How To Change Car Headlights

How to change car headlights

When motorists hear the word “change your car headlights,” their first thought is usually to contact their mechanic or visit a repair shop. Whereas changing your car headlight bulbs is as easy and straightforward as changing your regular bulbs in the house. You only need to learn how to change car headlights, and this article was created for that purpose. 

To a large extent, the ease of changing your headlights depends on your vehicle type. In some situations, a simple headlight restoration would do. However, there are essentially two types of headlights in cars when it comes to changing the bulbs: in older model vehicles, headlight bulbs may be a sealed unit with a lighting filament and lens – (learn how to clean sealed headlights rather than a replacement); while the newer vehicles may be easier and more straightforward, just your regular old twist and remove but still learning which restoration kit is the best for it is important. So most importantly, know what kind of bulbs your vehicle has and you are well on your way to the DIY headlight change. 

Additionally, it is recommended that when replacing headlights, even when only one of the bulbs is faulty, you should change both of the bulbs as regularly as you can. When your headlights get dim, it means it is time for a change or a complete restoration with headlight restoration kits, so do the needful. When you replace both bulbs regularly, you are maintaining your vehicle and making the roads safer for yourself and others as well. 

Five steps in changing your headlights

how to replace car headlights

Step 1: Ensure the engine is off

You would need to power your car down for this no matter your car model or type. Eventually, you may need to open the bonnet to unfix the headlights there, so power down the car and turn the ignition off. 

Step 2: Open the engine section

Pop open your hood and find the headlight holder. It should be the inner part of where the headlights are naturally located. It should be easy to find. 

Step 3: Disconnect the wires

The headlight lamps have power wires holding it in place and flowing electricity through it. They are usually three. Push down to clip to disconnect them.

Step 4: Remove the bad headlights

You have to be very careful in doing this, the way car headlights are fixed differs from car to car, so it is recommended that you take a look at how it is fixed to be able to get an inkling on how to unscrew it.

Step 5: Screw in the new headlights

You may have dirt and oil smudged on your hands, so be very careful in fixing the new headlights. Once the new bulbs are tightly in place, close the hood of your car and start the car to test the headlights. Your lights should be back and bright and once again, perfect to drive, day or night. 

What to do when your new headlights don’t work?

What To Do When Your New Headlights Don't Work

So you’ve fixed in your new headlights and they don’t seem to be working. Don’t panic, most times, it may just be a problem with the fuses or wiring, get that checked out first. 

Also, ensure if you used the appropriate plug. If you just changed your lamp, and still it doesn’t work, you may need to check if the new bulb has the appropriate plug for your car. 

What to consider when selecting headlight bulbs for your car?

How to Selecting Headlight Bulbs
  1. Distance

You may want to place a premium on how far the lights can be thrown. You want a bulb that can stretch far when you’re driving at night. The roads at night may have a lot of obstacles, twists, and turns, so it is best you can see these things from a safe distance so you can react better. 

  1. Color

Some bulbs have a warm white color, others have sharp white. You may need one with a warm white so the reflection on the road can be cool and give great feedback to the eyes of both you and oncoming vehicle drivers. 

  1. Duration

Picking the bulb with an amazing long-lasting and durable life is key in this regard, you wouldn’t want to keep changing your bulbs every week. 

How long does a headlight last ?

How Long Does a Headlight Last

Once again, like almost every other thing we have mentioned, it depends greatly on the model of the vehicles and environmental factors. 

For instance, in the older model cars, the halogen lights on there could live for up to 4,000 hours before they eventually burn out and need changing. However, these days, due to harsh environmental conditions, they usually average about 400 hours. 

As we are fond of mentioning, this again depends on the driver and how often they go out at night. But for an average driver, you could get about 2 years of headlights life from your bulbs. Therefore, it is best to replace your headlights every two years.

Again, it cannot be overemphasized that usually when one bulb develops a fault, the other isn’t usually far behind, so instead of changing one bulb, you should change the two. It is the perfect way to maintain your headlights and make sure they are in top-notch condition always. 

The steps to changing a headlight are very simple and straightforward, however, they do require some level of carefulness and expertise. This is not to say that you can’t do it yourself, you absolutely can! But there are certain things that you must know or put in place before replacing your headlights yourself. 

One of them is knowing the exact bulb type to use for the model of your car, the other is to ensure the plug is the appropriate one before you put in your new headlights and many other things need to be considered. It is either you keep abreast of all these things, or just hand it over to an auto-specialist to take care of. There is no shame in that and eventually, you’ll learn how to replace the headlights. 

Again, we have mentioned what the possible problems might be if you put in new headlights and they don’t work, it happens more usually than you think so just follow the aforementioned tips and put them into consideration. 

For optimum headlight results, use the headlights that are approved for your car, and maintain them regularly without forgetting to change them once in two years. Your headlights should be in top-notch shape. 


Sometimes when your headlights don’t shine too bright as they used to, it doesn’t mean a replacement. It could be as a result of an oxidized headlight lens. It’s always recommended to check the status of your headlight lens before deciding to opt for a replacement. If your lens is foggy or hazy a simple DIY headlight restoration with products found around the kitchen can restore your headlights back to their original strength with a clear beam display.  

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