How to Replace a Blown Headlight Bulb

How to Replace a Blown Headlight Bulb

6th Jun 2019

car headlight

Blown Headlights

Does your car have one or more blown headlights? If you intend to drive at night -- which most people do -- you'll need to ensure all your headlights function properly. With even one blown headlight, nighttime visibility will be reduced, thus increasing your risk of collision. Furthermore, you could up getting ticketed if you drive with a blown headlight at night. The good news is that you can usually replace a blown headlight bulb in just a few simple steps.

Remove the Blown Headlight Bulb

To get started, pop your car's hood and look inside the engine bay for a clip or holder in which the blown headlight bulb is secure. Depending on the make and model of your car, you may have to move some components out of the way to access to the clip or holder. Some cars, for example, require the removal of the battery in order to access one of the headlights. Regardless, after you've found the clip or holder with the blown headlight, release it and remove the blown bulb.

Purchase a New Bulb of the Same Type and Size

With the blown headlight bulb in hand, take a trip to your nearest auto parts store -- assuming it's still daylight, and you don't need to use your headlights -- and purchase a new headlight bulb of the same type and size. If you can't find it on your own, ask an employee for assistance. He or she should be able to choose a replacement of the same type and size.

Replace Blown Bulb With New Bulb

Now it's time to install the new headlight bulb. You should be able to simply latch it back into the clip or holder from which the blown bulb from removed. When installing the new bulb, however, it's recommended that you wear latex gloves. Why is this necessary? Well, oils from your fingers may transfer to the bulb. And if you're installing an HID or halogen bulb, the presence of oil will cause an uneven distribution of heat, which may cause the bulb to crack.

Test the New Bulb

It's a good idea to test the new bulb before driving off in the middle of the night. With you car parked in your driveway, turn on your headlights to ensure they are working as intended. If the new bulb still isn't turning on, double check the wiring connectors. And if that doesn't work, you may have a bad bulb, in which case you'll need to return to the auto parts from which you purchased it.

headlight graphic