How Do You Install a Car Headlight?

Procedures for installing a headlight vary based on the age of the vehicle. To replace a headlight in a newer vehicle, you can plug the bulb into the lamp housing. To replace the headlight in an older vehicle, you must remove the entire headlight frame.

To determine which bulb you need, look in the owner’s manual or consult with the dealer or an automotive parts retailer. The model number is also sometimes displayed on the glass cover of the existing headlamp.

In a newer vehicle, lift the hood and disconnect the headlight assembly harnesses. Turn the existing bulb counter clockwise to remove it. Screw in the replacement bulbs clockwise, being careful to avoid contact with the glass portions. Any residual oil from the fingertips can cause damage to the bulb when heated. Reconnect the harnesses to complete assembly.

For an older vehicle, unscrew the headlamp frame from the holding bracket. Pull the socket away from the headlamp to separate the lamp from the electrical connector. Remove the existing headlight, and replace it with the new headlight, lining up the light with the mounting holes on the frame. Plug in the wire socket, and tighten the adjustment screws to secure the headlight in the frame. Return the headlamp frame to the bracket, and tighten the screws to reattach them.