Before you learn how to change a headlight you need to decide which type of replacement headlight bulb you need. Bulbs vary based on the make and model of vehicle. Bulbs for all types of vehicles are available in three basic types: halogen, HID and LED. Explore the differences between these bulbs and find out what type you need.
What Car Parts & Tools Do You Need To Replace a Headlight Bulb
Replacing a headlight bulb is a straightforward DIY project for most car owners. Gather the necessary tools and car parts and spend some time maintaining your ride. Here are the basic tools and parts you’ll need before you start on this project:
- Replacement bulbs
- Safety gloves
Park your vehicle on a flat, well-lit spot to prepare for this project. Identify the low and high beam placement, as most vehicles have separate bulbs for these. Read your service manual or talk to a local auto parts store representative to find the location of the screws, nuts or other features that hold your headlight bulb in place.
Most vehicles have easily removable covers that allow you to pull the bulb out of the headlight assembly. Look under the hood near the back of the headlight assembly for the location of the removal panel. Remove a few screws or nuts to loosen the old bulb.
In some cases you may need to remove a few items. Remove your battery, air filter housing or other component if you can’t access the headlight panel behind the assembly. Be sure to note all the fasteners that you’ll need to replace once you’re finished with your light bulb replacement project.
Never touch your new headlight bulb with your bare skin. Oils on your skin can affect the surface and lifetime of your headlight. Carefully insert the bulb in the same way that you took the old one out. Some pull straight out, while others require a counter-clockwise turn.
How To Find Out What Type Headlights You Need for Your Car or Truck
Most vehicles accept halogen, LED and HID bulbs. Compare these bulbs today to determine the best option for your vehicle and driving style. Halogen bulbs are the classic style that you’re probably used to. These bulbs are the most affordable, but provide the least light throw distance, lumens and lifetime.
LED bulbs are the most expensive and have the longest lifetime. If you’re ready to invest in a premium headlight bulb, turn to LED for excellent lumens and throw distance. Finally, HID bulbs are a good balance between the two. They are priced in between the two, but actually have higher light output at the beginning of their life, the output of these bulbs can fade over time. They also have a slight delay before turning on.
Ask your local auto parts expert about the best headlights for your vehicle. Compare these three types and shop online or in store to find bulbs that fit your make, model and year of vehicle for an easy maintenance task and restored driving safety.