• Excel Autocare

Types of Car Lights and When You Should Use them.

Knowing how to use your vehicle's lighting system correctly is basic knowledge that is on driving exams, but we always find that not everyone is 100% sure of how the system fully works. The major reason one should know of the lighting system should work is due to safety - for yourself and others on the road. There is always someone driving without their headlights off when it's dark or visibility is not the best. Below is a break down of the lighting system:


There are two types of headlights - low beam and high beams. These are one of the most important features as they allow the driver to see the roadway and they also signal to other drivers where your vehicle is located. Having your headlights on will help prevent accidents by allowing others to see you and slow down or stop accordingly.

Low beams provide enough light for one to see forward without blinding other drivers with excessive glare. High beams provide an intense, center-weighted distribution of light and should only be used when there are no cars in front of you. You will know your high beams are on by the blue headlight symbol on the dash. If you are unsure what this looks like, please refer to the vehicles owners manual. 


These are located at the rear of the vehicle and are large red lights. They are designed to come on at the same time the vehicle headlights are on. This helps drivers behind you to see you are there, and this distance between vehicles. 

Daytime Running Lights:

These are located at both the front and the rear of the car and usually turn on automatically; some vehicles will have the option to turn them off. They are designed to make you more visible to other vehicles. 

Fog Lights:

These are located at the front of the vehicle, near the headlights and are mounted low in order to prevent light from refracting on the fog and glaring back towards the driver. These should only be used in the fog when headlights are not effective. 

Signal Lights:

Also known as turn signals, or “blinkers”, these are located in the front and the rear of the vehicle. They are designed to indicate to other drivers that you will soon be turning in the direction of the signal. Most vehicle now when the bulb is burnt out will start blinking rapidly when you turn your signal on, indicating that it needs to be replaced.

Brake Lights:

Located to the side of your rear lights, they signal to other drivers you are slowing down or stopping. The lights will only activate when you apply the brakes. These lights are vital to make sure others are aware of your intentions, helping avoid getting rear ended. 

By getting routine maintenance completed on ones vehicle, the technicians should be doing a safety check and making sure your lighting system is in working ordered. This will help you to keep everything in check, and allow other's to know where the vehicle is. Stop by your local shop if you ever need any help.

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