How to Change a Headlight of Your Car? On Your Own!
Headlights are one of the vital pieces of the car. It is not that the vehicle cannot run without the lights. Also, the headlights are pretty much useless in broad daylight. If that got you thinking that you need not ever replace a broken headlight, then you are wrong! Think of the sun setting and the darkness looming over. After that, during the night, the importance of lights is visible. How to change a headlight? It is a common thing in every car and people should learn to do it on their own.
The headlights will show you the path and save your life from crashing into a tree or some other thing. While it is unsafe to drive at night without the lights on, it is also illegal. Saving your life comes with a bonus of keeping money on fines. Turns out that investing in a pair of headlights is not a bad deal after all this.
Many people find fixing the car intimidating and rightfully so. However, changing the headlights is not something for which you should go to the mechanic. A mechanic is sure to overcharge you for something you could have done in your garage. Do you want to know how to replace your car’s headlights?
First, take a look whether you need to replace them or not. You should also take into account the different types of headlights that are available.
How to replace the headlight bulb?
If you notice the light dimming and the lens in perfect condition, then the problem is with the headlight bulb. The bulb has to go. Follow these simple steps to change the broken headlight bulb.
Here are the things that you should have before changing the bulb:
- User manual: The user manual will tell you about the right type of bulb you should buy for replacement. Not only that, but the guide will also tell you about the location of the bulb.
- Screwdriver: If your car is an old model make, then the screws will be holding the headlight bulb. You will need a screwdriver to remove the old bulb and install a new one. However, a screwdriver is not necessary for modern vehicles.
- Tissues: Use tissues to hold the new headlight bulb. You would not want your fingerprints on the bulb. It will affect the quality of light.
- Cleaner: If dirt or fingerprints get on the bulb then use a cleaner to wipe them off.
To get started, switch off the engine and put on the emergency brake. Do not compromise on safety!
- Choose the right headlight bulb
Not every headlight bulb is fixable into your car. Buy the right bulb for your automobile. Consult the user guide that came with the car. It will tell you about the right type of headlight bulb. If you have thrown it away or somehow lost it, then describe the model of your car to the auto parts dealer. The guy will bring out the right one for you.
Removing the broken headlight bulb
- Find the back of the headlight
Now you have to locate the end of the headlights. The user guide knows where it is.
Pop the hood open. Make sure that the engine is not too hot. You will find the back of the headlight near the front end of the car. There is a holder for the bulb and three wires supplying to the headlight.
- Disconnect the headlight from the power supply
A single plug connects the three wires going to the headlight. The plug connects the bulb to the battery. A screw cap, plastic catch, or metal clip holds the three wires in the place. Remove whatever holds the wires together. With the cap, catch, or clip out of the way, disconnect the power supply to the bulb. Carefully pull the plug out. Be sure that you have switched off the engine before disconnecting the light.
- Remove the headlight cover
The dust cover prevents the dirt from getting into the headlights. Remove the cover from the back gently.
- Get rid of the broken bulb
After you remove the dust cover, you can spot the housing of the bulb. Grab the housing and gently pull the bulb. You may have to rotate or slightly twitch the housing while drawing it. Remember to keep calm and not use excessive force on the bulb. It might break and leave a mess in your car’s hood.
Installing the new headlight bulb
- Take out the new bulb and clean (if necessary)
Unbox the new bulb and clean it with a cleaner if you accidentally get your hands on it. Gets hold of the new bulb using a tissue paper. Do not ever touch the bulb with your naked fingers. Our skin produces oils. By coming in contact with the hands, the oil gets to the bulb and reduces its efficiency significantly. The worst that can happen is that the light might go off as soon as you switch it on. Even the cleanest of hands will leave oil on the bulb!
- Put the new light bulb in place of the old one
Hold the plug side of the bulb and slide it in. Be gentle while doing so. You might have to slightly wiggle the bulb in. Be sure to put the whole bulb in. You can tell by looking at it whether it is entirely in or not.
- Connect the plug as before
After the whole bulb is in position, connect it to the power supply. Connect three wires (that you disconnected previously) to the plug. Connect the plug to the housing of the bulb.
- Place the headlight cover back on
Put the dust cover that you removed to take out the broken bulb, in its place as it was before.
The new headlight bulb is in, and the old one is out. All it should take are 5 minutes at most. Fixing it yourself not only saved you the money you would have given at a workshop but also the time to drive all the way up there and back home after the mechanic installed it!
Checking the new headlight bulb
- Test the new headlight bulb
After successfully installing the new bulb, be sure to check it right away. The testing is simple. Switch on the car and turn on the lights.
Only one light turned on? None of the lights turned on? Worry not!
Do not panic! Open the hood again and re-do the wires. There is a chance that you did not connect the cables correctly. Both headlights will work after you rightly connect the wires.
Is the light not bright enough even after changing the bulb? Clean the lens!
Does the replacement of the headlight bulb fix the issues? If it does not, then you might want to take a look at the headlight lens. The chances are that the glass is too dirty for the light to pass through it. No matter how bright the headlight is, it will still seem far from brilliant. Your best shot is to clean the lens. You can use a glass cleaner or a headlight restoration kit to get the job done!
Tips for changing the headlight bulb
As you can see for yourself, replacing the headlight bulb is safe, simple, and straightforward. How to change a headlight? However, you can follow these tips to make the task even more so!
- Keep the engine off while removing and installing the bulb.
- Make sure that the handbrake is on.
- Never touch the headlight bulb with your naked hands. Use tissue paper or a glove to handle the bulb.
- While you are changing one side of the light, you should also change the other bulb. It might go out too much sooner than later. So, it is better to spare yourself extra time and labor!
- Keep the lens of the headlights clean. Since the light passes through the glass, a dirty one blocks the path and it seems dimmed down.
How much does it cost to change the car headlights?
The cost of changing headlights is variable. It depends on the model and the company of the vehicle. The type of lights that you are installing also influences the price. If you get a mechanic to replace the broken headlight bulb, then it just adds to the cost. How to change a headlight? You should also know the cost of doing it. However, the bulb will be original and of high quality.
Never compromise on the safety! If you notice your lights dimming, then do not procrastinate. Change the headlights right away.
When should you change the car headlights?
You can answer this yourself. You should consider replacing the headlights If you have any trouble watching the road at night. Another hint is that the people driving have problems viewing you. It could be their windshield problem, as there are also a lot of windshield complications but having quick fixes as well. If you choose not to change the headlights, then the danger is on its way. It is unsafe for you and others. Also, there is a hefty fine coming your way if your vehicle’s headlights are dim or broken. To save yourself from the troubles, change the lights as soon as they start to fade.
Why do the car headlights need replacement?
If you have not changed the headlights yet, then there will come a time when the car’s headlights need changing. You might wonder why.
- The car headlights last for a certain period. The life of lights depends on the type and use. Nonetheless, the lifespan of any headlight is at least several years before going bad. The different types are xenon, halogen, and LEDs. (we will be discussing all three. Hold on!) Out of these, LED headlights are capable of surviving the longest.
- The lights run on current. The voltage they get also affects their life. Higher the voltage, shorter will be the life of the headlights.
- Extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold, jeopardize the lifespan of the car headlights.
- Check for any cracks in the housing of the headlight bulb. If there is any, then moisture will get into the bulb and need a replacement much sooner.
What are the different types of car headlights?
The headlights come in different styles and shapes. We can categorize them into three; xenon, halogen and LED.
· Halogen Headlights
Halogen headlights are the most common and the least expensive of all three types. Nonetheless, these are much brighter than the standard headlights. There is a tungsten filament in combination with halogen gas. The gas adds to the brightness of the light.
· Xenon or HID Headlights
Xenon headlights or High-intensity Discharge (HID) headlights use xenon gas. There is no tungsten filament. The xenon headlights are much brighter than the halogen counterpart, and so is the price. Xenon headlights are the most expensive of all. These lights will run at a low temperature and last for long.
· LED Headlights
LED headlights have light emitting diodes and run on low power. The lights cost more than halogen headlights, but they will not heat up. The life of the LED headlights is the longest of all.
Which headlight type is the best?
You have to let your wallet and need decide which type of the three headlights is the best. While halogen headlights have been the standard, automobile companies are shifting towards xenon and LED lights. After getting all this knowledge you should also know about How to change a headlight? The reason is the improved visibility and lifespan. If it comes to choosing between LED and xenon headlights, then you would have to check your budget. Xenon headlights are costlier and brighter than LED lights. LED headlights are long-lasting and more economical than the xenon headlights.
- 1 How to Change a Headlight of Your Car? On Your Own!
- 1.1 How to replace the headlight bulb?
- 1.2 Is the light not bright enough even after changing the bulb? Clean the lens!
- 1.3 Tips for changing the headlight bulb
- 1.4 How much does it cost to change the car headlights?
- 1.5 When should you change the car headlights?
- 1.6 Why do the car headlights need replacement?
- 1.7 What are the different types of car headlights?
- 1.8 Which headlight type is the best?