How To Inspect And Replace Vehicle Lighting On Your Own

Your car lights are one of the vital components for safe driving. It doesn’t imply that you are going to lose the control of your car if any of the brake lights, taillights or headlamps is not functioning properly. However, these lights keep you safe on roads by providing a clear vision of where you are driving as well as keeping other drivers informed about what you are doing.

Inspecting Vehicle Lights

Assessing vehicle lights is not a difficult job. The vehicle manual can provide all relevant information regarding inspection of lights.

The process of assessment begins with periodic inspection of proper functioning of the vehicle lights. Headlights are easy to check. However, for taillights, you might require another person’s help. Ask the person to stand at the rear of the vehicle to let you know whether the taillights are working properly. If you can’t find a friend or family member to help you out, back up your vehicle towards a glass-paned window and observe the reflection in the pane.

DIY Replacement of Vehicle Lights

These days, most vehicle manufacturers provide simple instructions to change the vehicle lights on your own. These instructions are designed with reference to the unique requirements of your vehicle. It is not necessary to rush to the dealer for simple light replacement. Check out the following suggestions to replace vehicle lights on your own.

Replacing Head Lamps

headlight bulb

Headlamps are generally categorized as sealed beams and replaceable bulb head lamps. In case of sealed beams, take out the headlight trim first to reach the mounting screws. Many times, the whole grill needs to be removed to reach the light.

In case of replaceable head lamps, the bulb is placed just behind the assembly. In some cases, you might need to remove the assembly to get access to the bulb. The removal of mounting hardware depends upon the make and model of your car.

Replacing Exterior Lights

replace headlights

The exterior lights of vehicles include turn signals, taillights, fog lights, side marker lights, center brake lights, license plate lights, daytime running lights and brake lights. It is not difficult to replace these lights. Many models come with mounting screws over the lens. In that case, removal of lens would provide complete access to the light bulb. However, if removing the lens does not provide access to the bulb, check the vehicle manual and do as guided to get access to the bulb. Once you get access, it is easy to replace the bulb.

Replacing Interior Lights

Interior Lights

Replacement of interior lights involves the same procedure mentioned above. Check for removal locations on the cover of light. If there are screws, use a screwdriver to open the screws and get access to the bulb. If, in any case, there are no release tabs, you might need to remove the entire light housing to gain access to the bulb.


While replacing a vehicle light is not a complex and difficult process, there are certain points that require careful consideration. These include:

  • While replacing a bulb, ensure the socket isn’t damaged, as this can cause the light to malfunction.
  • Apply a coat of dielectric grease at the base of exterior bulbs. This will prevent the light and socket from sustaining moisture damage.
  • Generally, light sockets can twist to 90 degrees, with or without a lock system. This helps with easy removal of socket from the light assembly.
  • Select the replacement bulb carefully. Make sure you select the correct type and size before replacement.
  • Many recent vehicle models have LED lights. These lights do not contain replaceable bulbs. The whole light assembly requires replacement if the light stops working or develops a problem.