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Can Autozone Change Headlights

author
Carole Stephens
• Sunday, 06 December, 2020
• 8 min read

You want to protect your hands and face with safety gloves and goggles during this installation. You'll be holding sensitive bulbs and potentially reaching into some tight spots, so make sure you're protected.

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Contents

It'll save you time later and ensure you're looking at even lighting on the road. Test this or check a repair guide to be sure on your vehicle.

Some headlights are stored in removable, easy-to-access assemblies that usually come out after removing a few screws. Take those out, and you can lay the headlight assembly onto the fascia to reach the bulbs. You may need some tools to pull the wheel arch back to get to the bulb, remove and replace it, and then reinstall the wheel well cover.

Occasionally you will have to remove something, in the video it's an air filter housing but in other vehicles it may be a coolant reservoir or a battery, to get to one or more of the bulbs. When you're removing the plug for the bulb, a pocket screwdriver helps to release the clip.

Simply grab the bulb casing and turn it counter-clockwise. If your vehicle uses different bulbs for the high and low beam, they may have different part numbers.

Install these one at a time, so you don't get confused whether you're replacing a high or low beam. It's always a good idea to replace bulbs in pairs for maximum safety and visibility.

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With your bulbs installed, turn the headlights on and cycle through the high and low beams to make sure everything is working properly. Not to mention, it is a traffic violation to drive without headlights and this is easily avoided by simply addressing the problem.

This is the case as long as the headlight fixture is clean, clear, and has no cracks or moisture within. Maybe you were involved in an accident or the headlight doesn’t allow the light to shine through properly.

You can estimate the cost of this to range anywhere from $250 to $700 depending on your car’s make and model. If replacement needs to be postponed to a later date, then it’s essential that you either stay off the road at night and during bad weather, or you don’t drive at all.

If only a headlight bulb needs to be replaced, then as long as disassembly is not required, an experienced Autozone employee should be able to take care of it for you no problem. If it’s required to remove parts of the care, such as the windshield wiper fluid or battery, then Autozone will not replace the bulb for you.

Autozone doesn’t offer mechanic services, though they are able to replace headlight bulbs in certain situations. It’s important to keep in mind that the headlight bulb should not be handled with your bare hands due to the oil and minerals on your skin.

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In most modern models, the light bulb can be located and replaced by lifting the hood and finding the lens housing. Some cars make changing the bulb very easy by taking the back cover off or by clipping it in.

This is because the oils and minerals can create something known as a “hot spot” which may cause the bulb to burn out prematurely. In cases where the entire headlight is either damaged or not allowing the light to shine properly, replacement or restoration is required.

If a complete replacement of your headlights is just not fitting the budget, then it’s important to be aware that a restoration is an option as well. Restoration is a great option if your headlights are foggy due to sun exposure and air pollution.

Free In-Store or Curbside Pick Up Plus, most modern vehicles use replaceable bulbs with plastic lenses that are more prone to discoloration, rather than the more-durable glass sealed-beam units.

Fortunately, our tests show that for a modest cost, even junkyard-ready lens covers can be made clear again. More than a cosmetic issue, clouded lenses can pose a serious threat to safety, compromising night vision and reducing the effectiveness of your headlights by up to 80 percent, based on our measurements.

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Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the primary culprit in the headlight aging process, compounded by other environmental factors. The problem tends to be most serious in warmer, sunny climates, but we've seen plenty of evidence of it in northern regions, including on employee cars in our own Yonkers, N.Y., parking lot.

In our experience, some makes and models seem to be more susceptible than others, depending on the size, angle, and composition of the lens, and whether the car is garaged or spends its life on the street. The effects can vary from just a slight haze to making lenses virtually opaque.

Some manufacturers have responded to this trend by offering products to restore damaged lenses. We tried four products on dozens of headlights, and our tests show that even the poorest performer of the bunch can dramatically improve light output, depending on how badly the lenses are weathered.

A local body shop says it is common for them to refinish lenses annually for customers, confirming that restoration is not necessarily a long-term fix. How We Tested Using cars with clouded headlights belonging to Consumer Report staff volunteers, we evaluated products for their effectiveness and ease of use.

After returning the cars to their owners, we brought them back into the lab eight weeks later to re-check the light transmission and see how the products held up over time. All four products basically involve sanding away the outer, fogged surface of the headlight lenses using progressively finer abrasives and polishing the lens to a smooth finish.

An important note is that some lenses have a hard protective coating that must be sanded off in order to refinish the plastic lens beneath. Only the Sylvia product was able to remove the hard coating with the supplied materials, out of the box.

One, the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System, requires the use of a handheld electric drill fitted with a special applicator pad. The Sylvia sanding papers are larger than those included with some other products, making them easier to use, but the best results do require some effort.

While do-it-yourselfer comfortable with power tools might prefer this method of application, it does require a steady hand, some bravery, and masking tape to avoid damaging surrounding paint. Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer ($9) The least expensive product we tested, the Turtle Wax Lens Restorer improved our lenses almost as well as the top-performing Sylvia product, but it did not last as long.

Turtle Wax also scrimps on material, providing very small abrasive pads that make the job of sanding and polishing even harder on your fingers. Sold online, the Fast Write website offers a buy one, get one free package of two kits for $10.

Shop Fast Write Auto Headlight Restorer Kit on Amazon 3M provides similar performance at a lower price, but it carries the risk of scratching painted surfaces abutting headlights and should only be used by those comfortable using power tools.

Shopping links are provided by eBay Commerce Network and Amazon, which makes it easy to find the right product from a variety of online retailers. Please note that Consumer Reports collects fees from both eBay Commerce Network and Amazon for referring users.

• For any of the products, it is a good idea to watch the manufacturer's instructional videos online. Even a simple cleaning can make a big difference in how well you can see, especially if you live in an area with a lot of snow, ice, and road salt.

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