How to Change a Car Light Bulb

In this part of the series, we’ll be going over how to change a car light bulb (also known as a headlight or head lamp). Not only is it important to have your lights in proper working order for safety’s sake, but it’s also illegal to drive without them working. You’ll want to regularly check to make sure your headlights and brake lights are working prior to driving to ensure other vehicles can safely see you as well as avoiding any costly tickets. You don’t want the police to have an excuse to pull you over!

The first step

is to figure out what kind of light your vehicle uses. You may refer to your owner’s manual, do a quick search on Google, or call/visit your local auto shop. Some shops will even have a reference manual with the model number based on the model, make, and year of your car (same with oil filters, windscreen wipers, etc). You shouldn’t need any tools when changing your car bulb.

Open your car bonnet to expose the engine compartment of your vehicle, giving access to the head lights. Locate the back of your headlights and if your car has one remove the round rubber cover. Look inside and you’ll see several connectors. Disconnect the electrical connector which holds the bulb in question from the back. If you are wanting to swap the main headlight bulb then it should be the only wire extruding from the back of the lamp. There will be a tab you can push in to remove the wire from the connector on the bulb. Once you’ve removed the wire and unscrewed the old bulb, you may insert the new one into the bracket. Take care in replacing the connector in the proper position and ensure it’s tight and secure as road vibrations can loosen over time and cause the bulb to wobble around.

Next in our guide on how to change a car light bulb

How to change a car light bulb

When the new bulb is secure, it’s time to plug the electrical cable (if the main light) back in to provide it with power. The plug will only fit in one way, so you don’t need to worry about which side is the correct way. You’ll notice a small latch that will pop over the bulb end of the socket which will hold it in place. Match those two up and insert the plug just as you removed the old one. If you are replacing both bulbs at the same time (this is recommended as they tend to go bad around the same time), repeat the process with the second bulb. If you have any questions or issues with placement or the electrical cord, refer to the other light that you haven’t removed yet.

Once you have changed both of your car’s light bulbs, have them secured and screwed in, and the electrical cables are snapped into place, you need to test the bulb(s). Put the key into the ignition and turn the key two notches; it should rest in place just before you turn over the engine allowing the lights to come on. Turn on your lights to make sure they’re working properly. Test your indicators as well as the high beams. If possible, having a second person do a walk around your vehicle while testing all of the functionality helps reduce the amount of times you have to get in and out of the vehicle. If everything is working fine, you may close the bonnet. Congratulations, you successfully followed our guide on how to change a car light bulb!

Can I replace a headlight bulb myself?

Yes, replacing a headlight bulb of your car is no big deal if you want to do it by yourself. You just need some specific tools that you will have to use during the process. You can take the help of your local car parts store to gather all the necessary tools. Also, to match the exact headlight bulb for your car model and make, your car parts store will be a big helping hand.

How much does it cost to change a lightbulb in a car?

Well, the costs of changing the headlight bulb and the entire headlight unit vary depending upon several factors. But we have asked a retailer of the headlights of an aftermarket retail shopkeeper. They told us that normally changing a bulb in the headlight costs around $100. But changing the entire headlight unit is a bit more costly because it then costs from $250 to $700 easily. This ranges variation because it depends majorly on your car model and make as well as the brand.


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