Classic car - showing the grill and headlights

Check Your Lights!

Your car’s lights are an extremely important part of vehicle safety and performance. Both you and others rely on your car lights working properly for optimum protection when driving. Head lights, brake lights, turn signals, etc. play a key role in vehicle safety and should be checked periodically to ensure they are functioning correctly.

If you are like most drivers, you use your vehicle day in and day out and often assume all lights are working properly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, which may lead to unpleasant surprises. If you are not careful, you may discover dysfunctional headlights just as you are getting ready to drive home late from the office or face the loss of turn signals in the middle of a storm. By checking your lights periodically, you can avoid these unpleasant scenarios and others like them. Functional lights can not only prevent accidents, but avoid unnecessary complications and delays.

Checking car lights is rather simple and requires little time out of your busy schedule. By asking your spouse or older children to help, this routine check can go even faster. With you in the driver’s seat and your spouse or children outside the vehicle, begin turning on each light separately to verify it is working properly. You can start with your headlights’ low and high beams, and then proceed to turn signals (front and rear), parking lights, brake lights, emergency flashers, etc.

Your spouse or child can give their report on how each light is faring. If lights are weak or respond slower than usual, your “checker” should let you know. In some cases, you may be able to resolve the problem yourself by replacing a bulb or fuse. In case of electrical failure, you may need to take your vehicle to the shop to correct the problem.

You should also ensure all lights within your vehicle are working properly. This includes dash board lights, roof light, side door lights, etc. For frequent travelers, it wouldn’t hurt to always carry an emergency flare in the car for any eventuality. However, it is still a good idea to check inside lights periodically as well as carry extra fuses and bulbs in the car for when you have need.

Remember, the best course of action if your car’s lights seem unreliable is to have your vehicle serviced by a trusted professional. This is doubly important should you notice any continued warning light notifications, as this may indicate a serious issue with your vehicle. Don’t take chances with your safety!

Justin Habersaat is the Sr. Editor of Auto Content at Auto.com. http://www.Auto.com helps make online car buying simple and fun by providing pictures, prices and info on cars for sale in cities all over the USA, as well as articles, tips and guidance to make the car shopping process a cinch.