This Article is About
light bulbs
xenon bulbs
original equipment manufacturer
poor weather
light bulb
How To Pick Out Replacement Head Light Bulbs For Your Vehicle
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How to Pick Out Replacement Head Light Bulbs for Your Vehicle

Driving home from town a few days ago I pulled into the driveway and noticed my headlights were dimmer than usual. After checking I found I had a headlight burned out. After doing a bit of research I found a need for an article on how to pick out replacement head light bulbs for your vehicle.

How many choices can there be?

I remember the days where when you went to the parts house and told them you needed a headlight bulb all they would ask you is whether it was a low beam or high beam bulb. Boy are those days gone.

Today's vehicles have many different bulbs. I have found the following cover most applications.

  • H 1 Bulb
  • H 23 Bulb
  • H 4 Bulb
  • H 7 Bulb
  • HB 3 bulb
  • HB 4 Bulb
  • H 11 Bulb

You can either look up your vehicles style bulb in your vehicles owners manual or remove the burned out bulb and look on the base of the bulb. The style number will be printed there.

There are also differences in brightness available. You can go with the stock halogen bulbs or with the much brighter and longer lasting xenon bulbs. They are a bit pricier but worth the money.

I tend to stay away from the blue bulbs as I do not like meeting cars with this style headlight bulb, and they do not project very well in poor weather.

Note: If you change bulb brightness be sure to change the bulbs in pairs.

Who makes the best bulbs?

I have found in my research that it is best to stick to the major manufacturers when purchasing light bulbs. How many times have I picked up the deal of the day at the dollar store only to find out the bulbs last about a third as long as they should. If you are going for a stock replacement make sure the bulbs you buy have an OEM stamp. This stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer and these bulbs will be made to exact specs. as the original bulb.

Another way to check if your replacement bulb will be road legal is to check the E number. This number tells where the light bulb has been tested. Look for an E 1 rating as it means the bulb was tested in Germany, where the testing standards are the best.

Most people do not realize they have so many choices in light bulbs. With a little knowledge you will be able to make a smart decision and get that bulb replaced and back on the road.

Feel free to share this article and leave any questions or comments below.

Happy Driving!


Street Talk

When younger, I tried to replace my headlights by unscrewing the bad one--but I was unscrewing the screw that determines the angle of the light instead! I had to try to put it back where it was, but that car's lights were never quite right afterwards. Now I have no car--but your article was interesting, even so. Thanks, Shawn

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Isn't technology great! I love todays advances with the auto world. Good research Shawn.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you Dave! I remember when every time you tried to change a headlight you were guaranteed to strip out the Phillips screws holding the rim on.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I have given my husband the authority for this car stuff, so I'll give him the article as soon as he gets home from work today

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks maria, he will love you for it. :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Golfspice  

The mix and match days for replacement parts are largely gone. Manufacturers now design their vehicles so that we have to go back to them for anything we need. I suppose it's good business sense from their point of view.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Not always true, but getting that way.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I normally go to the garage to get the bulbs checked and changed problem is they are so often buried deep in the engine compartment you need tool number XYZ123 to remove it. Good info, thanks Shawn.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Mark

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I don't know about car bulbs but I know the ones in the house sure don't last as long as they used to. They offer great guarantees but honestly how can you ever prove how long a lightbulb in the house lasted?? We're always changing bulbs in our living area as there's 9 of them!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Same problem here.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Shawn, Thanks! Replacing bulbs right away is important. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 7 years ago

blessings to you too. :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks!

  
  about 7 years ago

Good article. I'm glad I know how to choose head light bulbs now. I didn't know there were so many choices.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Georgia.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great advice- stick to the name brands over the cheaper-short-lived brands. I have never replaced a headlight bulb before. Very informative.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Even if you never do it, it helps to be informed when you need it done.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Good one again Shawn, how I agree with you on those blue bulbs, I have often wondered what is the reason for having them.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I agree, I do not see any benefit except people thinking they are cool.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes, and they're not the ones driving toward them!

  
  about 7 years ago
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