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lighting the way - headlight Installation

How to Change a Headlight Bulb

Don’t put yourself or your passengers in jeopardy by driving with just one headlight. If your headlight bulb is burned out, the time to take action is now. Grab a Champion headlight bulb, follow these five easy steps and in no time you’ll have two headlights shining brightly down the highway.

  1. Find the access point to the headlight bulb
  2. Determine how to remove the old bulb
  3. Remove the old bulb
  4. Install the new bulb
  5. Test headlights

Designed to deliver reliable performance, your vehicle will shine bright when you use Champion headlights. From factory-replacement headlights to HID and premium headlights, you can count on Champion to light the way.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Step One

Determining how to access the headlight bulb is easily the most challenging part of the job. While it seems like you should be able to just pop the bulb out, often times you have to remove other parts just to get to the bulb.

On most vehicles, you reach the headlight bulb through the engine compartment. Open the hood and look for the headlight sitting in a bulb holder. Also check your owner’s manual for information on the best way to get to the headlight bulb and what parts you might have to remove to reach it.

Step Two

Assess how to remove the old bulb. On some vehicles, the bulb is secured in the headlight assembly by a wire assembly while other cars have the bulb positioned directed into the headlight assembly. Once you know how the bulb is held in the housing, you’ll know how to remove it.

At this point, you’ll also be able to determine what tools you’ll need to complete the job. Many headlight bulbs can be removed without tools, but some do required the use of a flathead or Phillips screwdriver.

If there are power wires connected to the back of the bulb, remove them. There might also be a dust cover that you need to remove from the back of the headlight. There could also be a clip(s) that holds the bulb in place.

Step Three

Remove the bulb by holding the bulb housing and pulling it out. On some bulbs, you might have to use a twisting motion to remove it. Use a gentle touch when doing this so you don’t risk breaking the bulb.

Step Four

Before installing the new bulb, clean it with an alcohol wipe or by using rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth.

Grasping the new bulb by the housing, line it up with the open socket and insert it. Avoid touching the bulb, the oil from your skin can leave a hot spot that may cause it to burn out faster. You may consider wearing gloves to avoid this issue.

Reverse the process you used to remove the old bulb. Attach any wires or clips and replace the dust cover on if necessary. Put the headlight housing back in the frame. Replace any additional parts that you had to remove to gain access to the headlight bulb.

Step Five

Start up your vehicle and turn on the headlights to ensure that the new headlight is working properly. Also take time to check the aim of the headlights. If your lights aren’t aligned correctly, they may not be focused on the road – where you need the light to shine brightly. If they seem to be out of alignment, consult your owner’s manual for tips on correcting it.

Learn more about quality lighting products, find your car part, or find where to buy your auto part today.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.


  • Park your car on a flat surface where you can safely work.
  • Turn your car off and set the parking brake.
  • Consider changing your headlights in pairs to promote even wear.
  • Make sure you have the correct Champion headlight for your vehicle. Consult your owner's manual to get the correct part number or find your car part here. You can also use the reference catalog at the auto parts store to get the correct part number.


  • 15 Minutes


  • Depending on how the headlight housing is fastened, you might need a flathead screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver or no tools at all.
  • Gloves
  • Alcohol wipes

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