How to Turn On Headlights: A Complete Guide for Drivers

July 9, 2024

Headlights are essential for safe driving, particularly at night or in low visibility conditions. Knowing how to turn on headlights in your car ensures you stay visible on the road and avoid potential accidents. In this article, we will explore the different ways to operate headlights and other exterior lights in your vehicle.

Locating the Headlight Controls

Most headlight controls are found near or behind the steering wheel. They often include symbols to indicate different settings like parking lights, low beams, and high beams. In some vehicles, the controls might be on a lever or a control dial. The 2017 Chevy Spark LT model, for example, has its headlight controls on a knob that some users find confusing, as it may feel stuck in the auto mode.

how to turn on headlights

Using Automatic Headlights

Many modern cars, including the Chevy Spark, come equipped with automatic headlights that use sensors to turn on based on ambient light. This feature can be quite convenient, ensuring that your headlights are on when needed without manual intervention. However, it's important to know how to manually override the auto settings. In case your vehicle's auto feature isn't functioning, these instructions will guide you on how to turn on headlights manually.

Manual Headlight Operation

how to turn on headlights
"Audi A5 LED headlights" by janandersen_dk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

To manually turn on the headlights, locate the control lever or dial near the steering wheel. Follow these steps:

  1. Rotate the dial or use the lever to select the desired setting. This typically includes options like parking lights, low beam, and high beam.
  2. To activate the high beams, push the lever forward until you hear a click. To revert to low beams, pull the lever back to its home position.
  3. If your vehicle has fog lights, they can usually be controlled with an additional switch on the headlight lever or control dial.

For instance, the touring trim for the Honda Civic includes fog lights where the on/off switch is located on the headlight lever. If your headlights won’t turn on, referring to the vehicle's owner’s manual is advisable.

How to Turn On Headlights in Different Settings

Understanding when to use different headlight settings is crucial for safe driving. Here are some tips:

  • Low Beams: Use these on crowded roads to minimize glare for oncoming traffic.
  • High Beams: Suitable for roads without traffic. Remember to switch back to low beams when other vehicles are approaching.
  • Fog Lights: Use fog lights in dense fog or heavy precipitation for better visibility.

Preventing Battery Drain

It's important to remember that leaving your headlights on when the car is not running can drain the battery, potentially leading to engine start issues. Most vehicles come equipped with an auto-off feature that prevents this from happening. However, it's always good practice to double-check that your lights are off when exiting your vehicle.

Proper use of headlights is essential for safe driving. Following these guidelines will ensure your visibility on the road and help you avoid potential hazards.

Thank you for reading. Discover more engaging articles like this on our homepage, and be sure to follow us on our social media platforms for updates and more content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram