page title icon How To Install Halogen Headlight Bulb: Bulb Replace Guide

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how to install halogen headlight bulbs

There are many differences between halogen headlights and traditional headlights. When a halogen bulb is to be replaced, invariably the headlight as a whole is to be either cleaned thoroughly or replaced. Changing the headlights is neither difficult nor expensive.

Replacement of headlights at regular intervals will ensure safety while driving. The headlights can be installed either by a DIY method or by giving the task to the mechanic. It is advisable to check and adjust the alignment of the lamp also while replacing a headlight.

When a halogen headlight is replaced with a new halogen light the illumination will be much better. Apart from knowing how to install a headlight, one should also know the other aspects that are to be considered when the headlight of the car is down. By following the correct procedure, one can easily solve the problem. The following tips will enable the reader to complete the task of halogen headlight installation more quickly as well as easily.

Common Reasons For Halogen Headlights To Go Off

The most common reason for the bulbs to burn out is their age. Since the filament of the halogen bulb is very delicate, rapid changes in temperature can also be the reason. The filament will burn off due to extreme heat or cold. Dimming of the lights can be due to the yellowish appearance of the plastic cover as a result of oxidation. When this happens one has to replace the entire headlight system.

Humidity, as well as wetness, can easily spoil the headlight. While replacing the bulb it is advisable to wear rubber gloves since the sweat on your finger can spoil your bulb. As a result of leakage of the bulb housing, the headlight may accumulate moisture which can burn the bulb out. Though both the headlights will not burn out simultaneously, normally the time gap between the burning out of both the lights will not be so wide. Hence one may replace both the headlights at the same time. It will also improve the overall visibility.

Step-by-step Installation Of Halogen Headlights

After taking out the halogen bulb wearing latex glove, as the next step, the casing of the headlight is to be removed. One should know the correct location of the bolts from the service manual of the vehicle. In many cars, there will be one bolt which can be accessed only from under the car. Hence, if there is a bolt under the car it may be accessed using a jack and jack stands. When a jack is used there will be sufficient space to move.

man holding halogen headlight bulbs

The bulb retainer holds the halogen headlight at the exact position. One cannot unplug the retainer because it is different from the connector. The retainer can be loosened by accessing it from behind the headlight. While loosening the retainer one has to ensure that it is rotated in the clockwise direction. After loosening the headlight the connector also must be loosened.

The headlight receives power through the connector. The connector can be loosened just by pressing the tab down. While installing the halogen headlight one needs not to worry about aiming the headlight. Since it is an automatic setup, once the assembly is put back in its place and the headlight casing is also installed the headlight will get back the correct aim.

While replacing the halogen headlights, in most of cases the entire headlight is to be replaced. However, there are a few models in which one need to replace only the halogen bulb of the headlight. The absence of a metal band around the headlight indicates that only bulb replacement is required.

For replacing the halogen bulb, first of all, one has to locate the black knob which will be at the back of the headlight. The old bulb may be taken out just by unscrewing it. In case the bulb is not coming out it may be slightly pushed in and then turned and taken out.

Whether it is a complete replacement of the entire halogen headlight setup or just a replacement of the halogen bulb, the halogen headlight installation process is quite easy and one need not take more than 15 minutes to complete the task. One has to proceed slow and steady. One should ensure to complete every step before proceeding to the next step. Once the replacements are made, one has to carefully re-assemble the unit just by reversing the procedure for removal of the assembly.

Test The Headlight Before Re-assembling

Immediately after installing the halogen headlight it is very important to test prior to re-assembling the unit whether the installation is successful or not. In case there is any fault to be rectified, the same can be done immediately so that the assembly need not be dismantled again.

Car headlight in the dark

Removal Of The Wiring Harness

For installation of halogen headlight, no specific tools are required other than a screwdriver or a pair of pliers. Before starting the task one may go through the owner’s manual carefully. The car should be parked in a safe location and should be turned off. After opening the car hood the back of the headlight is to be located in order to access the bulb holder.

There will be 3 wires that come out of a plug which is located at the base of the headlight. The plug is held at its position either by a metal clip or a screw cap or a plastic catch. The plug will come off when the metal clip is pulled up. In the case of a screw cap, the plug can be unscrewed just by rotating in anti-clockwise. The plastic catch can be removed by pressing down the lever with the thumb and at the same time pulling it firmly.

Once the wiring is taken out, one can easily take the bulb out by holding on to the base. A piece of clean cloth or a tissue paper may be used to take the new halogen bulb out from the package. One should not touch the bulb with naked fingers because if the oil on his skin is transferred to the glass bulb it may burn out as soon as the light is turned on. After holding the bulb at its plug end it may be stuck into the headlight from the back.

One should check again and confirm that the bulb is installed properly. The wiring may be put back and the headlight may be fixed back. The new bulb can be tested just by turning on the headlights of the car.

Relevant resources: 

5 Best Halogen Headlight Bulbs 2021: Buyer’s Guide
How To Install LED Headlight Bulbs
Halogen vs HID Headlights