Troubleshooting Projector Headlights
In a car, projector headlights will focus a light beam onto the road. The projector headlights are precise, unlike the traditional fluted headlights found in older cars. For many, projector headlights are seen as the safest choice, primarily because of the way they provide a bright vision for the driver both at night and during foggy weather.
If you find you are having a problem with your projection headlights, you can choose to go to a mechanic to have the system looked at and repaired, or you can troubleshoot the system yourself to avoid paying for an unnecessary expense. Here are some tips for troubleshooting issues with projector headlights.
Check the Fuse
If you are having a problem with your projector headlights the first and cheapest place to look is inside the fuse box. You should be able to easily pull the fuse box panel open with your fingers. Inside the fuse box you should see a fuse puller. On the inside of the panel you should find a diagram that tells you what each fuse is for. Locate the headlight fuse using this diagram and pull it out with the fuse pullers. If the metal strip on the inside is broken you need to replace the fuse. You can find fuses at your local auto parts store. Be sure to purchase one that is the same size as the one that needs replacing.
Check the Connection
Pop the hood open on the car and find the wire that leads to the headlights. Make sure that there is a good connection. Also, look to ensure there are no frayed wires or plastic sheathing stripped off any of the wires. If you see damaged wires, you should contact your mechanic to have them replaced.
Sometimes projection headlight problems occur because the headlights are improperly aligned. Since projection headlights are so precise, if the alignment is off even a little bit the driver will notice a dramatic reduction in visibility. To check the alignment of your projector headlights park 20 to 25 feet from a closed garage door or a solid wall. Shine the headlights onto the solid surface to see the headlight alignment. Proper alignment, from 25 feet away, will shine your headlights at the bottom of the garage door. The headlights should overlap each other by 50 percent. If they do not you need to have the lights adjusted.
Check the Headlight Bulbs
Remove the light bulbs according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Make sure that the filament inside of the bulb isn’t broken. If it is broken you will want to replace the bulb. If not, check the bulbs by turning the headlights on when the car engine is off. If the lights flicker, you could have a faulty electrical connection at the headlight. Make sure that the electrical plug is securely attached to the headlight connector. If the lights did not flicker, check them again with the engine running. If they flicker now, it is an indication of a possible alternator issue. You should take your car and have it serviced by a trained mechanic. If your lights draw too much power it could cause a short in your car.