How To Check Your Car Lights

Euro Car Parts Lights Check Front and Back

Car lights are essential features on any vehicle – they alert other road users to your intentions, they allow you to see more clearly at night or in tough weather, and it makes it easier for others to see your car.

However, it’s easy to miss a light that’s dimming, or a bulb that’s stopped working entirely – here’s how to check your lights are in good working condition with ease.


Side Lights

Side lights are usually situated next to your headlights, providing a much lower beam which is perfect for when natural light is lowering, but not enough to turn on your dipped headlights. They’re also known as parking lights, as you should have them turned on when parking on a road with a higher limit than 30mph overnight.

To check they’re working, you can turn them on while in the car and ask someone else to confirm if they’re on, at an appropriate brightness and beaming evenly. Alternatively, you could:

– Turn on the sidelights
– Apply the handbrake
– Ensure your gearstick is in neutral
– Exit the vehicle and check the lights

If your side lights need to be replaced, you can find a wide range to suit any make and model here.

Dipped Headlights

Dipped headlights are essential, as they allow you to get a clearer view of the road at night, or in severely poor weather conditions. Powerful enough to light up the road ahead, but positioned in order to avoid dazzling other drivers, your headlights should be angled down slightly and produce a bright light.

To check your dipped headlights are in the correct working order, follow the same process as when checking side lights above, but turn on your dipped headlights instead. If you realise you do have any faulty bulbs, you can find replacements for dipped headlights across all makes and models here.

Full Beam

Full beams are used in completely dark conditions, such as driving on a country road without street lighting at night, when no other road users are around that could be dazzled. As these lights are usually not used as often as other lights such as indicators and dipped headlights, it’s important to check for faults regularly.

Because full beams are very bright, we don’t recommend looking at them directly to check them. Instead, turn them on in a dark environment – only where they won’t dazzle others, such as in a garage or on an empty road – and ensure a strong beam is shining evenly from both sides of the car. Any dullness or a broken bulb should be obvious from the cabin.

If you need to replace the bulbs for your car, you can find them here – or simply type your registration into the fast finder and we’ll find the compatible parts for your specific model.

Fog Lights

Fog lights are essential when driving in gloomy road conditions – but remember, you should only use them when fog reduces your view by around 100 metres, or 328 feet, otherwise they can hinder other road users.

To stay safe in the fog, don’t forget to check your fog lights are working every now and again when you’re off the road. As with full beams, you should to check these lights in a dark garage or on a street without other road users:

– Turn on the rear and side (if applicable to your vehicle) fog lights
– Apply the handbrake
– Ensure your gearstick is in neutral
– Exit the vehicle and check the lights

You could also remain in the car and ask somebody else to check if the lights are working for you. To find replacement fog light bulbs for your car, click here.


Hazard Lights

Your hazard lights are an essential safety feature that should be checked regularly, to ensure they will work if you ever need them. Hazard lights alert those around you that your car has broken down or is inoperable, and they’re particularly important in unexpected breakdowns.

If you’re unsure how to check if your hazard lights are working, simply press the hazard button (usually a red triangle found on your dashboard) and check all four of your indicator lights found at the front and back of your vehicle are flashing. You shouldn’t need to start your engine to turn on your hazard lights.


All four indicators found on the front and back of your car should be in full working condition, blinking correctly and shining an amber light. To check your indicators:

– Apply the handbrake
– Ensure your gearstick is in neutral
– Turn on your hazard lights (as above)
– Exit the vehicle and check all four lights are working correctly

Looking for indicator bulbs? Find them here or use the fast finder to identify your bulbs.

Brake Lights

Brake lights let others know you’re slowing down, which is crucial for maintaining a safe distance and avoiding rear-end collisions. You should regularly check that all of your brake lights are working, including your third rear window brake light if you have one.

The safest and most effective way to check if your brake lights are working is with the help of somebody else. Turn your car on, remain stationary and apply your footbrake – while doing this, have someone else check all of your brake lights are coming on, all at an equal brightness, and shining as strongly as they should be. You can find affordable replacement brake light bulbs here.

Reversing Lights

Reversing lights let others know your intentions, which is extremely important, especially when parking. As with brake lights, it’s best to have someone else check if your reverse lights are working.

Keeping the car stationary, turn on your engine and put your car’s gear into reverse, and have someone else take a look and see if the lights are working correctly. If they aren’t, you can find replacements for any make and model by typing your registration into the fast finder here

To find other replacement car bulbs, simply enter your car’s registration number into the fast finder on our car bulb page, and we’ll show you all of the compatible bulbs for your particular make and model. For more information on maintaining your car and safe driving, take a look at our other blogs.