Headlight Replacement, Repairs, Maintenance & Calibration
Car Headlight Service in Colchester
All Trans Autos has been performing car headlights repairs and servicing in Colchester, Essex, for over 30 years. As a result, we deliver a transparent, effective, and competitively priced headlamp 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 vehicle’s 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 headlights and have been replaced with a self-leveling system. A self-leveling system adjusts the height and levels of the lights keeping them aimed towards the road. The self-leveling 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. It’s no surprise that we see them a lot for our headlight replacement service in Colchester! They are the older type of lights that are now seeing them replaced with Matrix LEDs. 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 between an LED headlight and a halogen. The LED produces 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 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
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.
HD Matrix LED Headlights
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. This helps us make short work of headlight repairs in Colchester!
Car Headlights FAQs
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.
How much are headlight bulbs?
On average, you will find that the cost of replacing and/or installing your headlight bulbs will range around £35 for labour per headlight. You can expect to pay around £20 to £25 for the headlight bulbs. Having both headlight bulbs replaced by an accredited professional will typically cost you £100. It doesn’t hurt to ask around and browse your local vendors to get a good idea of what the cost for headlight bulb replacement will be.
If ever you are curious and need more information regarding the cost of headlight bulbs, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of accredited Bosch technicians at All Trans Autos, who can provide you with all the information that you need.
How far should headlights shine?
In accordance with the guidelines set by the UK driving standards, the shine emanated by your vehicle’s headlights should only let you see about 350 feet ahead. As long as you obey the rules of the road and are a competent enough driver to know what you’re doing, you should be able to utilise this headlight shine parameter effectively.
Driving slow with this headlight shine range is imperative for maximised safety. Be sure to make use of your low beams when you come within 500 feet (or about one block) of an oncoming vehicle. You must also use your low beams when following another vehicle within 300 feet. If you need further clarity about your headlights' shine range, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.
How often should headlights be replaced?
On average, the typical car headlight will be able to last 500 to 1,000 hours, but this can be affected by many different factors. With enough care and a little bit of superior engineering, you can find that some headlight bulbs are efficient enough to last well over 30,000 hours.
Generally, you should opt to replace your headlights around every 3 ½ years give or take, just remember that each case is different depending on the vehicle. If you need further clarity about the lifespan of your headlights, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.
What headlights are illegal in the UK?
There is a multitude of laws in the UK regarding which headlight bulbs are and aren’t legal for use on the road. The legislation board considers several factors when determining the legality of a vehicle’s headlight bulb which cover how bright the bulb should be (in lumens), how much power the bulb should use, and the shape and design of the bulb that ensures light output is correct.
As long as they meet the aforementioned regulations, bulbs are completely road legal, as long as they don’t go over the allowed wattage. High-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs mostly follow the same jurisdictions. LED bulbs that are original equipment also follow the same rules, but if they are retrofitted you should ask your mechanic about the law regarding them.
If you need further clarity about the legality regarding specific headlights or even the legality regarding your headlights, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.
Why have my headlights gone foggy?
According to experts, many factors may contribute to your vehicle having foggy headlights. Many mechanics agree that the two leading causes are the debris that is scattered across the road and thus picked up by your vehicle and the Ultraviolet (UV) rays that are naturally projected by the sun. You will find that both of these elements will, over time, gnaw and rip down the protective coating applied on all headlights. They naturally peel away the layer of defence you headlights have and cause this so-called ‘fogginess’.
These are both elements that you can’t control or prevent (unless you have found ways to block out the sun), so what can you do? The solution is simple; remove the damaged coating and apply a replacement coating. You can do this yourself, but 9 out of 10 mechanics would recommend that you leave your headlights in the hands of a professional. If you need more information about headlight fogginess, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.