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How to Change a Car Headlights

Learn How to Change a Car Headlights

Headlights are one of the most important safety items on a vehicle. They are typically taken for granted until they degrade in performance or blow out. How to change a car headlights is usually a simple do-it-yourself task. Although your headlights won’t usually blow at the same time, it is a good idea to change them in pairs whenever one does blow. If you live in the Florida area and need headlight bulbs, contact PartsMax. We have top quality bulbs, accessories and performance parts to fit your vehicle. The simple steps below will aid you in replacing your headlight bulbs.

Find the Correct Bulb

The first and most important step when determining how to change a car headlights is to look up the part number for your vehicle’s bulbs. You can find the correct part number in your owners manual or by contacting PartsMax. You have the option of purchasing the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) bulbs or upgrading to brighter high-performance bulbs.

Remove Bulb

The headlight bulbs are usually accessed via the engine compartment directly behind the headlights. On some vehicles, you may have to access the bulbs through the fender wells. In many cases, you will have to remove other minor components to gain access to the bulbs. The bulbs will have a harness connected to them. There are a wide variety of connectors used to attach the harness to the bulbs. Most connectors will have a locking mechanism that will have to be squeezed or pushed with a decent amount of force to unlock them. First, disconnect the harness from the bulb and move it to the side. Next, remove the bulb from the headlight housing. This is usually done by firmly grasping the bulb and turning it counterclockwise until you feel it release from the housing. Some vehicles will have a cap style connector that screws over the bulb to hold it in place. For this style, unscrew the cap counterclockwise until the bulb is released. Note: Depending on your vehicle, it may be easier to remove the bulb with the harness attached and then remove the connector.

Install New Bulb

Before installing the new bulbs, verify that the part number from the old bulbs match the new ones. If you decided to upgrade your bulbs, then the part numbers won’t match. It is very important not to touch the glass section of the bulb with your hands. The oils and dirt from your hands could shorten the life of the bulb or cause it to immediately blow. Ensure that the bulb is clean prior to installation. If cleaning is required, this can be done with alcohol and a soft cloth. Firmly grasp the bulb from the back and align it in the headlight housing. Avoid contacting the bulb glass with any surrounding objects. Next, turn the bulb clockwise until it locks into the housing. The bulb should stop turning once locked. If the bulb has a cap style, turn the cap until it is snug. Do not overtighten either style! Connect the connector making sure that it snaps securely in place. If properly locked, the connector will not pull off with moderate force. Finally, reinstall any components that you removed to gain access to the bulbs.


After the installation, test all modes of your headlights to ensure they are working properly. The bulbs should have the same brightness. Note: It may be a good idea to test the bulbs before fully mounting them in case there is a problem. Even if you test them prior to fully mounting, a final test should always be accomplished after the complete installation. If you have further questions about how to change a car headlights, we at PartsMax would be happy to assist you.

*Use at your own discretion, this content is for educational purposes only.