Why Do My Headlights Flicker? (All You Need To Know)

If you notice that your headlights are flickering, it might cause you to worry, as you could be in serious danger if they fail on you at the wrong time.

Therefore, if you’re currently dealing with this issue, you may wonder why your headlights are flickering and how to fix this. If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I learned!

Why Do My Headlights Flicker?

Your headlights might be flickering because the bulbs are bad and you have to replace them. It could also be the result of your battery going dead, faulty wiring, a bad switch, a problem with the alternator or other electrical failure. As well, sometimes this problem is caused by a loose connection, therefore it keeps disconnecting as you drive.

Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about your headlights flickering, including the causes, fixes and more useful facts and tips!

Why Do My LED Headlights Flicker?

Your LED light could be flickering for one of the following reasons:

1. Loose Connection

If the different wire connections to your headlight bulbs are loose, they could flicker a lot, especially when you’re driving on rough terrain.

A loose connection to the fuse might also cause your headlights to flicker, but this type of issue is hard to fix on your own if you have no experience, so you should consider taking it to a professional.

Apart from the connections, the housing around your headlamps could cause them to flicker if it’s not fitted tightly enough (you’ll notice this more when moving on rough terrain such as off road drives).

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2. Bad Wiring

2. Bad Wiring

This differs from the issue above, in that the connections are all done tightly but the wires themselves are faulty (e.g. frayed wires).

If this is the case, the power supply to the bulbs is unstable, which is what causes them to keep flickering.

3. Bad Or Dying Battery

Your car battery supplies power to all electronic components you have onboard, and if it’s going bad or running out of juice, these components may start failing in subtle ways.

One of the signs you can notice early on is when your headlights begin to flicker, because they’re not getting enough energy when the battery is struggling to power everything else.

When you notice them flickering, check your battery to make sure it’s at the right levels, because if it fails, you could end up stranded.

Take care of your battery by not leaving your car running, not leaving it out in the cold when possible and being careful not to install unnecessary aftermarket electrical components that drain it faster.

4. Bad Alternator

This ties into the previous section because your alternator is responsible for keeping your battery charged.

If the alternator fails, your battery will not have enough power for your components, which could cause your headlights to flicker, become dim or fail to light up completely.

5. Bad Bulbs

If the LED lights you have installed begin to flicker, sometimes it’s because the bulbs themselves are bad.

Make sure you get high quality options from trusted dealers and manufacturers. LED lights may be expensive to buy, but they make up for this by lasting several years longer than other bulb types, so you shouldn’t shy away from the investment.

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Can a Bad Battery Cause Headlights to Flicker?

Can a Bad Battery Cause Headlights to Flicker?

As stated above, a bad battery will cause your headlights to flicker because they’re not getting the energy they need to operate at full capacity.

How Do I Stop My Headlights From Flickering?

Depending on the reason your headlights are flickering in the first place, you can restore them to normal by doing the following:

  • Changing your battery
  • Replacing your alternator
  • Tightening the connections around the headlights (e.g. the housing and wiring)
  • Replacing your bulbs

Why Do My Headlights Flicker at Idle?

If your headlights flicker at the idle position, there may be a problem with your alternator. At low RPM, the electrical system may be unable to charge, so the bulbs struggle to get enough power.

Why Do My Headlights Flicker When I Brake?

If your headlights flicker when you brake, the issue may be linked to your alternator. It probably means that it’s unable to generate enough energy, so when you apply the brakes, it strains to decelerate the vehicle while also powering the headlights.

Why Do My Headlights Flicker When Accelerating?

If your headlights flicker when accelerating, there might be a problem either with your alternator or battery, straining to provide power to both systems at once.

Why Do My Headlights Flicker When I Start My Car?

Why Do My Headlights Flicker When I Start My Car?

If you notice your headlights flickering right when you start your car, there’s likely an issue with your battery, in that it’s straining to supply power to all the different components of your vehicle at once when they come on.

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Why Do My Headlights Flicker When the Bass Hits?

Your headlights could flicker when the bass hits on your sound system because your battery is straining to provide enough power to both the lighting and sound systems.

If you notice this, you may need to replace your battery, alternator or both.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on when to turn on headlights, why do headlights keep burning out, and if LED headlights are better.


Your headlights could be flickering in different situations because of an issue in the battery, wiring, housing, alternator or other electrical connections. It’s usually easy to repair if you troubleshoot to determine the faulty component before replacing it.

Your alternator charges your battery, so if it starts failing, your vehicle will struggle to access enough power for different functions. This could show up through your headlights flickering whenever you perform actions such as brake, turn on the sound system or hit the gas.

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