Troubleshooting Guide: My Headlights Turn Off While Driving – Causes and Solutions Explained

One of the most alarming situations a driver can experience is having their headlights suddenly turn off while driving at night. Not only does it compromise visibility, but it can also pose a significant safety risk for both the driver and other road users. If you’ve found yourself in this predicament, don’t panic! In this blog post, we will delve into the possible causes behind headlights turning off while driving and explore potential solutions to get you back on the road safely.

What Causes My Headlights Turn Off While Driving?

One Bulb Is On

In some cases, one headlight may stop working while the other continues to function properly. Each headlight has a specific lifespan, and once it reaches its limit, it’s time to replace it. The duration of a bulb’s life depends on its type, such as halogen, HID, or LED. Halogen bulbs typically last around 450 to 1000 hours, with an average of 800 hours. HID bulbs can last from 2000 to 8000 hours, while LED bulbs have the longest lifespan of approximately 30,000 hours.

When it comes to cost, halogen bulbs are the most affordable option, priced at around $15 per bulb. HID bulbs, like the 9005 HID with 3700 lumens, cost about $40, and LED bulbs are slightly more expensive at around $50.

It’s important to note that if one bulb fails, the other bulb may also stop working soon. Additionally, a new bulb will usually be brighter than an old one, resulting in a slight difference in brightness between the two headlights. For safety reasons, it is recommended to replace both headlights at the same time, even if the other one is still functioning properly. This ensures that both headlights are working reliably and provides balanced illumination on the road.

Neither Of The Headlights Work

Both bulbs failing simultaneously is a rare occurrence. However, it can happen due to power and grounding issues. To address this problem, you need to check the power supply, fuse, relay, and module for any faults or malfunctions. If you find any issues, you should repair them accordingly. If the problem persists and the bulbs still don’t work, then it’s time to replace the light bulb.

High Or Low Beams Do Not Work

Low beams are the regular lights that we use when driving at night or in areas with low light. These lights have a shorter range and are angled downwards to avoid blinding other drivers while still making your car visible to them.

On the other hand, high beams are stronger lights that have a wider angle. They are used in situations where there is almost no light on the road and very few cars coming from the opposite direction.

If one or both of these lights stop working, it could be due to a burnt-out bulb, a malfunctioning high-beam switch, or a loose relay. In such cases, you should check the lights, and if necessary, replace or repair them to ensure proper functionality.

Headlights Works But Dims

If you consistently experience dimmed lights, the issue may be related to a foggy lens or an old bulb. In such cases, you should clean the lens or replace the bulb with a new one.

However, if the dimming only occurs in specific situations, the problem likely lies within the charging system. You can attempt to fix it yourself by examining the wiring, checking the condition of the accumulator, monitoring voltage drops, and examining other system details. Alternatively, it may be more efficient and reliable to seek assistance from an auto repair shop, as they have the expertise to address these issues promptly and with guaranteed results.

What Should I Do If My Headlights Go Out While Driving?

To begin troubleshooting, you should first try adjusting the dimmer switch, as it can switch between different modes. If that doesn’t solve the issue, you can utilize alternative lights like parking lights, hazard lights, or turn signals to make sure other vehicles can see you on the road. Afterward, it’s important to find a safe place to park your vehicle and inspect the headlights. If needed, you can contact an automobile repair shop for further assistance.

How Do I Know If The Headlight Switch Is Bad?

By paying close attention, you can easily identify warning signs indicating a faulty headlight switch before it completely fails. It is crucial to check the switch, especially before driving, particularly at night. These signs commonly include:

  1. Malfunction in switching between modes: The headlight switch allows you to control various modes such as low beams, high beams, fog lights, parking lights, and daytime running lights. When the switch is faulty, you may experience difficulties in switching between these modes. Only certain modes may be controllable, or there might be confusion regarding the selected mode.

Issues with mode control can result in lights turning off unexpectedly or limiting visibility for the driver. Either situation can be hazardous for the occupants of the vehicle.

  1. Problems with high beams: High beams are typically used when driving at high speeds in areas with no lighting and no oncoming vehicles. A broken headlight switch may cause a separation or irregular functioning of the high beams.

It is important to address these issues promptly to ensure proper functioning of the headlights and maintain optimal visibility while driving. If you notice any of these warning signs, it is advisable to have the headlight switch checked or replaced by a professional.

No lights on

When a headlight switch is faulty, it can disrupt the flow of electricity to the bulbs, causing them to not illuminate at all. This lack of lights can be extremely unsafe, particularly when driving on poorly lit roads where visibility is crucial.

Fortunately, identifying signs of a faulty switch is often more apparent compared to other issues, as it affects multiple components of the lighting system. If you suspect that your switch is malfunctioning, it is crucial to promptly take your vehicle to a professional technician for thorough inspection and necessary repairs. They have the expertise to diagnose the problem accurately and ensure that your headlights function properly to maintain your safety on the road.


Experiencing headlights turning off while driving can be a disconcerting experience, but understanding the potential causes and solutions can help you address the issue promptly and ensure your safety on the road. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well-equipped to diagnose and resolve common headlight problems. Remember, if you encounter any difficulties or are uncertain about the repair process, it’s always best to seek professional assistance. Safe driving depends on reliable headlights, so don’t let an intermittent failure dim your journey!

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