Most decisions made behind the wheel will depend on what you see. Headlight bulbs are thus essential and have to be efficient, especially at night and in harsh weather conditions. Driving with a broken headlight or faulty headlight bulbs is not only dangerous but also illegal. Over time, headlights will become damaged due to consistent exposure to elements like the sun, salt, and hail. It is essential to learn how to maintain headlight bulbs as well as replacing bulbs and basic repair procedures.
It is advisable to always ensure that your headlights are working as they are intended to do. Turn on your light and walk around the car front and check if both bulbs are on and the headlight alignment which if faulty, could be crooked. Clean lenses may be the difference between faulty and proper working headlights. It is important to ensure that lenses are clean and free from dirt and debris. Some steps on how to clean headlights are:
- Using tape. Clean by masking off around the headlight area to prevent scratching the paint.
- Use car soap to clean the surface and dry it. Keep an eye for cracks, hazing or yellowing to help determine if there is a need for repair.
- Wet and sand the lens with sandpaper, sanding in one direction and wipe off with a micro-fiber cloth.
The first step for replacing a headlight is consulting a car manual to check if you are capable of completing the task. It is quite easy and mostly, the only tools required are a pair of gloves and a pair of pliers. Here are the steps to repairing a car headlight bulb;
- Removing the defective bulb. Trace the bulb connector which sticks out at the back of the headlamp. The connector is held in place by one type of retainer that could be: a plastic ring, which is unscrewed to remove, a metal tab which can be pulled off with pliers, or a plastic tab in the connector, removed by pushing towards the connector at the same time, pulling the connector out.
- Cleaning the retainer. The new bulb will last longer if you clean the retainer using a wire brush or a clean cloth.
- Insert the new bulb. Snap the new bulb in place, making sure it is held at its base. Insert the retainer back to your car.
Maintaining and repairing your car’s headlight bulbs could not be an easier task. However, keep an eye for sharp instruments and hot objects. It is not recommended to substitute tools in the headlights if you are not really sure whether they could compromise the car’s performance.