market that are just as good and more economical. Downtown Auto Parts has a wide selection of new and used headlight assemblies and sealed beam headlight bulbs.

So what about turn signal, tail light, and other bulbs in your car? These are the most overlooked bulbs on a vehicle and yet having a burned out taillight or turn signal bulb can get you a ticket just as fast and is also a safety concern. Routinely check the rest of you light bulbs. It is fairly easy and quick to do. Just like headlamp bulbs we recommend to replace them in pairs. So if the right rear tail light is burned out save yourself a headache and replace both sides.

Bulb replacement is easy. If you still have the owners manual there is a 99% chance there are instructions in that manual on how to change them. If you do not have the manual or need some advice stop in at Downtown Auto Parts. The staff at Downtown Auto Parts has years of experience in auto repair and they are the best at helping you find the right bulbs and headlights for your vehicle. Downtown Auto Parts is your one stop shopping destination for everything automotive. The friendly, professional, and knowledgeable staff are

always there to help you in any way they can. Their years of experience with new and used auto parts and auto repair is world class and no one in Fort Lauderdale or South Florida knows your car better.

Stop in at Downtown Auto Parts even if you just have a question. There is no one else in South Florida that knows your vehicle better than these guys. Downtown Auto Parts has the largest selection hands down for new and used car parts in Fort Lauderdale Florida and they are always willing to help. Open 6 days a week for your convenience you will always be treated with the professionalism and integrity your expect and deserve.





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