Close up of a headlight on a silver car

How to Replace a Headlight Bulb

Guide on Changing a Headlight in a Vehicle

Just like the bulbs around your home, the bulbs inside your vehicle will need to be replaced eventually. Thankfully, new headlight bulbs are affordable and are easy to replace. If you need to change a headlight in your car, learn how to replace a headlight bulb below.

[ READ MORE: How to Check the Oil in Your Car ]

Steps to Replace the Headlight Bulb in a Car

Person holding a headlight bulb
  1. Buy the headlight bulb you need for your vehicle. If you’re unsure about which kind of bulb your vehicle requires, check your owner’s manual.
  2. Find latex or vinyl gloves. Oil staining due to fingerprints on the bulb is one of the most common causes for pre-mature burnout.
  3. Turn off your vehicle, pop the hood, and located the headlight holder. The headlight holder will be near the front of your car on the side that your bulb is burnt out on.
  4. Disconnect the power wires. Typically, there are three wires to disconnect and are often held by a plastic catch, metal clip, or a screw cap.
  5. Remove the burnt-out bulb. For many vehicles, you can remove the back of the headlight holder to reveal the bulb. Turn the bulb to release it from the socket.
  6. Put on your gloves and insert the new headlight bulb. Giving the bulb a cleaning with an alcohol wipe is also a good idea before installing, though it is not required. Once the bulb is secure in the socket, replace the power wires.
  7. Test your headlights. If your light isn’t working, double check that the bulb was inserted correctly, and that the bulb type matches what your vehicle needs. If you need help, visit a local mechanic.

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