Driving without working headlights poses risks to your safety and other drivers on the road. Retailers that sell semi truck parts carry Peterbilt headlights for a wide range of models and headlights for other makes. In many cases, it may be possible to replace a bulb without switching out the entire headlight assembly. Replacement may be necessary if one or both headlights have become damaged, dim or clouded. Here are three of the most common reasons to replace the headlights on your rig.
- Headlights Are Damaged
Flying debris or impact can break or damage headlight assemblies. A damaged headlight may not illuminate or provide full low-beam and high-beam light output. Damage to the exterior assembly can also result in inconsistent output and permit moisture to penetrate and cause a headlight to fail.
Operating a semi truck with one working headlight or without headlights is typically an out-of-service violation, as reduced road visibility can put the driver of a truck and others on the road at risk. Purchase replacement headlights designed to fit the make and model of rig you drive, such as Freightliner Century headlights.
- Headlights Have Become Dim
Headlights that are not angled or wired properly may look dim. Start by checking light angles and voltage and inspecting wiring for signs of corrosion or other problems before replacing headlights. It may be possible to switch out a fuse or replace relays or wiring to increase brightness without installing new headlights.
Older headlights tend to be dimmer than new lights. Headlights that have lower light output can make it more difficult for the driver of a truck to see the road and obstacles ahead while driving in low-light conditions or at night.
- Headlight Assemblies Appear Cloudy
A combination of ultraviolet light, road dirt and water vapor can cloud the inside of headlight assemblies over time. Even though semi truck headlights are designed to stand up to continuous exposure to these conditions, oxidation may occur as protective coatings and watertight seals start to wear down.
Clouded headlight assemblies tend to look yellow in daylight and can cause up to a 50% reduction in low-light visibility. Products are available for restoring some signs of oxidation, but it’s generally a safer bet to replace old headlights. Driver and passenger-side headlights are typically sold separately, but most experts agree that you should replace both lights at the same time. A set of new headlights will have the same operational life and provide consistent light output.
These are three of the most common causes of semi truck headlight replacement. Look for replacement headlights that are specified to fit the make and model of truck you drive. It is also a good idea to confirm that the low beam and high beam applications meet road safety requirements for your routes. Depending on the model, a headlight assembly may also include turn signals and position lights. Replace damaged or dim headlights as soon as possible to avoid safety violations and increase visibility from behind the wheel and on the road.