Does driving with your headlights on High beam drain your battery?

My son just got his driver's license. My husband died recently, and we don't know much about cars. When he is driving at night, he says that his headlights look rather dim, and only putting them on high beam makes them bright enough to see. But, he says that when he does this, the battery sputters a bit the next time he starts the car. (My husband took care of the cars before he died, my son is 17 and never really messed with his car.) So, we need to know if

A. There is some way of testing the lights to see if they are good, or if they need to be replaced

B. Does driving with high beams on drain a battery and

C. Cam you replace headlights yourself? Funds are rather short here right now for repair work.

Any information will be much appreciated!

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Light DO NOT drain a battery in good condition because the battery is constantly being charged by the alternator. Do yourself a favour and have your charging system inspected.

  • 1 decade ago

    High Beam does use more power but your car should be able to maintain the increased power usage.

    You can have the cars headlights tested at any garage that has the equipment, it may be that your headlights are just set too low which could give the impression of not being bright enough. If that is the problem have the headlights realigned which will correct both high and low beams and their angles!

    It may be possible to replace the headlights yourself but you may still have to have them re aligned afterwards

    If the car battery sputters when starting from cold it may be that the battery is coming to the end of its life and needs replacing! It could also be that you are only doing short journeys with your lights on and not giving the car alternator sufficient time to recharge the battery. Try having the battery re charged and `see if it improves.

    It may also be worth having the cars charging output checked, it may not be providing enough charge to replace the current that is being used

    I hope this helps

    Source(s): Transport Manager
  • 1 decade ago

    It sounds like the problem is with your car's alternator or battery or electrical system - but probably not with the headlights (I've never heard of headlights slowly getting too dim to use, usually they just burn out at some point). A car in good condition should not have these problems.

    P.S. Replacing headlights yourself is easy - because all you really need to replace is the bulb, and you can usually do that in a car without even needing tools and without removing the whole headlight. Bulbs are easy to get at your local car parts store like AutoZone and the people who work there might even help you do it, it only takes a minute.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi,driving with your high beams on will not affect your battery. Some cars, like the Geo I used to own, have lens covers that fade over time and affect the amount of light which makes them look dim. There are some lens cleaners that you can get at auto parts store for under ten bucks.Or you can check the local salvage yard for some good used lens covers. The lights themselves are either on, or off so its not the actual light bulb. I hope this helps you.

    Good luck!

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  • Joe
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    A) The only way to test headlights is to visually inspecct them. If they light up, they're good, if they don't, they're bad.

    B) Driving with high beams won't hurt the battery at all.

    C) Yes, replacing headlight bulbs is a very easy job. However, I believe that you need to get out of the mindset, that you need to replace them.

    Your problem almost for sure is one of three things:

    Headlights are out of adjustment, battery is bad, or alternator is bad. Take the car to Autozone; they'll test your entire charging system for free.

  • 1 decade ago

    your problem my lye with the battery have a load check done at and auto parts store they shouldn't charge for this service . sounds like a weak cell also clean the head lamps with window cleaner. this may also help as far a seeing at night. and no driving with the lights on during the day is ok it shouldn't drain the battery. matter of fact people who drive with there light on in the day time are more visible to other drivers. also check high and low beams for adjustment and that one is not burnt out have the auto parts do this for you also . they will at no charge, good luck

    Source(s): 47 years as a tech diesel trucks cars .
  • 1 decade ago

    a-the lights are ok , if not they cant be turned on at all.

    b-driving whit highbeam dosent drain the battery because theres a kind of elektric generator in the car which charges the battery constantly and also produces elektricity for lights during driving too.

    c-if your car has ECU (electronic control unit) , thats better to ask an expert to do that.because u may damage the ecu.if not u can do it your

    self but first u should unplug the negative cable of the battery to avoid spark and damaging the battery during fixing.

    d-thats better to check the battery to see wheather its ok or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    No driving with your high beams on will not drain battery, it just anoys others drivers and is againts the law if meting uncoming traffic.

    It sounds like you have dirty or loose battery cabels, yes you can change head lights your self, but it sounds as if you have a battery or altanator problem.


    Source(s): old age
  • 1 decade ago

    the problem will not be with light ,but in the charging system . it sounds like a bad alternator but could be something as simple as bad teminal on the battery though unlikley some parts store like autozone will chek the alt for free. if thats the problem then its somthing your son can take care of with help fom the internet in 1 hr

  • 1 decade ago

    No, driving with high beams wont drain the battery. As long as the alternator is charging there should be no problem. If not there may be a drain. Please email me I will be more than happy to help.

    Source(s): ase tech @ shop owner 20years
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