It’s totally normal to be worried about whether you can drive with a broken headlight during the day, or not. As long as vehicle laws are concerned, you do not want to get into any serious problem, so I understand why you may not be sure if it is a good thing to do.
Functionally speaking, a broken headlight may still have the bulbs working fine, but only has a crack on it, and there is no law against driving with it during the day. However, you may still have to fix it in order to prevent moisture from getting into it or allowing the crack to become bigger. So, yes, you can drive with a broken or cracked headlight during the day; but it would be best if you work on fixing the broken headlight soon, so you do not have to worry about driving with it safely or not.
Is it okay to drive with broken headlights in the daytime?
There is really nothing illegal about driving with a broken headlight during the day. So, it is okay to do that. However, in order to guard against the crack becoming bigger or water getting into your headlight, especially when it is either raining or there is snow, you may have to fix it as soon as you can. A complete replacement of a broken headlight may only become necessary if the crack is not repairable due to either its size or nature.
But if you are good with your headlight area exposed while driving, then that is totally up to you. Just be careful to not get pulled over when the crack has grown so big it affects the bulbs themselves. Now that is not an entirely good thing to experience.
What to do if your headlight is broken?
What you do depends on how badly damaged the cracked or broken headlight is. If it is small and repairable, then simply fix it, but if the damage is big or its lens is shattered, you may just have to unavoidably get a new one.
If the crack is repairable, in order to fix it, here are handy steps to follow:
- Start by cleaning the affected site to remove any dirt, dust or grime.
- Afterwards, make sure the area is thoroughly dry before you apply a small quantity of car polish to the headlight in a smooth and circular movement.
- Applying much car polish to the site of the crack will smoothen it out such that the sealant will stick firmly.
- Thereafter, protect the area of the crack with masking tape before applying a thin strip of silicone using a sealant gun and then, wipe away any excess with a paper towel.
- Finally, when the sealant is dry, rub another layer of polish to even out the crack site even more, before applying a small coating of car wax to further protect the place and provide for a high shine too.
What to do if your headlight is out?
There are many things that can cause your headlights not to work, so the first thing is to identify what the cause may be. Some common causes are electrical problems or issues with the bulbs. If only one headlight fails to work, it could be due to a burnt-out bulb, which you should replace promptly. If it still refuses to work, you may be having a fuse or wiring problem.
Where the two headlights fail to work, it could be due to burnt-out bulbs or a fault with the power or ground. To solve this issue, check the power and ground or replace the bulbs where necessary, though both bulbs hardly burn out together, it still happens occasionally. You can also have either the high or low headlight beams not working, which could be due to burnt-out bulbs or a problem with the high beam switch or its relay. In this case, clean the lenses and replace any damaged bulbs or repair the charging system.
How to quickly cover up a broken headlight?
To quickly cover up a small repairable crack in your headlight requires only simple fast steps. However, before you start, you need the following items: car washing kits such as a sponge, soap and a microfibre drying cloth. Other items needed are car polish, clear silicone sealant, masking tape and paper towels.
Clean the site for the repair to get rid of any dirt or dust particles using the two-bucket method, in order to prevent dirt from staying on the sponge which may cause scratches on the plastic surface.
Rub a small quantity of car polish on the headlight making sure that you apply more to the site of the injury for smoothening and shining effects.
Using masking tape, protect the area around the headlight lens.
Apply a tiny strip of clear silicone to the damage with a sealant gun and afterwards, wipe any excess with a paper towel and allow it to set, most preferably throughout the whole night. You may alternatively use super glue such as Loctite Epoxy to seal the crack as well.
After making sure that the sealant is dried, add another layer of polish to smoothen the place. Then finally, apply a generous coating of car wax to assist in protecting the place and to enhance shining in the end.
Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about driving with broken headlights
For you who may have certain questions about driving with a broken vehicle headlight during the day, I have gathered answers to some of these questions to give you better clarifications about each.
1. Can the cops pull you over for a broken headlight in the day?
Yes, they can; but usually to give you a notice about it, in case you are unaware. And also to require you to fix it without any undue delay. Should you fix it quickly, all will be fine. Otherwise, you may run afoul of the law when you keep showing up every time with the headlights broken.
2. Why does your left headlight keep burning out?
The left side headlight keeps dying faster in some cases because you may be fond of wiping oils from your hands onto it after attending to some faults in the car or even while handling the bulbs with your bare hands, and that oil when heated causes the bulbs to burn out prematurely. The left side bulb is on the driver’s side and is thus more susceptible to this regular handling, which makes it burn out faster.
3. Why is one of your headlight not working?
One of your headlights may not be working due to burnt-out bulbs, faults in the wiring on that side, its relay system or even the switch. Additionally, any discolouration of the base or the terminals may also indicate the cause of your headlight not working due to burnt-out wires.
4. Is it illegal to have one headlight out?
Yes, it is, because this could be the cause of careless and avoidable accidents, particularly since other road users may mistake your car for a motorbike (at nights) with dangerous consequences as a result.
5. Can you get pulled over for having one headlight out?
Of course, you can, especially if it happens between sunset and sunrise. Usually, it may necessitate paying the fine of a few dollars to the court, to which you must show proof of repairs afterwards, to serve as a deterrent against any future recurrence.
6. Can you get points for having a headlight out?
Yes, you can, but in some rare cases, you may escape with just a warning. However, if you are not so lucky, you may get up to three points for it.
7. How much is a ticket for not turning on the headlight?
Though the fine for it usually varies from place to place, it starts from about thirty pounds in the UK and no other penalty.
8. Will a broken headlight lens pass MOT?
No, because MOT failures can be down to, among other things, failures to headlights and even your lamp aiming angle. So, no, a broken headlight lens will not pass MOT.
9. Is the broken headlight lens MOT failure?
There are many reasons that can lead to MOT failure and one of them is a broken headlight lens. Essentially, therefore, any broken headlight can cause an MOT failure.
10. Will a car pass MOT with broken headlights?
To judge from the conditions that must be met before any MOT test can be passed (of which perfectly working headlights are a major part), a car with a broken headlight will not pass MOT.
11. What are some of the common reasons for MOT failures?
Cars fail their MOT tests for several reasons which include:
- Lights. Any poorly adjusted headlight direction, faulty brake lights and indicators may cause you to fail an MOT test.
- Tyres. Any tyre damage or thread depth below 1.6 mm may cause your vehicle to fail MOT testing.
- Registration plate. Heavily damaged plate numbers whether at the front or rare of the vehicle can lead to MOT failure.
- Windscreen and wipers. Wipers that smear the screen or have visible tears will make your car fail MOT evaluation. A windscreen with chips or cracks that may obscure the driver’s view of the entire road could lead to MOT failure.
- Brakes. Any braking system that is not working at 100 per cent efficiency can cause you failures in MOT tests. To prevent this from happening, avoid any excess wear patterns.
- Exhaust system. Noisy exhaust system, corrosion, loose or missing mountings and silencers may lead to MOT failure too.
- Suspension. Poor suspension is indicated when you experience bangs and knocks while driving, especially on uneven roads or over bumps. This could lead to MOT test failure also.
How do you replace a burnt car headlight bulb?
The process involved in changing a headlight bulb or any bulb for that matter is actually quite easy to execute. To effect this change, you need a new and compatible light bulb, a screwdriver, alcohol cleaning wipes and rubber gloves. Then you follow these steps, or check the manual for better guidance:
First, locate the rear of the headlight assembly, which is usually mounted in a space in the front bumper and can be reached beneath the bonnet. To be very sure of this, refer to your user manual.
Next, remove the power cables from the back of the headlight assembly, which are usually secured with the use of a little plastic catch or screw fitting. You should be able to draw the bulb out of the assembly and remove it.
Next, fit in the new bulb while taking care to handle it carefully. In addition, you should wear hand gloves while doing this to avoid injuries or fingerprints and moisture getting onto the bulb. Wipe it with any alcohol cleaning wipe to rid it of mints or any marks that can shorten its life span or reduce performance.
With the bulb in place, reconnect all the wires and test to ascertain that it is working fine. You are essentially done.
Vehicle headlights are an important requirement for safe and pleasurable driving, as a result, taking too many liberties with them is legally seen as a dangerous threat to lives and properties. For this reason, gross offenders in headlight use and regulations might have a run-in with the law when doing so continuously.
As long as you do not make it a habit though, driving with a broken headlight is not a huge problem. But, be sure to get to fixing it as soon as you can. This will definitely benefit you and other road users. Thankfully, most of the common headlight problems can be resolved through simple do-it-yourself (DIY) procedures.
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