You’ve probably noticed that the sun’s setting earlier and rising later, and soon the clocks will be going back. Check out this quick guide and handy checklist to make sure that all the lights on your car are working this autumn!
The lights are your car are used for a few different things – making you visible to other road users, letting people see what you’re doing, and (of course) letting you see where you’re going! It’s really important that all of your lights are working, so here’s a quick guide for checking them all out.
Why check your car’s lights?
Do this check regularly and you’ll be able to drive safe in the knowledge that other people can see you and your signals. If you get chance, print out the list below and tick it off as you go, so you know you haven’t forgotten anything!
Remember, if your lights aren’t working, you’ll fail your MOT! You can also be given an on-the-spot fine if you’re spotted with a broken light, so make sure you’re legal!
This job is really quick and easy, but it’s even quicker and easier if you have someone to help you! They can stand outside and check the lights are working while you turn them on and off. If you can’t find a willing assistant (it is getting cold out, after all), then don’t worry! Park near something like a garage door or window and use the reflection of the light to see if they’re working.
- Sidelights – turn your lights to the first position and check that the sidelights are working.
- Dipped beam – now the next position. Everything OK?
- Main beam – give your assistant a flash (of your lights!) to make sure they’re still paying attention.
- Fog lights – if you have these, make sure you test them too!
- Indicators – remember to check both sides.
- DRLs (daytime running lights) – newer cars (since 2011) will have daytime running lights, which should be on all the time unless your headlights are on. Make sure that these are working.
- Driving lights – these are the ones that come on when your sidelights or headlights are on.
- Brake lights – much easier with an assistant! Press the brake pedal and see if they come on.
- Fog lights – just like before, check that these work in case you need them.
- Indicators – left and right again, so that people can see where you’re going to turn.
- Reversing light – another one that’s easier with an assistant. Shift into reverse and the white light should come on.
- DRLs – some cars have daytime running lights on the rear as well as the front. Check if your car does and whether they work!
- Number plate light – your number plate should also be illuminated while you’re driving in the dark. Make sure that this one’s still working too!
Other things to check:
- Side repeaters – lastly, don’t forget your side repeaters. You can find these little lights on the side of your car, normally under the wing mirror. Sometimes, they’ll be built into the wing mirror as well.
- The horn – while you’re doing the lights, test your horn, too! It can be important for letting other road users know you’re there. Just make sure you warn your assistant, or they might get a shock!
Checking your lights is a really simple job that is easy to forget. Running through our quick checklist once in a while can mean that you’re safe (and legal) out on the roads.
If you do a lot of driving in the dark, why not thinking about upgrading your bulbs? You can replace your standard bulbs with something brighter and longer lasting! Take a look at our quick guide to car bulbs to find out more.