Step by step guide on how an automotive headlight control switch works, this
information pertains to most cars.
- Headlight operation controls are performed
by a manually controlled switch or by photosensitive sensors located near the dashboard.
These controls allow the driver or the body computer to operate the headlights in
Step 2 - The first position on a headlight switch
is the running light illumination, this position is used to power up the running
light system only.
Headlight Control Switch
Step 3 - These running lights are used when visibility
is low such as at dusk, or when fog has covered the road.
Step 4 - The main control for the headlight switch
is the headlights themselves, in this position the headlight will remain "ON" until
the ignition switch is turned off, or the switch is removed from this position.
Step 5 - Headlights are used at night, to help
the driver observe the road in low visibility conditions.
Step 6 - The high beam feature of the headlight
system is to help vision capabilities during open highway travels, were additional
cars are few. These lights have a higher trajectory than normal headlight beams and
can impair opposing drivers vision, caution should be used while in operation.
Step 7 - The instrument cluster illumination light
intensity is controlled on or near the headlight switch, this adjustment gives the
driver the option to control cluster brightness at night.
High Beam Control
Step 8 - Once the instrument light controller has
reached the end of its travel, it will manually turn the dome lights on which give
the driver of the option to illuminate the passenger compartment with all doors closed.
Some cars feature an auto option, which allows the computer to decide when the
headlights should come on. Some headlights stay on temporarily after the vehicle
has been exited, this feature is designed for the convenience of light outside the
vehicle. If the headlights are not working properly, the first step is to use a
, which are usually located
in the power distribution center. If a headlight bulb has failed
on most cars is fairly simple. Some cars feature a set of DRL (daytime running lights)
lights which are used whenever the vehicle is in operation, these bulbs act much
like a sized down headlight system and are similar to
as a headlight bulb. When replacing a headlight switch, use OEM (original equipment
manufacturer) or similar quality part, inferior switches are made of sub-par material
which sacrifice durability.
If further assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready
to answer questions
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Article first published 2016-02-03