Driver Hub  Owning a car  Maintenance   How to replace a headlight bulb
Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

November 27, 2018

Owning a car 3 min read

You’re driving along, and you realise your headlight has gone – damn! So what do you do? Pay over the odds for a garage to fix it? Call your Mum in a panic? You could – but you can also change it yourself! Here are our 10 steps on changing your headlight bulbs with your own two hands!

This article is a guide on how to change a standard headlight bulb. For LED bulbs, there is a different process which can be a bit more difficult and may be worth getting in touch with a specialist.

What bulb do you need?

Firstly, you need to make sure you’ve got the correct bulb to replace your existing one. There are different ways to figure out what bulb you need.

  • Check the owner’s manual
  • Go online and find the bulb you need, by popping in your vehicles make, model and year
  • Take your old bulb with you when buying a replacement

You should carry spare bulbs in the car with you so that your car remains legal if your bulb goes after dark and you need to drive! If you don’t have replacements already tucked away in your glove box, it might be worth stocking up on a few so you’re not caught short.

What will you need?

  • Owner’s manual
  • Safety glasses

You need to also make sure your car is ready for you to change the bulb. Make sure the car is off, the engine is cold and the lights are switched off before you begin.

Step by step:

This guide is a generic step by step, which should give an overview of how most cars are. Of course, all cars are different, which is where your owner’s manual comes in. This will be able to show you where to locate each different part you need, in order to change your bulb.

    1. Pop open your bonnet
    2. At the back of the headlight is a power connector – remove it.
    3. Remove the dust cover from the back of the headlight
    4. If there are clips holding the bulb in place, these will need to be released to get the bulb out.
    5. Once you’ve got the bulb, gently pull it out of place. Be careful not to be too forceful here, as it could cause the bulb to break.
    6. Make sure your new bulb is the same as the one you have just removed.
    7. Line up your new bulb with the open socket and insert it carefully, making sure it’s completely secure.
    8. Return the clips if there are any, as well as the dust cover and power connector.
    9. Close the bonnet and start your engine to check it has worked.
    10. Reward yourself with a nice cup of tea!

For a blown headlight bulb, the police can issue a verbal warning, or even a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which could mean incurring 3 penalty points and a £60 fine, so it’s definitely worth making sure you carry those extra bulbs around with you and know exactly what to do if one does go out.

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Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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