Do Car Headlights Dim Over Time? 3 Reasons Why




Dimmed Car Headlight

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Yes! Car headlights get dimmer over time. Much like our eyes, as headlights get older and things get a little fuzzy. Now that we are all depressed because our eyes will fail us one day, back to the question at hand.

Do car headlights get dimmer over time? Again, yes, but it is a gradual process that occurs over several years. You probably wont notice it until you are driving in really terrible conditions and realize you can’t see.

However, there are solutions and preventive steps that you can take to make sure that you car headlights don’t fail you. First, though let’s look at reasons why your headlights could possibly be dim.

Why are my headlights so dim? 

If you are trying to consider the possible reasons why your headlights are malfunctioning, you are in the right place. Below are the common reasons why your car’s headlight could be too dim or failing to function at all and the possible solution to troubleshoot your headlight issues.

  1. Loose connections. Not at all times, a dim headlight means that your car headlight system has significant issues. Sometimes it is a minor issue such as loose connection, which means inadequate power supply to bulbs. Ensure to check whether bulbs are in the proper condition before considering something else.
  2. Check if your bulbs have reached the end of their service life. Each bulb type has its unique lifespan. If it has reached its end lifespan, then the only solution is replacing it.
  3. Check whether your headlight lenses have aged, your alternator is functioning correctly, whether your ground wire is corroded since all these can be the cause of your headlight dimming. 

What is the condition of your car battery? A faulty car battery or even issues in your entire car electrical system could also be the reason for dim headlights. You will need to take your car to a professional car electrician. Otherwise, DIY can result in more issues. Besides, check out minor power issues such as interior lights problems, headlight flickering, and car starting troubles.

How long do headlights last in cars?

Each type of headlight bulb has its unique service life. Below are the variously estimated lifespan of the different headlight bulbs from the longest to the lowest. 

LED HeadlightsEstimated Life:
30,000 hours
3,000-8,000 Lumens
Depending on bulb
Xenon / HID HeadlightsEstimated Life:
2,000 – 3,000
2,400 – 5,200 Lumens
Depending on Setup
Halogen HeadlightsEstimated Life
500 – 1,000 Hours
1,600-1,700 Lumens
Depending on Bulb

How often should headlights be replaced?

A typical headlight bulb has a service lifespan of about five years or even more but rarely do many bulbs last that long especially with some headlight replacement bulbs. A well-maintained car can last for 12 years, and this means that it will have at least two headlight replacements during its service life.

A professional mechanic can propose the best types of bulbs available for your car. However, with a good internet search you can find the proper headlights for your car.

Things you can do to prolong the life of your headlights

There are several ways of minimizing chances of dangers while driving at night or bad weather conditions, significantly when your car headlight is misaligned or dim.

Clean Your Headlights

Ensure your headlights are clean. This is important, cleanliness goes a long way on a car. Don’t forget to have your headlight cleaned at the gas station alongside your windows.

Clean headlights are very effective in passing the light in adverse weather conditions. Remember, accumulated dirt and dust can result in glare, thus obstructing light.

Try To Keep Track of Your Headlights Age

Like you have nothing else going on. Now you need to remember when you replaced your headlights. A little note in an auto journal will help you remember.

Don’t keep postponing until your headlights burn out or dim so that you consider replacing them. It’s rather apparent that even the most headlights will dim or burn out over time. It’s therefore essential to regularly replacing the old components before their performance deteriorates.

Make sure that your headlights are replaced simultaneously to avoid incidences of uneven illumination on the road since this can reduce visibility.

Maybe Upgrade?…With Caution

 Consider installing the high-performance headlights since they emit light that is almost the same in color as daylight instead of the regular halogen headlights. The whiter and brighter the bulb is, the more it improves your visibility during a bad weather condition or at night.

Let your auto service/ mechanic check if your headlights are in proper adjustments. This is because headlights are easily misaligned significantly on a rough road/ rough driving. 

Final Thoughts…

Yes, your headlights will get dimmer over a looooooong time. If you notice you are having trouble seeing at night; it might be worth investigating changing out your headlights.

Hopefully you found a few suggestions in here that will help you along. If you want to read some more about headlights check out these articles. Until next time…

Safe Travels….

Check it by yourself. Let someone switch on the headlight, turn-on signals, and even the brake lights as you check by yourself while outside. This way, you will get first-hand information.

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