Driving experience would not tell you where you are heading to. It also would not guarantee that you can have a safe and sound travel during the night. And though many years of driving develop your skill, it is not also enough to say that driving becomes your second nature. Because no matter how long you have been driving in your life, no matter how many time you have been passing the same roads over and over again, and no matter how long you have been sitting on your car that you have already memorized each turns and bumps along the way, driving skill is not enough to ensure safety on the road. You also need a good set of headlights the will aid you to see the road clearly while traversing through streets and corners.
Headlights' main purpose is to give you a clear vision of the road ahead. Located at the front end of the vehicle, the headlight serves as the eye of the vehicle and the sun of the driver to see the road during poor visibility conditions not just during the night but also during rain and fog. Didn't we mention "fog"? You might ask why you should use the headlights instead of fog lights during foggy condition. The reason is simple, if you don't have any fog lights, you should consider turning your headlights on for other drivers to see your vehicle at the same time to see the road clearly. Some studies might suggest that fog lights do not actually make any difference when use during foggy conditions as compared to the headlights. The yellow beam does not give the assurance of clearer road. And although fog lights are part of the standard features of some vehicles, headlight should also be used during foggy condition for it is located where other drivers can see it better.
Jetta headlights are attached on the header panel which also houses the radiator and grille. The headlights are made from sealed-beam construction that keeps moist, dust, and water vapor from entering the headlight that could quickly deteriorate and decrease the quality of the headlights. And because Jetta headlights are guaranteed to have great quality, it is certain that the headlights will last for long.
Volkswagen Jetta Headlight Buyer’s Guide
- Driving with a failing headlight is dangerous and can get you apprehended in some states.
- There have been recalls in the past due to failing headlights, which is why Volkswagen Jetta headlight assemblies became some of the most sought-after replacement parts among owners
- Headlights can fail due to a faulty switch, burned-out bulbs, a short circuit, or a blown fuse.
- If the damage involves a broken lens, housing, or mount, it would be smarter to buy your Volkswagen Jetta a headlight replacement.
- OE Volkswagen Jetta headlight replacements on CarParts.com are price anywhere between $20 and $460.
Volkswagen has shown the world German manufacturing quality with dozens of popular nameplates over the years. The Volkswagen Jetta is one of those and it has been one of the favorite VWs of a lot of people. This compact sedan was designed to be just above the long-time successful Golf model. The name is believed to be derived from the Atlantic “jet stream,” although VW has not confirmed this.
The Volkswagen Jetta, like any other car in the market, experiences mechanical and electrical issues. Among the many problems it is known for is the failure of electrical components, such as the headlights. In fact, there have been recalls in the past due to failing headlights. Because of this, Volkswagen Jetta headlight assemblies became some of the most sought-after replacement parts among owners.
What causes a headlight to fail?
Headlights are important because they help you to clearly see the road at night. Driving at night and in poorly lit areas requires clear vision of the road, which is why it would be difficult and unsafe if one of your headlights fail. You may also face legal charges depending on the state you’re in.
There are a couple of reasons why headlights prematurely fail. The causes are often minor and easy to fix, such as burned out bulbs. Below are some of the minor causes of a failing VW Jetta headlight.
Bad headlight switch
One usual cause of a failing headlight is a faulty headlight switch. Unlike most cars that have levers behind the steering wheel acting as the headlight switch, the Volkswagen Jetta features a rotating dial that operates the headlamps. This can fail in some cases and can prevent your headlight from switching on and adjusting to other modes. This may make you think that your headlights are unresponsive even though they should be running well.
Another common culprit of unresponsive headlights is a blown fuse, which cuts the supply of electric current from the battery to the headlights. A fuse blows due to several reasons, but one of the common causes is a short circuit. A short can happen if there are open wires or if you’re using the wrong wattage of bulbs.
As mentioned, a short can cause your fuse to blow. The wire can come in contact with hot components, which melts its insulation and exposes the metal wire. If the wire is near a metal part, the electricity can jump and cause a short circuit. You’re also at risk of damaging your bulbs if there’s a short circuit in your system.
Burned-out bulbs cause your headlights to flicker, dim, or die from time to time. This could be hazardous especially at night, as you won’t know when the headlights will go on and off. Replace a faulty headlight bulb as soon as possible or upgrade by opting for an LED or HID replacement.
When to replace the headlights on your Volkswagen Jetta
The problems mentioned above will not cause you to replace the whole headlight assembly. However, if the damage involves a broken lens, housing, or mount, it would be smarter to buy your Volkswagen Jetta a headlight replacement. Cosmetic upgrades are also a good reason for replacing the entire headlight assembly. Aftermarket Volkswagen Jetta headlights, aside from being great copies of the OEM ones, also feature varying designs and color finishes.
Finding the right fit
OE Volkswagen Jetta headlight replacements on CarParts.com are priced anywhere between $20 and $460. The headlight designs vary depending on the model year. To get the right fit, input your vehicle’s year, make, and model in our vehicle selector. This can make your search easier and less time consuming if you’re looking for a specific part, such as a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta headlight. You can buy a replacement in single pieces or as a pair.
Volkswagen Jetta Headlight Assembly
Find Out if the Volkswagen Jetta Headlight Assembly is Faulty
The headlight assembly of a vehicle is one of the most important parts because it allows every driver to cruise safely down the road. Plus, it's a standard operating procedure to switch the headlights on when dusk sets in or when you drive through a tunnel. This way, you can avoid any vehicular accidents and you'll be noticed by the other drivers on the street. However, it's inevitable for the Volkswagen Jetta headlight assembly to fail. Eventually, it will and you'll have to get a replacement. But first, you have to know if it's faulty. Here are some troubleshooting tips that you can use to find out.
Vibration of headlight assembly while driving
When driving and you sense that the headlight assembly is vibrating, it could mean that the projector or reflector is disconnected. This will entail you having to open the assembly. The high-beam side of the projector or reflector of the headlight assembly is connected by a single sliding-friction attachment point, which can be found at the adjustment mechanism. If great force was applied when you reconnected the electrical plug to the high-beam bulb, it can cause the projector or reflector to slip off its attachment. It's not necessary to replace the assembly itself, but you can go to an expert mechanic to have this repaired.
A common reason why the headlight assembly fails is because the headlight bulb is no longer functioning. To check if it's faulty, turn on the headlights and find out which side is not working. Have this replaced immediately because it's quite difficult to drive with only one functioning headlight.
Busted wiring harness
If you've replaced the headlight bulb, but the assembly still refuses to function, it could mean that the wiring harness is damaged. Check the engine compartment fuse box and take out the fuse that works on the headlight circuit that no longer lights up. If the fuse is discolored, replacing it would be necessary.
No power coming through the wiring harness
To check if there's power coming through the wiring harness, you'll need to inspect it with a voltmeter. Connect it to the negative and positive terminal on the battery. If there's no power at all, you'll have to replace the wiring harness so that the headlight assembly would be able to function.
Keep the Volkswagen Jetta Headlight Assembly in Top Condition
Sooner or later, the Volkswagen Jetta headlight assembly will fail because of different factors. The most common one would be dirt and debris that enter the assembly. This is quite foreseeable because of the different road conditions that you take. Weather is also a factor because rain drops can build up or debris that flow with the windy air can go inside the assembly. No matter what the reason is, it's important that you keep the headlight assembly in top condition at all times. Here are some useful tips that you can use.
Clean a clouded headlight assembly.
Headlight assemblies with plastic lenses may be a safer material, but it can also get clouded and obscure the light flow, which can be very dangerous. Cleaning a clouded lens is easy. All you have to do is simply use a regular cut polish from any auto parts store and you can make the headlight lens look shinier.
Schedule a regular cleanup.
Since it's really impossible to last a day without getting the headlights dirty, you might as well schedule a regular cleanup. It can be weekly or twice a week, depending on your convenience. A dirty headlight assembly can lessen illumination, which can be dangerous because other drivers may not notice you on the road. Moisture and dirt buildup is common and if not cleaned right away, it can affect the whole headlight assembly. You can simply use paper towels to wipe off any debris or wetness that's inside the assembly.
Check if the wirings are still functioning.
Sometimes, the headlight assembly fails because of the connection of the wiring or it may be due to a faulty headlight bulb. Check if it's dimming or not working at all because if that's the case, you might have to replace it with a new one. But if it's only loose, carefully tighten it to adjust it. Also, inspect the wirings if you need to replace any of them. Sometimes, if the headlight bulbs don't light up, it's because of disconnected wires. These little units are easier to replace rather than having to change the whole headlight assembly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any tips on installing replacement headlights on a Volkswagen Jetta?
Installing replacement headlights on a Jetta is very easy because no special tools are needed to accomplish the task. In case the headlight assembly needs to be replaced, just pop the hood, and disconnect the connector that can be found behind the headlight assembly. If the bulb needs to be replaced, just unscrew the retaining ring to remove the defective bulb. However, avoid touching the bulb too much because doing so may damage it.
How much does a replacement Volkswagen Jetta headlight cost?
The prices of Volkswagen Jetta headlights vary depending on whether the headlights come with bulbs or not and if they're sold in pairs or individually. Based on quantity sold, individually sold headlights have prices ranging from 10 to as much as 500 USD, while those that are sold in pairs may range between 54 to 540 USD. On the other hand, replacements that come with bulbs may cost around 14 to 455 USD, while those that do not come with bulbs cost about 41 to as much as 540 USD.
The lens of the headlight on the passenger side of the Volkswagen Jetta headlight is too cloudy. What should be done to restore them?
Headlight lenses that are made from polycarbonate plastic (PC) become hazy after some time. Fortunately, restoring or polishing headlight is very easy and can be done with the help of two common household items: toothpaste and baking soda. Toothpaste can be applied on hazy lenses using a soft cloth to polish the lenses. If toothpaste is unavailable, baking soda can be used as an alternative. This compound works well because it makes a fine grit that can effectively remove dirt and other debris.
There are two types of headlights that can be installed on Volkswagen Jettas. Which is better: composite or sealed-beam headlight?
Choosing the right headlight type depends on the model of the Volkswagen Jetta. Sealed-beam headlights are typically installed on older Jetta models. These headlights are composed of lenses, reflectors, and one or more filaments that are connected to each other permanently. On the other hand, composite headlights are installed on newer Jettas. They differ from sealed-beams because their bulbs can be replaced even without purchasing a new headlight casing.