How to Replace a Headlight Switch

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If your low beams won't activate, or your lights just won't come on at all, it's likely time to replace your car headlight switch. This is a common problem on cars of all makes and models, and the repair can be done in your garage rather than handing over the money to a mechanic.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Replacement switch
  • Disconnect the negative cable from your battery and wait 5 to 10 minutes to allow the capacitors for the airbags to discharge.

  • Remove any screws around the switch, or pry the retaining ring that holds the switch in place away from the dash.

  • Slide the switch out of the dash carefully, and remove the wire plugs. Attach a spring clamp onto the plugs to keep them from falling into the dash where they are difficult to fish back out.

  • Pull the light switch into the on position, press the headlight case button and remove the switch. Using a screwdriver helps if your case has more than one release button. You may have to remove a nut at the bottom of the switch shaft to remove the decorative bezel.

  • Insert the new car headlight switch into the housing and replace the bezel and shaft nut if necessary.

  • Attach the wire plugs, taking care not to bend any contacts. Slide the housing and switch back into the dash without binding the connecting wires.

  • Put back any trim and mounting screws before reconnecting the negative battery wire. Test the switch and the low and high beams.

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