Inspecting And Maintaining Your Lighting System

changing your headlight bulb

MikesPhotos / Pixabay

Most people take great pride in their car. They clean it inside and out, check the oil level and the tire pressure, and try and protect it from the elements.

One maintenance item that is usually forgotten until you see those red and blue flashing lights behind you – inspecting your cars lighting system, including headlamps, blinkers, brake lights, etc.

Checking your car’s lights regularly will save you that panic feeling and keep you, your passengers, and your vehicle safe. After all, your lights do more than just light the roadway. They also make your car more visible to other drivers.

Here are some stats on car accidents at night:

About half of all fatal crashes in the U.S. occur in the dark, and more than a quarter occur on unlit roads. Headlights have an obvious role to play in preventing nighttime crashes, but not all headlights perform their job equally. Differences in bulb type, headlight technology and even something as basic as how the lights are aimed all affect the amount of useful light supplied.

See the original post here:  About Our Tests – Headlight Evaluation

Headlight technology has improved in recent years. High-intensity discharge (HID) and LED lamps are replacing the more conventional halogen version.

Check Your Owner’s Manual

Your owner’s manual will provide the information as to what your automobile’s headlamp requirements are for changing your headlight bulb. It may also say that you need to take your vehicle to a dealership to get the headlamp changed.

That is because many new cars are built with a headlamp assembly that is not very easy to get to. Sometimes you even have to remove the front bumper and other trim pieces so you have some room to work and be able to get to the bulb.

This video shows how to replace a Xenon headlight bulb:

As Scotty Kilmer mentioned in the video, you never want to touch the bulb as it can decrease the lifespan due to the oil on your fingers. This is another reason it is advised to have a professional repair shop change your HID headlamp.

The cost of the HID bulb is pricey, so you don’t want to screw up installing it and have to purchase another one. They can range anywhere from $100 to $200 compared to a halogen bulb that might only cost $5.

Changing Your Other Car Lights

With that said, the other bulbs that light up your car at night can usually be changed by the owner. Some offer easier access through the inside of the vehicle, as opposed to newer models that make you practically dismantle the car.

Depending on the ease of access, some of the following steps aren’t necessary, but you may need to check your manual to be sure:

If you have easy access, you may need to easily open the flap or panel over the inside of the brake light lens. By accessing the inside of the brake light lens you will see the brake light bulb socket.

Step 2: Locate the mounting bolts. When locating the mounting bolts on your lens assembly, many are obvious but some are covered by cosmetic covers that easily pop off.

changing your brake light

emkanicepic / Pixabay

Step 3: Remove the mounting bolts. Once you have found the mounting bolts, remove and set the bolts aside.

Step 4: Remove the tail light lens. Most tail light assemblies come right off.

If it gives some resistance, pay attention to the direction the tail light lens is installed and pull straight out.

Step 5: Locate the burnt bulb. Once the tail light assembly is removed, locate the brake light bulb socket.

If you are unsure which socket is for the brake light, either have somebody depress the brake pedal or turn on your hazards.

Step 6: Removing the brake light bulb. The bulb socket has a release tab; turn counterclockwise to remove.

To remove the brake light bulb make sure the lights are off and the bulb is cool to the touch. Pull the brake light bulb out of the socket.

Step 7: Identifying the correct light bulb. After the brake light bulb is removed, take a look at the numbers on the bulb and match them to the new bulb.

Step 8: Apply dielectric grease. Apply dielectric grease to the brake light bulb socket.

See the complete post here:  How to Replace a Brake Light Bulb

If you are more of a visual learner like me, here is a video on how to replace your brake lights on a Rav4. Each car model is going to be a little different, so if you are going to do it yourself to save some money, you need to search for your vehicle’s make and model for written or visual instructions.

You can also contact an auto repair company in San Antonio to have them do the work for you, which will save you some time. No matter what, keeping your passengers safe is first and foremost, so performing a regular inspection of your car before will help prevent unwanted situations.