Skip to navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer

< Back to news

Your Guide To Changing Headlight Bulbs

6th October 2017

Your Guide To Changing Headlight Bulbs

Driving a vehicle without two working headlights can be dangerous; it’s also illegal. You can brush up on the laws regarding lights when driving here. In short, if your lights don’t work, your vehicle will fail its MOT and you could end up with a fine and penalty points on your licence. Check out our guide to changing your headlights.

Which Bulb Do You Need?

The first step is to identify the type of bulb that you need. If you don’t use the right bulb and wattage, your new bulb could be as dangerous as not having one! To find out the right bulb, check your owner’s manual, which should tell you the bulb number and wattage. Failing that, you can pop to your local mechanic, who will easily be able to identify the bulb you need.

Gather Your Tools

Changing a car lightbulb is straightforward, so you will only need: your vehicle manual; alcohol wipes (to wipe the lightbulb if you touch it); screwdriver (if you have an older vehicle); and your spare bulb(s)!

Changing Your Headlight

Open the bonnet of your vehicle and prop it up. Locate your headlight (use your manual if you need to), and remove the power connector that feeds into the back of the light. Next, remove the dust cover which protects the back of the light (this should pop out but if you have an older vehicle, it may be screwed in place). Some bulbs need to be twisted to connect them, some are connected using clips. Gently release the clips or twist to release the old bulb. Make sure that you hold the base of the bulb: never pull the glass as it may be very fragile. Once you have got the old bulb out, compare it with your new bulb, to double-check that you have the right one!

Make sure your new bulb is clean, and that there are no fingerprints or dust particles. If the bulb looks grubby, gently wipe it with an alcohol wipe. Holding the new bulb as gently as possible, and avoiding contact with the glass, place the bulb in the socket and secure it gently. Make sure it is secure and give it another wipe (if needed). If your bulb clips in, replace the clip before replacing the dust cover (and screwing it back in, if necessary). Finally, reconnect the power connector.

Once you have replaced your bulb, switch your lights on to make sure that they are working properly and, hey presto! You have replaced your bulb!

If you would like help or advice about replacing your car bulbs, contact a local mechanic, who will be happy to help. For more vehicle information and to find garages that you can trust, follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter.