The human body runs on various systems. We have our circulatory system, skeletal system, respiratory system, and so on. We need each system to work properly to remain healthy. Our vehicles are the same. They contain a series of systems that work together to keep it functioning properly. Each system needs to be properly maintained and taken care of.

This is the seventh in a series of blogs we will be posting about the various vehicle systems and their function. Please also see:

Vehicle Systems: The Brake System Vehicle Systems: The Engine Cooling System 
Vehicle Systems: Belts and Hoses Vehicle Systems: The Exhaust System 
Vehicle Systems: Emission System Vehicle Systems: Fuel System 


To put it shortly, the lighting and wiper systems are responsible for maintaining optimal visibility both in and out of the vehicle. The lighting system provides nighttime visibility, signals and alerts other drivers of your intentions, and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior. The wiper system keeps excessive dirt, water, or snow from building up on the windshield. It removes these things and other debris from the windshield to increase visibility. The chances for accidents increase if you cannot see or be seen, so your vehicle’s lighting and wipers play an important role in safe driving.

The following parts are included in the wiper and lighting systems of your vehicle:

Headlights (high and low beam)Instrumentation lighting
Parking lightsFuses
Turn signals/emergency flashersWiper motor
Fog lights (optional)Wiper blades
Stoplights, tail and marker lightsWiper arm
Backup lightsWasher fluid reservoir and fluid
Interior lights 


The lights and wipers are both subject to regular wear and tear and will need occasional maintenance and replacement. Several factors affect the replacement intervals including frequency of use, operating conditions, material and type of lights and wipers, sunny weather (wiper blades deteriorate more quickly in dry, sunny climates).

Common signs that the lighting or wipers need replacement include:

  • Rapid signal blinking (lighting)
  • Dimming lights (lighting)
  • Chattering or streaking wiper (wipers)

If a light goes out on your vehicle, first check the fuse. If the fuse is fine, then immediately replace the bulb. Remember not to touch the glass of the bulb with your fingers. The oils from your fingers leave behind a residue that causes the bulb to run hot, causing it to eventually crack- severely shortening the life of the bulb. You should check your windshield washer fluid monthly. When needed, fill with washer fluid only, not water. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months or when cut, cracked, torn, streaking or chattering.

For more information on headlight maintenance, please read our blog post How to Maintain Your Headlights.

Meridian Automotive provides complete automotive repair in Meridian, Idaho, for most cars, light trucks and SUV’s. For over 20 years we’ve been Meridian’s auto repair experts. Don’t just trust anyone with your automotive repair needs, trust the experts at Meridian Automotive. Call us today (208) 297-5573 or schedule an appointment online.

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