How To Replace Your Headlights at AutoZone

How To Replace Your Headlights at AutoZone

It’s no secret that picking up a few simple repairs to do your own basic vehicle maintenance can mean big savings. Even if you leave the major work like brake replacements to the pros, the bulk of the cost for replacing windshield wipers and headlights comes from the additional installation surcharge many garages impose. When you take care of it yourself, you only pay for the part. On top of that, you have the ability to shop around for the best deal that fits your vehicle, giving you choices that can save you even more money.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Headlight bulb?

If you are just looking to replace a basic OEM halogen headlight on one side, the cost is usually between $15 and $20. Many bulbs are used interchangeably across a wide range of vehicles, so that keeps the cost of replacements low by minimizing the variety of fitments and wiring options that need to be available. Like most automotive parts, though, the cost can be highly variable. If you look into performance lighting or aftermarket color options for your new lights, you could wind up paying as much as $100 per bulb. So, is it worth it? That depends on whether your driving needs suit the extra performance features of your lighting. Long-lived, powerful headlight bulbs from aftermarket providers provide much-needed safety options for off-roading after dark and other automotive pastimes.

Tools You Need to Change A Headlight

Automakers have mostly been kind to vehicle owners when designing headlight systems. As a result, changing a bulb is fairly straightforward across vehicle types. In almost all modern vehicles, the only hand tool you need to change your headlights will be a Phillips screwdriver. You’ll also need the bulbs ready before you start, but you can easily change them out as soon as you get your auto parts pickup trip. It will only take a few minutes. In addition to the screwdriver and the bulbs, it’s a good idea to have some alcohol wipes on hand for cleaning.

How To Replace a Headlight

There are just a couple steps to changing out your headlight bulb:

  1. Find the bulb holder. It’s accessed from inside the engine compartment, so you’ll need to raise the hood and then check near the front. It will have wires coming out the back, that’s the electric power for your bulb fixture.
  2. Remove the wires. They are attached by a clip, cap, or another simple mechanical release, depending on the make and model.
  3. Disconnecting the wires should free up access to the bulb. Remove it carefully, so you don’t break the old one. It may simply slip out or there may be a twist mechanism to it, but typically removing the bulb is simple once the wires are disconnected.
  4. Clean the wires and headlight holder with alcohol wipes. Do the same for the new bulb.
  5. Insert the new bulb and then attach the wires.

For some headlights and many taillights, you may need to unscrew the headlight holder to remove the bulb because of physical limitations to the space behind it. If that is the case, the screwdriver is all you need to take out mounting screws and gain some mobility.

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