There are some cars whose headlight bulb you can change only if you remove many parts from the front. This discourages many people and makes them go to a mechanic who will charge money to do the thing. Now, for the incredibly small number of cars that make it almost impossible to do this the regular way, this is understandable. For vast majority of them, there is absolutely no need to let anyone else do this for you. Here is how to change the bulb in your headlight.
1) Buy the right bulb
You can see what the right one is in your user manual, or when you take the old one out. Most of them fit into the six most common types, but we’ll refrain from telling you which those are. The reason for this is that this information might make you buy the most common one without checking first. If you do this and it doesn’t fit, you will not be able to use it. Moreover, shop assistants will know which one you need depending on which car you drive, so you can also ask them.
In most cases, you won’t need any tools. In some cases, you might need a Philips screwdriver, but this is not very common. Open the hood and disconnect the battery (many people skip this step, without any consequences, but working with any part of the electrical system should always include disconnecting the battery).
3) Remove any trim that obstructs your reach.
Most cars nowadays pack plastic engine covers that cover almost everything. If your car has any parts that make the headlight difficult to reach, remove them. These parts are usually held by clips and they come off in seconds, if there are any in the first place.
4) Unplug bulb wiring
There might be a cover at the back of the headlight or, more commonly, you will see a few wires going into the housing. Unplug those.
5) Remove the bulb.
The previous step makes it possible to remove the bulb. In some cases it will come out when you pull the base (the place where the wiring went into) outwards. In some other cases, you’ll need to rotate the bulb a bit in order to unlock it and be able to remove it.
6) Get the new bulb out from its package and don’t touch the glass.
Make sure you don’t touch the glass of the bulb and if you do, make sure you wipe it off with a bit of alcohol on a clean piece of cloth or a tissue. This is so because oils from our skin will make the bulb last significantly shorter.
7) Install the new bulb
Depending on how you removed the old one, this step will pretty much be the reverse action. Put the bulb in the housing and rotate it to lock the bulb if you needed to unlock it previously. If not, just place it in the housing. Reinstall the wiring and any covers or trim parts. Reconnect the battery and voila.
The first time you are doing this it might last a bit longer until you manage to identify all of these steps on your particular car. However, once you know where everything is and what these steps refer to, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to replace the headlight bulb.