Troubleshooting And Repairing Your Own Automotive Lighting Problems

Automotive Blog

Most automotive lighting problems are due to either a bad fuse or burned out bulb. In many cases, you can find the problem and repair it yourself. Here are the steps to perform your own troubleshooting of lighting problems in your car.

Your Car's Lighting System

All of the lights in the car run off of the battery and are connected to a fuse. The fuse protects the car from fire and you from a shock should the bulb short out. Most lighting problems occur in the bulb or the fuse panel. A rule of thumb you can use when investigating light problems is:

  • If both lights of a pair, such as the headlights and brake lights, are out at the same time, it's likely a fuse that's at fault.
  • If only one of the lights in a pair is out, then it's a bad bulb.

Replacing the Fuse

If you suspect a fuse, for example because both of your taillights are out, first find the owner's manual for the car. Look inside for the page that shows the location of all of the fuses and which one is connected to the taillights.

Locate the fuse panel, which is usually in the glove compartment or on the side of the dashboard on the driver's side. Remove the cover of the fuse panel and locate the fuse for your lights as indicated in the owner's manual. Find the appropriate fuse and pull it out of the panel. Replace it with one of the spare fuses located inside of the panel. Test the lights after replacing the fuse.

Replacing a Bulb

If you suspect a bad bulb, most can be easily replaced by you. The first step is to go to an auto supply store and ask them to match the bulb that you suspect is bad. There are dozens of styles of bulbs with different connectors. Get help finding the right bulb instead of trying to sort through all the different types to find yours.

Most bulbs can be changed by the following steps:

  1. Locate the bulb in the right lighting assembly. Some assemblies contain multiple bulbs. The taillight, brake light, and turn signal cluster are some examples.
  2. When you've identified the right bulb, push in the connector slightly as you turn it counterclockwise. Pull the connector and bulb out of the assembly.
  3. If the bulb has a round base, push the bulb in slightly and turn it counterclockwise to remove the bulb from the connector.
  4. If the bulb has a flat base (bayonet style), pull the bulb straight out of the connector.
  5. To replace a bulb with a round base, push it in slightly then turn the bulb clockwise.
  6. To replace a bulb with a flat base, push the bulb straight into the connector.
  7. Replace the bulb and connector into the lighting assembly by pushing it in slightly and turning it clockwise until you feel it click into place.

Problems That Will Require Help

If you have any of the following problems, you'll need to take your car into an auto repair services company to diagnose and fix the problem.

  • The bulb is broken and won't come out of the connector.
  • Wires on the connector are broken or frayed.
  • The lights still don't work after changing bulbs and fuses. There may be a short or broken wire in the wiring harness which needs to be repaired by the auto shop.

For more information, contact a company liek DiNardo Foreign Motors.


19 January 2016

Winter Tires: Everything You Need to Know

When you live in the coldest parts of the United States, you need to learn how to adapt your car to the prevailing weather conditions. Winter tires will improve traction, and can significantly lower the risk of a dangerous accident. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers don’t really understand how to choose the right winter tires, but, with fifteen years as a skilled mechanic, I hope I can use this blog to give you all the information you need. Whatever car you choose to drive, I will help you winterize your vehicle effectively, and I will also tell you about some of the problems that unsuspecting drivers face in the depths of winter. I hope you find the content interesting and informative!