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How To Replace A Burned Out Headlight Bulb

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To those who know how, nothing could be simpler than replacing an automobile headlight bulb. Yet for everybody else, this task remains shrouded in an air of daunting mystery. If you would like to improve your basic automotive repair skills, read on. This article will teach you how to change a headlight bulb in no time flat.

Finding The Bulb Holder

Begin by opening up the hood of your car and propping it in place. Now take a look at the area just behind your headlight. While it will likely be pretty cramped in there, you can identify the bulb holder by the fact that there will be three wires leading to it. These wires attach to a plug known as the wiring harness, whose function is to connect the headlight bulb to your car's electrical system.

Detaching The Wiring Harness

To change your bulb, you will first need to detach the wiring harness. Depending on your particular vehicle, this may be accomplished in one of three ways. First, there may be a plastic catch--in other words a small button near the top of the wiring harness. By pressing this down, you should be able to pull the harness outward.

Second, your wiring harness may be secured by means of a metal clip. In this case, all you have to do is pull the clip outward to free the harness. Just be sure not to lose track of the clip, as you'll need it again once you've got the new bulb in place. Finally, the harness may be held in place by a screwcap. Turn it counter-clockwise until free.

Removing The Dead Bulb

Depending on how tightly your bulb fits into its corresponding plug on the wiring harness, it may not may not come out when you pull the harness away from the bulb housing. If the harness does bring the bulb with it, gently disengage the bad bulb from the plug. If, on the other hand, removing the harness automatically unplugs it from the bulb, simply reach into the bulb housing, grasp the bottom of the bulb, and pull it out of place.

Attach The New Bulb And Reinstall

Now that you've mastered the removal process, installing a new bulb is as easy as repeating the steps in backwards order. But first you'll need to ensure that you have the right replacement bulb. Be aware that there are a variety of different bulb styles in use today. When in doubt, take the old bulb in to the auto parts store with you, and ask an employee to help you identify the appropriate replacement.