Torque Shop

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are becoming more common and I am undecided on whether to opt for a car with LED headlights.

I have seen cars with faulty diodes of rear and front pilot lights which are not lit, giving the cars a "missing teeth" look.

Do these faulty lights need to be replaced in their entirety or can just the individual defective diodes be replaced? How costly would either be?

Although LED automotive lighting is relatively new, the technology has been around for more than four decades.

These solid state devices are the most efficient type of lighting today and are highly reliable.

LED lights used in cars are maintenance-free and do not have to be replaced during the reasonable lifetime of the car, unless they are damaged in an accident.

If you have seen LED failures, they are most likely of substandard quality, third-party retro-fitted lights and not original factory-fitted ones.

LED lights are usually one sealed unit where component diodes cannot be replaced.

Hence, in the unlikely event of a failed diode, you would have to replace the entire tail-lamp or headlight unit.

The outlay is costly - quite possibly in the thousands of dollars.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe