What Kind of Headlight Bulb Do I Need? How to Find the Right One

The headlights on your car are an important safety feature. Without these lights, you could not drive at night. When one of your headlights goes out, finding the right bulb is essential.

Being aware of the steps you should take to find the right headlight bulb replacement will allow you to change the bulb and get back on the road in no time. If you are wondering what kind of headlight bulb do I need, you have come to the right place.

Each Car Has a Different Headlight Bulb Requirement

Unfortunately, headlight bulbs are not universal. You cannot take a headlight bulb for a Ford and put it in a Chevrolet. It just won’t work. Not only does each vehicle have its own type of bulbs, but it also needs multiple ones, including headlights, fog lights, and interior lights, among others. Besides the different types of bulbs, there are also multiple types of fittings.

Finding the right headlight bulb is not always easy, especially if you do not have access to your owner’s manual. If you do have your owner’s manual, refer to the light diagrams, and you will find the information you are looking for without stress. Without an owner’s manual, there are some other steps you can take to find the right 9007 headlight bulb for your car.

car Headlight Bulb

Take the Right Steps to Find the Correct Headlight Bulb Replacement

Without the right headlight bulb replacement, you will not be able to replace your old bulb and make your headlights work again. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to find the right bulb fitting for your vehicle. Simply take the following steps to get the perfect fit.

Remove the Headlight Bulb

If you are handy enough to remove your burned-out headlight bulb (And, it isn’t difficult), you can easily find out the fitting information so you can purchase a new headlight bulb.

If you want to remove your old bulb, follow these steps. Make sure your car is shut off when doing this so you do not experience an electric shock.

  • Pop open the hood so you will have access to the headlight.
  • Disconnect the headlight power wires.
  • Unscrew the old headlight.

This is not a difficult process. You do not need any special tools for most cars. If you cannot figure out how to remove your old headlight bulb, you may want to take your car to a mechanic and have them replace the bulb.

Once you have removed the bulb, you will need to look at the base of the bulb for the fitting information. This information will allow you to find the right headlight bulb for your vehicle.

Types of Headlight Bulbs for Cars

Multiple types of headlight bulbs are available. Once you know the fitting type, you can consider the choices. The following offers a description of each of the main types of headlight bulbs. While you may be able to choose the type, your car may also require a specific type to work correctly.


Halogen headlight bulbs are the most common and have been around for many decades. These bulbs work with a thin tungsten filament. The filament is surrounded by halogen gas that is encased in a glass tube. The gas in this bulb is extremely resistant to high temperatures, making halogen headlights a reliable option for most cars.


Xenon bulbs are a newer addition to the car industry. These lights are much brighter than traditional halogen bulbs. This type of headlight is an arc lamp. Xenon headlights go through a bit of a scientific process to produce brilliant light, which helps you drive safely at night.


LED headlights are the newest kid on the block. They are also the most energy efficient. LED lights are solid state lights. They last much longer than halogen lights, and they are much less expensive to operate. In addition to the above, LED lights are also the brightest headlight bulbs available today.

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What Kind of Headlight Bulb

9007 Vs. 9004 Bulbs: What’s the Difference?

Two common types of headlight bulbs for cars are the 9007 and 9004. When you look at these two headlight bulbs, on the surface, they seem very much alike. In fact, if you are not aware of their differences, you may mistakenly believe they are the exact same headlight bulb.

What is even more confusing, is you will often see these headlight bulbs listed as interchangeable. The truth is, there are some differences between these two types, and you should be aware of the differences so you can make the right choice.

There are some subtle differences that could cause these bulbs to perform differently in your car. One of the biggest differences is the wiring placement. You may find it difficult to interchange these bulbs based on the position of the different wires.

Another subtle difference is the pin placement in these two bulbs. While you may not notice the pin differences right away, they will become abundantly clear when you are carrying out your installation.

Finally, there is a difference in the level of wattage for both. The wattage difference could cause a dramatic change in the light output of each headlight bulb.

9004 headlight bulbs have a range of around 45 watts. The 9007 headlight bulbs have a little more power at around 65 watts.

Now that you know some differences, which one is right for your car? While it may seem it would be difficult to find a clear winner, the 9007 headlight bulb wins because the output is brighter and these bulbs are more readily available. When you are running your headlights on low beam, you are sure to notice a change.

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What Headlight Bulb Do I Need

How to Change a Headlight Bulb

Once you have found the right headlight bulb replacement, it is time to take out the old one and put in the new one. There are only a few steps involved. Take care of the following, and your new headlight will be working correctly so you can see in the dark while driving.

  • Shut off your car’s engine.
  • Open the hood.
  • Find the headlight assembly near the front of the car.
  • Disconnect the headlight’s power wires.
  • Unscrew or unplug the headlight, depending on your car.
  • Replace the old headlight bulb with the new one.

As a word of caution, some cars are more difficult than the above steps. In some cases, the AC housing is in the way of getting to the headlights. You may find other parts need to be removed.

Some people make the mistake of thinking you change the headlight bulb by removing the plastic cover over the headlamp. This is not correct. Although there is a way to remove the cover, it will not give you access to the wiring and plug at the back of the light, so it is impossible to remove your old headlight this way.


When a headlight bulb burns out, you must take action right away. Driving with a single headlight is difficult because it prevents you from seeing clearly. You could also face getting a ticket in some areas of the world.

If you have access to your owner’s manual or can pull one up online, this is the easiest method of determining which headlight bulb you need.

Removing your burned-out headlight bulb is not too difficult. You simply need to shut off your engine, pop the hood, and unplug the old bulb wires. From there, it is as simple as taking care of those steps in reverse.

You must find the correct headlight bulb for your car or your headlights will not work correctly. Most headlights last between 500 to 1,000 hours. To ensure you always have a replacement bulb available, try purchasing more than one headlight replacement bulb.

Still wondering what kind of headlight bulb do I need? Follow the above steps to pull your old lightbulb and find the right replacement.

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