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Exterior Vehicle Light Maintenance at Graff Chevrolet in Durand, MI

At Graff Chevrolet in Durand, we want to make sure your vehicle is in the best possible shape for all of your summer adventures. Our goal is to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. Your vehicle’s external lights consist of your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. They are crucial to your safety while driving, but they are often neglected when it comes to routine maintenance practices. Your external lights serve two main purposes when you’re driving your car: to help you see a safe distance in front of your vehicle in the dark and to let other drivers see you and anticipate your actions while driving. Below you can read about each of your vehicle’s exterior lights, as well as how to change a bulb that has gone out. Exterior lights on your vehicle include:

  • Headlights: Your vehicle’s headlights have two main functions, low and high beam. The low beams are most often used and allow you to be seen by other drivers from up to 150 feet away. High beams are most useful in the dark, when there are no other drivers around, as your bright lights could impair their vision. These lights allow you to be seen up to 450 feet away.
  • Taillights: Taillights are located on the rear of your vehicle. Taillights are separate from brake lights and remain on as long as your headlights are turned on. They can help you be seen up to 1,000 feet away from behind.
  • Brake Lights: Brake lights are the lights that come on when you step on the brakes. There is an additional light in the upper rear windshield of your vehicle. These lights do not remain on at all times.
  • Turn Signals: Turn signals are found on the front and rear of your vehicle, and they allow other drivers to anticipate a turn or a lane change. Turn signals are especially important to your safety and you have control of them in the steering column of your vehicle.

Your car may have some other exterior lights like fog lights, running lights, license plate lights, and side mirror lights. Not all vehicles have these lights, but you should know that if your vehicle does include any of these lights, they need to be working at all times. If any of your cars external lights have gone out you could potentially be responsible for a ticket.

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Changing the Bulbs on Your Exterior Vehicle Lights

The best way to know if any of your exterior lights have gone out is to do a monthly check of all your lights. A good way to do this is to have a friend or family member stand outside your vehicle and watch as you attempt to illuminate all of them. If you notice your turn signals are flashing faster than normal, this is a sign that your light bulb is about to burn out. Replacing a blub is fairly simple, but if you’re having some trouble we would be glad to help at Graff Chevrolet Durand. Some things you will want to keep in mind when replacing a light bulb on your vehicle include:

  • The three main types of exterior vehicle bulbs include halogen, LED, and xenon. Halogen lights tend to be the most commonly used, as they are the most cost efficient and last for extended periods of time. LED lights are the most power efficient type of bulb for your vehicle and xenon bulbs will mostly likely be found on luxury vehicles. Each bulb comes with pros and cons so be sure to check your Owner’s Manual if you’re unsure of which type your vehicle uses.
  • The Department of Transportation issues approval for each bulb available to be legally used in vehicles. Keep in mind that there are bulbs on the market that aren’t road legal. These lights are brighter than what is allowed on the road and are typically used for off-roading use.
  • The color of each exterior light is also regulated by the Department of Transportation. It is illegal to change the colors of these lights and could result in a ticket.
  • If your vehicle uses LED lights it may be necessary to change your entire headlight kit if a bulb burns out.

Don’t forget that once you change a bulb on your car, you may have to confirm that they are aiming in the correct direction. You can check your Owner’s Manual for bulb replacement instructions or you can give us a call if you need any help. If you change your bulb and the light is still not working, it’s possible that you could have a short in your wiring or there could be a broken light component. If this is the case, bring your vehicle into the dealership and let one of our ASE Certified technicians take a look at your car.

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Schedule Your Summer Car Care Appointment at Graff Chevrolet Durand

Keeping you safe is our priority and keeping up with your exterior vehicle lighting maintenance will ensure your safety this summer. If we can assist you in your summer car care efforts in any way, bring in your vehicle and let our experts take a look. We’d be happy to check your headlights and wiring to make sure everything is working properly. You can schedule an appointment with our service team online or call (866) 529-1655. We proudly serve Durand, MI and the surrounding communities of Owosso, Flint, Swartz Creek, Genesee Charter Township, and more. Our Dealership is located at 9009 E. Lansing Road Durand, MI 48429. Come by and let us get you on your way to a safer drive this summer!