How to Change Car Headlights

Having the most trendy vehicle out there makes no difference if the headlights are out of service. Headlights are just … Continued

Having the most trendy vehicle out there makes no difference if the headlights are out of service. Headlights are just as important as any other part of a car, if not more so. For the safety of people both in and outside of the car, the headlights need to be in tip-top shape. The great thing is that the process of actually changing car Headlights is way simpler than anticipated. With a few tools here and there and some easily accessible items, your headlights could be running in no time. So, anyone seeking to know exactly how to change a headlight is completely in the right place.

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Car with headlights removed

Gather the Necessary Tools

The first and foremost step is gathering the tools needed. Luckily, the items are quite easy to attain. A pair of new light bulbs should, of course, be at the top of the list. Be sure to get some that are compatible with your vehicle. It must match your car down to the make and model. Next, some alcohol wipes and tissues will be needed. These come in handy for cleaning and holding the new bulb. Last but not least, a pair of pliers or a screwdriver is required to make the whole process a streamlined one. Note that not all instances require the use of tools. To be completely sure, consult your owner’s manual.

Find the Exact Location of the Bulb Holder

Once the car is turned off and parked in an area that is convenient for work, the whole process can begin. The best way to access the headlight bulb is through the engine compartment. Though the lights are located in the front, the bulb holder and the bulb cannot be reached that way. So, to get started pop open the hood of your car and look out for the back of the headlight itself. Once that is located, you can easily find the bulb holder. What exactly does it look like? In practically all cars, it has a total of three wires which come out of a plug. This plug happens to be shaped like a trapezoid. Once, the bulb holder is located, you can rest assured that you are well on your way to knowing how to replace a headlight bulb.

Take Out the Wiring Harness

As earlier mentioned, there are three wires connected to the plug which is situated at the base of the headlight. The main connecting tissue holding the plug in place comes in the form of a metal clip, a plastic catch and in some other cases, it is a screw cap. The method used to take out the wiring harness is completely dependent on which of these you are dealing with.

When it comes to a metal clip, you should simply pull up and away. This will cause the plug to come off right into your hand. When dealing with a plastic cap, it is a bit more different. You should be able to locate a small lever protruding at the top of the plug itself. Simply press down on that with your thumb while simultaneously pulling. Make sure this action is done in a manner that is both firm and gentle. Once this is done, it should slide off immediately. Finally, you have to unscrew the plug. To do this turn it anti-clockwise and the rest is history.

Take Out the Old Bulb

To make way for the new and functioning bulb, the old one has to be taken out. Since the wiring is now conveniently out of the way, this next step should be doable. Now, it should be easy to yank the bulb out by simply holding onto the base. For those wondering, the base is the part that the plug was connected to. It is helpful to note that some rotating or wiggling is needed to dislodge it. Make sure that you practice caution while doing so, there should not be that much force applied.

Put in the New Bulb

Remember the wipes and tissues recommended in the beginning? Well, this is where they come in handy. It is not advisable to touch the new bulb with your bare hands. This is because the oils on your skin can cause it to burn out the moment the headlight is turned on. Based on this, before you even take it out of its protective packaging, arm yourself with a wipe or some tissue. To fix it in, hold on to the bulb at the end where the plug is located then place it inside the rear of the headlight. Double-check to ensure that it is completely in there. How can you tell if it is? Well, it should be completely lined up there should be no part of the rubber gasket showing. Once this step is completed, you can pat yourself on the back since you now know how to replace headlights. All of the heavy lifting is officially done.

Headlight removed from a car

Test the New Lights

With all the other steps out of the way, most of the work is done. What’s left is to check whether it is ready for use. It may be a minute step, but best believe that it is one of the most important ones. You need to be sure that the headlights are either functioning or fitted properly. This will guard against accidents as well as a waste of time and money. To do this, you must first plug the wiring back in and fit everything back in place. Once that is done, turn on the car’s headlight to see if you were successful. In the case that one or two of the bulbs do not come on there is no need to worry. Simply check the wiring again to make sure everything is in place. After that, it should be up and running making your car as road-ready as ever. All in all, it is a simple process that shouldn’t take you all the way to the mechanic.

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Sources:

  1. How to Change Headlights – Family Handyman
  2. 4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Headlights – Your Mechanic