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How to change a light bulb in a car

There’s no standard way of doing this as each car manufacturer has their own light fittings but there are some general rules which we’ll run you through. Before you run off with a screwdriver in hand, make sure you pick up the car’s manual. There will be a full guide with images showing you how to change a light bulb in a car, and then how to put everything back together again.
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Replacement bulb

Before you start removing anything, get the right bulb. If you’re replacing an indicator bulb, you can blip the car locked to see which bulbs are blown. If you realise that one of your headlights is out, you can see that when you stop the car. Your brake lights though are harder to determine unless you have someone with you. If you’re on your own, why not back the car up against a wall under dark and then press the brake pedal to see which one’s no longer working.

No two cars are alike

Owners of sports cars like the Lotus Elise have to fiddle around under the wheel arch to remove and replace the headlight bulbs. With most front engine car you’ll find that the light cluster is accessible from the engine bay, so you’ll need to open the bonnet first.

How to

Assuming that you’ve purchase the correct bulb from your local retailer, all you’ll need to do is to locate the back of the light cluster. Then remove the protective cover, which is normally screwed in place. When this is free, you might find another protective cover over the power cable. If so, remove this and then unplug. Most lights are held in place with a clip which is depressed or pinched together to remove it. With this out of the way, the light will come free. Replace the bulb with the new one, being very careful to put it in the right way up (if it’s in upside down, your car will be technically illegal on British roads).

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