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You might think they are, but daytime running lights and always-on dash lights are confusing increasing numbers of drivers. Here’s our guide to correct headlight usage.
Headlights in cars might sound like a simple subject. And it’s easy to tell because you can see where you’re going. Well, that isn’t always the case. Nowadays, with the rise of automatic headlights and daytime running lights, It isn’t always quite so easy to fathom which lights your automotive is showing.
So which automotive led lights should you have on, and how can you tell which they are? And what do those headlight symbols actually mean? Here’s our guide to make sure you’re no longer in the dark.
In the top one, the headlights are turned off, meaning the car’s DRLs are active. In the lower image, the car's dipped-beam headlights are turned on. Note that in both images, the dashboard lights are lit. Like many modern cars, this one features dashboard lights that come on when you turn on the ignition. As a result, the dashboard lights are no longer a sure-fire way of working out whether the headlights are turned on. In fact, the only way to tell in the above images is the slightly brighter beam from the headlights. Some cars feature a sidelight warning light, to show you when your sidelights are turned on, while others feature warning lights for both sidelights and headlights.
If you haven’t got a dipped-beam telltale, as we’ve just explained, you probably haven’t the only way to check which headlights you have; You can check the switch itself.
The vast majority of headlight switches in modern cars are mounted either on the dashboard, to the right-hand side of the steering wheel, or on the end of the indicator stalk. Every headlight switch will include positions for sidelights and headlights, and there will also be a button or switch to turn on your rear fog lights, which are usually located nearby. Some headlight switches also feature an extra position, marked ‘Auto’ or featuring a headlamp symbol overlaid with the letter ‘A’. If your car is fitted with automotive led lights, this is how to activate them. Some cars will also be fitted with front fog lamps, It will usually have a switch next to or near that of the rear fog lights. All cars will also have full-beam headlights, which must only be used if there is no other traffic on the road ahead of you, and are activated using the indicator stalk. Some cars may have an automatic full-beam function, which detects when the road is clear and turns the full beams on and off for you. Here’s a rough guide to your headlamp switch. Not all headlamp switches will be laid out this way, but the symbols will mostly look the same.