Let There Be Light: How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Honda Accord
Whether your headlights are burned out or they’re simply too bright, studies show that headlights are often directly tied to accidents. When driving at night, your headlights – or lack thereof – could even be the difference between life and death. Some people would just as soon take their car into a shop and have a professional get the job done, but others want to go a little more DIY. Headlight bulb replacements are actually one of the easier fixes for cars, so it’s worth considering doing it yourself.
If you own a Honda Accord and want to know how to make this swap, we’ve got a quick guide for you right here!
A Quick Note About Honda Accord Years
Before we begin with our Honda Accord headlight replacement, we need to make a quick note about the differences between model years. This guide may not be 100 percent accurate to your specific model year. In general, we’re going to cover the process for more modern models (2013 and newer).
If you have a different year or you find this guide is not matching up to your experience, consider looking up Honda’s user manuals. You can search by year and model, and then navigate to a PDF file of the “owner’s manual.”
Changing the Headlight Bulb on a Honda Accord
You may need to consider ordering your parts first. You won’t need much (just the headlights themselves), but make sure you also have vinyl or latex gloves handy. This will be very important for when installing your Honda Accord headlight bulb. Also, before beginning, make sure that your car is parked, the engine is off, you’ve removed the keys, and the headlights are off.
With that out of the way, let’s get on with the guide…
1. Pop Open the Hood
It may sound simple, but you’ve got to get inside there to work!
Pop your hood by pulling the release latch which is generally found on the driver’s side underneath the steering wheel toward the floor. If you’re not sure, there should be a graphic on the latch showing the hood opening upward.
Go to the hood, reach under the center of it and there should be a release lever. Generally, you need to pull up on that latch to unlock it.
Use the arm that is folded on the front of the hood and place it in one of the holes on the hood that allows it to remain in place. Use whichever hole that keeps the hood high enough that it’s out of your way.
2. Get to the Headlight Bulb
You are going to have access to the lightbulbs from the back of the headlight assembly. It can get tricky here depending on the model year that you own.
For example, some years of Honda Accords, the battery is in the way of the low beam bulb and turning signal bulb on the driver’s side. For other years, depending on the size of your hand, you may not be able to access it without removing the tire entirely.
More commonly, though, the air intake cover may be the only thing in the way, which is simpler to remove.
3. Remove the Wires
Once you’ve gained access to the lightbulbs, you need to remove the wires. They are connected to the lightbulbs through a connector that has a tab on it.
Push on the lower half of the tab and pull the connector away from the bulb. This should remove the wire entirely.
4. Remove the Lightbulbs
Your headlight bulbs will generally have a 90-degree angle to them. In other words, the part sticking out of headlamp assembly will be facing downward.
Use that right angle to grab onto it and turn the bulb counterclockwise. This should unlatch it from the assembly and it will come straight out.
5. Attach New Lightbulb
Important Note: When handling a brand new bulb, use vinyl or latex gloves. The oils from your hands can damage lightbulbs and greatly decrease their lifespan or cause them to not work whatsoever.
Bulbs are also fragile, so be careful when handling them no matter what.
In general, you can simply stick the new headlight bulb directly into the headlight assembly and turn it clockwise to lock it in place. You may have to use trial-and-error to get it right, though, as the bulb needs to be inserted in a specific way.
6. Reattach Wires
At this point, you need to reattach the wires.
Simply take the connector from the wire (or wires if you’re replacing multiple bulbs) and push them onto the end of the light bulb. They should snap into place.
7. Test Your Headlight Bulb
Finally, get in, turn your car on, turn the headlight on and check to see that it works. Make sure both sides are working and that the strength of the light is even.
Congratulations, you’re all finished!
A Quick Note About Different Lightbulbs
You have multiple lightbulb options when replacing your headlight bulbs:
Halogen lightbulbs are the most common. They are filament lightbulbs that are low cost and easy to handle.
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs use gas rather than filament to light up. They are brighter, more efficient, and tend to last longer. However, they are more expensive and may require a conversion kit depending on your car.
LED bulbs are pretty new to the automotive world. They are even brighter, more efficient, and last longer, plus they don’t generally require a conversion kit. They’re going to be your most expensive option, though.
Freshen Up Your Honda Accord
Honda Accords are some of the best, most reliable cars around, so it makes it even better when you’re able to fix them up yourself. A headlight bulb replacement on an Accord is a particularly easy DIY fix if you’d like to tackle it yourself.
That being said, some of us are hesitant to take on even the easiest DIY fixes. Others just want to know that they can rely on professionals.
If that’s you, consider the Honda Express Service to get your headlight bulb replaced in no time!