How To Install Headlight Bulbs

How To Install Headlight Bulbs

Installing new headlight bulbs is a simple task that you can easily do in just a few minutes. In most cases, even if you've never worked on your own car before, you can replace your bulbs. Most of the time, you won't even need to break out your toolbox! Here's how to get started.

Finding the right bulb

Before you install new headlight bulbs, make sure you have the right bulbs ready. Not sure what kind your car needs? You can use the bulb finder on our homepage. You'll be asked to enter the region, make, and model of your vehicle. We can then tell you exactly which bulb will fit. You can also find this information in the vehicle handbook.

If you're changing out your old headlight bulbs, you may also want to consider upgrading. Maximum performance bulbs offer extra light on the road, making your night time drive safer. You could also try styling bulbs, which produce a whiter light on the road for a more modern look. Once you have the bulb you want, you're ready to install!

Halogen bulbs

It's worth noting here that not every car is the same, and many different models have different ways of replacing bulbs. This is just a general guide.

If your vehicle takes halogen bulbs, the installation can be easy. Before starting, make sure your car is parked and the engine is off. Open the bonnet or hood of your car and take a look around inside.

Near the back of your headlight, you should find the bulb holder. This will have three wires that are attached to a plug. There may be a clip that holds the plug in place - gently pull this off. Some vehicles have a screw cap instead, which can be easily removed as well. Simply turn the cap counterclockwise and pull it off.

Now, you should be able to remove the bulb. Hold onto the plug and pull the bulb out. Be careful not to squeeze the bulb or yank it out too hard, as you may break the bulb and end up with shattered glass in your car. At this point, it's a good idea to double check that you've got the correct fitting. Check the base of the old bulb. It should have the fitting engraved on there, which you can compare to your new bulb. Alternatively, hold the old bulb up to the new (preferably whilst still in its packaging) and check that both bulbs have the same shape and base.

If you've got the right fitting, you can easily insert the new bulb in the exact same location where you removed the old one. Be careful not to touch the glass of your new bulb, as the oils on your fingers can damage it and cause it to fail prematurely. Instead, use a clean cloth or wear a pair of gloves, and touch the metal base only.

With the new bulb inserted, reconnect the wiring. If you removed a clip or a cap that held the assembly in place, be sure to return it exactly as it was.

Before you close up the bonnet, make sure you check that the new bulb is working. Turn on your vehicle and headlights, and see if the bulb is lit. If it is, you're all done! As an extra step, it's a good idea to check the alignment of your headlights. Find out how to do that here.

Shop halogen headlight bulbs here.

HID bulbs

For the most part, installing xenon HID bulbs is similar to installing a halogen. You can't install an HID bulb in a car that uses halogen - the different technologies have different fittings. If your current vehicle uses halogen headlight bulbs and you want to make the switch to xenon, you'll need an HID conversion kit.

Shop HID conversion kits here.

Please be aware that xenon HID bulbs run on a higher voltage than halogens. For safety reasons, if you're unsure about replacing your HID bulbs, it's worth getting an auto-electrician to help you. Also, just like with halogen bulbs, every car is different. This is a general guide only and may not apply to every vehicle.

The first thing to do when replacing xenon HIDs is park the car and turn off the engine. Open the bonnet, and you should be able to find the bulb holder. In a similar way to replacing a halogen bulb, you'll need to disconnect the wiring in the plug that holds your bulb.

The only step that's different here is disconnecting the wiring from the ballast. HID headlight systems have a ballast connected by wires to both the base and the light socket. Unplug both connections before removing your old xenon bulb.

Slide the old bulb out and you can easily insert the new one. Remember, don't touch the glass surface of the bulb! Finally, reconnect the wiring and make sure everything is back in its place.

Turn on your engine and headlights to ensure your new bulb is working properly. You can also align your headlights at this stage, too. Close the bonnet or hood of your car and enjoy your new xenon HID bulb!

Shop xenon HID here.