How to Install Headlight Bulbs: Learn With Professionals

Headlights are set to illuminate the road for a secure and fatigue-free driving experience. But what if the headlight burns out or severely gets damaged? The driving time becomes challenging at night without a headlamp, and you need to change the bulb ASAP.

But how to install headlight bulbs? Prioritize safety first when replacing the headlight bulbs. Then, turn the switch off, locate the bulb, disconnect the power, remove the plug and old bulb, insert the new bulb, and do a test drive to ensure the light is installed successfully.

Driving with a faulty headlight is against the state’s law, and you’ll have to get into trouble or get ticketed by the authorities. So, whenever you find any faulty bulbs in the car, change both bulbs immediately. Before we make it too late, let’s fix the car’s headlight and install the bulb like a professional!

Can You Change A Headlight Bulb Yourself?

Yes, you can replace the headlight bulb on your own. Particularly, halogen, high-intensity discharge HID and light-emitting diode LED bulb replacement can be easier without even investing in professional mechanics. Just swap out both bulbs to ensure the degree of brightness in the roadway.

On the other hand, avoid touching the glass with your bare hand while removing and replacing any front bumper or headlights because the residue on the fingers can cause the bulb to burn out due to overheating. However, while changing bulbs on your own, ensure you have a rag handy, and sincerity is all you need. For more tips, search “How to Install Headlight Bulbs Reddit.”

Is It Difficult To Change The Headlight Bulb?

No, changing headlight bulbs is easy if you know the basics and have checked the manual. Disconnecting the old bulb and installing the new one will take only a few minutes. But, you can have trouble removing the broken automobile headlamp bulb due to the car’s different brand, model, or style.

Replacing bulbs in a modern car can be simple with a few tools and patience. Also, you can make the job much easier by checking some YouTube videos.

How Hard Is It To Replace A Headlight?

Based on the car model and style, replacing the headlight can be easy or difficult. But most car headlight replacement is an easy job you should try on your own instead of spending money. All you have to do is:

  • Locate the headlight bulb’s entry point.
  • Disconnect the electric power.
  • Figure out how to remove the old bulb.
  • Replace the new headlamp bulb.
  • And perform a driving test!

On the other hand, you should constantly remember to complete all the tasks attentively. If there are any major scratches, modifying the bulb becomes mandatory, and you’ll need to disconnect the electric supply, which is risky. 

Plus, you must be careful not to harm other areas while installing new headlight bulbs. Therefore, it may be slightly challenging if you’re a newbie, but you’ll do the DIY, and we believe in you!

What Causes Car Headlights To Go Out: Common Problems Of Headlights

why does my headlight keep going out

You can see scenarios when both headlights die, or one headlight is not working. Actually, headlight switch malfunction, headlamp relay, fuse, dimmer switch, or wiring problem is to blame for such situations.

In conjunction with this, you will also observe evidence of oxidation, old age problems, dramatic temperature shifting (Excessive hot or cold), or bulb housing cracks. However, if you check the owner’s manual or add a new headlight bulb, you’ll be safe driving the car.

Old Aged Bulb

A car owner asked where I could find a car headlight service near me but forgot that the lifespan was almost going to an end. Therefore, an old headlamp cannot offer enough brightness at night, and even the likelihood of burning out the bulb chance increases.

Oxidation Inside

If you have a brand new halogen, LED, or HID light, the plastic housing oxidizes and makes the light appear white or yellowish. So, the entire assembly needs to be replaced.

Cracks In Headlight Bulb Housing

Any halogen or other bulbs can burn out due to any small crack in the headlight in the housing because it cannot take moisture. Even such conditions may cause an electrical issue, which is riskier and more costly.

Additionally, it would help if you didn’t touch the bulbs with your fingertips. So, you must put on rubber gloves when installing a new bulb because salt water or perspiration from your bare hand may burn out the bulb immediately.

RELATED: How To Remove Moisture From Headlight

Extreme Temperature Shifting

Another issue leading to the headlight bulb breakdown is overheating or excessively chilly weather. The delicate lightbulb filament is affected by high-temperature variations.

How To Install Headlight Bulbs: Things To Follow

how to change headlight bulb

You must ensure a safe drive, whether halogen, LED, or Xenon. So, whenever the car’s headlights flicker, dim, or burn out, new headlight bulb installation becomes crucial. 

So, what if the car, truck, or SUV goes out? Don’t worry! Because we have some easy tips and tricks for you! The step-by-step process will guide you to successfully install a new headlight bulb like a pro and will save plenty of bucks from your pocket!

Check If The Headlight Bulb Is Out

First, you should check why the headlight is in trouble. To do this, you’ll have to understand some facts like

  • Turn on the headlight to check if it’s only one light or both.
  • Changing the bulb will turn the light back on in almost 90% of cases.
  • If the problem is found in the driving time, you may need to stop and tap the light with your fist. If it turns on, the filament is burned out.
  • Also, when the lights become dim or flickering, low beams don’t work, but high beams do, or if the bulb has excessive dirt and fog inside, bulb replacement becomes mandatory.

Things You’ll Require

As our goal is to install a headlight bulb, some tools will assist you in completing your needs. But what things are must-haves when changing vehicle headlight bulbs?

  • New headlight bulbs
  • Flathead or Phillips screwdrivers and ratchet
  • Wrench set
  • Alcohol wipes and tissues
  • Safety gloves
  • Goggles.

Considerable Things Before Buying Headlamp Bulbs

what headlight bulb do i need

In the automobile parts shop, a few things will always be considered to have the right bulb according to your vehicle. Separately give value to some major facts such as

  • Verify the headlight bulb’s brightness to ensure it meets the state’s law.
  • Look for the distance limit or how far we can see in the front with the headlamp. It’s because nighttime driving gets interrupted by twists or obstacles.
  • Prioritize color temperature! We have cooler white and warmer white lightbulb, whereas cooler one has superior clarity and contrast, particularly on displaying surfaces such as road lines or markings.
  • The lifespan of bulbs should also be checked, and pick the bulb with a long life! 

Step-by-step Process Of Headlight Bulb Installation

While replacing a new bulb in the car, firstly, you can check the owner’s manual to understand all the headlight parts. Then, it would be best if you attempted to follow the steps for the new bulb installation. Driving with faulty headlights is not only risky but also illegal activity. So, take immediate steps to swap the headlight bulb!

1. Ensure Safety:

Fulfilling safety requirements can be the first thing a person should keep while changing a headlight because you need to handle delicate bulbs or get into tight spaces when changing the bulb. Therefore, protective goggles and gloves will protect your hands and face during the installation.

2. Turn Off The Car:

how to change bulbs in headlights

You must turn off the car while changing the headlight. It would help if you separated the electrical connector from the lightbulb. For this, hit the tab to let it go, and make sure you pull the socket, not the wires. As an assistant, a pocket screwdriver will help to loosen the clip while disconnecting the plug from the headlight bulb. Normally, you should turn off the engine before the headlights. By doing this, you keep the lifetime of the car’s battery.

3. Find the Headlight Bulb Location:

You’ll probably get your headlight bulb via the engine compartment. Locate your headlight close to the front of your car by opening the hood. Moreover, use a flat blade to remove the plastic or use a large Phillips screwdriver.

4. Access The Vehicle Light:

Headlights in cars can be various in type, for example, easily accessible, changeable assemblies released after removing a few screws. And when you remove it, you may reach the bulbs by laying the headlamp unit onto the fascia. However, you may have to pull the wheel arch back to access the bulb for removal and replacement. And remember to reinstall the wheel!

5. Determine The High And Low Beam Positions:

We have two different types of bulbs: 

  1. High beam
  2. Low beam.

The low beam is usually on the outside when the car has two lights. On the other hand, a high beam is typically on the inside. You can consult the repair manual to test the beam type.

6. Take Away Old Headlight Bulbs:

It’s time to remove the old damaged bulb. It becomes much simpler to remove the old bulb and install the new one when you understand how the bulb is locked and how to make it free. But it’s simple to take the old bulb as you have to separate the power cords from unlocking the locking system and freeing your car’s headlight bulb.

Simply hold the bulb casing and rotate it in another direction to pull it. Also, take the tabs out in one motion after they are lined.

Always take it apart gently and put it back together by going backward from how you separated it. Plus, be sure not to put your finger on the bulb’s glass as it may cause problems in bulbs.

7. Install Your New Headlight Bulb:

headlight installation

Get your newly purchased bulb and install it! To do this, align the tabs, then turn clockwise until notice of any click. But it’s restricted to touching the glass with vare hand when screwing it in because the oil or grime on your hands may cause the bulb to burn out due to overheating. Therefore, clean hand gloves are what we suggest.

Then, with the new bulb in position, close the hood. Besides that, cleaning with an alcohol wipe makes the installation much easier and better.

RELATED: How To Clean Headlights

8. Do A Driving Test:

After completing the installation, do a driving test to ensure the headlight bulb is good. Check the bulb by switching the headlight and cycling between high and low beams. Double-checking where you may identify defects such as wiring or fuse problems to fix.

How Long Does It Take To Change A Headlight Bulb?

If you hire a professional mechanic, the average time can be 3 to 30 minutes. But replacing the headlight assembly and installation will take at least half an hour. On the other hand, replacing bulbs or fuses rather than only headlights can also be done within 10 minutes.

Headlight Bulb Replacement Cost: What’s The Estimated Price?

The replacement cost may vary from low to high, depending on the vehicle’s bulb type. But what’s the current bulb replacement service price?

Headlight Replacement Task Cost (Approximately)
Bulb replacement $120 to $150
Labor costs $45 to $60
Parts price $80 to $95


1. Is it easy to fit a headlight bulb?

Any headlight bulb that is compatible with your car can be easily installed. Simply purchase a new bulb, alcohol wipes, and tissues to clean and finish the task of having a new headlight for the utmost night vision.

2. What are the brightest replacement headlight bulbs?

The brightest bulbs for replacement should have a color temperature of 4000k and 6000k. For instance:
1. Brightest halogen bulbs are available with 4000k and 5000k.
2. When replacing LED and HID Xenon, 6000k is considered the brightest.

3. How to install halogen headlight bulbs?

Following the steps, you can quickly replace the halogen bulb in your car’s headlight.
1. First, find the burned-out bulb and take it out.
2. Turn counterclockwise to remove the bulb.
3. Purchase a new halogen bulb.
4. Don’t touch the headlight replacement bulb with the bare hand.
5. Disconnect the wiring harness.
6. Then, reinstall the new halogen and electrical harness.
7. Run a test drive with the new headlight bulb.

4. Can you replace normal headlights with LED?

Indeed, you can! Swap the normal bulb for a park light, brake light, stop light, tail light, warning light, or indicator with LEDs. But ensure the brightness level is moderate.

5. What’s the cost of installing a headlight bulb?

The average cost of the bulb and labor can range from $30 to $400. But a complete replacement of the headlight will cost too much. You may also take it to the mechanic or the repair shop, where they will charge at least $250 to $1,000 to replace the headlight parts.

Final Words

If we summarize the whole article, we can ensure that no one will have to ask again how to install headlight bulbs as we have gifted them the best and easiest way to replace the old bulb. So, whenever you try changing the headlight bulb, get to know what causes headlight failure. 

For the replacement job, take your safety precautions, and keep everything beside you, particularly a new bulb and screwdriver. If you can catch the steps, 3 to 30 minutes will be enough to install a new bulb. And don’t forget to do a driving test after the installation.

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