Working headlights are extremely important to driving safely. Headlights aid you in driving during poorly lit conditions, such as at night or during inclement weather.
Not only do properly working headlights allow you to see better during poorly lit conditions, but they also allow others to see you more effectively, which makes driving much safer.
One great thing about replacing headlight bulbs is that this is a fairly inexpensive endeavor.
The average cost for a headlight bulb replacement is approximately between $119 and $130. This is an average estimate and includes the combined costs of parts and labor.
The parts are fairly inexpensive and normally cost between $30 and $51. The cost of labor is approximately between $40 and $60.
These price ranges do not include taxes and fees. They also do not include the specific vehicle or your location.
It is definitely much cheaper to purchase the parts and complete the project yourself. However, please consider the following information before making the final decision to hire a professional or complete the project yourself.
- How Does the Headlight Bulb Function?
- How do I Identify a Faulty Headlight Bulb?
- Should I Drive the Vehicle with a Faulty Headlight Bulb?
- How Often Do Headlight Bulbs Require Replacement?
- What Type of Headlight Bulbs Are Located in Your Vehicle?
- Things to Consider Before Purchasing Headlight Bulbs for Replacement
- DIY Headlight Bulb Replacement
- Steps to Replacing a Headlight Bulb
- Headlight Bulb Replacement Cost Comparison (Quotes)
- What are the Benefits of Headlight Bulb Replacement?
- Should You Replace Your Vehicle’s Headlight Bulbs?
How Does the Headlight Bulb Function?
The vehicle’s battery supplies electricity to the headlight bulb which produces the main light source for your vehicle.
How do I Identify a Faulty Headlight Bulb?
If you notice any of the following, you will need to replace the headlight bulb.
- The lights are much dimmer, and your visibility is being affected.
- One headlight bulb appears dimmer than the other one.
- The headlight bulb seems to be flickering.
Should I Drive the Vehicle with a Faulty Headlight Bulb?
It is not safe to drive a vehicle with a faulty headlight bulb. This becomes a safety hazard because it will make it difficult to drive during dimly lit conditions such as driving during inclement weather or driving after dark.
You can also be pulled over by law enforcement and receive a citation for driving with one or both headlight bulbs not functioning properly. This can result in a citation issued by law enforcement officers.
To enjoy your driving experience in a safe manner, it is best to replace the headlight bulb.
How Often Do Headlight Bulbs Require Replacement?
From time to time, the headlight bulbs in your vehicle will need to be replaced. The life of a headlight bulb can depend on the following factors.
- The amount of use the headlight bulb receives. The more you use your headlights, the sooner they will need to be replaced.
- The type of headlight bulbs can affect the bulb’s lifespan. Halogen bulbs last longer than HID (High-Intensity Discharge) bulbs. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) bulbs last longer than halogen and HID bulbs.
What Type of Headlight Bulbs Are Located in Your Vehicle?
The most common headlight bulbs found in today’s vehicles are halogen or xenon. To figure out what kind of headlight bulbs are located in your vehicle, you must inspect the headlight assembly.
Your vehicle will most likely contain halogen bulbs if they are easily seen from the side of the headlight assembly.
Your vehicle will most likely contain xenon bulbs if the vehicle’s headlights are encased in a round protector lens where you cannot see the bulb.
Some vehicles will even have a low beam bulb and a high beam bulb.
It is always best to check the vehicle’s manual to correctly identify the type of headlight bulbs and to know if your vehicle has a bulb for low beam and a bulb for high beam.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Headlight Bulbs for Replacement
It is best to avoid brands that do not identify the bulbs as “DOT” which stands for U.S. Department of Transportation. The bulbs that do not contain the “DOT” labeling most likely do not meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) standards.
NHTSA standards include guidelines on corrosion, dust, humidity, extreme temperatures, vibration, inward force, connector contacts, aiming adjustment, and various other essential criteria.
Also, it is best not to purchase unknown, low-priced replacement headlight bulbs because these may become faulty in just a few months after installation.
You should also consider the following before purchasing headlight bulbs.
- Throw distance: This is how far the headlights will allow you to see down the road in front of you. The greater the distance, the better your visibility will be in recognizing upcoming road hazards. Ultimately, this increases driving safety.
- Color temperature: Headlight bulbs may be cool, bluish-white, or a warm, yellowish-white. This will influence the clarity of your driving view. Typically, cool white will provide better clarity and contrast and will provide a safer driving experience.
- Bulb life: Typically, headlight bulbs with a higher life expectancy will be higher priced; however, this will keep you from replacing your bulbs as often.
DIY Headlight Bulb Replacement
The parts needed to replace a headlight bulb are fairly inexpensive. The average cost to have a headlight bulb replaced by a professional is between $119 and $130.
To complete the task yourself, the cost will depend on the make and model of your vehicle as well as the type of bulb.
It is best to begin by checking your vehicle’s manual before committing to this task. The manual will show you where the headlight bulb is located.
The difficulty level of replacing a headlight bulb will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Replacing a headlight bulb on the majority of vehicles is a fairly easy task. Several vehicles allow you the capability of replacing the headlight bulb in the engine bay directly behind the headlight assembly.
Some vehicles will require you to remove the front bumper, so you may gain access to the back of the headlight assembly.
Typically, the task of replacing your vehicle’s headlight bulbs will take approximately 15-30 minutes. This time can vary based on how easily they are to access and remove.
Steps to Replacing a Headlight Bulb
What Materials Will be Needed for This Task?
- Screwdriver set
- Needle-nose pliers
Steps for Replacing a Headlight Bulb
- Make sure you wear safety glasses and gloves for protection.
- Remove the headlight bulb wire connector.
- Remove the old headlight bulb from the headlight assembly.
- Install the new headlight bulb into the headlight assembly.
- Reconnect the headlight bulb wire connector.
- Test the headlight bulb to make sure it is working correctly.
It is recommended that you replace both headlight bulbs at the same time to ensure even lighting. The installation should now be complete.
Headlight Bulb Replacement Cost Comparison (Quotes)
We have gathered a few pricing options for you. Please keep in mind that these prices will vary depending on location, the type of headlight bulb, and the make and model of your vehicle.
You will need to verify the type of headlight bulbs that are located in your vehicle. Your vehicle may use halogen, incandescent, or high-intensity discharge (HID)bulbs. High-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs include Xenon and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
Most vehicles use halogen headlight bulbs.
The following are a few prices for replacing your headlight bulbs. Keep in mind that the prices will vary among locations and auto dealers.
- Your Mechanic ($48-$175 parts and labor)
- Midas ($44-$152 parts and labor)
- Mr. Tire ($39-$184 parts and labor
- NAPA ($42-$149 parts and labor)
- Wal-Mart ($12-$59 parts only)
- Amazon ($18-$52 parts only)
We have also located a few sample quotes for you based on a variety of popular vehicle models.
- Ford F-Series ($108-$144 parts and labor)
- Ford Fusion ($90-$118 parts and labor)
- Chevrolet Silverado ($122-$166 parts and labor)
- Ford Focus ($90-$188 parts and labor)
- Toyota Camry ($60-$84 parts and labor)
- Toyota Corolla ($60-$84 parts and labor)
- Nissan Altima ($43-$60 parts and labor)
- Honda CR-V ($86-$121 parts and labor)
- Honda Civic ($86-121 parts and labor)
- Honda Accord ($86-$121 parts and labor)
What are the Benefits of Headlight Bulb Replacement?
When your vehicle’s headlights are not functioning properly, this greatly influences your driving safety. Your visibility while driving will be severely limited which can cause you not to see upcoming road hazards.
Also, other drivers will not be able to see your vehicle as well.
You also have the potential of receiving a citation from law enforcement for driving without properly functioning headlights. The citation can result in a hefty and unnecessary fee.
Therefore, to protect your safety and your pocketbook, it is best to replace your headlight bulbs as soon as you realize that they are not functioning properly.
Should You Replace Your Vehicle’s Headlight Bulbs?
Once you notice that your headlight bulbs are not properly functioning, you should most definitely replace them. This task is not expensive, and it does not require a lot of your time if you choose to replace them yourself.
More fatal vehicle accidents occur during dark hours; therefore, it is imperative that you replace the headlight bulbs to increase your visibility while driving after dark.
This simple headlight bulb replacement is worth it if it keeps you, your passengers, and other drivers safer.