Headlights Dim When Turning Steering Wheel – What to Do?

Do your headlights dim when turning steering wheel? It has to do with the new EPS power steering system! Read on to know more about the issue. 

Driving at night is intrinsically riskier than driving during the day. Despite the artificial light supplied by street lamps and headlights, darkness can obscure road dangers, pedestrians, and nocturnal animals. 

When your headlights aren’t working correctly, driving after dusk becomes much more difficult. If the brightness of your headlights suddenly dims or fluctuates when you steer the wheels, there is an issue hiding beneath the hood of your automobile that has to be addressed.

When you rotate the wheels, the EPS uses some power to turn the wheels, causing the headlights to dim. This is a typical occurrence in many automobiles. You might try turning off the air conditioner or simply increasing the RPMs (Rotation Per Minute) and rotating the wheel. 

The increased output from the alternator should be enough to power everything in the system.

In rare situations, dimming headlights while steering may indicate that your car needs maintenance or repair. 

The rest of this post will assist you in determining what is causing the fading so that you may take corrective action.


Headlights Dim When Turning Steering Wheel

Headlight Basics

You could believe that because you’re used to changing bulbs in your house when they quit working, the same method would work in your automobile. Changing the bulbs in your headlights may cure your problem, but should it be your first step? Several factors can cause the dimming of headlights—understanding how your headlights function can aid in the diagnosis of the issue.

When the automobile is turned off, the battery powers the headlights. The engine starts delivering power to all of the car’s electrical systems, including charging the battery, as soon as you start the automobile. 

The alternator transfers energy from the engine to the vehicle’s electrical components. A wire harness connects the headlights to the engine and grounds them to the chassis. Any interruption in the flow of electricity in this circuit might cause the lights to fade or turn off completely.

It’s worth noting that headlight bulbs are generally either on or off. They should light up entirely if they are still good. They will not glow at all if they are shattered. They are unlikely to be the source of your problem if they are poorly illuminated. You’ll have to seek the root of your problem somewhere else.


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Other Potential Causes

If increasing the RPM does not resolve the problem, it might be a blown, inefficient fuse or (less often) a defective bulb light. The headlights are meant to last the vehicle’s life, so this is something to get examined as a last resort. Replace the fuse first, after you’ve exhausted all other simple alternatives.

1. Aging Headlight Lenses

To protect the bulbs from harm, modern headlights feature a transparent plastic cover over them. Exposure to sunshine might cause this plastic to yellow over time. The surface of the plastic can be scratched by rocks, mud, and other road debris, making it seem white or hazy. This discoloration obscures the lens and prevents light from passing through. Even if your headlights are operating correctly, they may look dim.

A DIY headlight repair kit, which polishes away the imperfections and restores the plastic to its translucent state, may often extend the usable life of the plastic. Many vehicle repair businesses in Salt Lake City provide headlight restoration services for individuals who prefer not to tackle DIY techniques. Keep in mind that the benefits of restoration are only temporary, and your headlights will almost certainly need to be replaced in the future.


Headlights Dim When Turning Steering Wheel

2. Discolored Bulb

Halogen bulbs are standard on most OEM headlights. The gas inside these bulbs forms a coating on the interior of the glass over time. If your headlight bulbs appear black, it’s most likely due to build-up on the bulb’s interior, which prevents light from exiting. Regrettably, the only method to resolve this issue is to replace the bulbs.

3. Ground Wire Corrosion

The headlights’ performance is dependent on the cable connecting them to the chassis. This grounding wire is part of the circuit that provides power to them by allowing electricity to flow to them. Electricity cannot flow freely if the cable is broken or impeded by dirt or corrosion. The power to the headlights will be reduced, and they will beam less brightly. The electricity supply may be entirely shut off, causing your headlights to go off even if they are still functional.

The ground wire must be replaced to fix this problem. Although the wire is not a costly component, it will take your mechanic some time to repair. The majority of the expense of this repair will be labor rather than parts.


Headlights Dim When Turning Steering Wheel

4. Failing Alternator

Not only is a working alternator essential for maintaining optimum headlight brightness, but it also supplies electrical power to almost all of the car’s accessories. Electricity is required to operate the power steering, windshield wipers, radio, power windows, and dash instruments. The alternator takes energy from the engine and converts it into electrical energy that may power all of these components.

The backup camera, power windows, headlights, and batteries no longer get electricity when the alternator fails. The battery must now supply all of the vehicle’s electrical demands. Car batteries aren’t built to handle that kind of power.

How can you know if your alternator needs to be replaced? When you start your automobile, pay attention to the headlights. The lights should be bright when you first turn the key in the ignition since the battery powers them. If your headlights fade when the alternator takes over, it’s a sign that it’s not producing enough power, and you should get it examined.


You might also like to read : Power Steering Hard To Turn When Cold: 6 Reasons

5. Worn Alternator Belt

The alternator belt may need to be replaced if your headlights appear to brighten and fade at irregular intervals. This belt links the alternator to the engine through a pulley. The belt may alternate between sliding and clutching if it is old and worn. The headlights lose power when it slips, causing them to dim. The headlights acquire more power and become brighter when the belt grabs the pulley again. With time, belts stretch and wear out. If you think yours need to be replaced, have your technician inspect it and make any required repairs.

Unfortunately, drivers are unaware of their weak headlights until they need them. It’s unsafe to drive at night with only the illumination from a handful of flashlights. If your headlights aren’t as bright as they should be, it’s time to look into the typical suspects, find the source of the problem, and correct it.


Headlights Dim When Turning Steering Wheel

Can a Bad Battery Cause Lights to Dim?

Headlights that are not working properly might be caused by a failing battery or loose or corroded battery connections. When the automobile is started, they usually become pretty dim. While the engine is rolling over, a slight degree of fading is typical.

Other lights beside the dash may usually flicker or fade while the car begins if the battery is the problem. Your interior lighting or headlights will probably dim. 


Why do my lights dim when I roll my windows up?

When you utilize power windows, the headlights should not dim. It’s a symptom of a problem with the battery, power connection, or battery or window motor grounding. It may be challenging to pinpoint the source of the problem, so it’s better to take your automobile to a mechanic.

Is it normal for headlights to dim when starting?

The starting motor generates a significant current when the automobile engine is started. As a result, the battery draws a big current, and a substantial potential difference is created across the battery’s internal resistance.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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