As long as you can power on your headlights, you probably think you’re good. Well, we hope you are, but the truth is, making sure your headlights are operational is only part of the equation. If your headlights are not bright enough, they may not be offering you as much safety as they could be. The good news is that making sure your headlights are functioning optimally is a pretty easy, inexpensive way to improve your vehicle’s safety.
Look at the Lenses
When you look at your headlight lenses, what do you see? Are they foggy or yellowed, or are they perfectly clear? Most headlight lenses, over time, take on a cloudy appearance, diffusing the beams of your headlights. Not only do cloudy headlight lenses keep your headlights from helping you see as well as possible, but they also keep you from being seen by other drivers. You can purchase a headlight restoration kit for a modest price from your local auto parts store or from websites that carry Fast Brite, 3M, or Sylvania products.
Bring on the Brightness
Even if your headlights are operational and your lenses are clear, your headlight bulbs may need to be replaced. Headlight bulbs become dimmer over time, causing them to provide less-than-optimal light to the path in front of you. There is a simple formula for making sure your headlights are functioning well. Measure 5 feet from your garage door or a building wall, and ask someone to help you park with your headlights at that point. (Make sure you’re on a level surface.) Now turn your headlights on, and observe the pools of light on the door or wall. They should be bright white; if they’re dim or yellow instead, you need to replace the bulbs.
If you realize you need to replace one of your headlamp bulbs, just go ahead and replace them both; otherwise, you’d have one brighter one and one dimmer one. By replacing both lamps at once, you’ll ensure even brightness and greater visibility.
Don’t Forget Your Focus
While your vehicle is parked near that garage door or wall, check one more thing: Are both beams hitting the same height? If one is too high or too low, it could create a blind spot for an oncoming driver, keeping him or her from seeing your vehicle properly. How could your headlights have become misaligned? Simply hitting a pothole could be the culprit. But don’t worry: realigning headlights should be a quick, easy (and inexpensive) job for any mechanic.
While you’re at it, you should also check your brake lights, tail lights, turn signals, and running lights to make sure all of your vehicle’s lamps are in good working condition. Particularly when you head into extreme weather season (also known as winter), make sure to keep your headlights on as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re not sure, just turn them on.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
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