How Do You Change a Car's Headlights?


Quick Answer

To change a car's headlight, open the engine compartment hood, locate the back of the headlight, unscrew the headlight bulb, remove the bulb from its holder, and install a new headlight bulb. You need a screwdriver, replacement headlight bulb and paper towel to complete the installation.

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Full Answer

Check your owner's manual or consult the service clerk at an auto parts store to determine the required replacement bulb. Purchase the bulb. Open the hood to gain access to the back of the headlight. Alternatively, unscrew the front fender to reveal the headlight. Unfasten screws to access the bulb, pry out the bulb and discard it.

Using a paper towel, remove the new bulb from its package. Carefully place the bulb in its mounting position, and secure it in place with screws according to specific directions in the service manual. Switch on the car, and test your work. Be sure to check the positioning of the new bulb.

To change a headlight in an older model vehicle, locate the back of the headlight, unplug the wiring harness from the headlight, unscrew it from its housing and dispose of it. Purchase a replacement headlight from an auto parts store. Hold the headlight right side up, mount it in its housing, and screw it in place. Reconnect the electrical connector to the headlight.

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