Headlights, brake lights, hazard lights, fog lights, turn signal lights — you name it — your car's lights are an integral part of your vehicle's safety system. If they start dimming or flickering, this is a clear indication of low system voltage or charging system failure.
So what are the usual culprits behind malfunctioning car lights? Here's a breakdown of some common reasons why your car lighting system may not work as it should.
A bad alternator
When you're driving, you don't have to worry about your car battery dying because it gets charged as the vehicle runs.
The auto electrical component that recharges your battery is called the alternator. If your car's alternator is faulty, it won't perform its job of keeping the battery charged. Consequently, the battery won't supply enough electricity to power all your lights and keep the vehicle running. As a result, you'll end up experiencing a breakdown.
If you want to avoid a flat battery, you'll need to get that faulty alternator fixed right away.
A dying battery
Your car's battery provides the electricity needed to start the vehicle and supply power to its various electrical and electronic components, including the lights. Dimming or flickering lights are a telltale sign that your battery isn't producing enough voltage to keep up with the vehicle's electrical demand. Usually, this points to a dying battery.
As the battery ages, it will struggle to hold its charge even when the vehicle's charging system is working properly. As a result, you may require a battery replacement to make your car lights and other electrical components of the vehicle work properly again.
Poor battery connections
Your car relies on special electrical contacts called battery terminals to connect your battery to the vehicle's engine and charging system. If the battery terminals become loose, corroded, or damaged, they will reduce the amount of voltage that is transmitted from the battery to the various components of your car's electrical system. When this happens, your car lights will start dimming or flickering.
Problems with battery connections can be fixed, albeit differently. Loose battery connections are the easiest to fix as they simply need to be tightened. If there's excessive corrosion on battery terminals, it can be cleaned out. However, if the battery terminals are overly damaged by corrosion, they'll have to be replaced.
There you have it — some insight into why car lights sometimes fail. If you'd like to learn more about the causes of this problem, don't hesitate to contact an auto electrical company near you.