How to Change the Right Headlight in a 2012 Chevy Silverado

by Justin Cupler

In 1999, Chevrolet released its replacement for the aging C- and K-Series pickup trucks, which had been in production since 1962. The new and more aerodynamically efficient Silverado sat alongside the C- and K-Series pickups in Chevy showrooms until Chevy finally eliminated the old-style pickups for good after the 2000 model year. In 2007, the second-generation Silverado debuted with an all-new look that included new headlights. Replacing the passenger-side headlight bulbs on this new body requires more work than the driver-side bulb, but it remains a fairly simple task for most 2012 Silverado owners.


Open the hood. Find the air cleaner housing – the large, plastic box on the front, passenger side of the engine compartment – and remove the four screws that secure the cover to the housing, using a Torx-bit screwdriver. Unplug the mass airflow sensor wiring harness – the wiring harness plugged into the plastic tube that leads into the air cleaner housing cover – by pressing its unlocking button and pulling it away from the sensor. Lift the air cleaner housing cover upward and pull the air cleaner from its housing.


Pull upward on the air cleaner assembly firmly to disengage its locating dowels from the rubber grommets in the engine compartment. Remove the air cleaner housing from the engine compartment to gain access to the backside of the headlight assembly.


Twist the headlight bulb counterclockwise to unlock it and pull the headlight bulb straight out from the rear of the headlight assembly. Pull outward on the locking tabs on the headlight bulb wiring harness and unplug the harness from the bulb.


Hold the new headlight bulb – No. 9005 for the high beam or No. H11 for the low beam – by its plastic base, as touching the glass part of the bulb with your bare hands may cause early bulb failure. Plug the headlight wiring harness into the new headlight bulb. Guide the new headlight bulb into the headlight assembly and twist it clockwise to lock it in place.


Align the locating dowels on the base of the air cleaner housing with the grommets in the engine compartment. Press the housing downward until its seats into the grommets. Reinstall the air cleaner into the air cleaner housing with its foam gasket facing upward. Lower the air cleaner housing cover onto the air cleaner housing and tighten its screws until they are snug. Plug the MAF sensor wiring harness back into the MAF sensor. Close the hood.


  • close Touching the glass part of the new headlight bulb can transfer the oils from your hands onto the bulb, which may lead to premature bulb failure.

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About the Author

Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.