Fall is the season of colorful leaves, crisp weather, and cozy sweaters. It should also be the season of paying more attention to your Peterbilt headlights.
Headlights may seem minor compared to your truck engine, transmission, and other critical components. As simple as they are, though, your headlights are a crucial part of staying safe on the road, and they’re never something to take for granted.
Why Fall to Maintain Peterbilt and Freightliner Headlights?
Truth be told, you should always keep an eye on your Peterbilt headlights and ensure they’re in good shape. However, it should be an especially high priority in the fall for several reasons.
The days start getting shorter starting in June, so we’re already seeing noticeably less daylight than we were a few months ago. Before we know it, daylight savings time will be ending at the beginning of November.
With more hours of darkness each day, your heavy truck headlights become increasingly more important. Even if you aim to schedule your drives during daylight, you may not have that control every day.
Autumn doesn’t just mean you can find pumpkin-flavored everything. It means winter is on its way. During winter, it’s more essential than ever to have well-maintained headlights because of the weather patterns. It’s harder to see when it’s snowing, and your headlights will help.
In addition, you need to be able to see the road itself during the winter. There’s always a risk of snow or ice that makes the road slippery. Proper headlights will help you see those hazards before you feel them.
Humans aren’t the only ones who come out to enjoy the fall weather. Deer tend to be more active in the fall as well because they’re preparing for their mating season. More deer activity means more deer on the road. If your headlights are working at their best, you’re more likely to see any deer in your path and avoid an accident.
Tips to Maintain Your Peterbilt Headlights
If you want to make your Peterbilt, Volvo VNL, or Freightliner headlights a priority this fall, the next step is finding how to do that. Start with these top tips.
1. Know Your Bulb Range
Every headlight bulb has a calculated estimate for its lifespan. While there are many factors that affect the bulb, this lifespan is a helpful approximation. Know the lifespan you can expect from your bulbs. As your bulbs near their limit, start paying more attention to the bulbs to see whether they’re dimming or have burnt out.
Of course, it’s also a good practice to inspect your truck every time before you hit the road. Knowing your headlight bulbs’ lifespans will allow you to be more prepared when the inevitable happens, though.
2. Stock Up
As every truck driver knows, headlight bulbs have a knack for burning out at the least convenient times. To make sure you’re ready, always keep at least one pair of backup bulbs in your truck.
Remember that when you replace the bulbs, you should replace both at the same time. If one bulb goes out, chances are that the other one will too, so you can avoid future problems by replacing the other one proactively.
3. Check the Alignment
The alignment of your headlights is an important factor in your safety on the road. If a headlight is pointing at the wrong angle, it can block visibility for other drivers and may cause them to lose control on the road. It could also be casting the light away from the road where you need it most.
Headlights can get misaligned when you drive over potholes or other uneven, bouncy roads. The misalignment can worsen as you continue driving, putting a serious damper on your visibility.
To check your truck’s headlight alignment, turn on your lights while you’re in front of a building or wall. If possible, choose a wall that has lines on it to help you compare the two headlights. This will help you make sure the headlights are pointing at the same angle.
4. Watch for Cloudiness
Whether you have Peterbilt headlights, Freightliner headlights, Volvo VNL headlights, or another brand, it’s typical for your headlights to cloud over time. It often happens from the chemicals and temperatures of your semi truck running.
The problem is that clouding will darken your headlights and put you at risk. If you start to notice clouding, you can restore the headlights on your own.
You can buy a restoration kit to keep in your truck, ready to use. In a pinch, you can even use toothpaste to clear your headlights. To prevent the cloudiness from returning, make sure to clean your truck’s headlights on a regular basis.
5. Know When Water is Okay and When It’s a Problem
When drivers see water in their headlights, they often assume the worst. In reality, sometimes it’s a problem and sometimes it isn’t. To keep up with maintaining your headlights, you need to know the difference.
Condensation in your headlights is common and will not cause a problem. If you have enough water in the headlights to form a small puddle, it’s a different story. That means there’s a crack somewhere in the headlight, letting water in.
If you suspect a crack, it’s important to get it fixed right away to prevent future problems. A used truck part specialist can identify the specific headlight you need so you can get your semi truck back on the road safely.
Maintaining Safety Tools: Your Headlights
Whether you have Peterbilt headlights, Freightliner headlights, Volvo VNL headlights, or any other brand, consider them among the most underestimated safety tools in your heavy truck.
Maintaining your headlights can improve your visibility and keep you safe on the road. That’s true all year round, but it’s especially critical during the fall.
This year, make your headlight maintenance a priority. If you need new truck headlights or other heavy duty truck parts to keep you safe, call our specialists or find an LQK truck parts store near you today.