Help! My Headlights Keep Burning Out

Help! My Headlights Keep Burning Out

27th Feb 2020

car headlight

Headlight Burn Out

Headlights are an essential feature in modern-day automobiles that increase visibility at night as well as during rainy, foggy, snowy or otherwise bad weather. No headlights last forever, though. Depending on the type, as well as the climate in which they are used, you can expect a lifespan of about 500 to 1,000 hours of usage out of your vehicle's headlights. If you find yourself replacing your vehicle's headlights more frequently, there's probably an underlying problem that's responsible for their shorter-than-average lifespan.

Avoid Contact With New Bulbs

When installing new headlights in your vehicle, use caution to ensure that you don't directly touch the bulbs with your fingers. What's wrong with touching the headlight bulbs exactly? Assuming they are halogen or high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs -- two of the most common types of headlight bulbs -- touching them may shorten their lifespan.

If you touch a headlight bulb with your bare fingers, some of the natural oils on your skin will transfer to the bulb. Unfortunately, the presence of this oil will cause the bulb to heat and cool at a different rate on the area where you touched it. Long story short, the bulb may burn out more quickly. You can still touch headlight bulbs, but it's recommended that you wear latex or rubber gloves to protect them from oils on your skin.

Secure Bulbs Firmly in Place

In addition to avoiding direct contact, you should secure the new headlight bulbs firmly in place. If a bulb is loose, it may burn out prematurely. Most vehicles have clips that connect to and secure headlight bulbs in place. You'll typically have to remove these clips when replacing your vehicle's headlights. After taking out the old bulb, though, don't forget to attach the clip back to the new bulb. If the bulb is loose, it may burn out prematurely.

Consider LED Headlights

You can probably extend the life of your vehicle's headlights by switching to light-emitting diode (LED). As previously mentioned, most vehicles use HID or halogen headlights. While effective at producing illumination, though, they both have a shorter lifespan than LED headlights.

It's not uncommon for LED headlights to last over 10,000 hours. Some, in fact, can last for up to 30,000. That's about 30 times longer than halogen headlights. And unlike both halogen and HID headlights, LED headlights aren't affected by oils from your skin. You touch them while wearing gloves or with your bare fingers, and they won't succumb to damage.