Car headlights are an important component of every vehicle as they enable you to drive at night and they generally allow you to drive safely too.
Headlights are required by law to be in an operational state but sometimes issues can occur such as blown out fuses, flickering or headlights becoming dimmer.
Sometimes the low beam headlights won’t work whilst the high beam lights will still work. While you can go ahead and troubleshoot to find out what is the cause of all of these issues, the best car fix to any of them would be a replacement.
Replacing a bulb in your headlight on your own can seem like a complicated car repair but if you take your time you’ll do just fine.
How to Replace Car Headlights
In order to replace the bulb in the headlights, you need to first locate what is known as the headline holder. Before you start with the car headlight replacement process though, you’ll need to turn off your car and lights.
Once that’s done, open the hood (bonnet) as usually the headlight can be accessed from within the front of the engine bay.
1. There are usually 3 wires that go to the bulb holder which are held in place by one of the following three: screws, clips or clamps – this depends on your vehicle.
Push/ pull or unscrew whatever is holding the wires so you can remove the bulb from its socket and wires too. Whilst this is not always the case but some vehicles will require you to remove the whole headlight assembly – make sure to check your owner’s manual for this.
2. The next thing you need to do is place the new bulb in. To do this car fix successfully you should wear gloves as otherwise direct skin contact may easily affect the lifespan of the new bulb.
Place the bulb in the headlight and clip it/ screw it in place. Remember to avoid touching the bulb with your bare hands throughout this step.
3. Before you go on the road and put everything back together make sure to check whether or not the headlights are working properly. This will save you from removing everything again in order to get to the headlight and inspect the issue.
In case your vehicle has xenon headlights it’s best that you seek professional help as there are rather high voltages that need to be dealt with.
Replacing Brake Lights
1. With this type of car headlight replacement we go to the back of the car in order to access the rear headlights. Start by opening the trunk (boot), again with the lights and vehicle switched off prior to doing this step.
To access the bulb inside the headlight remove the screw or screws, depending on your vehicle, and pull out the whole assembly. While some vehicles will require a screw in order to do this, others will only require you to pull a tab out.
2. Take off the bulb holder and either pull or twist the bulb in order to get it out. Place the new bulb into the socket and put the assembly back in its place – don’t forget to screw it in. Again, test the headlights before you put everything back together and you’re done.
How to Make Sure Your Bulbs Last You a Long Time
Usually, the average lifespan of a headlight bulb is around 5 years but depending on the type of bulb your headlight uses this can vary.
For example, halogen lights usually last anywhere from 500 to 1,000 hours whilst xenon lights have an average lifespan of about 10,000 hours. HID lights last about 2,000 hours and LED’s offer an astounding 30,000 hours of total runtime.
Having good habits can also help increase the life of a bulb.
Whilst sometimes smooth roads are just not an option, most of the time we can avoid driving on roads with potholes. A bad road will make your car shake more thus the vibrations will, little by little, affect the headlights as well as other components.
Since every type of bulb has a number of hours it can run for, it’s important to make the best use out of those hours.
While leaving the headlights on for no reason may not affect their lifespan but it won’t put them to good use either. Ensure that you turn off your lights during day time as long as local laws don’t require you to have them on.
The bulbs can start to become misaligned as time goes by which is why you need to adjust them on the regular. In case your car has built int bubble levelers you won’t have to worry about that.
To check if your headlights are aligned park your vehicle on a flat surface and as close as you can to a plain-colored wall. Get anything you have in your car or trunk (boot) out as it can affect the balance of the vehicle.
Put two pieces of tape at the center of each light beam. The vertical piece of tape needs to be about 2 feet (60 cm) long. Then bring your vehicle away from the wall, about 25 feet (7.6 m).
Each beam needs to be positioned at the center of the horizontal tape or right below it and to the right of the vertical piece of tape.