5 Tips for Installing Halogen Headlights

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-50

Like all headlights, eventually halogen headlights need to be replaced. It’s worth remembering that they’re not quite the same as the traditional headlights. Instead of replacing the bulb, you’ll be replacing the entire headlight. There are a number of tips that can be helpful when installing halogen headlights, to make the process go by more quickly and easily.

Tip 1 - Hands

Never touch the glass of halogen bulb with your bare hands. This is the single most important tip to remember. If you have to touch the glass for any reason at all, wear latex gloves. It stops the oil from your hands transferring to the glass. Failure to do this can easily cause the light to fail. That, in turn, means more expense as you’ll need to buy another headlight bulb.

Tip 2 - Headlight Casing

When removing the headlight casing you need to be aware of the location of all the bolts. In some makes there might well be a bolt that’s only accessible by going under the car. Check the service manual to make yourself aware of the location of all the bolts. If one of the bolts is under the car, use a jack and jack stands to access it. That way you’ll have ample room to work.

Tip 3 - Bulb Retainer

The bulb retainer is what keep the halogen headlight in place. You need to be aware that it’s not a connector unit that simply unplugs. Instead you’ll have to reach behind the headlight and loosen it in order to remove the headlight. Turn it in a counter clockwise direction. That will loosen the headlight, but you’ll still need to loosen the electrical connector that gives power to the headlight. This will be a tab; pressing down on it will loosen it.

Tip 4 - Aiming Headlights

When you replace halogen headlights you shouldn’t need to aim them. The setup should be automatic when you secure them back in place and install the headlight casing.

Tip 5 - Bulb

Although in most cases you’ll replace the entire halogen headlight, on some models you might just replace the halogen headlight bulb. You’ll be able to tell quickly which is necessary. If there’s no metal band around the headlight, then all you need to perform is a bulb replacement.

For a bulb replacement, all you have to do is look for the black knob at the back of the headlight. To take out the bulb, just unscrew this. If it won’t come out easily, try the alternate method of pushing it in before you turn. You’ll find that both a complete headlight replacement and a bulb replacement are simple jobs that only take a few minutes. As with normal headlight replacement, just proceed slowly, making sure you cover each step before moving to the next one. Reverse the removal procedure to assemble the new unit. Always test the headlights before finishing the assembly. That way, if there is a problem you won’t have to take everything apart again and start over.