Faulty car lighting poses a threat to you and other drivers. If any of the external lighting components is not working properly, you should exchange it as soon as possible. The headlight bulbs fail most frequently, as they are exposed to volatile weather conditions, such a temperature, moisture and shocks.
What light bulb types are there?
The modern car headlights combine many different light type functions and are very complex and technologically advanced. Their bulbs can be used as dipped beam lights, position lights, fog lights, full beam lights and indicator lights. In each case, the source of light is a bulb or, sometimes, a discharge arc lamp, called the xenon lamp.
When should a bulb be replaced? **
While xenon lights are very durable, regular bulbs require frequent changing. Bulbs are exposed to volatile weather conditions (temperature, humidity) and vibrations, as a result of which they burn out faster. When driving with faulty lights you pose danger to other drivers. So when you notice that any of your lights is not working properly, you should change it.
How to change a light bulb on your car?
Make sure your lights are off to avoid a short circuit during removing a burnt out bulb or fitting a new one. The process of changing car bulbs differs from car to car. What you have to do is remove the back cover of the light, detach the power plug and take the bulb out of its holder equipped with a spring clip. Some car models require removing an entire lamp to change a bulb, while some have an opening in the wheel arch through which a bulb can be accessed.
What else to keep in mind?
The detailed light bulb change procedure should be described in the user guide, however, if you are not sure how to go about it, the best thing to do is to have it done by a professional garage. After fitting a new bulb (putting all previously removed elements back in place and ensuring that the bulb works) you should adjust your lamps. Although made to high precision, car bulbs differ in terms of the beam direction, hence their alignment is necessary. What's more, you should always replace both headlight bulbs even if only one of them fails, as their useful life is similar, and the other will likely fail soon, too.
In the case of a xenon lamp, you should have it repaired by a professional garage, as the high voltage it is powered with may be dangerous to you if you don't have sufficient experience and may cause damage to your car's electrical system.