Lights Flickering In Your Car? Here Are 6 Possible Reasons

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lights flickering in car

Perhaps, the most annoying factor of owning a car is when there are issues and then attempting to diagnose them.

Have you ever gone driving and seen your vehicle’s lights start to flicker? This is a red flag indicating something is wrong with the electrical components or electrical system. These flickering car lights are not necessarily indicative of a bulb replacement; they might be a symptom of a more significant issue, which we will discuss in this article.

The most common reason for flickering lights is a worn-out alternator, however, these are the other possible causes:

  • dying battery
  • damaged light bulbs
  • faulty wiring
  • loose connections
  • malfunctioning switch

Probable Reasons Of Flickering Car Lights

Flickering lights are not simply annoying; they could also be hazardous on the road! With these informative tips, discover what triggers these car lights flickering and handle and fix them.

Weak Or Dying Battery

A failing car battery is among the most prevalent reasons for flickering dash lights and headlight bulbs, dashboard lights, and other lightings in your car. Since they depend on battery power to operate correctly, flickering headlights could result from a bad battery.

In this case, you’ll want to visit your local shop for a free battery test. If your headlights or dash lights are flickering due to a dead battery, it might be best to replace them. Typically, a vehicle’s battery lasts 3 to 5 years. Yet, frequent short drives, keeping your vehicle parked for extended periods, driving with several aftermarket electrical car accessories, or living in a scorching or freezing region might shorten your battery’s life.

Failing Alternator

While you drive, your alternator transmits power through your vehicle’s electrical components and recharges your car’s battery. Apart from your headlights and dashboard, your battery supplies power to your electric power steering, wipers, power windows, radio, speakers, heated seats, and more!

Whenever the alternator begins to fail, the electrical power of your automobile is reduced. Since the car battery powers lights, this might lead to flickering or dimming headlights. When your alternator is incapable of charging your battery, the car’s electrical system drains in a matter of minutes.

If this happens, get your worn-out alternator inspected by a trained technician to determine if it can be fixed or must be replaced. Always remember that whenever your car’s battery indicator illuminates, it typically means that the alternator has failed or that there’s a problem with your car’s charging system.

Damaged Bulbs

When your car’s lighting system components (both external and internal) get old or broken, your lights might begin to flicker. Fortunately, this is a relatively straightforward repair. Bring your car to a specialist to replace damaged bulbs or expired led lights. Or, you may DIY it.

Loose Contacts

When your car lights flicker, this might indicate that there’s a loose contact in connections or could be a fuse isn’t properly inserted. This issue can be more noticeable while running on rough roads or terrain, and you can also notice your dashboard lights flicker. Since loose connections and blown fuses can be challenging to locate, it’s best to take your car to your local auto-electrical shop for a complete diagnosis of your vehicle’s electrical system problems. Also, a dirty or loose battery cable can trigger this issue; you can also notice your dashboard lights flickering.

Faulty Wirings

Occasionally, automobile lights flicker due to physical damage to the wiring components. Since wires are prone to get worn, brittle, or melt due to heat.  The wire may begin to detach from the connectors in rare instances, resulting in a weak connection. Replacing the faulty wires might be necessary to resolve this issue. Since this requires disabling electrical components, having an assessment from a trained expert may light your way.

Malfunctioning Switch

If your vehicle’s computer and electrical system aren’t “communicating,” you could have flickering lights. This issue could be caused by a failed switch, mainly on headlights in rare instances. This issue can be resolved with the installation of a new headlight switch. Alternatively, it might need a more in-depth inspection of your vehicle’s electrical or computer system, including the alternator, battery, relays, switches, and fuses. 

How To Fix Flickering Vehicle Lights

After reviewing the most common causes of flickering automobile lights, it’s time to focus on the source of the issue and conduct some troubleshooting. Here are some steps you may take to solve the issue at hand and avoid future harm to your vehicle.

  1. Ascertain that your alternator is operating correctly. This is an instance where you absolutely want to end the issue.
  2. Examine any weak or unstable ground connections, wires, fasteners, or cable (especially the ignition wires) and see whether this resolves the problem.
  3. You might also let a mechanic do these inspections if you’re unsure about your abilities or abilities in this issue. Additionally, having a second pair of eyes on any automobile-related problem is often comforting, even if you’re pretty meticulous.
  4. Check your vehicle batteries using a voltage regulator to ensure it is charging correctly (it should charge between 13 volts up to 14.8 volts) and inspect it for any signs of damage.

What Happens When Your Vehicle Lights Are Flickering

If flickering headlamps are combined with flickering dash lights, your alternator is almost certainly worn out. Usually, a damaged alternator must be replaced. Professional car electricians can evaluate an alternator and recommend the best course of action.

Indicators Of A Faulty Alternator

  1. Lit battery indicator light
  2. Lightings are too dim or too bright
  3. Accessories that aren’t working correctly or are operating slowly
  4. Have difficulty starting your vehicle
  5. Frequently occurring stalling
  6. Whining or grumbling noises
  7. When your alternator has stopped, the odor of burnt rubber can be sensed.


The approach to overcoming the flickering light issue is to act immediately. You don’t want to find yourself stranded on the roadside. If an alternator fails, the car will drain your battery totally, leaving you with a bad alternator and a battery to replace! Be cautious, get your vehicle inspected immediately, and always drive safely!


What does it mean when your lights flicker in your car?

A deteriorating battery is among the most prevalent reasons for flickering automobile lights. Your car lights depend on battery power to operate correctly. Flickering or fading lights could be the consequence of a dying battery.

Can a bad battery cause dash lights to flicker?

A failing battery might cause fluttering dashboard lights. A battery is critical in powering your automobile. When your battery is not functioning correctly, your dash lights will flicker.

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