For most drivers, the goal when a headlight goes out is not to find an upgrade, it’s to find an exact replacement. That means looking for the part number that matches your existing light. Even when you do want to upgrade, the fastest way to find the right fit for your vehicle’s make and model is by using the OEM part number as a reference point. Many aftermarket upgrades list the OEM part numbers they are built to replace to make finding a fit easier. If your existing light is an aftermarket part, finding the part number can be the best way to make sure you buy the exact replacement and not one from a different line by the same manufacturer. This is especially important for those buying high-intensity lights or tinted lights.
How to Correctly Identify What Auto Parts You Need
There are a couple of ways to check out the part number. The first and usually the easiest for headlights that have already been pulled from the vehicle is by inspecting the light itself. The part number is on it. If it’s an aftermarket light, you will often find the brand name on it as well, so you know whose part number it is. For OEM parts, the number is typically all you find.
If your light is still in the car, there are a couple of other options for finding the right replacement light. Calling a dealership and inquiring about the part number for your make and model headlight is one way. You might spend some time on hold, but any dealership can look up the number and provide it for reference. You can also call a store that offers auto parts lookup services. This is often the better choice if only because it will pull up both the OEM parts and the compatible aftermarket choices in stock.
How to Know What Type of Headlight Best Suits Your Car
Not every headlight that literally fits your car will be right for it. High-intensity lights and lights with a wider field of view are both useful to the right drivers, but they’re not necessarily right for every driver. If your regular road habits don’t put you in the situations these upgrades are made to handle, you might not find them as useful as an OEM choice. Use the combination of the part number and your needs to look for the best light out of all the choices that fit your vehicle.
Learning how to change a headlight is easy because they are made to be removed without tools in most cases. You just need to twist and pull them out of the light housing and unplug them from the wires. Then, when you have a new bulb, you just plug it into the wires and the socket and go. It’s one of the easier DIY maintenance projects for most drivers. In many cases, tail lights are more challenging because they are often made so you have to remove the light housing from the auto body before removing the bulb from the housing.