Replacing Headlights and Bulbs
Making sure you have headlights on days that require them, is very important. If one of those headlights or bulbs blows out, you should replace them.
I use Sylvania headlight bulbs in my vehicle. They are easy to look up and to find the number of the bulb I’m looking to replace. You will see a book like this in some auto parts stores.
Each book will start with each automobile in Alphabetical order. You look up the Make, Model and Year of the vehicle. (Not just car listings, it has truck and SUV as well.) If you have a Buick Century that is what you look for.
Now, this listing below shows a Mercedes Benz C-Class 2015-16. At the top of the page, you will see Year, Make/Model, and then across the top – the type of bulbs you are looking for. This shows parking and directional signal bulbs (safety feature) and you should ALWAYS use them.
As you go down the page, on the right side is the year (in 2 digits), it goes lower (older vehicles) and then you follow that line across to find the right bulb(s) you need.
There is a listing for Halogen (normal lights), LEDs (brighter lights) and HIDs (high-intensity discharge). If you’re not sure what type of bulbs you have in the vehicle, you can access your owner’s manual, as it will have that information available in either bulbs, headlights, lights, or lamps. That can be found in the index section of your book.
Once you find the listing of the bulb you need, you will need to look at the lighting area. You need to find the proper bulb(s). One section is all headlights and one is the other bulbs for other parts of the car.
In this picture you will see the smaller bulbs, such as license plate bulbs (usually number 168 and number 194 in older cars). The number can be seen to match the book on the top right hand-side of the package of which they are in.
As you can see these are LEDs. They are much brighter and they last much longer than the halogen bulbs. So if you want to upgrade to a brighter light, you can. You just find the same number bulb in the LED section as the one you were originally looking for. (If the halogen number is a 194, then look for 194 in LED – same bulb only brighter.)
(If you are having trouble finding it, ask someone for help. They are usually in numerical order from left to right.) Some stores may not display all of the lights on some cars (especially new ones), so you may have to order it or find it in a different store.
Now, if you remember what I said about some auto parts stores having Free Services available, one of them is helping you to change a bulb. Make sure you buy BULB GREASE as well to help keep the condensation and water from shorting out the bulb and the wiring.
The bulbs should always be purchased as a pair. Usually when you change one, the other one decides to go bad. Besides, it’s less money in a 2-pack then buying them singly. Buying in pairs also goes for the other bulbs on the vehicle as well.
(From the picture above, it gives you an idea of what the package looks like, and roughly how much the product is, so you know what to look for. It’s usually located with the bulbs. The price may vary place-to-place, as every store may deal with a different distributor.)
You must be careful if you decide to go with a brighter bulb (other than an LED which burns cooler), because the brighter the bulb, the hotter it is. If you have a plastic headlight lens on your car, and you don’t put the light in correctly, you can melt parts of the headlight because then you’ll have to replace the headlight casing.
Not all part stores may have this, so please ask first!
Changing the bulbs in the car doesn’t have to be a big deal. Most Owner’s Manuals will have directions on how to change the headlights and bulb(s). If they don’t go to YouTube and search for “Changing a headlight on a 1995 Ford Taurus” or whatever your vehicle is. It isn’t rocket science and anyone can learn how to do it.
Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!