a silver BMW driving at night with it's lights on

Your Guide To…Checking Car Lights

The DriveDen blog provides advice, news and reviews. This article discusses how to check your cars lights ahead of winter and the dark months of the year.


The clocks have gone back and it seems to be almost pitch black by the time most people finish work, so a cars lights become even more important than usual.  Now is the perfect time to check all the lights on your vehicle are working properly, so you can see ahead in the dark and make sure you’re safely seen by other road users too.


Checking lights is a very simple job and can be done by just one person. Parking near a garage door or wall will allow you to see if the lights come on when you need them to. If you can, grab a second person and they can walk around the car whilst you turn the lights on and off…it’ll make the job even easier and much quicker! Either way, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide of how to check your lights:


Front Lights

  • Sidelights – the first position on the lighting controls will be the sidelights
  • Dipped Beam – the second position will be the dipped lights
  • Main Beam – when the controls are in the dipped position, flash the main beam to check this is working correctly
  • Fog Lights – if you have front fog lights, give these a quick check
  • DRLs – daytime running lights are becoming more common on new cars and it’ll be vital to check these are on at all times, but go off when the headlights are on!
  • Indicators – check each front indicator light, they should be flashing at a normal rate and in time
  • Side Repeaters – easily forgotten but side repeaters are important too, some may be within the mirror housing


Rear Lights

  • Driving Lights – these should be on as soon as your sidelights or headlights are on
  • Brake Lights – should only come on when the brake pedal is pushed down
  • Reverse Lights – by putting the car in reverse, the reversing lights should come on…some cars may only have one but many have one each side
  • Fog Lights – there will be a separate button or stalk control for the rear fog lights
  • Indicators – same as the front, check both are working and flashing at a regular rate
  • Number Plate Lights – another light that’s easily forgotten but the registration plate should be illuminated at all times in the dark!


Interior Lights & Horn

While checking the exterior lights, it’ll be a good time to check the interior ones too…and it’s always good to make sure the horn is working as normal, but make sure to check away from a main road and without any pedestrians around!


Should you find any bulbs out or broken lenses, it’ll be important to get them replaced straight away. Not only will you keep yourself and others safe, you’ll not risk a fine from the Police if you’re seen and pulled over! We have a huge range of Headlight units available on the DriveDen website, and if you don’t have one, an Emergency Bulb Kit is always a good thing to carry at all times.


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