Automotive lamps are used in cars as the source of lighting. It usually requires the different combination of sources including brightness, small size and the efficiency of the energy. Automotive lights need to have particular specifications in order to complement the car as well as do not distract the driver. There are different factors on which the automotive lamp is dependent. The two major factors however are, lighting technology and effects of colors. Let us have a look at them in detail:
Automotive lamps are made using different technologies such as Halogen, Neon, and LEDs, etc. Automotive lights need to be lightning yet, not so sharp. These new technologies become great options for the interior and exterior automotive lighting, roadway lighting and traffic signals.
Halogen, Neon, and LED are the contemporary sources which produce the effects on the mode of lighting in the automotive lamp as on the views of the drivers. Light emitting diodes are one of the long sources that have been used for the indicator of the lights. This tiny, small state but the bright source of the light is long-living and has efficient energy. Therefore, for this reason, it is being popular in many of the automotive cars and as well as in the traffic signals. Besides, those halogen lamps provide highlight by utilizing less energy than other lamps and are used for roadway lighting installation too, while Neon and fiber optic are used mostly by the drivers inside the cars for the dashboard.
LEDs and Neon are slightly sharper and can be dangerous sometimes.
Halogen provides maximum light and doesn’t turn out too sharp either for both drivers and other cars on the road. Hence, most of the people prefer Halogen lights on the exterior. In interior automotive lamps, fiber optic is the best choice considering its light and low voltage consumption. Fiber optic isn’t very sharp either hence, it doesn’t distract driver’s concentration from the road. According to research fiber optic doesn’t damage eyesight as much as other lighting technologies while lighting closely to eyes.
The use of different colors is used very carefully and purposely on the roads to provide the indication as well as the visual acuity to the drivers. People with different color vision defect are unable to see the colors accurately and clearly. A good driver must understand the indication of these colors.
For example, white color gives bright contour to the driver while driving. It generally shows the positive response for the driver to be visualizing the white color. It makes their vision clear. However, on darker roads, white lights can be sharp and might not be a good option for headlights or any exterior lamps.
Red color creates an effect of stop and sometimes for the danger signs. It is important for the driver to recognize it properly. The Red color is mostly used in exterior indicators.
The other signal color which has also been most commonly seen on the roads is yellow color. Yellow lamps are drivers’ first and safest choice. Yellow automotive lamps give out the maximum light, while they are mild to the eyes of other drivers as well. Many drivers prefer having a warm white or yellow automotive lamp in the interior and exterior of the car. Darker shades of yellow also give out the feel of readiness. Hence, they are mostly used in indicators as well.
Moreover, it will create difficulty for the driver if any of these colors are not distinguished properly. Hence, while selecting an automotive light, we need to be extra careful. It might ultimately block all the traffic related issues which have to be faced by the people as well as the drivers.
It is necessary to follow certain tips related to colors while driving. Each of the traffic color and any other color used on the roads should be carefully observed by the general public as well as the drivers. Apart from having their effect on the driver’s vision, some of these colors have symbolic importance as well. The driver should have proper knowledge about the impact and significance of each color while driving on the road. For example, red usually depicts stop or danger while yellow depicts readiness. Similarly, green represents flow and white represents sharpness or sometimes speed.
In a nutshell, different colors and technologies have different implications and effects on the driver’s vision. It is really important for the drivers to have an unobstructed vision while they drive. Automotive lights, thus, play a great role in ensuring the safety and security on the road.
Hazard warning lights are irregular flashing light indicators that flash together to warn other drivers of the temporary obstruction of the vehicle. These lights are also known as hazard lights or flashers. Hazard warning lights are when all the indicators of a vehicle flash on a continuous and simultaneous basis. When these lights are on, it means that the vehicle is not moving and that other vehicles should know about it.
Generally, hazard lights are used in cases where your vehicle becomes a hazard for other drivers on the road or to increase your visibility in a potentially dangerous situation as break down or need to change a tire or in case of a medical emergency. However, many motorists inappropriately use these hazard warnings.
Different countries use hazard warning lights in different ways. In fact, even different states in the US have different laws for the use of Hazard lights. Thus, it becomes extremely important for you to know the laws in your area.
It is very important for the drivers to know when to use hazard lights appropriately as using the hazard lights inappropriately can become a hazard not only for the driver but for others too on the road. Below are some of the probable situations where the use of Hazard lights is valid:
While hazard lights can cause problems in low light or can even confuse other drivers if there aren’t specific road hazards, they are very useful to warn others of the risk ahead. But before you decide to use hazard lights, it is important to know all driving laws in your area.
Oddly enough, the rules for using hazard light vary greatly from one state to another. Let us have a look at the state-by-state breakdown provided by the AAA:
If you are driving slowly, you may find it tempting and courteous to use hazard warning lights, but this is not something you should go for. Since all the 4 lights will flash in the hazard lights, you ought to face problems in changing lanes, junctions and indicating a turn. This inability will not only be highly dangerous for yourself but other drivers too since they have no way of identifying which direction you want to move onto.
Another case when it might feel suitable to you to use hazard warning lights is when you are moving slower than other traffic due to being lost or trying to locate an address, etc. But again, using hazard lights is not recommended in this case because it will render your indicators ineffective and will confuse other drivers on the road. If you land in such a situation, don’t panic. Instead, find an appropriate place to stop and wait, or wait for the traffic to subside.
Did you ever land in a situation when you had to drive down the highway during a bad storm? You probably have seen some drivers putting on their hazard lights, perhaps even you too would have had done it yourself but is that what one should follow? Is it legal? Well, that’s a question to understand.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), it’s actually illegal to put on hazard lights while you drive in certain states and the reasons are valid too.
People who put on hazard lights during bad weather advocate that they do so to increase the visibility but in reality, the opposite happens. Let us tell you why:
As per police, if the weather is too bad that you are not able to properly see while driving, pull over to a safe place until the weather stabilizes. Use your hazard lights only when you’ve stopped the car or it has been disabled.
Hazard Lights not only cause significant amount of confusion for other drivers, but also distract them when they see your hazards and start looking for potential dangers. In the process, they may miss something by taking their eyes off the road, which will eventually result in traffic slowdowns and disruption to the normal traffic flow.
Here are the few tips that can help you know about the hazard lights:
When the hazard lights are on, the signal Lights don’t work.
You should pay great attention to the prevailing laws regarding the use of hazard lights in your area. Pay proper attention to when you can or cannot use the hazard lights so as to avoid any traffic law violation.
When you drive on highway and foresee any potential hazard, you should use hazard lights to warn other drivers about the risk ahead.
When your vehicle is stopped due to some technical problem in the vehicle or due to some emergency or medical issue with you, use hazard lights.
In case you want to turn on hazard lights while static, ensure that there is no object behind your car blocking the view to your car’s taillights.
In all, turning on the hazard lights flash all the 4 lights of your vehicle, making it unclear for the other drivers to anticipate which lane or direction you want to move, even if you give an indicator. Such unclear communication confuses other drivers on road and can pose you to a great danger than good. Same is the case where you turn on your hazard lights because you were driving slower than the prevailing traffic on the road. Most importantly, take proper knowledge on the use of the hazard lights in your area beforehand. After all, violating the law and illegally using the hazard lights would be last thing on your mind to do Isn’t it?
Daylight running lights, also known as DRLs, are the new standard of lights that must be fitted on every new car within Europe. While not every car, especially those older than 2011, has or needs them, you are bound to see them on the road.
But what are DRLs? What makes them important enough to have a law passed making them the standard? That’s what we’ll be covering today.
Daytime running lights are lights that are made to help make your car more visible during the day when it is sunny outside. They come on when you usually start your car and turn off with your car as well.
They are sometimes, but not always, separate lights from the side lights on your vehicle. If they are combined, however, the DRLs will become dimmer while the headlights are on. They also turn off entirely while your indicators are flashing so your indicator lights are visible.
The LEDs of the lights shine white in the front and red in the back of the vehicle. These colors, as well as their brightness, help make your car more visible to others on the road. This may sound like an issue, especially if you’ve ever driven in front of someone who had their brights on and the glare reflected in your review mirror. Which leads to the next question:
DRLs have actually been proven to reduce head-on collisions, deaths, and serious injuries from car crashes. A 1997 Canadian study, as well as a 2000 American study, have shown that there is at least a 5% reduction rate in the number of serious accidents that occur when people are driving with DRLs.
These LED lights are also good at preventing head-on and front-corner collisions the most because the brighter lights make the car more obvious and eye-catching so you have time to move if need be and see the other vehicle.
They’re also safer than driving with low beams on while also having an expanded lifespan in comparison. Supposedly, they last over 15,000 hours more than the low beam lights do. And with all the technology that needs illumination inside the car, it can be hard to tell at times if the headlights are on or not. With the DRLs, this is not a problem.
An additional bonus is that they use a fraction of the electricity a typical headlight uses within a day. The dedicated daytime running lights are also better than driving with your headlights on because your tail lights and instrument lights won’t be on during the day, using more electricity from your car.
This low-cost method is a great way to easily reduce crashes as it will make it easier for drivers to see other cars from a distance before they end up crashing into one another. It is also useful for areas that experience long dusk and dawn hours. This is because the DRLs help provide a visual contrast in between vehicles and brightness or glare of the rising or setting the sun.
In case you are interested in reading a few more studies done about daytime running lights:
There was a Danish study that reported a 7% reduction in crashes with DRL lights within the first 15 months DRLs were used as well as a 37% reduction in any left-turn crashes.
A UK study found that you could advance the visibility of your cars with DRLs in dim light, but it won’t reduce the visibility of any motorcyclists.
A 1994 Transport Canada study had compared vehicles made in 1990 with DRLs in them to 1989 models without DRLs installed. This study found that the relevant daytime multi-vehicle crashes had reduced by about 11%.
Everything has a good and a bad side to it, and DRLs are no exception to this rule. Here are a few disadvantages of DRLs:
The daytime driving lights can increase fuel consumption. While they may not use as much electricity typically as your standard headlight does, they are on all day long, slowly taking more and more of your car’s energy. This increases fuel consumption because the actuator has to do more work.
It can decrease the bulb life of your lights as well, which is due to how long they stay on. While the bulbs themselves may last longer than low beam lights, these will be on for many more hours than low beams would typically be.
In some cases, the DRLs can make other lights. If your system is not working properly, it can cover up your turn signal lights, brakes lights, and so on.
If your DRLs are too bright, it can create a dazzling effect on other drivers. This means that it takes their attention away from the road because they can’t as easily look at it with something bright flashing at them.
Finally, they are not bright enough to use in the dark because they are meant to be used in the daylight when you don’t need to see the road in front of you, you simply need to be more visible.
While it is more common to see cars with DRLs, not all cars will have them. This is especially true for cars in the United States or those made before 2010. Many cars do have them because it has been proven to be safer to have them installed then. However, no laws have been made that every car must have them; rather, the law impacting Europe says that cars made after 2011 must have them.
Within Europe, as I have already mentioned, they are now required by any new cars that are manufactured. In Canada, they require not only that you have the daytime running lights, but that you fit them to any car that does not currently have them. In the United States, there is still a bit of debate as to whether they are truly effective. This is because they can reduce fuel efficiency even though they have been shown to reduce car crashes by a fairly significant amount.
As you can tell by the Canadian law, you can also fit DRLs into your car if you wanted to have them. You will have to go and hire an auto technician to ensure that they are properly installed, however.
As of right now, it is difficult to tell whether or not they will be as effective across America in the same way they are effective in Canada or Scandinavia, for example.
This is because DRLs are best used in areas that have low ambient light levels in the winter or places that have long dusk or dawn periods. While they have, in general, proven to be useful in North America, it is hard to tell if it will be useful everywhere in America.
American DRLs also tend to be brighter than the European DRLs, which increase the visual contrast between the vehicles and the bright background behind them, showing this could still be useful despite the area you may live in. Although, for now, this is only a theory.
So far, in many countries, glare from DRLs has not been an issue. But in America, they can sometimes be too bright.
As mentioned just in the section above, the American DRLs are brighter than those available in other countries. This can cause them to be far too bright, even if it does help distinguish the car from the bright surroundings.
The maximum light intensity that was allowed in America had been 7000 candelas. It has been reduced to 1500 candelas as proposed by the NHTSA since then, which is much closer to the European standard of DRLs.
There are a few main things you should keep in mind as you install, buy a car, or own a car that has DRLs.
The first is that the bright lights of the DRLs could blind other drivers. In general, they should be dimmer than your headlights. If you notice that they are brighter than your headlights, see if you can trade them out or have them on a reduced setting.
On larger vehicles, like trucks and other transport vehicles, the DRLs will be placed in a higher position than on other cars. This could potentially lead to the lights shining directly in the eyes of other drivers. Angling them down would be a way to fix this problem, although this is based on how the manufacturer has designed your car.
In geographical areas that experience a lot of bright or bright ambient lighting, this is not the best place to use a car with DRLs. If you don’t live in an area that often experiences these types of conditions, do not panic about getting a car immediately that has DRLs installed.
Overall, DRLs are important depending on your geographical area. They do pretty significantly reduce the rate of serious car crashes, so they are great to have anyways.
The significance and importance of daytime running lights vary from country to country, so check out research done within your own country or even for your own geographic area to see how much they help.
Hopefully, you have now learned much more about DRLs and are prepared to use them or buy a car that has them installed already!
Audio systems are one very important feature of cars. They are needed to improve the quality of a ride. When a car audio system develops problems, they often tend to be difficult to solve since they are related to the electrical systems of the car. There are lots of problems which can occur in a car audio system and below we have extensively discussed some of the common problems.
Low quality factory speakers
Most of the OEM system contain full-range speaker that is designed to handle all range of audio frequency but cannot achieve a smooth, extended, and articulate bottom end or high frequency.
Replace full range speaker with a component speaker which provides a better quality of sound than the full range speakers.
Add a separate subwoofer to your system. This is important if you wish to get the best of your music since subwoofers are great for low-frequency sounds. It is also a good addition for getting better high notes.
A rule of thumb: Before deciding to replace the whole system or just add a subwoofer, let’s consider your needs and your favorite music.
If you listen to a lot of rock music, you should consider a system or a subwoofer that is capable of playing frequencies between 60Hz to 8,000Hz.
For Organ music; it should be for frequencies as low as 16Hz.
Most of the general music which is played uses frequency range from 110Hz to 3,500Hz. This includes the sounds produced by violins and cellos.
For a classical music loving car owner, the system should be rated for 40Hz to 12,000Hz.
Sound quality from a car speaker often depends on its position in the car. Installing an aftermarket speaker without considering the position you put it can have an effect on the quality of sound you will be getting. If you also install the speakers using wrong techniques, you might have issues with the speakers.
Incompatible aftermarket products
Most OEM systems are produced so all the parts are compatible with the other. This means that if you are installing an aftermarket head unit, it may not be compatible with the OEM speakers available in the car.
The replaced speakers are cheaply made
There will also be problems if the parts you buy are cheaply built parts. The quality on such speakers is not so good.
If all you did was add a subwoofer to the car audio system, did you do your research on the best subwoofer and the right positions to install it? If not, you should do your research and determine the best position for your car. The position for a subwoofer will differ for a microcar, SUV, or a sedan.
If you changed all the speakers in the audio system, then you need to check that there is no interference between them. If there is no proper order followed in arranging the speakers, there is a possibility that the sound waves of a speaker are being disturbed by another. You may need to call an expert to have it properly set up.
Problem with alternator
As the alternator of the car gets older, it slowly becomes unable to meet up to its original capacity. In such a case, the car audio system may be running on the battery power. If the power in the battery is drained completely, the head unit loses its power. This is one of the causes of this problem.
Blown Fuse; if the Fuse is Blown
The head unit will not get any power. To determine the condition of the fuse, you should make use of a multimeter. By checking the fuse with a multimeter, it is easy to determine if there is a problem. You can also check the fuse simply by looking at it, but this method is not very reliable.
You should switch off the car radio for a while when the car is running since it places a strain on the power output of the car. If the alternator picks up and starts to function, it may also show that there is no problem with the audio system. In such a situation, the alternator needs to be replaced.
The fuse should be checked and changed if there is any problem. Sometimes the fuse may be around the dashboard area while in other cases it may be located behind the radio.
Bad connection or wiring
If the connection to the speakers is wrong or the wires used in the connection are damaged, this may be the cause of the speakers being unable to produce sound.
Head unit setting
The settings that may cause this include balance, fade, pan, and even the volume level. The settings may have been tampered with unknowingly and cause this problem.
Check the wiring
If you check the wiring and you do not see any damage to the wires, then check the connections. If you are not sure of how the connections are supposed to be made, you can call an expert to have them checked.
Before you do anything expensive to get your speakers working, ensure you check the settings. If they are properly set up, you can find other solutions.
You should also check the 12V connector to the amplifier which is required if the amplifier is to work. If it is not getting the required input, the amplifier may not turn on.
The amp is being overdriven at high volumes. This may be as a result of too much power being drawn from the amplifier. It may also occur if the amplifier is overheating.
Problem with head unit
A head unit with power cables running close to the RCA cable can cause noise when using the car stereo.
Low-quality power cables may also cause noise in the system.
Problem with amplifier
If you hear a clipping noise when using the radio, this indicates a problem with the amplifier. Clipping usually occurs when the amplifier is unable to provide enough power to the speakers. If the wires connecting the amplifier is burnt or damaged, it may also cause the clipping sound.
A ground loop refers to a situation where the components of a system, in this case, the car audio system, is grounded at two different points. A different current flow is introduced if the potentials at the two points are different which causes interference. This will result in noise in the audio system.
Alternator wine; this is noticed when the rpm of the car goes up and down. The higher the rpm, the greater the noise, and the lower the rpm, the lower the noise.
Crackling of speakers; this may be as a result of low-quality inputs such as the auxiliary and CD. It may also occur when the speaker is getting old
Step 1: Tracking down the source of noise
The first step in solving the problems, in this case, is to identify the source of the noise in the car. Once you are able to clearly define the source of the noise, solving the problem is quite easy.
Step 2: Solve the Problem for each Source
Power cables should be about 18 inches apart from the RCA cables.
You should also use shielded cables so that the wires are protected from induced noise.
After checking the rating of the amplifier and the speakers, it will be easy to solve this problem. A clipping sound indicates that the amplifier cannot produce the power required by the speakers.
You can solve this problem by changing the amplifier to one with a higher power rating or by buying a new set of speakers which can be effectively powered by the amplifier in the car.
This is solved by eliminating one of the grounding paths so that there is only one grounding location for the car audio system.
This may be as a result of the poor grounding. Check this to be sure. You may have also installed a new audio unit which cannot be effectively powered by the alternator as it pulls too much power. Changing the alternator can solve this problem.
Crackling of speakers
If you change the connection of the auxiliary and the CD without any improvement. It means the speakers need to be changed.
If you try all these quick fixes and you are unable to find a solution to your problem, then it may be time to get a new audio system installed in your car. To get the best out of your installation, calling an expert should give you this benefit.
Custom rims are a great addition to your vehicle. They may come in a shiny set which can amp up the personality of your wheels. However, they tend to be an excellent target for thieves. Thus, it is essential to get the best wheel locks for your vehicle. To ensure the safety of your wheels, you can utilize a wheel lock set. It can aid in securing your customized rims. In this article, we shall be considering the importance of wheel locks and how they work.
Wheel locks are mounted as the substitute for lug nuts of your vehicle. The set usually comes with four or five lug nuts. These can be removed by utilizing a specializes key that comes along in the set.
The type of wheel lock you need depends on the style of your wheels where they shall be installed to. You can replace only a single or all lug nuts of your wheels depending on your preference.
You are to use torque wrenches when installing the wheel locks. You should make sure that the locks are properly torqued to avoid making them loose after some time.
There are many benefits in utilizing wheel locks. It is a great tool in providing security and protection to your wheels. Here are some of the reasons why you need wheel locks.
Wheel locks are a good option when it comes to replacing your car’s lug nuts. Not only do they keep your rims safely attached but it is also a great way to protect your wheels from being stolen. It can act as an anti-theft device from prying thieves.
A typical wheel lock set has up to four or five pieces of lug nuts. The first step is to remove the nuts from your wheels. You may use the special key that comes along in your wheel lock set. Here are some other ways in removing them.
When all the lug nuts are loose, you can begin jacking the vehicle up. When it fully raises you can remove all the lug nuts though spinning them.
The type of wheel lock you will use depends on the style of your wheel. Moreover, another thing to determine when selecting a wheel type is the shape of the key used.
To help you select the wheel lock for your vehicle, we shall be discussing some wheel lock types. This shall aid you in narrowing down the options should you encounter difficulty in choosing.
This wheel lock type utilizes a curved area. This part connects the thread and the bolt. This usually requires a key that is specially made for this lock.
Common Radius Seat wheel locks utilize different sizes of key hexes which are designed to match the original lug wrench of the vehicle. Some car brands which utilize this wheel lock type are WB, Mercedes, and Audi.
This type includes a flat washer which aids in preventing the lug nuts and bolts from loosening. In this part, the thread relates to the wheel.
Once these are tightened to a preferred torque, it shall provide a tension which shall fasten everything and prevent loosening even with vibrations. These are mostly seen in some cars from brands Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Lexus.
This wheel lock type is typically found in aftermarket wheels of some cars from brands Renault, Ford, BMW, Honda, and Saab. It has a cone angled at 60 degrees where the thread connects with the bolt head. This cone fits well into the wheel of the nut.
A wheel lock clamp is an excellent anti-theft tool which allows your wheel to be completely immobilized. With this in use, the wheels are prevented from turning or rotating as it surrounds the vehicle wheels. It also has a design which prevents it to be removed without the use of proper key or equipment.
Wheel clamps are easy to store and portable. It can be adjusted based on the size of each wheel. Moreover, it can be conveniently set-up just by clamping it onto your vehicle wheels. These are generally soft and will not potentially damage your rims or wheels.
In general, you can refer to the head area of the bolt that goes in the seat to determine its type. If the head reduces its size up to the section which is threaded, these are radius seat ones. These are usually in a rounded or half sphere-like shape. A tapered seat, on the other hand, has a straight head which looks like a cone in upside down form.
There is also another one which is sometimes considered as the different type of wheel lock. Tuner nuts and bolts are also wheel locks which have similar features with that of the tapered type. These are commonly internally driven. It needs an adaptor which is utilized to tighten the nuts and bolts.
Wheel locks are an essential tool to keep your custom rims intact and protected. When choosing the best wheel lock, you must consider first the factors enumerated below.
Nevertheless, make it a point to know the features of the products before purchasing them. Who knows? Maybe you can spot a cheaper alternative with a few features to boast about.
These are the common factors that you need to look into when purchasing wheel locks. Keep them in mind so that you will get the best wheel lock for your vehicle.
There are two methods which you can utilize in removing wheel locks. The first method involves using wheel lock unique key. However, if you do not have a lock key, there is another method which uses a couple of materials in removing wheel locks.
In this method, you will only need a wheel lock unique key and your wrench lug nut. Here are some of the steps in removing your locks with a key.
Step 1: Ensure that your car is parked well. You can engage your parking brake to add security.
Step 2: Align the splines of your key with the wheel lock. You can easily complete this by slowing turning the key tabs until the designs line up. The key will just drop on the lock as soon as it is aligned well.
Step 3: Place the wrench on top of the key. Its hexagonal head shall match the lug nuts of your vehicle’s wheel.
Step 4: To loosen your wheel lock, you can start turning the wrench in a counterclockwise direction.
Step 5: Upon fully loosening the wheel lock, you can easily turn the lock off using your hands.
If you do not have a lock key, you shall be needing a heavy mallet, screwdriver, lock removal kit and wrench for lug nut.
Step 1: Ensure that your car is parked well. You can engage your parking brake to add security.
Step 2: Using the lock removal kit, find the correct one which can remove the wheel lock. You can test one by one which can work in removing the lock.
Step 3: Using a mallet, hit with firmness the wheel lock tool. Until it loosens a little bit.
Step 4: Fully remove the wheel lock using your hands.
Note that it is not preferred to use power tools when removing locks on your vehicle. It exerts too much pressure which can potentially damage the wheel lock and key.
Wheel locks are used as a replacement for your wheel’s lug nuts. It offers several benefits which include security and money savings.
When looking for the best wheel locks, you should first know how it works and its available types in the market. Moreover, there are factors to consider such as its size, ease of usage and material quality.
In this article, we also discussed ways in removing them for your reference. With these tips and tricks in mind, we recommend you get wheel locks for your vehicles as it offers peace of mind and assurance that your wheels are safe from potential thieves.
Brake lights are an incredibly important part of your car that you need to make sure always work properly. They help to let the people behind you know you are in the process of braking and that they need to do the same thing so you don’t hit each other. There’s also the fact that you can get a ticket for not having your brake lights on.
But the average driver isn’t a car technician. So, you might be wondering: How do I fix any problems I am having with my brake lights?
This is going to be a handy little guide to help you out while you are trying to figure this out. It’s helpful so you have an idea of where to start and what to do so you don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars to have it fixed. With that in mind, let’s begin!
First off is the obvious issue of other drivers not truly knowing when you are breaking. Whether your lights don’t come on or they stay on, this is an issue. This could potentially lead to accidents, especially at night if you are in an area with low amounts of light, like the freeway or backroads.
Secondly, modern cars have many different functions. Among these functions are the push-button start, anti-lock brakes and vehicle stability control. These are a few of the functions that will not work if the switch for your brake lights isn’t working properly.
If you depend on your car for functions like these, you will need to fix whatever problems your brake light is having as soon as possible.
Before we start, keep in mind that you may need to use a volt ohm meter or an LED tester to test your lights.
Now that you have had time to make sure you have the tools with you or at least know what you will need to get for your car later.
The first step is determining what kind of system your car uses. If you have a more modern car, it may be using a digital sensor instead of a physical switch. If this is the case, you will need to take your car into the shop. You can check this by looking inside your car – or a diagram of your car if the user manual is lying around still – next to the brake pedal. Here you will see a type of rectangular shape coming off of the pedal assembly.
Typically, in a car’s electrical system, there is a basic two-wire switch that makes it function, similar to any other circuit of wires. One wire will control the power that goes into the brake lights while another wire controls the power that goes out of them. Take your LED sensor and place it on one of the two wires in your brake light. Hold the brake pedal down while you do this. Then test out the next wire. If the power is connected and your brake lights are working properly, the bulbs on your sensor will light up. If it does not, keep reading.
The next step you should take is checking the brake switch. To do this, you will need to remove the brake switch and have your volt ohm meter at the ready. You will also need the wiring diagram for your car. If need be, look up a user’s manual online and check it. This is important because it will help to show you which terminals on your brake switch you need to check. Some vehicles may have multiple switches on the brake pedal or have more than one set of contacts, which is why you should have a wiring diagram handy.
The brake-lamp portion of your switch should show continuity when the brake pedal is pushed down and an open-circuit when it is released. If the opposite is shown, then you will need to have the switch replaced.
There can also be other problems with the switch. This includes the brake pedal not contacting it because the small plastic pad between it and the brakes is broken or fell off and the switch has moved out of place. This is important because the brakes should push the switch to the full off position. If it is not making full contact, get it check for an adjustment.
Finally, you should check the lamp connections and the fuse. Make sure that all of the wires are properly connected to the brake lights. You should also make sure that the connectors are clean, don’t have any corrosion occurring, and that they are tight.
Check the bulb holder and make sure the bulb is fully in place as well as not burnt out. Also, check the fuse connecting the brake lights and the fuse box together. Take the fuse out and look at the wire that’s in the central window. If it is broken, replace the fuse with a new one of the same amperage.
There are 2 common brake light problems that you can experience: having a burnt-out bulb or having a bad brake light switch. A burnt-out bulb would be why your light does not turn on as it no longer works due to a lot of use over the years. A bad brake light switch is a problem because the light switch is what turns the bulbs on in the first place. Having a faulty one will cause the lights to not turn on.
You can also have a blown fuse or a bad socket. But these are not as common to experience.
But How Do You Fix These Problems?
For a burnt-out bulb, check your user manual to see how to access your brake lights. Then you can safely remove the coverings and take out or unscrew the bulbs inside the brake light housing. Replace them with brand new bulbs to ensure that they last longer.
For a bad brake light, there are a few more steps you need to take. I’ll list them out because it takes a bit more effort than the other methods we will cover.
After all of this has been done and you have determined that you need to replace the brake light switch, here are the steps you take to install a new one.
Replacing a blown fuse is also a bit tedious at times, but it isn’t too difficult a task. First, you need your owner’s manual or a manual online to find the right fuse box within your car and identify the brake light fuse or fuses. Next, disconnect your battery. Then use needle nose pliers and remove the fuse to see if the housing is clean inside. If it has been broken or burned inside, it must be replaced. If you can’t look at it, look at the ends for damage or burning. Finally, replace the damaged fuse or fuses with one of the same amperages and have someone help you check to see if the lights are working.
In the case of a bad socket that is dirty, has been corroded, or where the wiring has become worn, you simply need to replace the socket. In this situation, it may be best to simply go to your local mechanic who can replace it for you with the proper part and without ruining the frame of your car, or something similar to that.
Now that you have finished reading, hopefully, you have been able to identify the problem on your own! While it does take some time and effort on your end, the odds are that it is much more inexpensive when compared to going to a mechanic. However, if you are worried about replacing something incorrectly or it really needs a professional to fix it, like a digital brake switch sensor, then go to the shop.
Also, make sure to stay safe and re-check your lights once you are finished. Good luck and I hope your lights are up and running in no time once again!