Car headlights are one of the most important parts of the entire vehicle. Without them, you would be unable to see or be seen at night, greatly increasing the chances that you will experience an accident while driving. Thankfully, if your headlight has burned out, you can replace it yourself in just a couple of minutes with the right tools.

What You'll Need

Before you get started, it's a good idea to get all of the tools and materials that you'll need together so that the process goes as quickly as possible. You'll need a new headlight, rubbing alcohol, a lint free rag, a pair of gloves, and a crosshead screwdriver (depending on your vehicle, it may be a different headed screwdriver). All of these items can be found at automotive parts stores if you don't already have them at home.

Replacing a Headlight

First, open the hood of your vehicle and look directly behind the headlight casing. You'll see the headlight bulb within a holder, with the wiring attached to the back and running to the car battery. If you can't locate the holder, consult your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to access your headlights.

Remove the wires from the bulb. How you actually do this will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, but it is most commonly a lever or a cap that can be simply pressed or removed by hand. Some older vehicles require you to use a screwdriver to remove the wires from the bulb: simply turn the screw counterclockwise (leftwards).

You can then remove the back of the housing and remove the old burnt out bulb. You may have to wiggle it a little by hand to make it come loose.

Then, use the lint free rag to rub down the headlight casing with rubbing alcohol to clean it out.

Make sure that you are wearing gloves for this next step, as the oils and dirt on your hands can cause damage to the new headlight bulb and cause it to burn out early. You can insert the replacement bulb into the housing by hand, ensuring that the rubber ring at the bottom is completely inserted. Then, you can put the back of the housing back on and reattach the wires: this is usually just done by pressing the end of the wires back into the receptacle on the housing.

Check to ensure that the bulb is properly installed by turning on your vehicle and turning on the headlights. If the headlight won't turn on, double check to ensure that all the connections are tight and properly secured. To learn more, contact a company like Parts Max