Help my headlights stopped working what can I do? - One Guy Garage
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Car and Truck headlight and headlamp problems and solutions

What are car and truck headlights and what are they used for?

Headlights are the lights on the front (or head) of the car or truck, they are used to light up the road ahead of you when driving in situations that require light to be able to see. The three most common bulbs are: halogen, LED, and HID (Xenon). typically a halogen light will last between 450-1000 hours, a LED light will last on average 10,000-50,000 hours, normally a HID light will last 2,000-3,000 hours.

Halogens the most common headlight and the oldest of the 3 as they are cheaper for car manufacturers to include pre installed on their vehicles but unfortunatly aren't as energy efficient or as bright as LED's or HID's. Many consumers are choosing to upgrade to LED headlights as they have come down in price and are avaible as factory replacement bulbs. They are brighter and more energy efficient. One Guy Garage auto parts carries LED replacement kits for the most common car and truck headlight bulbs. HID bulbs are also a popular headlight bulb upgrade as they are typically the brightest bulb of the three choices. The downside with HID headlight bulbs however is that over time they will lose a considerable amount of light output before completely burning out.

How to identify a failing headlight bulb?

While this might seem like a dumb question to ask not all problems are the result of a faulty headlight bulb. They are multiple systems tied into a vehicles lighting system that may cause issues with your headlights ability to light up the road ahead. 

Broken or failing it's necessary to replace the headlight as soon as possible to avoid road mishaps or a fine from the police, if a headlight stops working while driving on the road at night there could be serious consequences as it will severely limit visibility and could cause you to hit an animal, pedestrian, or another car in the right circumstances. to prevent this it's important to identify failing headlights so they don't break on the road.

1. a good way to tell if a headlight is about to fail is if the brightness level has dropped dramatically or in some cases primarily when using halogens, the lights are significantly brighter or "burning out" which is describing it literally.

2. Flickering headlights are also a tell tale sign the headlights are beginning to fail it's crucial not to ignore a flickering headlight either as when it reaches this point it's on the road to failure.

3. You simply have no light at all

How to fix a broken headlight

when your headlight does eventually break it's necessary to get it fixed as soon as possible and if the headlights just burnt out it will be a very simple fix in as little as five steps.


1. Shut off your car or truck, you don't want to accidentally get caught in the belt of a running engine.

2. Open the hood, do this to locate and access the headlight holder or mount of the car or truck.

3. Disconnect the existing headlight bulb, there will usually be 3 three wires connected to the headlights remove these, remember to push down on the clip/cap holding the wires in place and be careful not to damage the clip.

4. Remove the headlight bulb when you get to this point unscrew the bulb while avoiding touching the glass if possible and either set it to the side or throw it in the trash to ensure it won't be in the way while working. Broken glass from these bulbs can cut you. 

5. Replace the old bulb put in the new headlight bulb but be sure not to touch the glass of the bulb if you do touch the glass of the bulb it will cause problems due to your natural oils on the skin will bind with the glass and cause it to either fail before warranted or burst when heated.

My headlights still are not lit up

If replaceing the headlight bulbs has still not repaired your failing headlight there are other systems in the vehicle that you must check. 

First check the fuses usually under the dashboard or under the hood. The correct fuse to check should be identified either on the cap of the fuse box or in the owners manual. 

If replacing a damaged fuse still does not resolve the issue you may need to take your car or truck to a mechanic for evaluations. 

Replacement headlight bulbs and assemblies

One Guy Garage auto parts carries headlight bulbs and complete headlight assemblies to get you back on the road quickly. At our local Lethbridge Alberta store we stock and ship across Canada the most common halogen replacement bulbs as well as LED upgrade kits. If you require a complete headlight assembly we are able to locate these parts as well.