You are driving down the road at night and you notice something does not look quite right. The darkness seems a little darker and your headlights are not as bright. You get to a patch of road where there is no other traffic and you quickly realize one of your headlights has gone out.
What do you do now? You are almost home but you know tomorrow is a hectic day and you do not have time or a ton of money to take your car into the shop. You are in luck because now knowing how to replace headlights is simple and we can show you how.
How to Replace Headlights
These days knowing how to keep up with the maintenance of your car is more important than ever. You need to be self-sufficient so that you are not taken advantage of by a car mechanic who is looking for a fast buck at your expense.
One of the things you need to know is how to fix a headlight. It is not as hard as you might think.
Have you gone to your local garage and asked for a headlight to be replaced? It can be more expensive than you think. Why not do it yourself and save some money?
The First Step
The first thing you need to know is what size bulb you will need. You can find this in your car owner’s manual. You need the type of bulb your car requires.
There are different types of bulbs such as LED, incandescent, Xenon, or halogen so this part is crucial. This is located in your owner’s manual along with the size of the bulb.
Types of Bulbs
The most common bulb is halogen and easy to find at any auto parts store. The price for a halogen bulb is approximately $20 each. The price will vary because replacement bulbs come in brightnesses that range from basic to a more premium effect.
What you want to invest in a headlight replacement is your choice. Keep in mind that the more premium bulbs are much brighter and will allow you to see farther down the road.
Xenon bulbs are reported to be three to five times brighter than halogen bulbs. They last longer than halogen but you will pay a hefty price for them. Xenon costs about five times more than halogen, coming in at around $100 each.
LED lights are the newest lights on the market. These are the longest-lasting bulbs but at a price from $600 to $1,000 each, they may not be the ones you want if you can avoid that cost.
The upside to the LED bulb is that it can last a long time and you won’t need to replace it nearly as frequently as the other two types of bulbs. Most people cannot afford the LED bulbs and opt for a cheaper option.
Getting the Parts You Need
Now you are all set to call the auto parts store of your choice and make sure they have the bulbs you need. Once you buy the correct bulbs you are ready to get started.
Most auto stores keep many sizes and types of headlight bulbs in stock so locating them quickly should not be a problem.
Don’t worry about tools. The only things you for this task will be bulbs.
Pop the Hood Open
Now that you have the bulbs you need, it is time to open your car hood. If you have never done this, there is a lever or button usually located under your dash that will click the hood latch to unlock.
Look for the bulb compartments. They will be in the front of the engine and will line up right where your headlights are. This will be easy to find.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
Now the fun begins! Replacing headlights does not take long and you will be an expert in no time. Reach into the headlight compartment and twist one of the bulbs and connectors to remove from the compartment. Do the same with the other one.
The typical theory is that if you have one burned-out headlight, the other one won’t be far behind. You might as well replace them both at the same time.
They will pop out easily once twisted a few times. You should turn them counter-clockwise. Now take the bulbs out.
Take your newly purchased bulbs from the package. Do not touch the lamp with your fingers or it could burn out the bulb before you even replace it. Fit each bulb into the bulb connector and make sure any sensors are lined up.
Turn the bulb connector until it is secure. Now you have brand new headlights!
Keeping Things Checked
You do not need to become lazy about your car. If you keep it checked and keep doing the routine maintenance it will last a lot longer. Keep those headlights checked at least once per month.
It may seem like a simple thing to overlook, but you could get stopped for having a headlight out, so replacing headlights and keeping them checked is important. You could receive a ticket for driving with only one headlight working.
Driving with a burned-out headlight is dangerous and is not something you should do once you realize you have one. You do not want to have an accident due to having a front headlight out.
How Often You Should Change Your Headlights
There is no magic number on how often you should replace your headlights but it will depend on some factors. Halogen lights are the cheapest on the market but they have to be replaced more frequently than the others.
Xenon bulbs last longer than halogen but they can be a little more expensive. Given the brightness they emit, it might be worth the cost.
LED lights will last much longer than Xenon or Halogen bulbs. The brightness of the light is great but so is the expense and they are most often found on luxury cars.
Keep It Simple
Knowing how to replace headlights does not have to be a challenging task. You can do it and we can help! Follow us for easy steps like these on how to maintain your car!