How to replace daytime running light bulbs

Updated February 21, 2017

Some vehicles use daytime running lights (DRL) as a collision-avoidance measure. The daytime running lights come on automatically when the vehicle is running and is shifted into a forward gear. Some daytime running lights turn the headlights on at a reduced wattage, however, some vehicles have daytime running lights that are separate from the headlamps and contain their own bulbs. In either case, the replacement of the DRL lamps usually involves removing the headlamp assembly. Check your daytime running light bulbs frequently to insure your vehicle’s visibility to other drivers is maximised.

Open the bonnet. Pull up on the retaining pins that hold the headlamp assembly into place.

Pull straight up on the headlamp assembly carefully, as all of the bulb wiring will be attached to the rear of the assembly.

Locate the DRL bulb in the headlamp assembly, which will may be the socket at the inboard position in the assembly.

Turn the DRL bulb socket in a counterclockwise direction and pull it straight out of the back of the headlamp assembly. (Note: Some vehicles may utilise a release lever that needs to be depressed before the socket can be turned.)

Pull the DRL bulb straight out of the socket and discard it. Push a fresh bulb into its place until it is fully seated.

Push the socket back into the rear of the headlamp assembly and turn it in a clockwise direction until it locks into place.

Place the headlamp assembly back into position on the front of the vehicle. Push the retaining pins back down until they lock into place.


Some headlamp assemblies may need to be removed by loosening and removing retaining nuts or by depressing retaining tabs to free the assembly from the front of the vehicle. Some vehicles may have a plastic or rubber splash shield between the front grille and the radiator support that needs to be removed to access the headlamp assemblies. Most splash shields can be removed easily by prying the plastic retaining nuts out with a flat-blade screwdriver and lifting the shield out of the engine bay. If your daytime running lights and your headlamps share the same bulb, then replacing your headlamp bulb should restore the operation of your DRLs. To replace a headlamp bulb, remove the headlamp assembly from the vehicle. Turn the retaining ring on the back of the assembly in a clockwise direction. Pull the bulb socket from the assembly and pull the bulb straight out of the socket. Inert a new bulb and install the headlamp assembly in the reverse order of the above steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement DRL bulb
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