How To Change A Headlight On Your Vehicle

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Focusing on the black car headlights on a street corner with sunlight flares, In the background, the driver, bike and car. Closeup headlights of car.

Do you know how to change a headlight on your vehicle? Safe to say everyone has had to do this a time or two. So, how do you change a headlight on your vehicle? Well, you are about to find out.

Your headlights are essential when it comes to driving, especially at night. Knowing exactly what to do in this situation can solve this issue quickly and efficiently. Another reason you should take care of this problem right away is because you could potentially get pulled over by law enforcement.

Before you decide to change your headlight you need to examine the front of your vehicle beforehand. Check to see if one headlight is out or both. Simply observe after you have turned your vehicle with the lights so you can fully see the underlying issue you may have. Once you have figured out which light is not working you can begin the changing process.

Step #1: Turn Your Vehicle Off

As soon as you decide the right time to change your headlight, the first thing you should always do is turn your car off. To ensure safety, this is something you should always do before beginning the changing process. Then take a look at what you will need to change your headlight. A few things you are going to need are:

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Alcohol Wipes (To clean and hold the new bulb)
  • New light bulb (Always make sure you have the correct kind)

Step #2: Locate The Headlight Holder

If you are unsure of where to locate the headlight holder, we’ve got you covered. You will find the headlight holder in the engine compartment. This means you will have to pop your hood to be able to change your headlight. Once the hood is open, locate the headlight near the front of the vehicle. It will be in a bulb holder, with a power connector leading to the bulb. There will typically be 3 wires once you have found the power connector.

Step #3: Time To Remove The Power Wires

The wires are attached to a plug at the base of the headlight. These power wires will always be held by a metal clip or screws cap but it will always depend on what type of car you have. If your power wires are held by a metal clip, pull the clip up and out and don’t let go. If your power wires have a screw cap around them you can simply begin to unscrew them going counter-clockwise. As soon as the power wires are removed you can move onto the next step.

Step #4: Take Out The Old Bulb

This step is the quickest and easiest step of them all. Now that your power wires are out you can simply remove the old bulb and get your new bulb ready to take its place.You can remove the old bulb by holding onto the base. When you’ve got a good grip on your bulb, twist and loosen until it is set free. No need to keep this old bulb around, when you are finished you can throw it away.

Step #5: Install Your New bulb

You are 95% of the way done, now all that is left to do is to gently screw your new light bulb into place without touching the glass on the bulb. This may be shocking to some but oil and dirt on your hands can sometimes cause the bulb to burst as soon as it begins to heat up.

When you’ve got the bulb in place, close the hood of your car and test your new bulb out. With your brand new bulb in place, your headlights should be good as new and working better than ever. Not only will you reduce the risk of getting pulled over, you are now driving with caution and you are much safer.

What Could Cause My Headlights To Go Out?

  • The bulb is worn down/old
  • Weather changes including extreme hot or cold weather
  • Crack in the headlight or where the bulb is stored
  • Oxidation (causes the outside of the headlight to look yellowish)

Changing a light bulb is straightforward and a task that doesn’t require an auto shop to do. The steps above are to give you some insight on things you may not have known about changing a headlight.

Although this task doesn’t seem to be a big deal, it is never safe to drive with one headlight out. If you ever find yourself on a road that isn’t well lit, it’s important you have full visibility of the road ahead and it starts with simple vehicle maintenance of the headlights.

At Auto Glass Doc, we are more than just an auto glass repair shop. We are passionate about making sure you have all the tools and information on all of your automotive needs, from oil changes to flat tires, and even windshield wiper replacements, we will always have you covered.

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    Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

      Enter your full name

      What is your glass issue?

      Enter a valid email

      Where can we reach you?

      Any additional information we should know about.