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Visibility is an important part of safe driving, especially when it comes to misty roads and when driving at night. As you already know your vehicle’s lights are especially important not just when it comes to helping you see better in the dark but also to warn other drivers of your actions.
The latter is the case with the rear lights which indicate where you’re going, whether or not you are stopping and when you are about to start moving again. There are different types of bulbs used in car headlights.
But no matter which type of bulb your headlights have, sooner or later they tend to fail and the easiest car fix, in this case, is to replace them.
How To Change Rear Headlights
In order to properly do this DIY auto repair, you must first prepare your vehicle and yourself for the task. A rear headlight repair will usually require a Torx T30 screwdriver with your car’s handbrake turned on and ignition off.
The first thing you’ll need to do is open the trunk (boot) and remove the latches holding the shelf and take off the shelf parcel, if your vehicle has none, proceed to the next step.
- Next, you need to remove the two screws holding the assembly which will become loose but don’t worry it won’t fall off as it’s still held by a wingnut. To access the wingnut, fold a little bit of the side carpet. Once you’ve gained access to the inside of your vehicle’s bodywork start loosening the wingnut using your hands. When you are done loosening the wingnut take the whole unit off and remove the electrical connector. This is done by squeezing the clips on the side of the connector tab and pulling the connector together with the unit towards you.
- When you have the whole rear assembly out, place it on a flat surface. Now, you will remove the bulb that’s causing issues or has stopped working, since we don’t know which one it is, we are going to start with the brake light first. Removing the brake light bulb requires turning it by a quarter of a turn, anti-clockwise, from what is usually a gray plastic holder. To put the new bulb in just do the same thing but this time with a clockwise turn.
- If your rear headlight repair involves replacing the reversing light you usually need to remove the bulb in the middle. Turn the unit anti-clockwise, then pull out the electrical connector and remove the old bulb by lifting it out. Place the new bulb by lining it up and then pushing it in until you hear it click into place. Follow that up by putting the connector back in its place and you are done replacing the reversing light.
- Changing the indicator is also an easy car fix which is somewhat similar to the process of changing the brake light. Start by turning, what is usually a gray indicator, anti-clockwise and pull it out. Next, take off the bulb by turning it anti-clockwise as well and then just do the same steps in reverse order when putting in the new bulb.
- When you are done changing a single bulb or all of them, it’s time to put the whole unit back in it’s place. Start by reconnecting the electrical connector which needs to be followed by aligning the whole assembly with the body of your vehicle. Once you have the unit aligned correctly, push it in carefully and tighten the wingnut found inside the bodywork. Then, tighten the two screws you took out previously, using the Torx T30 screwdriver and gently push the side carpet in place. Place the parcel shelf back where it was and place the clips back in their place. Close the trunk (boot) and you are all good, just make sure to test out the lights before you hit the road.
Types of Headlight Bulbs
What are also known as Xenon lights are bulbs which use an electric arc placed between two electrons in the bulb. An HID bulb is filled with xenon gas, hence the name, which provides the white bright light.
This makes HID bulbs one of the brighter bulbs out there if not the brightest and they are also more efficient than Halogen bulbs.
These types of bulbs are the oldest type of car bulbs but despite that, they are still very widely used to this day. Halogen bulbs use what is known as a tungsten filament which lights up when current goes through it.
This type of bulb generates a lot of heat, more than it generates light, which makes it extremely inefficient.
When it comes to being efficient LED technology has no competition. While LED headlights technically don’t make use of a bulb they generate light with the help of semiconductors.
The current passes through these semiconductors which turns the electrons into light that is beamed with the help of what are known as light-emitting diodes, hence the name LED.
While LED lights are still used in some vehicles only as interior lights there are headlight assemblies based on LED technology that can offer a long lifespan and a pretty bright light source.