How to Replace a Headlight Bulb or Assembly

what is the headlight piece in which you twist the bulb

Vision, four-fifths of our perception, is one of our most important abilities. While driving, your eyes sweep the road for danger, but dusk, night, dawn, rain, and fog are difficult situations to see and be seen in. Knowing how to replace a headlight keeps you and others safe on the road. You might need to replace a headlight for various reasons.

A dim or burnt-out bulb is a common reason to replace a headlight. Other reasons might be if the lens is yellowed beyond repair, poorly sealed, or the headlight assembly is damaged. For better night visibility, you could upgrade your headlights with headlight bulbs built for nighttime driving. Replace the headlight as soon as you notice a problem. Your vision and your visibility depend on it.

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How to Replace a Headlight Bulb

Most owner’s manuals give instructions on how to replace a headlight bulb, a common failure and critical safety item. Usually, replacing a headlight bulb requires nothing more complicated than your fingers. Some require a screwdriver, and others require a bit more effort, such as removing the battery. There are four basic steps after shutting off the engine and headlights.

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  • Uncover – To protect the headlight bulb from water and dirt, most are covered with a plastic cap or a rubber seal. Uncover by pulling, turning, twisting, or depressing the tab. Silicone spray can loosen stubborn seals.
  • Unplug – Sometimes this is the first step, but other times the connector is under the cover. Unplug the bulb.
  • Remove – The two most common ways to remove a headlight bulb are by twisting or unclipping. Some are held by a screw. Untwist about one-third of a turn, unclip the retainer wire, or remove the screw, then remove the bulb and discard. Pay attention to the orientation of the bulb when removing.
  • Install – When fitting the new headlight bulb, orient it as the old one and reinstall it by twisting, clipping, or replacing the screw. Do not dirty the headlight bulb glass with your fingers or anything else, which causes premature failure. If the bulb is dirty, clean it with an alcohol wipe. Finally, connect the bulb and replace the cover.

How to Replace a Headlight Assembly

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