Vehicle lighting is essential to your on-road safety.
Now that winter is officially here, the days are getting darker earlier and the weather conditions can often be wet or foggy. It’s time to ask yourself - are your vehicle’s lights working?
The lights on your vehicle allow you to see and be seen. If you’ve noticed that your lighting is inadequate or uneven, now is the time to address the issue. Most lights on your vehicle can be easily assessed by yourself, though in some instances, such as checking your brake lights, it is helpful to have a second person at hand to assist.
What lights should you be checking?
Interior lights are generally considered to be low maintenance, whereas exterior lighting is considered more complex. Exterior lights are exposed to a variety of environments, climates and road conditions all of which can make them more prone to damage or failure.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the different lights on your vehicle, what to be mindful of and what to do if you notice a light that isn’t operating properly.
Many modern vehicles are equipped with self-levelling headlights that adjust the angle of the headlight based on road conditions and how heavily the vehicle is loaded. In instances where this isn’t the case, you will need to assess and manually adjust your headlights as needed.
There are a range of bulbs available on the market today and these include halogen bulbs, LEDs and Xenon bulbs. In any instance, all headlight bulbs will ultimately need replacing at some point. Any time you do replace the headlight bulbs, it’s important to check your headlights to ensure that the hot-spot of the beam is slightly lower than the height of your car’s headlights. This ensures that you aren’t blinding on-coming traffic.
Always refer to your owner’s manual before replacing any type of headlight bulb to ensure that the replacement bulb is suited to your vehicle.
All vehicles have three sets of indicator lights. These communicate your intended maneuvers to other road users. There is a pair of indicator lights on the front, the rear and the sides of the vehicle.
When checking the lights on your vehicle, it is important to confirm that all three sets of indicator lights are correctly functioning.
Brake lights allow other motorists to anticipate your maneuvers to react as quickly as possible. In instances where you are required to brake suddenly or unexpectedly, working brake lights are of high importance.
When it comes to checking the working condition of your brake lights, having someone to help makes this a much easier task. If this is not possible, backing your car up close to a wall at night and pressing down on the brake should produce a red glow on the wall that would indicate whether the brake lights are operational.
Alternatively, in some vehicles, the hazard lights use the same bulbs as the brake lights. In this instance, pressing the hazard lights button can be done to assess the working condition of your brake lights.
Number plate lights:
In Australia it is a requirement that rear number plates be illuminated by a light so that they can be clearly seen at night. The light comes on with the park lights and stays on with the headlights.
To check if your number plate lights are still working, simply turn on your headlights.
What to do if a vehicle light isn’t working?
If you notice that any of the lights on your vehicle aren’t working, or appear dim, it is advisable to take instant action. Ignoring an ineffective light poses a serious safety concern and may result in a fine or defect notice.
Always refer to your owner’s manual for information specific to your vehicle and the correct type of light globe to use. Alternatively, contact your local BestDrive store for assistance. Your on-road safety is our priority. Our qualified technicians offer a range of services, including preventative general maintenance, wheel alignments, battery replacements and tyre fitments.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.