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4 Reasons You Want Headlight Washers

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Headlight washers have been in cars for a few decades. They used to be little wipers that cleaned headlights like windshield wipers. Those have been replaced by high-pressure headlight washing systems.

Is headlight washing systems just a fancy add-on or does it keep you safer and save you money in the long run? In this article, we’ll cover all things headlight washers.

Do Headlight Washers Actually Work? 4 Reasons You Need Them

You might be wondering if headlight washers are a must-have. Here are 6 reasons why you need them:

  1. Washers keep your headlights clean while you’re driving at night.
  2. Washers can clean your windshield while you’re driving, so you can keep your headlights clear in dusty, muddy, or foggy conditions.
  3. They protect your car’s headlights from damage due to dirt accumulation.
  4. They make regular cleaning easier, as there’s no long-term, hard-to-remove build-up of grease and grime.

Do Headlight Washers Actually Work?

Do Headlight Washers Actually Work

Headlight washers are a nifty feature to have on your car. But do they work?

Yes, headlight washers absolutely keep your headlights clean. Headlight washers use a jet of water to blast away any obstruction, so they’re a great way to keep your headlights clear and shining bright.

There’s one important caveat – headlight washers don’t work as well in freezing conditions. The sprayed water may freeze to your headlight, causing further dimming.

In this case, you may need to heat the water in the reservoir before spraying it to avoid freezing.

How do headlight washers work?

The washers are usually a small reservoir of water that sits on the car’s hood right beneath your headlights. A small pump pressurizes the water, sending it through a hose to the windshield, where it comes out in a fine spray.

The idea is that the water will wash away any dirt that may be blocking your vision, making it easier to see at night.

How to Clean Your Headlights Without Headlight Washers

How to Clean Your Headlights Without Headlight Washers

If you don’t have headlight washers on your car, there are a few ways to clean your headlights without them.

Glass cleaner & paper towel

One trick is to use a glass cleaner and a paper towel. Spray the glass cleaner onto the towel and then use it to wipe down the headlights. Take care so the cleaner doesn’t splash in your eyes, as it can be harmful.

Toothbrush & soapy water

Another option is to use soapy water and a toothbrush. Soak the toothbrush in soapy water and then use it to scrub the headlights. This will take more effort than washing with glass cleaner, but it’s still okay if you don’t have headlight washers.

Are Headlight Washers Disappearing?

It seems like more and more cars are hitting the market without this handy feature. And while there are a few reasons why this might be, the most likely explanation is that some of today’s automakers feel they aren’t necessary.

There are other possible reasons why this may be happening:

  • One is that they’re often seen as a luxury item, and few people are willing to pay extra for them.
  • Another possibility is that they don’t serve car owners well enough to justify the high price tag.
  • Some people may not know that they exist or how to use them.

However, the bottom line is that, modern headlights may not get as dirty/cloudy as older versions, but they still need a little washing to give a clean beam.

Do LED Headlights Need Washers?

What if you have LED headlights? Do they need their own special set of washers?

The answer is no—LED headlights don’t need special treatment or cleaning. While LEDs may not get as cloudy as traditional headlights, they still need to be periodically cleaned to ensure optimal performance.

Would Broken Headlight Washers Cause You to Fail Your MoT?

For years, this topic has received much attention on auto forums. Malfunctioning headlight washers are only considered an MoT failure if you have HID or LED headlights.

Does my BMW have Headlight Washers?

If you aren’t sure your car has headlight washers, the best way to find out is to check your owner’s manual. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, or if you’re not sure how to check, here are a few ways to do it:

  • First, try shining a bright light at the front of your car and looking for any black nozzles next to the headlight. If you see them, your car has headlight washers.
  • Another way to check is to look for the words “headlight washer” or “washer” on the front of your car. If they’re there, it means your vehicle has headlight washers.
  • Finally, you can also check under the hood of your car. If you see a black box with hoses coming out of it and going up to the windshield, that’s the washer fluid reservoir.

You can also check on the dashboard for a button with a picture of a headlight and wavy lines next to it. That’s the headlight washer button.

Best Practices for Using Headlight Washers

Best Practices for Using Headlight Washers

Headlight washers are a great way to keep your headlights clean and clear, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, headlight washers only work when they have water, so make sure you use them regularly and always top up your washer fluid.
  • Next, sometimes washers leave streaks on the glass, so you may need to clean your lenses regularly if you prefer a crystal clear beam.
  • Lastly, you may need to slow down your car when spraying water on your headlights so the wind doesn’t blow away the fluid.


Headlight washers are a source of a lot of controversies. But they are a great tool if you often drive in dusty or grimy conditions.

They effectively keep your headlights clean, improve visibility, and can make your car’s maintenance a lot easier.

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