Why Do My Headlights Burn Out When the Weather Gets Cold?

Winter weather conditions can be tough on everyone and everything. Your skin becomes drier, trees become dormant, and your health can become affected. Just like everything else, your car can become affected by cold winter conditions. In particular, your headlights can feel the effects of cold weather and burn out. Here is why that’s the case.

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How Do Headlights Work?

Your car’s headlights, located on the front of your vehicle, enable you to see at night. They also can be used to notify other drivers of your position in foggy conditions or on a mountain pass where visibility may be low. Historically headlights were made out of acetylene-based flames that had to be manually lit by the driver. Today, headlights can be turned on and off from inside the vehicle with a push of a button, and they come equipped with high and low beam functions. 

Types of Headlights

There are three types of headlights: incandescent lamps, halogen headlights, and High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights. Incandescent lamps use a filament inside the glass, that when heated by electricity, produces light. Halogen headlights, the most common type of headlights, have been replacing incandescent headlights because of their energy efficiency. Lastly, High-Intensity Discharge lamps use Xenon gas to produce light. These lights tend to be much brighter than the average bulb. 

How the Cold Affects Your Headlights

The reason why your headlights burn out during the winter is because the cold winter conditions affect the filaments. When it gets cold, bulb filaments become more brittle and are more susceptible to damage. If you often find yourself driving on rough roads and over potholes, your headlights will be even more likely to burn out during the winter because the vibrations are affecting them too. 

How to Prepare Your Headlights for the Cold

You may not be able to control the winter, but you can prepare your headlights for the cold. The very first thing you should do is make sure that your headlights work properly. Afterward, if your car has incandescent or halogen headlights, upgrade them to HIDs or LEDs. An experienced MD mechanic can upgrade your headlights for you. Lastly, solve the issue of yellow headlight lenses. Yellow headlight lenses are caused by oxidation. You can have your mechanic restore your headlight lenses as well to get rid of the yellow tint. 

Need Help with Headlights? 

No matter if you need headlights restoration or want to upgrade your headlights, the professional mechanics at Ken’s Automotive and Transmissions are here to help. Don’t risk your headlights burning out; prepare them for the winter by contacting us today! 

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