It is important to check your headlights regularly for dead or dimming bulbs. Reduced visibility at night can be a potentially deadly problem and you can get a ticket for driving around with a light out. So the time and money it takes to replace a dim bulb are definitely worthwhile.

You can save yourself some money by replacing your own headlight bulb. Most people can do this without prior expertise.

Start by running a check. At night, take your car to a level place and park in front of a vertical wall. Turn the headlights on. They should be aligned evenly, with light beams running horizontally from the vehicle, and should be bright enough to do the job. If they are not evenly aligned or seem to be drooping, you will need to adjust the headlight a bit when you change the bulb.

Most headlight bulbs are halogen bulbs, which are easy enough to change. Underneath the hood, locate the back of the headlight and look for the bulb holder with three wires coming out of a trapezoid-shaped plug.

First, take out the plug. To pull the plug, you will need to release the plastic catch by holding it down with your thumb while pulling the plug. If it is a metal clip and not a plastic catch, the clip should come out with a firm pull. If it is a screw cap, turn the cap counter clockwise to release it.

Now that the wiring harness has been removed, you can pull the bulb out by the base. You may have to turn the bulb a little bit to get it out. Now that you have the old bulb out, it’s as simple as repeating the steps backwards to get the new bulb in. Do not touch the glass with anything but freshly cleaned hands or rubber gloves. Skin oils can burn out a bulb prematurely, even the same day at times.

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