How to Install a New Halogen Headlight Bulb

Updated February 21, 2017

As of 2010, the halogen headlight bulb has been around for over 20 years. Revolutionary when they were first introduced, halogen bulbs are slowly being phased out as xenon headlight technology, which produces brighter and more focused light beams, is slowly working its way from luxury marques down to less expensive automobiles. However, many of us still own vehicles that use halogen headlight bulbs. Replace your own bulb inexpensively when one of your halogen headlights burns out.

Open the bonnet of your vehicle. Locate the headlight bulb at the rear of the headlight assembly. Remove the headlight assembly from the vehicle if the bulb cannot be easily accessed. Do this by backing out the holding bolts located at the top of the headlight assembly with an adjustable wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Carefully raise the headlight assembly from the car to access the bulb at the rear of the headlight.

Turn the collar that holds the bulb in place counterclockwise by hand. Place a flat blade screwdriver under the plastic locking tab at the base of the collar and pry upwards to release it.

Remove the old bulb from the headlight assembly by pulling it straight out by hand.

Push a new bulb into the lamp socket until it is fully seated. Hold the bulb by the base or use a rag to handle a new bulb as fingerprints on the bulb itself may cause it to burn out prematurely.

Push down on the plastic locking tab until it snaps into place. Rotate the collar in a clockwise direction to secure the bulb in place.

Push the headlight assembly back into place and tighten the holding bolts with an adjustable wrench in a clockwise direction, if necessary.


Some vehicles have a plastic splash shield mounted over the top of the headlight assembly which will need to be removed before any service can be performed on the headlights. Remove the shield by prying up on the plastic holding pins with a flat blade screwdriver and lifting the shield from the engine bay. Replace the shield by placing it back in position and pushing down on the pins by hand until they are fully seated. On some vehicles you may need to remove the parking light assembly before the headlight assembly can be removed. Follow the directions in your owner's manual to remove your parking light assembly, if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Halogen headlight bulb
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