Category Archives: Headlights

How to adjust and aim your car's headlights

How to adjust and aim your car's headlights

If you find yourself needing to replace one or both of your vehicle's headlights (also called headlamps), you'll need to adjust them to aim correctly. Your headlights may also need adjusting if you're planning on transporting a heavy load that can make the front of your car aim upward. To do the job yourself, first, drive your car close to a wall, facing it straight on, then bounce it, front and back, to settle the suspension. Turn on your headlights, then make a T with tape in the center of each light beam on the wall, making sure the lines are level and at the same height, advises wikiHow.  Back your car 25 feet from the wall, exactly, although different manufacturer's require different distances, so check your owner's manual first. Turn on the lights and remove the trim to reveal the screws that adjust the lights, one for vertical and one for horizontal, according to wikiHow. Cover one headlight while you check the other. A clockwise turn of the screw ad ... read more

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Headlights

When to use your car's fog lights

When to use your car's fog lights

If you've ever driven in thick fog, you no doubt know not to use your car's high beam headlights. That's because regular headlights shine directly into the fog, bouncing the light right back at you, making it more difficult to see.  That's where fog lights come in. As the name implies, your car's fog lights are intended to be used so that you can see better while driving in heavy fog, mist, snow and even sand and dust, according to Lifewire. Fog lights are different from regular headlights, which have high-beam and low-beam functions. The difference lies in their shape. They are bar-shaped and aimed sharply toward the ground, providing short-range visibility only just in front of your vehicle, according to Lifewire. By contrast, regular high- and low-beam lights aim straight ahead, lighting up the road to a further distance. When it's foggy, that light reflects back into your eyes, making it difficult to see. By aiming downward, fog lights eliminate this ... read more

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Headlights

Check your car's headlights

Check your car's headlights

Have you ever been pulled over by police becuase one of your headlights is out? You may not have noticed it. Headlights are one of those components of your car that you probably take for granted - until they don't work. Headlights are necessary in order for you to see to drive at night or in rain, snow or fog. But they are also important in the fact that they allow others to see your vehicle so that everyone on the road can drive safely. In fact, some states require headlight use in the daytime. Check your headlights periodically, to make sure they are in good working order. Problems can include a burned out or dim bulb, or inability to switch to low beams. Causes can be your car's battery, bad wires, a bad alternator or a loose alternator belt. If one bulb has burned out, replace both at the same time for consistent lighting. Your vehicle's owner's manual lists what type you need. In addition to a burned-out bulb, headlights may malfunction from a glitch in your car ... read more

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Headlights

Keep that Light Shining Bright - Headlight Restoration

Keep that Light Shining Bright - Headlight Restoration

The headlight lenses on my 2001 Honda Odyssey have clouded over the years, and I have had them professionally restored/polished to make them clear. I have also done the restoration polishing twice myself. While I have been successful in restoring the lenses to almost new condition each time, my questions are: 1) What causes the lenses to cloud over time—is it UV exposure, chemical exposure or something else? 2) Is there something I can do to prevent, reduce or mitigate the cause of the plastic getting cloudy? 3) Since the headlight restoration product I use (Rain-X Headlight Restorer) acts like a mild abrasive, is there a limit to how many times I can use this product until I wear out or damage the headlight lens to the point where polishing will not work anymore? I have two newer cars in the family that have not shown any headlight lens clouding yet, and I would like to do what I can to avoid having to keep on polishing the lenses. What do you suggest?   Doug:  Gre ... read more

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Headlights

HID headlights

HID headlights

Q. I read your column weekly in the Daily Herald and have learned some interesting information about automobiles, but I have a question on headlights. I was wondering if there is an industry standard for brightness of automobile headlights? I have noticed lately that some of the headlights are so bright that I am blinded by them. It used to be they were just normal brightness and it did not interfere with your driving ability but sometimes I have to squint to stay on course. Any thoughts on this? A. Thanks for your question. It could be that the lights that appear extra bright to you are actually the bright lights that someone inadvertently left on or maladjusted headlights. If a headlight is adjusted too high it will appear very bright to an oncoming driver. I suspect however that you are referring to HID (high-intensity discharge) lights that are more and more common on cars today. It used to be they were reserved for the expensive luxury import market but now they are becoming ve ... read more

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Headlights
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