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Exterior Vehicle Light Maintenance Tips for Summer Car Care at Graff Bay City

Summer car care at Graff Bay City is focused on keeping you safe this season. No matter how many miles you’re traveling this summer, with the right maintenance, your vehicle will be able to perform safely and efficiently. Your car’s external lights, which include your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals, are oftentimes overlooked when it comes to auto maintenance, but they are very important to your safety when driving. Exterior auto lights are important for two reasons: 1) for you to be able to see a safe distance in front of you when you’re driving at night or in gloomy weather and 2) for other drivers to be able to see you and anticipate where you’re going. In the following sections, you will learn about the details of each of your car’s exterior lights and how to replace an auto light bulb. Let’s start with a breakdown of your main vehicle exterior lights:

  • Headlights – Your auto headlights have two different functions, low beam and high beam. The low beam function is the most common, allowing you to be seen up to 150 feet away. The high beam function is useful when you’re on back roads at night or when it’s foggy outside, allowing you to be seen up to 450 feet away. Keep in mind, your high beams should only be used when no other vehicles are around since they can impair the other drivers’ vision.
  • Taillights – Taillights are on the back of your vehicle and are separate from your brake lights. These lights can be seen up to 1,000 feet away when your vehicle’s headlights and taillights are on.
  • Brake Lights – Brake lights are the red lights that illuminate when you brake. Your brake lights can be found near your taillights, as well as on the top rear of your vehicle.
  • Turn Signals – Turn signals are the external blinking lights that you control using the lever near your steering column. Using your turn signals is important to let drivers in front of and behind you know where you’re going and when you’re turning.

Other lights that your vehicle may have include fog lights, running lights, license plate lights, and side mirror lights. These accent lights are not included on all makes and models, but it’s important to mention that if you do have these lights on your vehicle, they need to be working at all times. If any of your vehicle’s lights are burnt out, you are liable for a potential ticket.

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Replacing Bulbs On Your Exterior Auto Lights

The easiest way to know if one of your exterior auto lights is burnt out, is to perform a monthly check on all your lights. Have a friend or family member stand outside your vehicle to inspect all your lights as you illuminate them. If one of your turn signal bulbs is about to burn out, it will usually flash and click faster than normal. Replacing a bulb is usually an easy fix, but it if you’re having trouble feel free to make an appointment at our Bay City service center. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when replacing a vehicle light bulb.

  • There are three types of bulbs that car manufacturers can use in your exterior lights: Halogen, LED, and Xenon. Halogen lights are the most common because they’re inexpensive and last for a long time. LED lights are most commonly found in more efficient vehicles because they use less power. Xenon bulbs are likely to be found in luxury vehicles. Each type of bulb has different advantages and disadvantages, so if you unsure about which one your vehicle uses, take a look at your owner’s manual or give one of our service technicians a call.
  • The Department of Transportation issues approval for each bulb available to be legally used in vehicles. Be aware that vehicle manufacturers do sell bulbs that are brighter than what is allowed on main roads, but these are only for off-roading use.
  • The Department of Transportation also regulates the colors of each exterior auto light. Drivers are not allowed to alter these colors, for this could result in a ticket.
  • Some car manufacturers require you to replace your entire headlight kit when a bulb burns out. This is most common with vehicles using LED lights.

Remember that after replacing an auto bulb, you’ll likely have to ensure your headlights are aiming in their proper position. Each make and model is different, so we recommend looking for replacement instructions in your owner’s manual or giving us a call for extra help. If your car’s exterior light is not working after you replace your bulb, this may be due to a shortage in one of your wires or a broken or missing light component. If this is the case, bring your vehicle into the Graff Bay City Service Center and one of our experienced service technicians will inspect your headlight unit to determine the problem.

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Schedule Your Exterior Auto Light Car Care Appointment at Graff Bay City

Routinely maintaining your vehicle’s exterior lights will keep you safe on the road this summer, and throughout the year! Check out all of our Summer Car Care tips via the navigation on the left of this page to learn about the maintenance your vehicle needs this season. With the right seasonal maintenance, your vehicle will run better and longer. At Graff Bay City, we have an amazing team of expert service technicians that will take care of your vehicle every time you bring it in for service. Schedule your summer car care appointment at Graff Bay City today. Our dealership is located at 3636 Wilder Rd, Bay City, MI 48706. We’re proud to serve our neighboring communities including Pinconning, Clio, Frankenmuth, and Midland.