The lighting is one of the most important safety features of your vehicle and should be checked and maintained to remain in good condition. Knowing when to replace the headlights of a car is very important, as they allow you to see and be seen in low visibility situations for example, at night, in tunnels, or in adverse weather conditions.
Headlights commonly deteriorate over time. Knowing how to detect failures in time can avoid serious accidents. You should also know that a malfunctioning headlight can lead to a fine of up to €200.
Following these recommendations will not only help to avoid a fine, but help to prevent accidents and risks to other road users.
In situations of decreased visibility, reaction time is distorted, so the chances of an accident increase. Therefore it is extremely important that the lights on your vehicle work properly at all times, in order both to see and to be seen.
The Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) recommends that all headlights of a car are replaced every two years or 40,000 km, if long trips are usually made. It is the best way to ensure that they work well and, in addition, to prolong the life of your vehicle.
It is incorrect to replace just one headlight; they should all be replaced at the same time. If you notice that one of the headlights has weakened, you will have to replace all of them together. If you only replace one headlight, the remaining headlights will fail before the newly replaced one. It is important to avoid uneven lighting and having a headlight that illuminates more or less than the others. Replacing all headlight bulbs simultaneously will avoid this asymmetrical effect.
On the other hand, uneven operation of the headlights means that, as a driver, you have to strain your eyes to see. This increases the chances of vision problems and fatigue, which can also be the cause of an accident.
It is important to clean the headlights of your vehicle periodically, as you would clean the windscreen and mirrors. Dirty or dusty headlights are less effective and will offer reduce visibility on the road.
These are some simple guidelines to know when you should change the headlights of your vehicle. It’s as simple as changing all headlights as once every 2 years or 40,000 km, and keeping them clean on a regular basis – it’s important for your own safety and that of other road users.