Easy Troubleshooting Tips for BMW Headlight Issues
To ensure safe driving and optimized visibility during nighttime or downcast weather conditions, a fully functional pair of headlights is very important. When either one of your headlights is not working properly or not aiming correctly, it is very dangerous and may cause accidents and injuries for the driver as well as other motorists and pedestrians. The following are some recommendations on how to troubleshoot the common issues of a BMW headlight.
An automotive incandescent headlight does not function
All headlight bulbs have a limited service life, which depend on the amount of time they are used and how much vibration they are exposed to. The more often you drive your vehicle during nighttime, the quicker one or both headlights will burn out. Normally, an automotive incandescent headlamp, either standard or halogen, can lasts from 600 hours to 2000 hours of service. However, constant driving on rough roads or terrains may cut their lifespan shorter due to the jerks, bumps, and vibrations that cause the bulbs' fine filament to malfunction ahead of time. Before changing the burned out bulb, check first the electrical connector on the headlight's back if it is just loose or has been damaged. When changing your BMW headlight bulb, make sure you put in a similar size and style as the original bulb. To improve nighttime and downcast weather visibility, some aftermarket replacement bulbs offers bulbs with higher wattage grade and tinting for better headlight performance.
A high-density discharge (HID) headlight does not function
Since a high-density discharge (HID) headlight does not have a filament unlike the incandescent headlight, the bulb becomes faulty may be due to a leak or crack. Some applications have the bulb and ignitor as a unified unit while other makes them separately. Whichever the case, replace them accordingly. A good way to know if whether the bulb or the ignitor is not working, place the working bulb on the side where your BMW headlight is not functioning, if it lights up, you need to only replace the bulb. If the light still does not work, also place the working ignitor on the side where the headlight is not working. However, if the HID light still does not work, you may have a loose ground connection, a rusted socket, or a faulty wiring.
Headlights look dim and change their brightness when engine is revved
Usually the cause of this problem may be a faulty alternator or a slipping alternator drive belt. Check that the charging voltage should be around 13.5 to 14.5 volts. If not, the charging system is malfunctioning.
Headlights do not light the way very well
Unclean headlights, fogged lens cover, and discoloration of the plastic casing are common causes that make headlights do not illuminate the road correctly. For dirty covers, simply remove them and clean. However, if moisture is the problem, there may be a crack on the housing or the gasket may be leaking.
Other troubleshooting reminders
Especially for halogen bulbs, refrain from touching their glass, as the oil on your fingers will react negatively with the glass, making the bulb burn out quickly. Instead, you may hold the halogen bulb by its plastic base or by wearing gloves. In addition, if both headlights do not work, the wiring, fuse, module, switch, or relay may be causing the problem.
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