When it comes to driving your car safely and legally, working headlights are an absolute essential. They allow you to see where you’re going at night or in adverse weather conditions, and they allow other drivers and pedestrians to see you too.
Now, the majority of us will find that one of our headlights goes out at some point down the line. But surprisingly few of us are aware of what we should do when we find ourselves in this situation. Here’s a step by step guide that will help you along the way!
Check the Bulb
There are a number of things that can result in a headlight going out, but the most common tends to be a faulty or blown bulb.
A good way to check whether the issue is caused by a single bulb is to turn your headlights on and take a look at your vehicle from the front (just make sure the handbrake is on and the vehicle is in neutral first).
If one of the headlights is out but the other is working, chances are, you just need to replace the faulty light’s bulb. The best way to know how to change your vehicle’s bulb is to read your owner’s manual, which will provide details on how to change the headlight in your specific make and model of vehicle.
It will also have details of exactly what bulb you will need to buy. Usually, the steps will look similar to this though:
1. Turn your vehicle off
An important first step (largely for safety’s sake) is to make sure your vehicle is turned off and to remove the keys from the ignition.
2. Open your vehicle’s engine compartment
Next, pop the hood of your car and locate the headlight holder. This will likely be near the front of the car.
3. Disconnect the headlight bulb power wires
Generally speaking, there are three wires attached to the base of the lightbulb. Push down the clip or cap holding them in place to disconnect the power to the bulb.
4. Unscrew the old headlight
Next, you need to remove the broken or faulty headlight. Remember that every car is different, so it’s a good idea to check the user manual for specific instructions on how to get the bulb out safely and conveniently.
5. Screw in the new headlight bulb
Now it’s time to screw in the new bulb. Do this gently and avoid touching the glass of the bulb. You don’t want any oil or dirt from your hands to cause the bulb to burst once it heats up.
6. Close the hood of your carn and check that the new bulb is working.
Of course, if this sounds too complex or difficult, or if you have difficulties during the process of changing the bulb, you can always take your vehicle into a car repair shop and a professional will be able to do it on your behalf.
If you find that the replacement bulb doesn’t resolve the issue, or if your light is broken due to an accident, collision or damage, you should also visit an auto body shop who will be able to get things working again in no time!