How to Change Car Headlights

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Knowing how to change headlights will save you money. You won’t need to give an engineer lots of dollars to provide you the simple service. Again, you won’t have to halt your journeys.

Be the doctor of your car. First, examine the health of your car’s headlights. In the process, you may realize that the headlights regularly become glimmer. In other cases, your headlights become dimmer day by day or become dipped. In either case, your fast service is required. And the solution is:

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How to Change Car Headlights: Step by Step Guide

This is important because the information—that you are about to acquire — will enable you to set up your car’s headlights any time need arises. Therefore, whether day or night, you will be able to enjoy using your headlights.

Let’s dive in;

Step 1: Power down Your Car

For safety reasons, it is advisable to change your car’s headlights while the engine is not running. I bet you are about to ask me, “How should I power down the car?”

The process of powering down a car is quite similar in all types of cars. The most common steps to follow are:

  • Once at the parking lot, push the gear to P-mode
  • Gently pull the hand brake
  • Turn off the car’s ignition
  • Pull off the keys from the ignition.

Alternatively, you can as well follow this:

First, stop the car in the place you want to park it— most probably the parking lot. Next, pull the hand brake. Then, push the gear to N (Neutral) mode. After this, turn off the ignition followed by pushing the gear to parking mode (P). Finally, remove the keys.

Either of the two ways is acceptable when turning down the car.

Step 2: Locate the Holder of The Headlight

To access the headlight bulb, you need to open the engine compartment of your car. First, open the hood of the car. To do this, look for the hood opening lever. Most of the time, this lever is found in a place where the driver can easily access it—inside your car. The hood opening lever has a handle that you can pull. Pull the handle. Once the handle is pulled, the hood disconnects automatically in the front of the car.

Then, move to the front of the car. While there, slide the lever sideways. This you do by using one of your hands. Use the other hand of yours to simultaneously lift the hood of the car. While lifting, hold onto the hood tightly until you are able to lift it up.

As soon as you have opened the hood, you will access the engine compartment of your car. Through the engine compartment, you will be in a position to locate the headlight. It is found next to the foremost end of the car. The headlight is in a bulb holder, with the three power wires joined to the bulb.

Step 3: Disconnect the Power Wires of The Headlight Bulb

Usually, there are three wires connected to the bottom of the lightbulb. These are power wires. The wires are joined to a plug at the bottom of the headlight. They are either connected by a plastic catch, a screw cap or a metal clip. The connection heavily depends on the type of vehicle.

When working on a metal clip, pull it up and away. Ensure you are having a tight grip on it during the process of pulling. A plastic catch contains, at its top, a small lever. It is this lever that you push down on to. At the same time, you need to be pulling the plug out.

Conversely, working on a screw cap demands that you unscrew it. You unscrew in an anti-clockwise manner.

Step 4: Remove the Old Headlight

The process of unscrewing the old headlight may differ in cars. This is because some cars have different designs from others. For instance, it is possible to instantly reach the bulb in some cars whereas this is totally impossible with some cars— especially the latest designs.

In some cases, the air filter housing or the battery of the car blocks your path to the headlight. In some cases, you are obliged to remove the inner fender, in addition to getting behind it.

Nevertheless, if you are able to open the headlight it becomes simple to change the bulb. In this scenario—once you have disconnected the power wires—you should be in a position to get rid of the back of the headlight holder.

Holding onto the base of the headlight holder, remove the old bulb. In some instances, you will need to slightly rotate the bulb. Rotating the bulb enables it to be free—thereby easing its removal.

If you break the clips, you will have to remove the whole headlight. This means you have to study and see how the bulb is connected to the headlight. Here, gently remove the bulb. Then, you will need to reverse the process, moving back together without holding onto a glass of the headlight bulb.

Step 5: Insert the New Headlight

Before you install the new bulb, you need to clean it. First, hold the new bulb with gloves or tissue paper. This is to prevent your body oil from interacting with the bulb. For the best cleaning, use an alcohol wipe.

After cleaning the bulb, gently screw it into the base of the headlight plug without touching it with bare hands. In the correct position, none of its rubber gaskets should show up. After the bulb has been inserted, return the back of headlights into its right place. Then, plug the three power wires back in.

At this point, you are done with changing the headlights of your car. Next, test if the bulbs are working. This you do by turning on your car followed by switching on the headlights.

If the bulbs work as expected, close the hood of your car. Now, your headlights should just shine like they were when you bought the new car. Go ahead and enjoy your new headlights, whether during the day or at night.

However, if your find that the headlights do not function— even after changing the bulb — do either of the following: Check the fuses and the wiring. For example, if you find that power goes to the fuses but not the headlights, keenly examine your wiring since that is why there is a problem.

Alternatively, check if the bulb that you have just inserted is suited to your plug. Mostly, this happens with halogen bulbs. In a case where the halogen bulb runs hot and the OEM plug—that the car was bought with from the factory— is unable to accommodate the excess wattage, it begins to melt.

Consequently, a poor connection is realized and the headlights turn off automatically. In such a case, you have no option but to change the sockets.

 

Final Note

You need to regularly check the state of your car’s headlights. This will enable you to identify any defect as soon as the problem starts to worsen. In the process, you will avoid unnecessary severe effects that would have otherwise damaged your car’s headlight system.

An obvious remedy to correct damaged headlights is to change them. Changing headlights have never been easier if you are unaware of the steps to follow. Otherwise, you now have the need skills to do so. Go and implement.