How to check your car bulbs
Checking that your vehicle's lights are in good operational condition should form part of your regular vehicle maintenance check. Here are some of our simple checks to help you:
- Headlamps should be cleaned to remove dirt to provide optimum light output, as dirt on the headlamp unit can cause refraction of the light that can lead to glare for other road users. Similarly in wintry conditions, you should clean any snow off your lights before starting your journey so that other drivers can see you.
- Ask a friend or partner to help you check brake lights and indicator lights by observing the lights while you apply the brake pedal and indicators respectively.
- It’s not always immediately obvious when a car bulb blows. If visibility seems poor or other road users flash their lights at you, check your bulbs are operating correctly as they may be trying to warn you about bulb failure.
- If you can hear one of your indicators blinking faster than usual, it means there is a fault or the indicator bulb has blown. You should try to rectify this as soon as possible as other road users won’t be able to see you turning.
- You should try to replace your bulbs in pairs. If a bulb has blown and it is one of a pair of lights replacing both will give consistent light output.
Questions and Answers
Can I replace car bulbs with LED?
The bulbs that can be replaced by LEDs include side, fog, indicator, brake, tail, number plate and interior lights. These can all be upgraded without wiring changes. LEDs are only legal when used as interior bulbs or off-road.
Are LED lights good for cars?
LED lights for cars allow you to see more. Even with the higher prices, in the long run, you will end up saving as they last a good long while and need few to no replacements. LED bulbs last approximately 15,000 hours compared to the 1,000 hours of the halogen bulbs.