Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Umer Malik
Working headlights are essential for safe driving, not only at night but also in daylight hazardous situations too. Furthermore, it is illegal to drive at night with a faulty or blown headlight – both headlights must always be in working order or you could face a hefty fine.
It is important to regularly perform a quick headlamp check whilst your car is parked to ensure all your lights – indicators, brake lights as well as headlights are in working order.
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COMMON REASONS THAT CAUSE HEADLIGHTS TO BLOW
There are a few reasons that can cause your car’s headlights to blow, with the most common culprit being old age. Most headlight bulbs begin to lose effectiveness after a period of two to three years. Experts recommend that if one headlight has failed due to age, then you should replace both at the same time as the other one will soon fail too.
In addition to old age, extreme temperatures – hot or cold, can affect the delicate light bulb filament which will cause the globe to fail. Oxidation of the plastic housing can also cause the bulbs to dim, whereby they appear white or yellowish. Finally, cracks in the housing can cause bulbs to burn out, as they will be exposed to moisture. Bulbs cannot come into contact with any moisture whatsoever, which is why you should not touch them with your hands.
CHANGE YOUR HEADLIGHT GLOBE
Fortunately, it is relatively simple to change a faulty globe and will only take about 10-15 minutes to do. It is also quick and easy to get hold of a new replacement globe as you can purchase online car parts and accessories these days and have them delivered to you.
You must make sure you get the right type of bulb for your car – match it with the VIN number, make and model of your car; refer to your owner’s manual or phone a supplier if in doubt.
FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS TO SAFELY CHANGE THE HEADLIGHT GLOBE IN YOUR CAR
⦁ TURN YOUR CAR POWER OFF
For safety purposes, the car must be turned off with the keys out of the ignition. You could even disconnect the battery – the black, negative cable for additional safety precautions.
⦁ LOCATE THE HEADLIGHT HOLDER
On most vehicles, you will locate the headlight holder through the engine compartment rather than the front of the car, but double check your owner’s manual to see what they recommend. Open the bonnet of your car and look for the headlight holder. It can be located at the front of the car, just behind the headlight. You will find a power connector with three wires coming out of it which power the headlight.
⦁ DISCONNECT THE POWER WIRES
These bulb power wires are usually attached to the base of the lightbulb. Disconnect these three power wires by pushing down the clip or catch holding them.
⦁ REMOVE THE OLD GLOBE
Unscrew and remove the old globe by holding onto the base, rotating the globe slightly to free it.
⦁ CLEAN AND INSTALL THE NEW GLOBE
Clean the new bulb with tissues or gloves to prevent the bulb blowing – do not let the bulb touch your bare skin as you do not want to transfer any residual oils on to the glass. Always handle the globe by its base (not the bulb).
Install the new bulb by placing it in the base of the plug, ensuring it is properly screwed in. The rubber gasket should not be showing.
⦁ REPLACE THE HEADLIGHT HOLDER
Replace the headlight holder and plug the power wires back into the power connector.
⦁ POWER CAR ON AND TEST THE HEADLIGHT IS WORKING
Reconnect your battery, turn on your car and test the headlight. If the light is still not working, go back and check the wires and make sure nothing is loose. Also have a look at the fuses.
Don’t overlook this important maintenance tip to keep you safely on the road at all times.