Nearly a fifth of cars in Britain fail their MOT’s because of badly installed, blown, or weak bulbs. It’s an aspect of car care that not many of us think about, but bulbs can lose 20 per cent of their capacity over the course of a few years. It really is something that needs to be kept on top of. As far as car parts go, bulbs are very important. They help you to see in the dark, they can warn other cars of your intentions, and they can even warn against upcoming hazards.
Failing an MOT is expensive, but so is sending your car into the mechanic for a simple bulb change. Especially if the mechanic fits the wrong bulb, or fits it upside down; leaving you with an unroadworthy car.
It’s actually super easy to do at home, if you follow our step by step guide.
Step One: Getting StartedFirst, you’ll need your owner’s manual, a torch, a clean and dry rag, and two new bulbs based on your car’s specifications. You can find information on what type of bulb you need in your owner’s manual, but if you can’t find it just remove the burned out bulb and take it into your nearest auto parts dealer. They should be able to find you the same one.
Step Two: Pop the HoodHere comes the part where you get to feel like a manly man who knows all about cars. Pop open the hood, and have a look for a trapezoid shaped bit of plastic near your headlight area. It should have three wires sticking out of it, connected to the bulb.
Step Three: Remove the BulbTake the connector away from the clip holding it in place, and slide it out. The bulb should come with it. If it doesn’t come easily, twist it 90 degrees and try again. Now you can pull the bulb out of its connector.
Step Four: Put the New Bulb inDon’t pick the new bulb up with your fingers: the grime and dirt on them can damage it and make it burn out. This is where the clean rag comes in. Use it to get a good hold on the bulb, and pop it into the connector.
Step Five: Put it Back to How You Found itBasically do the opposite of what you did when you took the old bulb out. Once it’s back in place, give yourself a pat on the back: you’ve just changed a lightbulb!
Step Six: Do the other oneEven if it was just your left bulb that burned out, you should still change the right one too. This will keep your light projection symmetrical. Not only will this look better it will also make it easier to see in the dark, and it’s much better for oncoming vehicles.
It really is as simple as that. Changing the indicator and brake lights is just as simple. As long as you have a Phillips head screwdriver you should be able to get into the light casing, and from there it’s as simple as pulling out the old bulb and popping the new one in in its place.
Remember: not all cars are created equal. Be sure to have a read through your manual before fiddling around.
Image Source: T.M.O.F. / Flickr - Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0