by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2010)
There are different types of headlights. The two most common types used are the halogen and the all-in-one-piece. You'll need to know which type of light bulb is used in your car. This information should be in your owner's manual. If you don't know how to determine what type of bulb your car uses, go to your local auto parts store and tell them that you need a bulb for your car. Be sure that you know the year, make and model of your car as the clerk is going to need that information to look it up.
If you have a halogen bulb, you'll need to open the hood of your car and look behind the headlamp. Unscrew the small black knob that you see and pull out the bulb, being careful to push in and turn at the same time. Remove the old bulb and replace it with the new one. Replace the knob that holds in the bulb.
For the all-in-one-piece (we'll just call it the headlamp from here on out), the process is going to be a little different. Look inside the hood again, but notice that there is a small metal band that is holding the lamp in place and is usually held in with either two or four screws. Remove those screws and set them aside. Don't confuse them with the screws for the horizontal and vertical adjustment, since those are larger and longer than the ones you just removed. Remove the metal band, allowing the entire headlamp to hang down. Pull back the rubber covering and disconnect the headlamp from the car itself. Discard the now useless unit and replace it with the new one by reconnecting the plugs. Make sure that you have put the rubber cover back over the connection so that you don't end up with a short. Replace the metal band where it was originally and reinsert the small screws that hold it in place.
Turn on the headlights and see if they are working.
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