Keeping The Lights Working In Your Car


One of the DIY repairs you can do on your car is to fix a problem with the lights. Most light problems are due to a burned out bulb or fuse, both of which you can replace. Here is how to approach a light problem in your car and get yourself safely back onto the road.

Troubleshooting a Light Problem

In most cases, you can infer whether the problem is a light bulb or fuse with these simple rules:

  • If only one of a pair of lights (e.g., headlights, brake lights) is out, it is likely a burned out bulb.
  • If both lights in a pair of lights are out, then it is likely a burned out fuse.

It would be rare for both lights to have burned out at the same time, but don't discount the possibility. If you've changed the fuse but the lights still don't work, try changing both bulbs in case yours is one of those rare exceptions to the rule.

Replacing a Fuse

  1. Locate the section in the owner's manual for the car that lists all of the fuses and which lights they control.
  2. Locate the fuse panel for the car. It is usually in the glove compartment or on the dash board on the driver's side.
  3. Remove the cover from the fuse panel.
  4. Locate the fuse associated with the lights that aren't working.
  5. Pull the fuse out of the panel and replace it with one of the spares located in the panel.
  6. Replace the cover on the panel.
  7. Replace the spare fuse as soon as possible so you'll have it should you need it in the future.

Replacing a Bulb

  1. Locate the light assembly in the car in the front of the engine compartment or in the back of the trunk that has the burned out bulb.
  2. Find the connector in the light assembly associated with the bulb.
  3. Push the connector in slightly while turning counterclockwise, and then pull the connector out of the light assembly.
  4. Replace the bulb as follows:
    1. If the bulb has a flat base, pull the old bulb straight out of the connector. Push the new bulb straight into the connector.
    2. If the bulb has a round base, push the bulb in slightly and turn counterclockwise until it comes out of the connector. Push the new bulb in slightly and turn clockwise until you feel it click into place.

Problems You Could Encounter

While these instructions will help with most car light problems, there are some cases where you'll need to take your car in to an auto repair shop and have them find the cause and do the repair. These cases include the following:

  • The connector is corroded and you can't get the bulb out of it.
  • The bulb is broken and dangerous to remove from the connector.
  • The wires on the connector are broken, kinked or frayed.
  • You've changed the fuse and bulbs but they still don't work. This is a sign of a more general wiring problem which the auto repair shop will have to track down and fix.

For more information or if you feel you cannot do this alone, take your car in to a local car repair shop, such as Soundside Automotive.


12 May 2016

maintaining the brakes on your car

When is the last time you had your brakes checked? Are you waiting until you hear the brake pads grinding into the rotors before you do anything to replace them? Does your car pull to one side when you press on the brakes? Do you feel a shimmying in your steering wheel and brake pedal as you press the pedal to stop? If you have any of these issues, it is time for you to learn how to care for the brakes on your car effectively. Taking preventative measures and getting repair work done before serious problems arise will save you money over the years.