Another aspect of regular car maintenance is to keep your vehicle light-bulbs in good working order. This is another relatively simple maintenance task that you can easily do yourself.
Firstly, at the front of the vehicle you have the following lights:
- parking lights
- low beam
- high beam
- fog (in some cars, not all)
At the rear:
- tail lights
- brake lights
- reverse light
Whenever you’re doing any kind of maintenance on your vehicle, make sure to check your manual first. Your manual will provide you with the correct information for your particular vehicle, including how to access the light-bulbs and the type of bulb your vehicle uses as they differ between makes and models.
Replacing Headlight Bulbs
In most vehicles, changing the light-bulbs in your headlight is done through the back of the headlight, accessed from under the bonnet. The bulb will be sitting in a holder which is secured in place with a clip (or screwed in, depending on make/model). Power is supplied to the light through a power connector plugged into the back of the holder.
You will need to first disconnect the power from the light by unplugging the connector.
Next, unclip (or unscrew) the fixing mechanism securing the holder in place. Remove the holder and replace the light-bulbs, taking care not to touch the glass as oils can transfer from your hands and shorten the lifespan of the globe.
Replace everything in the reverse order, ensuring you secure the fixing mechanism back in place and plug the power connector back in. Turn your vehicle on and check your lights to make sure they’re working correctly.
Replacing Tail Light & Brake Light-Bulbs
Replacing the light bulbs on the rear of the vehicle is slightly different from the headlights. Access to the bulbs is either done by unscrewing the outside cover, or else found inside the boot. Again, check your vehicle’s manual before you start.
If the access point is located inside the boot, you may have to pull back the boot’s lining (carpet) in order to reach the screws.
The photo above is of my sister’s Toyota. On this vehicle, I pulled out a clip holding the boot lining in place. Once the clip was removed, I pulled the lining back carefully which revealed the rear light.
You don’t need to disconnect the power supply on these lights. Just gently pull the holder from the housing mechanism (you may need to give it a wiggle as you pull – as you can see in the video below, my sister’s rear brake light was held in firm and took a few goes to remove).
Remove the old bulb and replace with the new. Again, take care not to touch the glass as the oils from your fingers may shorten the lifespan of the bulb. Place the housing mechanism back into position, pull the lining back into place and reattach the plug.
And you’re done.
For an easy how to-check out our video
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After replacing any of your car’s light bulbs, make sure they’re working correctly before you drive your vehicle.
For more DIY vehicle maintenance, check out our other posts here.