Replacement headlights can be either purchased from the vehicle dealer or from an online auto supply store and the part will be called an aftermarket part. An aftermarket part is really no different then the original manufacturer’s part except it will not have the maker’s name on the box or part. It should not fit any different and it will perform to the same specifications. The main difference will be the cost as an original manufacturer’s part generally costs more than an aftermarket part.
What Makes Up a Headlight?
A headlight will either be a sealed beam structure or a composite structure. The different between them is that a sealed beam headlight can’t have the bulb replaced and the entire unit has to be replaced. This makes simply replacing a bulb expensive. The composite headlights have component parts and the parts can be replaced individually. Besides the bulb a vehicle headlight will generally have a plastic or glass lens, a front and rear housing, a waterproof gasket or washer on the bottom of the cover to prevent moisture from getting inside the unit and on some replacement headlights there may be an aiming or leveling screw or even a bubble leveler.
Taking Care when Replacing an Automotive Headlight
You have to use care whenever you replace your vehicle headlights. First of all they are expensive, especially if you have to replace the entire assembly. They can cost from two hundred dollars each or more at an auto accessories site. You will need to disconnect the negative battery cable and pull it off the terminal. You have to take care when you pull out the assembly and not break any of the sockets or clips. When you pull off the wires connecting it to the vehicle you must take care you don’t just pull them off. Be gentle because you don’t need to be making more trips to the auto parts store for unexpected additional parts.
Bulbs and Lens
The unit will have a plastic reflector attached to a plastic or glass lens. Generally the lens will be a high impact plastic and not glass. Also generally the bulbs in replacement headlights in newer vehicles are either halogen or xenon they are high temperature bulbs made to emit a brighter light. The bulbs will usually come in a sleeve of some sort so you don’t get oil on the bulbs which can carbonize, creating a hotspot.
Post time: 04-19-2017