Changing Headlight Bulb

Change a Headlight is not a difficult task, but it is one that must be done properly. Learn how to change a headlight by following these steps. A correctly performed change a Headlight extends your vehicle's life while keeping you and the environment safe.

Step 1

Locate the Bulb Holder

In many instances, you won't need any tools to replace your vehicle's headlight bulb;in others, ​you may need a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. Check your owner's manual first. Make sure your vehicle is turned off and parked in a location where you can work safely. Open the hood of the car, locate the back of the headlight, and find the bulb holder. It will have three wires coming out of a plug that is shaped like a trapezoid.

Step 2

Remove the Wiring Harness

Three wires are attached to a plug located the base of the headlight itself. This plug is held in place by a plastic catch, a metal clip, or, in some cases, a screw cap. For a plastic catch, you'll see a little lever sticking up at the top of the plug. Press down with your thumb while pulling firmly but gently. It should slide off. For a metal clip, pull up and away and the plug will come off in your hand. For a screw cap, simply unscrew the plug by turning it counter-clockwise (the old righty-tighty/lefty-loosey guide might not apply here since you are doing a reach-around).


Remove the Wiring Harness

With the wiring out of the way, you should be able to pull the bulb out by holding on to the base (the part that the plug was in). In some cases, you may have to rotate the bulb slightly for it to release or gently wiggle it to loosen it.

Step 4

Put the New Bulb in Place

Before you take the new bulb out of the packaging, grab a tissue or a clean rag. If you must touch the glass of the bulb, do so using the tissue or rag. If the oils on your skin get on the glass bulb, it can burn out as soon as you turn on your headlight. Holding the bulb's plug end, stick it into the back of the headlight. Be sure to visually confirm that it's all the way in. You can tell because it will be lined up evenly and none of the bulb's rubber gasket will be showing.

Step 5

Check Your Lights

Plug the wiring back in and re-secure the headlight. Testing your new headlight bulb is as simple as turning on your car's headlights. If one or both of the bulbs don't turn on, check the wiring to make sure you've securely connected them.