Why Do My Car Lights Dim When Turning the Steering Wheel?

Why Do My Car Lights Dim When Turning the Steering Wheel?

Driving at night is dangerous comparatively in the daylight. Even with the artificial light provided by streetlights and headlamps. Darkness can hide people, and animals, and can be dangerous on the highway.

Driving is much more challenging when your headlights aren’t functioning properly. There is a problem with your car that has to be fixed if the brightness of your headlights abruptly changes or fluctuates when you turn the steering wheel.

Have you ever experienced such kind of situation and thought about the reason behind dim headlights when turning the steering wheel?

Do You Ever Think That the Headlights Can Be Dim When Turning the Steering Wheel?

Well, the dimming of vehicle lights when rotating a steering wheel is a normal issue, particularly in newer vehicles with electronic power steering (EPS). EPS systems have an electric motor that is powered by a battery. The EPS motor takes more power when you spin the steering wheel, which may result in a small reduction in voltage. This may cause the headlights to dim when turning the steering wheel.

All Causes of Dim Light in Your Car:

If the dimming appears even when you are not rotating the steering wheel, it may indicate a number of possible causes, including:

1. EPS System Issue:

EPS systems help the driver steer by using an electric motor. A frequent issue is the dimming of vehicle lights when turning the steering wheel, particularly in more recent vehicles with EPS systems. This is because each time the steering wheel is turned, the EPS motor drains power from the battery.

Even when the automobile is stopped, the voltage drops that result from a weak battery or an inefficient alternator might cause the headlights to dim. The headlights might even fully dim in some situations.

2. Weak Battery:

A failed battery or faulty or rusted battery connections may be the root cause of your headlights’ malfunction. They typically get quite dark when the car is started. A tiny amount of fading light is common when the car’s engine is rolling over. It’s also possible that a weak battery won’t be able to power both the headlights and the EPS pump simultaneously.

Car Lights Dim When Turning the Steering Wheel

3. Faulty Alternator:

Battery charging is carried out by the alternator. The alternator powers all of the vehicle’s accessories. If the alternator has a problem, it might not be able to produce enough power to meet the needs of the EPS pumps, power steering, backup cameras, headlights, etc. Due to this, the entire electrical requirement of the vehicle must be met by the battery. Batteries in cars aren’t designed to carry that much power.

4. Loose or Corroded Wire:

A voltage loss due to damaged or loose wire may cause the headlights to dim. The performance of the cable that connects the headlights to the chassis is reliant on it. They receive power from the circuit by having electricity flow to them through this grounding wire.

Loose or Corroded Wire causes headlight to dim

If the wire is damaged or obstructed by corrosion or debris, electricity cannot flow freely. Less power will be supplied to the headlights, resulting in a less intense beam. Even though they are still operational, your headlights may turn off if the energy supply is completely cut off. This issue needs to be resolved by replacing the ground wire.

5. Discolored Light Bulb:

Most OEM headlights come equipped with halogen bulbs. Over time, the gases inside these bulbs create a layer on the inner of the glass. The most common cause of your headlight bulbs seeming black is accumulation inside the bulb, which keeps light from leaving. Unfortunately, changing the bulbs is the only way to address this problem.

6. Outdated Headlight Lenses:

Modern headlights come with a clear covering of plastic over the bulbs to protect them from damage. Sunlight exposure could eventually turn this plastic yellow. The plastic’s surface can become scraped by rocks, dirt, and other road particles, giving the impression that it’s white or foggy. This discoloration makes the lens dense and blocks light from entering. Your headlights could appear dim even if they are working properly.

Outdated Headlight Lenses

7. A Defective, Blown Fuse:

If changing the RPM doesn’t fix it then a blown, ineffective fuse or (less frequently) a faulty bulb light may be the cause of the issue. This should only be looked into as a last resort since the headlights are designed to last the vehicle’s lifetime. When all other straightforward options have been exhausted, replace the fuse first.

How Can You Diagnose That You Need to Fix or Repair Dim Light?

Look carefully at the headlights as you turn on your car. When you initially turn the key in the ignition, the lights must be bright because the battery powers them. if your headlights start to dim then your alternator may not be supplying enough power.

It’s crucial to have your automobile checked out by a mechanic to identify the root of the issue if you find that the vehicle’s lights are fading as you move the steering wheel. The battery and alternator will likely be examined. They might also examine the wiring and EPS system.

Precautionary Measures:

There are a couple of measures you can take to stop the steering wheel from causing the car lights to dim:

• Avoid turning the steering wheel at slow speeds.
• Before rotating the steering wheel, increase the engine RPMs.
• Disconnect unnecessary devices, such as the radio or air conditioner.
• Frequently check the battery and alternator in your car.
• Maintain the wiring and EPS system in excellent working order.

Additional Instructions to Avoid Dim Light When Turning the Steering Wheel:

When turning the steering wheel at night while driving, your car’s lights may begin to dim. It may become challenging to notice other vehicles and potential hazards on the road when headlights are dim. If the dimming is extreme it’s advised to stop and pull over to the roadside and wait until the headlights are back to normal prior to continuing on your trip.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Is it normal for the headlights to dim upon starting?

When the car engine is started, a sizable current is produced by the starting motor. The battery draws a lot of current as a result, and a huge potential difference is made across the internal resistance of the battery.

Q2: What causes my lights to dim when my windows are rolled up?

Power windows should not cause the headlights to dim. It is a sign of an issue with the batteries, power connection, or grounding of the window motor. It may be difficult to identify the exact cause of the issue, thus it is preferable to have your car serviced.


This usually isn’t a cause for concern. however, if the dimming appears even when you are not turning the steering wheel, it may indicate a problem with the wiring, battery, alternator, EPS system, or other components. It’s crucial to have your car checked out by a Mechanic.

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