Headlight Bulb Replacement Guide
Headlight bulb replacement can be easy, but there are things you should know. It is essential to be ready to fix your cars lights if they even have a problem. Not only is a burned out light a safety issue, but also it can cost you if you get pulled over by police for this problem. Fixing this issue yourself can be done, but you need to know a few things first.
The Truth Behind Headlight Bulb Replacement
What you might have heard: “Changing headlight bulbs is a snap!”… “You don’t need any tools” or “Headlights are cheap and easy to replace”
The truth: In the past, replacing headlight bulbs meant having to swap out the entire headlamp assembly. Thankfully for cars today this is no longer the case – Car manufacturers have been using halogen bulbs that are separately replaceable for many years.
Changing headlamp bulbs is often straightforward. On most cars you simply push and twist and it is out, but for some cars you still have to remove the headlamp assembly. Usually there are quick release tabs or buttons and you need to know where these are located and how to get them to work so you don’t break anything.
More good news: You can find a pair of headlight bulbs selling for just $10 to $80 on Amazon. I usually just buy from Amazon because they carry a huge collection of bulbs for almost all vehicle models and makes… plus their shipping is both fast and free.
How to Change Headlight Bulb
1. Pop open your engine compartment hood and locate the bulb holder at the back of the headlight. You will see a power connector (consisting of three wires) held by a metal clip, plastic catch or screw cap. If there is a dust cover protecting the power connector, remove it first.
2. Disconnect the power connector. Metal clip: lift it up then pull it out, Plastic catch: Press down on the lever with your thumb and pull, Screw cap: Just unscrew it
3. Remove the old headlight bulb from its socket
4. Take out the new bulb from its packaging. Do not touch the glass surface of the bulb with your bare hands during headlight bulb replacement – If the the oil on your hands gets onto the glass surface, it may cause the bulb to heat up and burn out. It’s recommended that you clean the new bulb with alcohol wipes before installing it.
5. Hold the new bulb by its base and insert it into the back of the headlight. Proceed to reconnect the power connector. Finally turn on your headlights to make sure everything is working.
If you can’t figure out how to get to the headlight area, then you will need vehicle-specific instructions for headlight bulb replacement. If you just start taking things apart, you could end up with a pile of parts and not remember where they all go.
To troubleshoot, repair and maintain your vehicle, you’ll need diagnostic and repair information that is specific to your car or truck. For this I personally use and recommend ALLDATAdiy. With full manuals for over 30,000 vehicles online, you will find an exact match for your vehicle’s year, make and model.
Besides being cheaper than a factory manual, they also offer step by step repair instructions and detailed diagrams beyond what is found in most printed manuals. Click here for a sample of their diagnostic and repair information.