Auto Systems and Repair: Headlight Bulb

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • One or more of the headlights will not operate
  • Discoloration of the headlight lens

Related Repair Advice

  • The most common failure is simply a burned out bulb. However, the repair may be difficult since access to the bulbs can be limited on some vehicles.
  • If one headlight bulb burns out, the other may not be far behind. In many cases, a repair shop will recommend replacing both blubs when one burns out
  • Depending on the model, one bulb may contain both the high and low beam filaments; or, two separate bulbs may be used.
  • Care must be taken when headlight bulbs are replaced so the headlight still aims in the right direction
  • Systems using separate high and low beam bulbs will have the low beam located outboard or above the high beam
  • Some vehicles use high-intensity discharge (HID) or Xenon type headlight bulbs, which can be very expensive to replace
  • Failure of the headlight or high beam switch could also cause the headlights not to function correctly

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