How to Change Auto Light Bulbs
Is your car interior dark? High-mount stop lamp burnt out? Can’t see in the fog? Here’s how to change the five auto light bulbs you never think of-until you need them.
Changing the 5 Most Neglected Light Bulbs in Your Vehicle
The auto light bulbs that burn out most often are the taillight, stop, turn signal, backup and headlight bulbs. But there are many other bulbs in a vehicle that could use your attention, too. These are the five most commonly neglected bulbs that can affect your driving experience. Check yours to see if they work, and pick up replacements at any auto parts store.
Tips on Changing Your Auto Light Bulbs
We’re not going to ask how many DIYers it takes to change a light bulb. But did you know there are a few tricks to changing the bulbs in your vehicle? Read the following tips and file them away in your long-term memory.
1. Check the bulb for signs of tungsten filament deposits. The darker the buildup, the closer it is to burnout.
2. If you’re replacing a bulb in an exterior socket, apply a very light coating of dielectric grease to the bulb’s contacts. That’ll prevent corrosion.
3. A long-life bulb is worth the price. It’ll last at least twice as long as the original, so you’ll most likely never have to replace it again.
4. A “blue” bulb (Sylvania SilverStar is one brand) gives off whiter light, making it easier to see in the dark. Use them for dome, map, fog, and backup lights.
5. Always wear gloves when you handle bulbs. Skin oils can cause bulbs to swell and fail. It’s especially important to prevent swelling on headlight and fog light bulbs. But skin oils can also cause miniature bulbs to swell and fail.
2. Change Your License Plate Bulb
Since a burned-out license plate bulb can get you a ticket, replace it if needed. Unscrew the lens or release the locking tab. Twist the bulb socket a quarter turn and pull it out. Snap in a new bulb and reinstall.
3. Changing Your High-Mount Stop Light
A burned-out high-mount stop light bulb can also earn you a ticket. Pry off the interior trim cover. Then rotate the socket a quarter turn and swap out the bulb(s).
5. Change Your Fog Lights
Most drivers don’t realize their fog lights are burned out until they’re needed most. If one is burned out, replace them both. Reach behind the fog light assembly to access the bulb. If you can’t gain access, remove the entire assembly and then replace the bulb.