Car Guides

Why do my headlights keep burning out?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader whose vehicle's low-beam headlight bulbs have been burning out frequently.

Wieck/ American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Any ideas as to what’s causing my vehicle’s headlights to keep burning out?

Q. I have a 2015 vehicle, and it has gone through four low-beam headlight bulbs in the past year. I drive about 20,000 miles a year, and I keep the headlights on all the time, as you’ve recommended. Any possible reasons why this is happening?

A. I’m assuming that your shop is using quality bulbs and that a mechanic has checked the wiring and sockets. The most common issue that shortens bulb life is higher-than-normal voltage. At this point, I would check the voltage to the headlight bulbs. If the voltage seems normal, see if you can have a technician wire a volt meter into the headlight system. You may see that occasionally the voltage spikes, and that’s what is damaging the bulbs.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to [email protected].