Now offering Detailing Services at all locations or at your home! Learn More

5 Signs Your Car Needs Bulb Replacement or Headlight Service

Some vehicle lighting issues are impossible to miss, while others can be “out of sight, out of mind”—until they cause a problem. As a critical part of your car’s safety, it is essential to keep your vehicle lights in working order. Our local mechanics are here with five signs you need light service. 

1. Unusual Beeping Sounds

Are you noticing your turn signal making an unusual beeping sound? This sound could be your car’s way of letting you know your indicator bulb is out. The burnt-out bulb will send an irregular current through your system, causing it to beep faster. This helpful change of pace lets drivers know it is time for turn signal bulb replacement. 

2. Trouble Seeing on the Road

Naturally, your headlights should help you see the road clearly at night. In some cases, a headlight bulb will give out all at once. In other cases, your headlight problems can onset gradually—making the issue harder to spot. However, if you are experiencing difficulties seeing on the road at night, have your headlights inspected by a local mechanic. You can find information about five reasons your headlights may be dimming here

3. Road Rage and Driving Mishaps

Most drivers can go several days, weeks, or even months without hearing another car’s horn beeping at them. However, even the most careful drivers can seem reckless or inconsiderate when driving with a broken safety light. 

For example, while you might always use your turn signal properly, other drivers will not see it with a burnt-out bulb. In these cases, a well-indicated turn can seem unexpected to the driver behind you. If you find yourself confused by the responses you are getting on the road, take a moment to check your lighting for issues. 

Additionally, your vehicle lights are installed to promote safety and prevent accidents. Naturally, when one of your lights is out, you might find yourself experiencing close calls on the road. However, a close call can quickly become a full-blown car accident without prompt service. This danger is why it is essential to have faulty bulbs replaced as soon as possible. 

4. Routine Vehicle Lighting Checks

The easiest way to determine if you have a vehicle lighting problem is to check for issues manually. This inspection is easy to do on your own—and even easier with a friend. With your car parked in a safe location, initiate your headlights, turn signals, and reverse lights one at a time. Have your companion let you know if they’re working effectively. 

The process is similar when working on your own, except that you will have to do both roles—turning on each light, exiting your car, and checking its performance. The only bulbs that can be challenging to see independently are your reverse lights. To check your reverse lights on your own, you have a few options:

  • Set up your phone’s camera to record your vehicle in reverse. 
  • Turn on your parking brake and put your vehicle in reverse. Double-check to ensure your parking brake is working to prevent vehicle movement before exiting your car to check the reverse lights. 
  • If all else fails, ask a mechanic to check your reverse lights. They will do this for free—and it takes just a few moments. 

5. Failing Your Annual Car Inspection

As mentioned above, your lights are a vital car safety feature. As such, all safety lighting must work effectively to earn a pass on your annual car inspection. Drivers may fail the inspection for a burnt-out turn signal, brake light, tail light, or headlight. You can read our guide to everything checked during your car’s safety inspection here

Other Car Lighting Issues

If you don’t find a burnt-out bulb, you might have another vehicle underlying issue. Let’s take a look at some reasons your car’s lights might not be working—even with well-functioning bulbs:

  • Lens issues: Your lenses are made of professional-grade acrylic. This material allows your lights to shine through while thoroughly protecting the bulb. However, the sun’s UV rays can oxidize the acrylic over time, making your lenses foggy, yellow, and opaque. A headlight restoration service carefully removes the oxidized layer of your lenses to improve your light visibility. 
  • Wiring issues: In other cases, your vehicle lighting issue could be caused by a wiring mishap. This issue is especially probable if you recently attempted DIY lighting or electrical solutions. A professional mechanic can find and repair the wiring issues to restore your light’s functionality. 
  • Power troubles: While gas cars are powered by fuel, their electrical elements (like the lighting) will rely on the battery and alternator. Depending on your lighting type and vehicle, your car lights might start dimming as an early indicator of battery failure. Click here for our guide to the four most common signs you are due for a new car battery
  • Vehicle configurations: It is worth double-checking to ensure your lights are turned on to your preferred setting. While it might seem obvious, it is easy to flip a switch or change your settings without realizing it. In the rare case that your car’s lights are turned off rather than broken, this quick check can save you an extra trip to the mechanic. 

Local Car Bulb Replacement and Headlight Service

When your car has lighting troubles, the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. You can bring your vehicle to one of our 11 Triangle-area locations—or let us come to YOU with our pick-up and delivery service. We welcome you to make an appointment or give us a call to get started today!

Back to Resources