Headlight Replacement, Repairs, Maintenance & Calibration
Car Headlight Service
Headlamps are attached to the front of a vehicle and light the road in front of you. Headlamps, or headlights as are more commonly called, not only guide you in the dark making the road safer, but they also assist in avoiding potentially dangerous hazards and warn other drivers.
Having your vehicles headlights adjusted and aligned is often overlooked for its importance. Many of us have had that glare from other vehicles that impair our vision on the road. This is a sign that the headlights have not been correctly aligned. Replacing the bulb in your vehicle can also alter the alignment of the lights which can be an automatic fail in an MOT test.
Many new vehicles no longer let you adjust your own head lights and have been replaced with a self-levelling system. A self-levelling system adjusts the height and levels of the lights keeping them aimed towards the road. The self-levelling headlights have a sensor that senses if the vehicle is in a level position or not. A good way to explain this would be when driving over speed bumps or a bridge, the headlights would automatically stay pointing up towards the sky, but the sensors read the position of the vehicle and keep the headlights pointing towards the ground, thus not blinding oncoming vehicles.
There are 3 types of headlights, Halogen, Xenon and Matrix LED.
Halogen headlights are the most popular headlights on the road. They are the older type of lights that are now seeing them replaced with Matrix LED’s. This is due to the halogen’s poor energy efficiency and life cycle. LED, which stands for Light Emitting Diode, has now replaced the halogen bulb in most new cars and sees lights on vehicles even during the day.
You will have noticed the difference to that of an LED to a halogen. The LED produce crystal clear light which is 80% more efficient. The better the LED light the more it will preserve the vehicle battery making it last longer. The LED lights last 5 times longer than that of the Halogen and although more expensive, you will save money in the long run as you will not need to replace the LED as often. The LED headlight will also illuminate the roads better.
HID Xenon headlights (High-Intensity discharge) are very different from that of the halogen and LED. You will notice a Xenon headlight by its slight blue colour it gives off. However according to the letter of UK law, HID xenon lights are not permitted, but European type approval regulations do allow them and therefore they must be allowed on EU cars registered in the UK.
The HD Matrix LED headlight has individual LEDs that produce a glare-free beam and can adapt to driving conditions and objects. These LED lights produce smaller rays that can be turned on or off individually to un-light objects in front. This is controlled by a forward-facing camera which must be calibrated with the headlamp to the ECU on the car to make sure that when LEDs are turned off to ‘unlight the object’, that It is done in the right area. To do this, special beam setters are required and special equipment to calibrate the camera which All Trans Autos have.
Car Headlight FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What happens if the lens goes cloudy or discolours?
Cloudy or discoloured headlights can reduce the light output from the vehicle and lose the beam pattern. This can reduce visibility by up to 50 percent and can be hazardous to you and other drivers. It is recommended that you replace this as soon as possible.
Can I change the bulb myself?
Yes, but we recommend you read the owners handbook for what bulb is required.
How can I align my own headlights?
To align headlights accurately you will need a beam setter. If you have Matrix headlights you will need a different and specific beam setter. Beam setters basically took over from the 10-meter wall headlight test. The beam setter is moved in front of the headlamp and checked. It must be aligned to the middle of the headlamp and must not exceed 3cm vertically or horizontally. The distance between the beam setter and the headlamp varies between manufacturers.
Do headlights dim over time?
As with any bulb they will discolour over time and reduce the light output. If you are in any doubt book in with us and we can check and if necessary, replace the bulb.
What does LED stand for?
Light Emitting Diodes
Can I upgrade my headlights to a LED?
Yes, this is doable, however, if you are going from a halogen to HID or LED, you will need to have automatic headlight levelling on the car.
Why are my headlights blinding others?
Most of us have experienced the dazzle of headlights whether it be oncoming or from behind. This glare can be caused by your headlight having not been aligned correctly. Data shows that around 300 collisions a year are caused by dazzling headlights.
We recommend you book with us as soon as possible to check the alignment of your headlights.