Check your car’s exterior lights regularly (at least once a week, or before a long journey). A faulty bulb can be dangerous, and is also against the law.

Having a stop-light or a number plate light out is a perfect excuse for the police to stop you…

You’ll need a bulb of the right type, and you may have to remove some trim to get at the bulb holder – see your car’s handbook, or your Haynes Service and Repair Manual, for details.

Here’s how to change a typical head light bulb.

1. Disconnect the wiring plug from the bulb …

2 . and peel off the rubber cover.

3 . Squeeze the legs of the spring clip together to release it. Move the clip out of the way and pull out the bulb.

4. The bulb will have tangs like this round the edge so it can only be fitted one way.

5. Fit the new bulb, making sure it’s the right way up, and secure it with the spring clip. Remember, don’t touch the glass.

6. After fitting the new bulb, check that the lights are working normally before you use the car.

Haynes Hints

  • It’s a good idea to carry spare light bulbs so you can replace a blown bulb immediately. (This is a legal requirement in many countries.) You can buy a bulb and fuse kit tailored to your car.
  • If you replace a bulb but it still doesn’t work, look for corrosion in the bulb holder or the wiring connector. Squirt a bit of water nt spray onto corroded contacts.
  • If a tail light goes out or dims when the indicators or brake lights are operated, this is usually due to a bad earth connection. Find the earth points using the wiring diagram in your Haynes manual.