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How to change a headlight bulb in 5 steps

Step 1. Power your car down

To ensure safety, turn off your car and take the keys out of the ignition.

Step 2. Open engine compartment

Pop your car’s hood and locate the headlight holder, near the front of the car.

Step 3. Disconnect the headlight bulb power wires

There are usually three wires attached to the base of the lightbulb. Push down the clip or cap holding them in place.

Step 4. Unscrew the old headlight

Every car is different, Zullo cautions. “Some cars you can get right to the bulb, but with some cars you can’t,” he says. Sometimes the battery or the air filter housing is in the way and sometimes you have to take the inner fender out and get behind it.

However, if you can open the headlight, it’s then just a matter of changing the halogen bulb. This means seeing how the bulb is locked in and carefully unlocking it. If you break the clips that are used here, though, you’ll need to take out the whole headlight, Zullo warns. “So you have to see how it’s hooked up, gently take it apart and then you have to reverse the procedure going back together without putting your fingers on the glass of the bulb,” he says.

Step 5. Screw in the new headlight bulb

Gently screw in the new bulb without touching the glass of the bulb; oil and dirt on your hands can cause the bulb to burst once it heats up. Close the hood of your car. With the new bulb in place, your headlights should once again be as good as new, and you can once again enjoy driving your car day or night.

Most times, changing a headlight is straightforward and doesn’t require taking your car to a mechanic. Check out other DIY car maintenance projects anyone can do.