Why Do My Headlights Dim When Turning The Steering Wheel?

Why Do My Headlights Dim When Turning The Steering Wheel?

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the steering wheel is an essential component of the vehicle. In case you don’t know, the steering system is designed to perform several different functions. Its primary function is to allow drivers to steer the vehicle safely in their desired direction.

Furthermore, the steering wheel is one of the components that provide the vehicle with stability while driving. It’s also responsible for providing the front wheels with a straightening effect. But, can the steering wheel affect headlights?

Under normal conditions, a steering wheel should not directly affect a vehicle’s headlights. Most people complain that their headlights dim whenever they try to turn their steering wheel. In this case, the alternator belt could be one of the reasons why the vehicle’s headlights are misbehaving.

Can a bad battery cause headlights to dim? Why do my headlights dim when turning the steering wheel? What exactly does it mean if the lights dim in my car? What is the best way to fix the dim headlights issue? These are the questions that you’ll find answers to as you read through the rest of this article.

Can A Bad Battery Cause My Vehicle’s Headlights To Dim?

Why Do My Headlights Dim When Turning The Steering Wheel?

Headlights are very essential safety components of a vehicle. They are designed primarily to help drivers see road signs, markings, and sometimes unexpected obstacles. However, the headlights aren’t without their issues.

For instance, most halogen headlights are only designed to last a maximum of 1,000 hours. Some high-intensity discharge lights can last for about 2,000 hours. After this period, the headlights become dim and burn out.

Furthermore, over time, most headlights get covered by grime. Unfortunately, when this happens, it causes the headlight bulbs to dim and burn out. 

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that dim headlights can be pretty terrifying. This is why, as soon as you start noticing your lights dim, you need to take fast action and understand where the issue is coming from.

In case you don’t know, a bad battery is one of the main factors that could make your headlights dim. Yes, flickering and dim headlights and dashboard lights are warning signs that your car battery is bad.

Matter of fact, if your headlights suddenly start to dim, the first thing you need to suspect is the battery. In this case, you should think about the last time you replaced the battery and check whether or not the flickering or dim light is a sign that it’s time to replace the battery.

Furthermore, check the battery (using a tester) and see whether or not it is holding a charge. If yes, it means the battery isn’t old yet. However, if after checking, you found out that the battery is not holding a charge, this is a good sign that the battery is the culprit. Yes, the battery is old and in bad working condition – this explains why you’re having flickering or dim headlights.

So, the bottom line is that a bad battery is one of the main factors that could make headlights flicker or dim.

Why Do My Headlights Dim When Turning The Steering Wheel?

As earlier mentioned, in normal conditions, turning the steering wheel shouldn’t have any effect on your vehicle’s headlights. So, if you’re currently experiencing the situation, it means something is not right somewhere.

One of the factors that could make your headlights dim, especially when turning the steering wheel is the alternator belt. So, since you’re already experiencing the situation, the first thing you need to do is to check the belt tension and the working condition of your power steering pump.

Here’s why; as you turn your power steering wheel, the pump is placed under a certain load, as it needs to supply hydraulic pressure necessary to keep the steering system working. However, since the pump is mechanical, it means there’ll be zero effect on your vehicle’s electrical system (directly).

Indirectly, however, the hydraulic pump could affect the electric system. Here’s the thing, the pump is driven by a belt. As such, it could put added strain on the belt. Unfortunately, because of the added strains, the belt will most likely take some of the driving power from the alternator, so it could perform its job properly. This explains why you may be having dim or flickering headlights when turning your steering wheel.

So, the bottom line is that the tension on the alternator belt could be the cause of the dimming headlights issue. The belt is taking a certain amount of power from the alternator, which is necessary to keep the headlights bright. This also explains why your headlights immediately brighten up, as soon as you stop turning the steering wheel.

What Does It Mean If Your Lights Dim In Your Car?

Why Do My Headlights Dim When Turning The Steering Wheel?

If your headlights and dashboard lights dim in your car, this could be a warning sign that everything is not right with your vehicle. As earlier mentioned, the first thing that you need to suspect is your battery. It could be that your vehicle’s battery is bad and needs to be replaced.

Furthermore, if your lights dim in your car, it could also mean that the alternator belt is faulty and worn out. In this case, the best thing to do is to replace the alternator bet with a new one.

It’s also worth knowing that the headlights dimming issue could be a result of a failing alternator. Your vehicle’s alternator is responsible for supplying electrical power to most of the components in the car. It’s also responsible for keeping your headlights in good working conditions. That said, a failing alternator will most likely cause your headlights to flicker or dim.

Discolored bulbs, ground wire corrosion, and aging headlight lenses are other common causes of dimming headlights and dashboard lights.

How Do You Fix Dim Headlights?

For you to fix your vehicle’s dim headlights, you need to understand exactly what is causing the issue in the first place. This way, you will be able to fix the issue properly.

For instance, if the issue is a result of a bad or old battery, all you need is to replace the battery with a new one. If the issue is coming from the alternator belt, consider replacing the belt with a new one. It’s that simple; just make sure you first figure out exactly why the headlights are misbehaving.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

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