How To Replace A Headlight Bulb

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

We've done Parking Lot Mechanic before, and that was both great and great fun. But I am no certified mechanic, nor do I have a parking lot, so why not kick back, relax, and watch some movies?

Replacing a headlight bulb is the most annoying bit of common car maintenance. It's not because headlights should just last longer out of principle, or because who needs headlights anyways, but because it should be so simple.


When you replace a bulb you don't need any special tools, diagnostic equipment, or training, but it can be easily frustrating. Often the headlight bulb is squished in between a million other parts that are bigger and more imposing and there the little bulb sits, just taunting you. It can even be intimidating if you don't know how to do it, as you may even initially think you need to remove the headlight cover itself to get at it.

Have no fear, this basic maintenance tip is actually fairly easy once you get the hang of it and/or you have really tiny hands. It can also be one of the most important things you ever do to your car, considering how unsafe it is to drive with your lights off.


Over time this little bit of maintenance may become a part of the past as super-ultra-long-lasting LEDs become more common. While we've still got regular bulbs though, why not figure out how to change them?