Your cars lighting system is an elaborate maze of wires, switches, fuses, and bulbs. This system is powered by the battery, and many of us know the pain of having left a light on and coming out to a car that won’t start due to a dead battery. Most modern cars have light switches that turn off the headlights when the car is no longer running, however, interior lights can still be left on in many of those vehicles.
Sometimes you may find your battery dead, yet you cannot find any lights that were left on. In cases such as this, a technician will have to perform some diagnostic testing to determine what is draining the electricity from the battery when the car is turned off. This type of electrical system failure is known as a parasitic draw. This could come from any electrical component that is drawing electricity “behind the scenes” or it could be from a light that is stuck on that you cannot see, such as glove box light or trunk light.
High-level Overview of How Your Lighting System Works
Switches activate the various lighting circuits which allow electricity to flow from the battery to the lights. Along the way, some lights have fuses to protect the electrical system from overheating in the event that a component fails or a wire shorts to ground. If the fuse heats up and “blows” the electricity is no longer able to flow to the light due to the circuit being broken, rendering that light circuit inoperable.
There are a variety of lights used on your car including headlights, running lights, turn signals, and 4-way flashers. Most of the lights use an “on/off” switch to send electricity to the lights, however, the 4-way flashers use a device called a relay to pulsate the electricity on and off, resulting in the flashing effect of your 4-way flashers.
Your brake lights also contain a unique switch that is activated by the brake pedal. If this switch fails, none of the brake lights will turn on when the brake pedal is depressed.
Over time all bulbs will need to replaced, however, there is no specific service interval for them. Additionally, they are typically serviced independently, meaning that if you replace one, you don’t necessarily have to place another complimentary light.
Lighting System Services & Repairs We Perform:
- Headlight Replacement
- Running Light Replacement
- Turn Signal Bulb Replacement and Diagnostics
- General Lighting System Diagnostics
- Brake Lights Not Working Diagnostics
- Fuse Replacement
- Parasitic Draw Testing
Ready to Make An Appointment For Your Lighting System Service?
At Kneble’s Auto Service Center we always want to make the process of getting your car serviced as convenient as possible. To ensure that we can get your car serviced in a timely manner, we ask that you make an appointment.
We are often able to accommodate those who desire to wait for their lighting system service, as we feature a comfortable waiting area complete with TV, complimentary refreshments, a library, a desk, and a charging station. And yes, we even have free Wi-Fi!
If you need service and have not made an appointment you can always feel free to call us at (609) 625-3286 to get on the schedule.
Please note that we offer a shuttle service within a 10 miles radius of the shop (Atlantic City, Longport, Brigantine, Pleasantville, and surrounding areas).
Frequently Asked Questions About Lighting Systems:
This could be caused by a blown fuse, faulty flasher relay, faulty switch, or a wiring problem. We recommend making an appointment to have one of our ASE Certified Technicians perform an analysis to identify the specific problem.
If none of the lights come on, the problem could be caused by a blown fuse, a faulty headlight switch, or a wiring problem. This usually requires a diagnosis by an ASE Certified Technician, so give us a call at (609) 625-3286 to make an appointment to bring your car in.
You most likely have a faulty brake light switch. Our ASE Certified Technicians can make an accurate diagnosis if you bring your car in to have the problem diagnosed.
Schedule an Appointment for Your Lighting System Repair
Lighting System Knowledge Base
Lighting System Videos
- The Importance of the Check Engine Light When Purchasing Used Cars
- Understanding the Different Types of Headlights
- Understanding Your Dashboard Lights
- What To Do When Your Check Engine Light is On and Blinking
- Why You Need a Professional to Diagnose Your Check Engine Light