Have you checked your lights lately? 

Posted by on June 30, 2017 in All Season Maintenance Tips, Maintenance Tips, News, Technical Info | 0 comments

A guideline for checking your headlights, taillights, running lights and signal lights.

Why check your lights regularly

For your safety and the safety of others, it is important that all lights on your vehicle are working properly.  Bright and functioning headlights and taillights are necessary to be visible to other drivers and pedestrians at night and during the day.  Well-maintained headlights also help you to see obstacles in the road in front of you.

Prevent Accidents and Reduce Road Rage

Working lights also help to prevent accidents and reduce road rage.  We all appreciate advance notice of braking and turns in the driver ahead of us so that we can adjust our speed and driving path.  And we all can do without getting a ticket ourselves for having a burned out headlight or taillight.  All if these situations can lead to accidents and unnecessary stress.  Don’t be part of the problem!  Take the initiative and responsibility for checking that your own lights are working.

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Checking headlights and ( don’t forget the) high beams!

Do I have to turn the car on to check the lights?

It is easy to check SOME of your lights when the car is not running, however most vehicles these days require that the ignition be on (and some vehicles must actually be in gear) to do a thorough check of ALL  lights.

How easy is it to check the lights myself?

It is possible to check the lights by yourself, although not the quickest.  You will need to have a method to hold the brake down (creative use of a long handled windshield scraper or an anti-theft device might do) and you may have to get in and out of the car a few times.  If you can park the car beside something reflective (a window) or plain (a wall), you may be able to see some of the lights without getting out.  It is definitely possible to check the lights yourself, however the job will take less time if you have the assistance of another person.

How can I check my lights easily in the day time?

In the day time it is more difficult to see some of the lights on your car.  One option would be to use a dark piece of clothing (a jacket) when going up close to each light to see how bight it shines on that surface.  Other options include parking beside a reflective surface like a window.  Or even shining your lights onto a building with a plain wall.  Waiting until it is close to evening or checking your lights indoors in dim lighting is suggested.

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Check tail lights and brake lights

Checklist for Easy and Fast way to check all lights

Follow this general plan to check the headlights, taillights, brake lights, running lights and signal lights on most cars.

Every vehicle is different.  Check the owner’s manual for vehicle-specific instructions.  For example, not all vehicles have running lights and some vehicles need to actually be in gear for some of the lights to be checked.

If you have two people and it is dark enough to see the lights easily, this can be a quick and easy job.

Turn on the engine.  Have a buddy on the outside of the car as you go through the list of lights to check.

FRONT – Have your buddy go to the front of the car.

  • Are the running lights working?  Are they even in brightness on both sides?
  • Turn on the headlights. Are they both lit up sufficiently?  Is one brighter or dimmer than the other?
  • Try the high beams. Are they both lit up sufficiently?  Is one brighter or dimmer than the other?
  • Try the right signal light.  Is it working? Is it easily visible?
  • Now the left signal light. Is it working? Is it easily visible?

REAR – Have your buddy go to the back of the car.

  • Are the running lights working?  Are they even in brightness on both sides?
  • Test the right signal light. Is it working? Is it easily visible?
  • Then the left signal. Is it working? Is it easily visible?
  • Press on the brakes to check the brake lights.  Are they working?  Are all lights easily visible?  Are they even on both sides? (Two or three bulbs on each side may come on)

That’s it!

If you find that some bulbs are dim or not working, make arrangements to have the bulbs replaced.  In some cases it may be the wiring or fuses that are the problem.

How can Great Canadian Oil Change help?

At Great Canadian Oil Change we do a complimentary check of all of your lights when you come in for any service.  We also can replace the bulbs if you choose.

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