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How to Replace Headlight Bulbs on a Car Truck or SUV

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Created on: 2020-01-27

This video shows you how to install headlight bulbs on any vehicle!

In this video, I'm gonna show you how to change the headlight bulbs on any vehicle. Some are easily accessed, and some are more involved. Let's talk about sealed beam halogen bulbs. A lot of older vehicles came with these types of bulbs, and there was a trim that you would have to take off on the vehicle to access where the bulb is secured to the car. Once you take that trim off, there should be some other screws or bolts. Take those out. Should be able to disconnect the connector on the backside of the bulb. Put the new bulb in and repeat the same steps and put it back together. Now, if you have flip-up headlights, what you wanna do is turn the switch on, flip the headlights up. It's always a good idea to disconnect the battery in case while you're working on the headlights, they accidentally go down. You don't wanna squish your fingers, so keep them up. Take the trim off, just like replacing the other halogen bulbs and you should be good to go.

Some of the more modern style headlights are gonna be a capsule and you're gonna have the bulb, it'll be a halogen bulb that's removable from the capsule. To replace the bulb, you're gonna have to see if you can get access to the backside of the headlight. Open the hood, look at the top of the light assembly, and see if you can see where the bulb actually screws into the assembly. If not, you may have to go into the inner fender well. And some vehicles, you may even have to remove the entire capsule. Sometimes you even need to remove a battery, the car battery, or even an airbox to gain access to it. Once you access the back of the headlight assembly, there may be a cover that you need to twist off or pull off, or it may even have a bulb that just twists right out. You're gonna wanna disconnect the connector on the bulb. Generally, there'll be a little push tab. Push on that tab, disconnect the connector, and then you're gonna spin the bulb counterclockwise and slide it out. It's always a good idea to wear gloves while you're replacing the bulb. You don't want the oils from your hands getting on the glass part of the bulb, because that's gonna cause the bulbs to wear out prematurely.

Some bulbs will have a spring clip actually holding the bulb in. It almost looks like a paper clip, and you push on the spring and release it, and then you can pull the bulb right out. Some bulbs are gonna be LED bulbs, and some HIDs with an actual ballast on the backside of them. And those generally just pull right out, but there may be a couple of different types that you twist. To reinstall those bulbs, you're pretty much gonna do exactly how you took them out. If they're the push style, push them back in, lock them back in place. If it's the turn style, put it in and twist it clockwise. Then, reconnect the connector, make sure it locks in place. Put the cover on if there's a cover. If you took the battery out, put the battery back in, or the airbox.

Maybe you wanna change one of your marker bulbs or turn signal bulbs in your light assembly. A lot of these will twist out and you'll have one of these little peanut bulbs, some people call them. These are 194 bulbs. You just grab the bulb and you can pull it right out. You don't need gloves to change these. If you see the bulb and it looks like that, it looks like it's black on the top, that's not what the bulb is supposed to look like. That's starting to burn out. This is what a new one looks like. So, that's the difference there. And then to reinstall it, you just align this up. It's like a flat tab right there. Line that up, lock it in place. And same with this bulb, just grab it and slide it out. This is a dual filament bulb and it doesn't matter which way you put it in. It can go either direction. And then same with this one. It's another dual filament bulb. You can sometimes see whether it's blown or not. These will get dark, just like the 194 bulbs. Just grab this, slide it out, and either direction to install it, lock it in place, and then twist it right in.

Here's the back of the headlight. This one, you have a little cover here, twist off, headlight bulb is right there, then you just grab it, twist it out. And you could, this style, you just grab the headlight here and pull it out just like that. Then you'd have to line the tabs up when you reinstall it. And twist it to the right. You can put the cover back on. And if you're just replacing the bulbs, you do not necessarily need to adjust them. It's always a good idea to check, but there is an adjustment right here. You would use a Phillips head screwdriver to adjust it. It's gonna turn. A lot of them you use a Phillips head screwdriver or you can use a hex bit or a hex key. This is the back of a different style headlight. This doesn't have the covers. If you wanted to change the bulb on this style, you disconnect the connector and just twist the bulb. The bulb comes out. The bulb would just come like this, so you replace this whole thing. Reinstall it, lock it in place. The adjuster on this headlight is right here. They're all gonna be in different locations on every headlight. This one, we can use a hex key on and tighten it up or loosen it. And it's gonna go up or down.

It's always a great idea to replace the headlights in pairs, not only because of the longevity of the headlight because the other one may be on its way out, ready to burn out soon, but the headlights might not match, and it's always good to have matching headlights. How do you know what type of bulbs you have? Well, if you take the bulb out, you can check on the actual bulb. It should be stamped. Sometimes it's hard to read, so you could take the bulb to the store or even check your owner's manual. In fact, if you're having a hard time installing the light bulbs on your car, you can check your owner's manual. Some of them have procedures on how to do it.

Now you know you can do this yourself. You don't have to go to a professional. You can save some money. If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and consider subscribing if you haven't already.

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