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How to Replace a Headlight Switch

Omkar Phatak
If you are looking for guidelines on replacing a headlight switch of a car, then read on. Here, the general procedure is discussed.
Traveling at night would be impossible, without the car headlights being in working condition. It is important that they are functioning perfectly for your safety, as well as that of others driving on the road. So, there should not be any delay in repair, if you encounter any kind of problems with them.
Very often, there are problems with the switch that lead to non-functioning of the headlights.
One of the most common signs of a problem with the switch is a non-functioning headlight, despite being in perfect working condition. Another indicator is non-functioning of the low-beam mode. If you encounter any of these problems, it's best to get it replaced.


Every part of the automobile has evolved over time to add more functionality and adaptability to driving conditions. Same is the case with the car headlight, which can give a highly directional light output.
Its various types like driving lights, low beams, high beams, as well as parking lights are controlled by the switch, provided on the dashboard.
The controls might differ in cars but mostly, a headlight is a single switch, which is a combination of three different switches.
The headlights are operated through relay mechanisms that operate through the power provided by the car battery. Every type has a separate relay attached to it. Some of the most advanced car models today, have them automatically operated by light sensors.

Replacement Procedure

First thing to do, before you go ahead with the replacement, is to confirm that the headlight is actually in need of getting replaced. If you see that its bulbs are in excellent condition but are still not operable, then mostly, there is a problem with the switch.
The next thing to do is to buy a new switch, which is exactly the same as the old one, according to the car model. The procedure for replacement is quite easy. The tools you will need are a screw driver, an Allen wrench, a simple wrench, and a new switch. You can keep a wiring diagram in front of you, if you manage to get hold of one.
The first step after switching off the car is to locate the car battery and disconnect its negative terminal. Once you have removed it, you need to wait for about ten minutes before proceeding. The reason you need to wait is that the airbag capacitors need time to discharge.
After the stipulated time is over, it's time to detach the old switch. You will either have to remove screws attached around or remove a retaining ring in which the switch is embedded.
Once you remove the attachments, slowly slide the switch out of the dashboard, while removing the wire plugs. You can prevent wire plugs from falling inside the dash, by the attachment of a spring clamp. Remember the order of wires, that are attached to the switch.
Depress the case button and then remove the switch out of the case. In case there are more than one buttons to release the switch from the case, you'll need a screwdriver. Another thing that must be done is the removal of a nut that must be taken out, to remove the bezel, which is situated at the bottom of the switch. Then the headlight can be removed.
Now you can place the new switch inside the case and attach the nut, along with the bezel back into place. Going back in the exactly reverse order, reattach wire plugs back to the switch and place it back in the dash, as it was before.
Make sure that you make the correct wire connections. Put the screws or the ring back in and you are done with the job. Check whether the headlights are working now, by using the switch. If they do, you have executed the procedure with precision.