Why are My Headlights So Dim? (Try These Fixes)

Do your headlights seem like they’re just not putting out the type of lighting that you’re used to seeing from them? If so, there could be a couple of different problems that make your headlights seem dimmer than they were before.

However, dim headlights can be dangerous, not just for you but also for other people on the road. Therefore, finding out what the problem is and getting it fixed should be done with some type of urgency! If you’d like more information on this topic, keep reading!

Why are My Headlights So Dim?

If you have dim headlights, they could be on the verge of going bad. You might also have foggy headlight lenses, you could have a bad connection, or there could be too much power being drawn from somewhere else in your car, such as a speaker amplifier. Whatever the problem is, it needs to be addressed before the problem worsens.

Dim headlights can be dangerous to drive with, for both you, your passengers and other drivers on the road. To fix the problem and bring light back to your nighttime driving, read on for useful methods!

What Causes My Headlights to Dim?

One of the main reasons why people’s vehicles have dim headlights is because their headlight lenses suffer from oxidation, or in simpler terms, they’re foggy.

The other reason your headlights could be going dim is that they’re on the verge of blowing, though both situations could be hard to notice since they occur at a gradual pace.

You might not notice that your headlights are getting a clouding, foggy look to them for months, until the sun hits your clean car and the only part of it that’s still dirty are your headlights.

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You may also not notice that your headlights are dimming because they’re on the verge of blowing until they finally do meet their fate.

Do Headlights Dim With Age?

Do Headlights Dim With Age?

As headlights get older they will dim, but that is not to say that they will always dim before you suffer a blowout. And that’s not to say that if your headlights are dimming, that it automatically means that they’re the problem.

If you have a reasonably priced light bulb, you should go ahead and replace that first. Afterward, if the problem is still there, then you will have to investigate further, most likely at an auto shop or a dealership with an auto technician taking over the problem.

Will a Bad Ground Cause Light to Dim in My Car?

A bad ground is a major reason why headlights sometimes dim and also interior lights (ex. dashboard lights). There’s usually a build-up of corrosion or rust that causes a bad connection between the ground wire and the ground itself.

This can be something you can fix at home if you have some common tools. If you can locate the ground wire and unscrew it from its location, you can start to fix this problem.

Once your ground wire is unscrewed, you can use a number of items like steel wool, wire brush, sandpaper, etc. to clean the surface of the ground and the wire connection down to bare metal again.

Once you have accomplished that, you can bolt the ground wire back to where it came from, and your dimming problem should be fixed (as long as that was the only problem you were having).

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How Much Does it Cost to Fix Dim Headlights?

Sometimes headlights are dim because you have a bad headlight switch. If your headlights only work on low beams or high beams, then you have a bad headlight switch.

Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those fix-it-at-home type of jobs unless you know a thing or two about fixing cars and own the necessary tools. Therefore, be prepared to head to your mechanic or dealership. If you’re not warrantied, it could cost anywhere between $150 – $250.

Can a Bad Battery Cause Headlights to Dim?

Can a Bad Battery Cause Headlights to Dim?  

Your battery is in charge of supplying all the electrical components in your car with power, so if your battery is not up to snuff, it can make your headlights suffer.

How Do You Make Halogen Headlights Brighter?

There’s no special science here- brighter-rated bulbs will give you a better line of sight. A lot of drivers think that by upgrading to an HID headlight all their problems will be solved, but unfortunately this isn’t true.

Rather, simply replacing your halogen headlights with a set of HID headlights usually ends in a bad outcome.

Therefore, if you want to upgrade to an HID headlight setup, you have to change the whole assembly, otherwise, the beam pattern for the HID headlight will be completely off.

Why is One Headlight Dimmer Than the Other?

There is always a possibility that one headlight was installed at a different time than the other headlight. You can get technical about it, but the truth is there is no particular reason why a headlight burns out faster than another.

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Two headlights on the same car could receive slightly more or less current than the other, as there is a possibility that one headlight just wasn’t put together properly.

However, the only time you should worry about this problem is if you have one bulb that constantly goes out faster and more often than the other does, as you might have an electrical problem.

Which Halogen Bulb is the Brightest?

Which Halogen Bulb is the Brightest? 

If you’re looking for the best Halogen bulbs for nighttime driving, a set of Silverstar Ultra or Philips X-TremeVision bulbs offer a wide range of fitments while offering more clarity, better night vision, and a brighter white color over standard halogen lights.

To know more, you can also check our posts about how long do LED headlights last, if LED headlights are legal in Texas, and what headlights are the brightest.


Headlights can go dim for a couple of different reasons, as the most common are a headlight going dim from oxidation or fogginess/cloudiness on the headlight lenses, and/or your headlights are ready to blow.

Other reasons could include a bad ground, a poorly outputting battery, drawing too much power from somewhere else, or you have some other type of electrical problem.

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