Do It Yourself Auto Repair: Headlight Installation

Many repairs on vehicles require special equipment or intricate knowledge of the vehicle before the repairs can be done. However, there are a handful of repairs that anyone with a few basic household tools can do. Changing the headlight of your vehicle is one such repair you can easily do yourself. Below are five tips to keep in mind when you install a new headlight.

Read Your Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual for your vehicle has all the information you need for installing a new headlight. If you’re not sure what type of bulb you need for your headlight, there should be a chart to let you know. Some owner’s manuals may have detailed instructions on how to replace the headlight bulb for your specific model. At the very least, the owner’s manual will have diagrams of your vehicle from various angles to make it easier to replace the headlight.

Choose the Right Time and Location

If this is your first time changing the headlight on your vehicle, or if there are complications with the process, it may take a significant amount of time. Be aware of this, and choose the time and place properly. You’ll want to be somewhere with plenty of light. If you’re going to be outside, make sure it’s not near dusk or that it’s not likely to rain while you’re trying to install the new headlight.

Don’t Touch the Glass Envelope of the New Headlight

When handling the new headlight you’ll be installing in your vehicle, be sure to avoid touching the glass envelope. This is best accomplished by making sure you always grab the base of the headlight. There are two primary reasons to avoid grabbing the glass envelope. The first reason is you may inadvertently smudge the bulb or otherwise impair its functionality. The second reason is it may actually reduce the amount of time your headlight will function before burning out.

Keep Your Vehicle’s Engine Off

Unlikely as it may be, there is the small chance that the thought may have crossed your mind to keep your vehicle running while you’re installing a new headlight. However, you should never keep your vehicle on when doing any repair work. As the headlight is connected to the vehicle’s electric system, you do not want to do anything to increase your risk of being shocked. Once you have everything in place after installing the headlight, then you may turn on your car to make sure it’s working properly.

Replace Both Bulbs at Once

This tip will likely save you time, money, and possibly, some frustration. If only one of your headlights is out, you should still consider changing both of them at the same time. This will reduce the likelihood of having to change the still-functioning one when it goes out in the near future. As a bonus, packs of two headlights will usually cost you less per headlight than single packaged headlights.

Installing your own headlights is a great way to save yourself money on car repairs. Depending on your vehicle, it may be as simple as just popping the old headlight out and plugging the new one in its place. Even if it’s slightly more complicated, you should be able to do it with standard household tools. The owner’s manual for your vehicle will show you what you need to know, and may even have a step-by-step breakdown of the process to make this do-it-yourself auto repair that much easier.