DIY Changing Car Headlights: Lighten up Your Way with New Lights

DIY Change Car Headlights

  • Steps to Change Car Headlights
  • Causes of Headlight Failure
  • FAQs

Properly functioned car headlights are essential for both road and vehicle safety. However, you may experience flickering car headlights or sometimes the bulb won’t light up at all. It can happen due to many reasons and this is where it becomes vital to change car headlights. 

Changing car headlights might seem daunting for some when it comes to taking care of cars. However, anyone interested in DIY car care can do it. Once the car headlights are replaced, your car will illuminate the road better and make your nighttime drive safer.

This detailed step-by-step tutorial helps you with clear steps to change car headlights. 

DIY How to Change Car Highlights

an auto expert can change car headlights if you do not want to do it yourself
You can change car headlights yourself or get them changed by an auto expert

A car with dim headlights is a major hazard on the road. Due to this reason, UAE traffic law mandates the use of proper and well-maintained car lights. Those with dim car lights in the UAE are prone to fines and black points. 

Regular maintenance and prompt replacement of faulty components can help prevent headlight failure and ensure safe driving conditions. There are different types of car headlights but the steps to replace them are more or less similar. Here we have mentioned a basic step-by-step tutorial on how to change a car headlight. 

Required Tools 

car headlight bulbs are among the tools needed to change headlights
You need new compatible car headlights to replace the older ones
  • New headlights (those which are compatible with your car)
  • Screwdriver (usually Phillips-head)
  • Gloves
  • Cleaning cloth

Step-by-Step Tutorial to Change Car Headlights

Follow these steps on how to change a car headlight bulbs.

Step 1: Park Your Car and Turn it Off

The first step is to park the car on a levelled surface and turn off the engine. Put on gloves to avoid getting dirt and oil on the new headlights.

Step 2: Open the Hood

Locate the hood release lever, usually beneath the steering wheel. Open the hood and secure it with the prop rod.

Step 3: Access the Headlight Housing 

Look for the back of the headlight assembly. You might need to remove a cover or access panel to reach the bulb compartment to change car headlights.

Step 4: Remove the Old Bulb 

For car headlight bulb replacement, disconnect the electrical connector carefully from the back of the bulb. Release any metal clip or retainer if it is holding the bulb. Gently twist the old bulb in the opposite direction (usually counterclockwise) to remove it.

Step 5: Insert the New Bulk

Take your new bulb and insert it into the socket. Give it a gentle twist clockwise to secure it.

Step 6: Reconnect Electrical Connector

Attach the electrical connector to the back of the new bulb. Make sure it’s snug and secure.

Step 7: Test the Headlights

After changing car headlights, turn them on to make sure the new bulb is working properly. If everything looks good, turn off the headlights.

Step 8: Reassemble

If you removed any covers or access panels, put them back in place. Secure them properly.

Step 9: Close the Hood

Lower the hood carefully and ensure it’s properly closed after changing the car headlights.

Causes of headlight failure

man holding worn out car bulb which is one of the causes of car headlight failure
Car headlight bulbs tend to age or wear out for multiple reasons which can cause their failure

Headlight failure can happen for various reasons. Some common causes include:

Worn Out Bulbs

The most frequent cause of dim car headlights is burnt-out bulbs. Headlight bulbs have a limited lifespan, and they eventually wear out and stop working. Vibrations from driving on rough roads or extended use can contribute to bulb failure over time

Electrical Issues

Problems in the electrical system, such as faulty wiring, blown fuses or issues with relays, can lead to headlight failure. Corroded or loose connectors can disrupt the electrical connection between the bulb and the vehicle’s wiring as well. This makes car headlight bulb replacement of prime importance.

Flickering or dimming headlights

Dimming or flickering headlights could indicate voltage fluctuations, often caused by problems with the alternator or voltage regulator.

Damaged Lens or Housing

Cracked or damaged headlight lenses or housings can expose the bulb to moisture, debris and other environmental factors that may lead to failure.

Collision Impact

Physical impact, such as hitting a pothole or being involved in a minor collision, can cause the filament in the bulb to break, resulting in a burnt-out bulb.


Excessive heat due to a malfunctioning cooling system or poor ventilation can cause the headlight bulbs to overheat and fail prematurely. That said, you may browse through these car lighting parts for sale in the UAE to replace the existing ones.


Do I need to disconnect the car battery to change the headlight?

On a safer note, you should disconnect any electrical connections, that is, your car battery before performing any electrical car work. The same goes for car headlight bulb replacement.

Do headlights drain a car battery?

Yes. If left switched on for a longer period, car headlights can drain the battery quickly.

Can you change a headlight without tools?

Some headlight bulbs do not require tools for removal. However, most of the time a flathead or Phillips screwdriver is required to change car headlights.

That is all about how to change car headlights yourself. It is an easy and cost-effective DIY task that should top your car maintenance checklist. Remember, with a few simple tools and careful steps, you can handle basic car maintenance tasks like a pro. Similarly, if your car’s tail lights are broken, head over to this guide for tail light replacement and follow the basic steps. Nevertheless, if you are not comfortable with changing the headlights yourself, consult a professional mechanic to fix it. 

Sometimes, you may notice that your headlights are deteriorating. To prevent it from worsening or complete failure, you can use these car headlight restoration tips and turn them anew.

That said, if your car parts are posing recurrent issues, try replacing them with these auto accessories and parts for sale in the UAE.

Up for more tips on car care? Tune in to the dubizzle car blog for exciting car maintenance tips.


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