They could be dirty, old, or not getting the power they need. The solutions could be new bulbs, a thorough clean, repair or replacing faulty batteries and alternators, or cleaning up your wiring.

To get your headlamps back up to maximum brightness, Fixter is ready to help. We’ve got the finest network of fully qualified mechanics ready and waiting to put any problem straight. Even better—it’s easy and effortless with our completely contactless end-to-end service.

How do you fix dim headlights?

Almost all of us would reach straight for a new bulb when we think our headlights are losing power, but it’s not always what you need. The following tips will help you figure out if you’ve got a bad earth connection or your battery is on its last legs.

It could even be something as simple as giving the lens case a proper clean; that can improve visibility by far more than you’d expect. Another common issue is how your lights are set. If they’re not aligned correctly, they certainly won’t be illuminating your way as they should.

What are the common causes of dim headlights?

Your old bulbs are on their way out

Risk level – Low

What to do Replace the old bulbs with new ones.

If your bulbs are old and show signs of ageing, then replacing them could be a good place to start.

The headlight case (or lens) is worn or dirty

Risk level – Low

What to do – Clean or replace the headlight casing.

It’s a simple solution to an often-overlooked problem. Cleaning your headlights can significantly improve the quality of your beam. A drive-through car wash won’t do as good a job as a thorough manual clean, especially when using a headlight cleaning kit designed to provide optimum results.

Scrubbing the clear plastic headlamp with toothpaste or T-Cut can bring a lovely clear shine back to a dulling matt cover.

The beam alignment isn’t set properly

Risk level – Low

What to do – Have the beam alignment tested and adjusted as necessary.

If your headlights are pointing in the wrong direction, or even if they’re only a little way out, they won’t illuminate the parts of the road you need. Misaligned headlamps can easily be mistaken for dim bulbs.

Poor electrical connections and corroded wires

Risk level – Medium

What to do – Have the wiring and earth wires tested.

Where wires are corroded, rusty, or broken, your lights won’t receive the correct flow of power they need to operate at 100%. Cleaning connections can make quite a difference, especially with the ground or earth cable/wire. Giving the ground/earth connection to the vehicle chassis a good clean could be all you need.

Your battery or alternator isn’t providing enough power

Risk level – Medium

What to do – Have your alternator and battery tested.

When your engine is running, your lights are fed electricity by the alternator—when it isn’t running, they rely on your battery. If your lights flicker or are dim when you’re driving, it could be down to a faulty alternator. If your lights dip and flicker at low revs or when ticking over, but not when you press the accelerator, then there might be an issue with your battery.