There are many different lights on the inside and the outside of your vehicle and at some point one/some of these may develop a fault.
If you are having issues with your headlights, or they have just stopped working completely your car cannot be on the road. Although these can be fixed in 4 steps.
- Turn on your headlights. Replace whichever headlight bulbs do not turn on. Although the process for replacing a headlight bulb varies by the make and model of your vehicle. In general remove the bulb: disconnect the wiring harness from the rear of the headlight assembly, disengage the retaining clip and pull out the bulb. Insert the replacement and secure it with the retaining clip, then plug it back into the wiring harness. Test the headlights again. Continue to the next step if the headlights still don’t work.
- Open the engine compartment fuse box. Pull the fuse that operates the non-functioning headlight circuit. Inspect the fuse for discolouration, replace as it is needed. Then turn on the headlights again. Continue to the next step if still no result.
- Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the negative terminal on the car battery. Then connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the positive lead of the wiring harness. The positive lead has power coming through it and is usually the red wire. Verify that power is coming through the wiring harness. Replace it if no power is coming through. Turn the headlights on again and they should be on now. Although if you still have no luck, you should continue on to the next step.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable from the car battery. Then remove the bezel around the steering column of the steering wheel. Unplug the wiring block from the back of the headlight switch. Check whether the contacts on the wiring block or headlight switch are discoloured. Clean them gently with a pencil eraser. Then finally plug back in and turn the headlights on again. If they still don’t work, you may need to replace the headlight switch.
You can be flagged by a traffic officer if your car tail lights are broken, so don’t waste anytime fixing them. Read on to learn how you can fix your tail lights.
- Check the fuse. A blown fuse usually causes both lights to go out. Although a Fuse can be blown due to other problems, so you’ll need to check more than just the fuse, but it’s the right place to start. Look in your owner’s manual to determine where the fuse box is located in your car. It’s usually under the dashboard. The manual will have a labelled picture of the fuse box showing which fuse is which. Making sure the ignition is off, take the cover off the fuse box and locate the tail light fuse. Use a flashlight to inspect the fuse and determine whether it’s blown.
- If the piece of metal inside the tail light is intact, the fuse is still good.
- If the piece of metal looks broken or fractured, the fuse has blown and will need replacing.
- Look at the trailer kit wiring. These are the wires that lead to the tail lights, located inside the lid of the trunk. Open the trunk and take a look. You can see where the wires should connect in order for the electrical system to properly work. If a wire has become loose, then reattach it.
- Check the tail light bulbs. If the fuse and wiring look right, the bulbs themselves might be the problem. To check them, unscrew the tail light lenses from the outside using a screwdriver. If your lenses don’t have screws, open the boot/trunk so you can access the lights from the inside. Unscrew the bulbs in question and check them the way you would any household bulb; by looking at the thin metal wire inside them to determine if it is still intact.
- If the bulb is out, you’ll need to replace it.
- If the bulb is fine, your car may have a deeper electrical problem. If the fuse, tail light wires and the bulb are all in good shape, it’s definitely time to bring your vehicle to us to fix it.
- Check the tail light lenses. Whether or not you were able to fix the problem of your tail lights working correctly by examining the fuse, wiring and light bulb, it’s important to check the lenses as well to make sure they’re not cracked or broken. Water entering a lens could blow a fuse!