Changing Your Own Headlight Bulb: Important Dos And Don'ts

21 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Driving with a headlight out isn't just dangerous--it could also lead to you being ticketed by police. But if you do have a headlight out on your car, the good news is that it's a relatively quick, cheap, and easy fix. All you need is a new bulb and the right tools to get the existing bulb swapped out. Before you decide to tackle this minor repair yourself, however, there are some things you should know that can save you time and frustration later on.

DO Buy the Right Replacement Bulb

How difficult could finding the right replacement bulb for your car's headlight be? You might actually be surprised by just how many bulb options are available at your local auto supply store. The best way to avoid buying the wrong bulb (and thus wasting time driving back and forth to return/exchange it) is to consult your vehicle owner's manual. You should be able to determine exactly the type of replacement bulb you need that way.

DON'T Assume a Screwdriver Will Do the Trick

While you're flipped open to the page about headlights and bulbs in your car owner's manual, you'll also want to check out the list of tools needed to access and remove your car's burnt-out bulb. All too often, people assume that a simple screwdriver will do the trick--and while this may be the case for older vehicles, many newer vehicles require the use of specialized tools to access the headlight cover. More than likely, you can pick up whatever tool(s) you may need at the same shop from which you purchase your replacement bulb.

DO Use Some Dielectric Grease

Once you've removed the existing bulb from your car, you may also want to apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the base of the new bulb before connecting it. This grease is designed to help improve the electrical connection and prolong the life of your new bulb. Typically, you can find this grease in small, single-use packets at your local auto supply store.

DON'T Forget to Check the Aim

Finally, once you've got your new bulb installed, you'll want to test it out not only to make sure it works, but to ensure that the bulb is in the correct position. A good way to test this is to turn your lights on with your car parked close to your garage door, exterior wall, or similar surface. 

For more information on how to change the light or where to find the right bulb, contact an auto parts store nearby, such as JENSEN AUTO PARTS.