How to Replace Headlight Bulbs on Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The headlight bulbs on the Chevrolet car are accessed at the back of the headlight assembly. While there's controversy about whether removing the front grill is required, doing so will help those with less than nimble fingers and lack of hand dexterity. While removing the grill may seem intimidating, it's not that difficult. There are illustrated instructions at TrailVoy. com (see Resources), but a free membership is required.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace Headlight Bulbs on a 2002 Chevy Cavalier

Pry up on the center of the seven plastic fasteners securing the deck cover to the front of the engine compartment using a flat-bladed screwdriver. Be careful not to break the fasteners--you will need them for reassembly. Remove the fasteners from the deck cover, then remove the deck cover from the car.

Insert your flat-bladed screwdriver into the rectangular slot on the bracket above the turn signal light assembly. Press down on the retaining clip with the screwdriver and pull the light assembly out of the front of the car.

Remove the two bolts securing the headlamp assembly to the front end of the car using a socket and ratchet. Pull the headlight assembly forward out of the front of the car. Turn the black retaining ring counterclockwise to remove it from the light assembly.

Lift up on the locking tab to disconnect the wiring harness from the socket. Pull the harness straight out away from the socket. Remove the bulb from the headlight assembly.

Insert the new bulb into the socket in the headlight assembly. Attach the wiring connection to the back of the bulb. Reinstall the retaining ring and turn it clockwise until it locks into place.

Return the headlamp assembly to the car and secure it with the two bolts. Tighten the bolts with your socket and ratchet. Insert the turn signal light assembly and press it straight in until it clicks. (Repeat the process on the opposite side if necessary.)

Replace the deck cover and press the plastic retaining clips straight down until they lock in place. Test your lights to be sure they are functioning properly.

Items you will need

  • Flat-bladed screwdriver

  • Socket and ratchet set

 How to Replace the Headlight Bulbs in a Chevrolet Malibu

Park the Malibu on a level surface and turn off the engine. Put on the gloves.

Put the jack under the Malibu and raise the car until the headlamps are at a comfortable working height. If you are replacing the left headlight, remove the front left wheel, using the tire iron. Remove the front right wheel if you intend to replace the right headlight.

Use the pop rivet tool and screwdriver to take off all the pop rivets and screws holding the wheel well facing in place. Now that the wheel well facing is loosened, completely remove it from the vehicle by pulling it off.

Remove the two bolts holding the front bumper in place, using the socket wrench. Slide the front bumper off the vehicle using slight force. This will provide access to the headlamp unit itself.

Use the socket wrench to remove the two bolts holding the headlamp in place. Remove the headlamp from the vehicle. Rotate the old bulb and pull it away from the headlamp unit to remove it. Push the replacement bulb into the unit and rotate it to lock it into place.

Reattach the headlight unit into the vehicle and reattach the bolts. At this point, make sure to test them by turning the headlights on.

Push the front bumper back into the vehicle and reinstall the two bolts. Reattach the wheel well facing and make sure to put back all of the pop rivets and screws. Place the wheel back into its original position and secure it with the tire iron. Lower the vehicle from the jack.

Items you will need

  • Gloves

  • Car jack

  • Tire iron

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Pop rivet tool

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement headlight bulb

 How to Change the Headlight Bulb on a 2008 Chevy Avalanche

Open the hood of the car. Locate the six bolts along the top of the grille assembly and remove them in a counter-clockwise direction with a nut driver. Set the bolts aside.

Work on the side of the vehicle that has the headlight bulb you wish to replace. Locate the screws and snap fasteners in the plastic wheel well liner just ahead of the front tire. Remove the two screws with a 7-mm wrench, turning in a counter-clockwise direction. Remove the snap fasteners by prying up on them with a flat-head screwdriver. Set the screws and fasteners aside.

Pull the front edge of the plastic wheel well liner towards the front of the tire to reveal the bumper bracket. Remove the two holding bolts in the bracket with a 10-mm wrench, turning in a counter-clockwise direction, and remove the bracket and bolts from the vehicle.

Locate the three bolts that hold the headlight assembly into the front of the vehicle. Be aware that two bolts are positioned on top of the assembly and another one is revealed behind the wheel well liner after removing the bumper bracket. Remove the bolts with a 10-mm wrench, turning in a counter-clockwise direction. Place the bolts aside.

Push down on the bumper cover under the headlight assembly while pulling out slightly at the top of the grille. Carefully maneuver the assembly straight out of the front of the vehicle until the snap clip at the rear of the headlight releases.

Disconnect the wiring harness at the rear of the headlight by pulling it straight out. Pull the headlight bulb from the rear of the assembly and discard it. Push a new bulb into its place. Push the wiring harness back into the rear of the headlight assembly. Push the headlight assembly back into the front of the vehicle until the clips snap into place, being careful to push down on the bumper cover and pull out on the grille, as intructed in step 5.

Replace and tighten the three headlight assembly holding bolts. Replace the bumper bracket and tighten the two holding bolts. Push the wheel well liner back into place and tighten the two bolts, then push in the remaining snap fasteners until they are fully seated.

Replace the bolts on the top of the grille and tighten. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Nut driver set

  • 7-mm wrench

  • Flat blade screwdriver

  • 10-mm wrench

  • Replacement headlight bulb

 How to Change a Headlight Bulb on a Chevrolet Colorado

Pull the hood release and raise the hood, propping it up with the hood support.

Look inside the front of the Colorado near the headlight housing. You will see the bulb sockets.

Twist the bulb socket counterclockwise to loosen it, and remove it from the housing. There are two different bulb sockets to remove: the low-beam headlight on the left, and the high beam headlight on the right.

Detach the connector from the back of the bulb.

Attach the connector to the replacement bulb and insert the bulb back into the housing, twisting clockwise to lock it in place.

Items you will need

  • Bulb Replacement

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Chevy Cobalt

Set the parking brake and remove the keys from the ignition to ensure your Chevy Cobalt won't roll while you're replacing the headlight bulb.

Open the hood by pulling the hood release latch located under the instrument panel on the driver's side of the car. Locate the secondary release latch on the front of the hood at the center, slightly towards the driver's side. Slide the latch to the left to release the hood and raise it.

Locate the headlight assembly and remove the bolts by turning them counterclockwise. Set the bolts aside in a safe place, so you won't misplace them.

Remove the plastic fasteners from the headlight assembly molding. Carefully pull back the front fascia, or molding. You may need an extra pair of hands to perform this slightly awkward task.

Grab the headlight assembly and pull it towards the radiator at a slight angle to remove it. This should provide easier access to the headlight bulb and wiring harness.

Lift the plastic locking tab on the wiring harness to disconnect the bulb base. Then, disconnect the wiring harness from the bulb socket and remove the black retainer by turning it counterclockwise.

Disconnect the bulb socket by turning it counterclockwise. Remove the old bulb from the socket by firmly, but gently pulling it straight out.

Replace the old bulb with a new 9007 LL halogen headlight bulb. Put your headlight assembly back together by reversing the steps when you disassembled it. Use 89 inch-lb torque when retightening the headlight assembly bolts.

Items you will need

  • 9007 LL halogen headlight bulb

  • Wrench

  • Gloves or clean rag

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Chevy Avalanche

Ensure that the headlights are in the off position, the vehicle is off and the keys are out of the ignition. Remember to engage the parking brake before performing any repairs.

Open the hood on your Chevy Avalanche by releasing the interior hood latch located to the bottom left of the steering column. Walk around to the front of the vehicle and release the secondary hood latch located under the Chevrolet symbol on the grill. Move the latch to the left to release it and raise the hood.

Remove the parking/signal lamp housing first by pressing the release clip on the outboard side of the housing and pulling it toward you. Then, pull the inboard side of the housing away from the vehicle.

Pull out the pins that hold the headlight assembly in place by pulling them out of their clips and then up and completely out of the assembly.

Remove the headlight assembly by pulling it out and away from the front of the vehicle. Note that the high beam bulb assembly is located on the left side and the low beam bulb is on the right.

Turn the bulb connector counterclockwise and pull it away from the bulb assembly. Disconnect the electrical connector from the old headlight bulb.

Install the new headlight bulb by plugging it in to the electrical connector. Place the completed bulb assembly with connector back into the headlight assembly by turning it clockwise until it fits tightly.

Reinstall the headlight assembly in reverse order of removal and check that the headlights are now working properly.

Items you will need

  • 9006 low-beam replacement bulb

  • 9011 high-beam replacement bulb

 How to Change a Headlight Bulb on the Chevy TrailBlazer

Open the hood to the TrailBlazer and locate the four retaining clips at the top of the grill. They are evenly distributed along the top grill section. Pull the grill out toward you to unseat the four clips. Use a screwdriver if necessary but be careful not to break or crack the grill.

Move to the bottom of the grill on one side, either left or right. There are two clips holding the bottom in place on either side. Place your fingers between the grill and bumper and pull one side out and then the other side.

Move your fingers up to the molding of the grill that borders between the upper headlight section and the lower running light section of the headlight assembly. There are two more clips per side of the molding. One is on the edge of each side of the molding. Getting your fingers in between will be a little tight until the inside clip is unseated. Unclip the outside last and then repeat this step for the opposite side.

Support the grill in the middle with one hand on top and one hand on the bottom. Pull the grill gently away from the TrailBlazer to unseat the last retaining clip behind the Chevy bow-tie emblem. Set the grill out of the way where it will not fall or get scratched.

Locate the two retaining tab brackets on the top rear edges of the headlight assembly. The inner tab closest to the hood latch mechanism is more visible. The outside tab is closest to the side fender but down lower between the front frame rail and backside of the headlight assembly. Pull both tab brackets up about 2 inches to align the hole in the tabs to the head of the lock pin and then wiggle the headlight assembly forward.

Remove the black rubber cover from the headlight you're replacing. Note that the outside bulb closest to the fender is the low-beam and the inside bulb is the high beam.

Unclip the wire harness from the back of the headlight bulb socket and turn the socket counterclockwise one-third of a turn to remove it from the back of the assembly.

Remove and discard the old bulb. Without touching the glass of the new headlight, insert the new bulb into the back of the assembly and align the notches of the bulb to the grooves of the assembly. Push in slightly to insert the bulb and then turn one-third of a turn clockwise to lock the headlight into place.

Replace the black rubber cover and make sure it's seated against the plastic flange of the headlight assembly to prevent moisture from contaminating the bulb, socket or internal assembly area.

Push the headlight assembly into the cavity without attaching the guide pins and then test the bulb(s) by turning on the headlights. Turn off the headlight and push the assembly in farther after aligning the guide pins to their seating retainers and replace the tab brackets to lock the assembly into place.

Replace the grill assembly by starting with each side-molding clip, then the bow-tie clip, then the bottom and top clips. Push in on the grill assembly at the location of the respective clips and seating retainers.

Close the hood after making sure the screwdriver, old bulb and packaging have been removed.

Items you will need

  • Flathead screwdriver

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Chevy Impala

Pull the hood release latch located to the left of the parking brake pedal on the driver's side. Walk around to the front of the car, reach under the front center of the hood and find the secondary hood latch. Slide the latch to the right and lift the hood.

Remove the headlight assembly screw for Chevy Impalas made after 2006 or remove the air baffle for body styles produced before 2006.

Lift up on the two plastic headlamp fasteners to remove them. Pull the headlamp assembly away from the front of the car gently, at an angle. Remove the electrical connector from the headlight assembly.

Access the bulbs by removing the round dust caps from the back of the assembly. Remove the old bulb using a counterclockwise turn and pulling it away from the headlamp.

Raise the lock tab on the bulb's electrical connector to remove the connector from the base of the bulb. Then, reattach the electrical connector to the appropriate replacement bulb based on the model year and whether it's a high or low beam bulb.

Install the new bulb into the headlight assembly by inserting the smallest tab on the bulb base into the corresponding notch in the retaining ring. Give a gentle clockwise quarter-turn until the bulb stops in its proper position.

Retrace your steps to reinstall the headlight assembly and check that the lights are working. Check them again after you've closed the hood.

Items you will need

  • H9 halogen replacement for high-beams in post-2006 models

  • H11 halogen replacement for low-beams in post-2006 models

  • 9005 replacement bulb for high-beams in models prior to 2006

  • 9006 replacement bulb for low-beams in models prior to 2006

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Chevy Silverado

Engage the parking brake on your Chevy Silverado and remove the keys from the ignition. This eliminates the possibility of your truck rolling while you're changing the headlight bulb.

Open the hood by first releasing the interior latch located on the driver's side below and to the left of the steering column. Walk around to the front of the car and pull up on the secondary release latch in the center underneath of the hood.

Locate the pin or pins that hold the headlight assembly in place. Your truck may have two pins that run vertically or one pin that runs horizontally. If your truck has two pins, remove them by turning each of them counterclockwise and pull them up and out. To remove a singular horizontal pin, turn the pin up and then pull it straight out, horizontally.

Pull the headlight assembly out of the front of your Chevy Silverado. Detach the electrical connector from the headlight assembly.

Remove the old bulb with a counterclockwise turn and pull it out of the headlight assembly. Install the new headlight bulb by turning it clockwise until it is tight and secure. Use replacement bulb #9005 for the high beam or #9006 for the low beam.

Retrace the previous steps to reinstall your headlight assembly. Reinstate the pin or pins into their previous position and lock them into place. Turn the vertical pins clockwise and turn the horizontal pin down.

Turn your Chevy Silverado on and check that the headlights are working properly.

Items you will need

  • 9006 replacement bulb for low beams

  • 9005 replacement bulb for high beams

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Chevy Camaro

Set the parking brake on your Chevy Camaro, remove the keys from the ignition and make sure to set the headlight switch to "OFF" before replacing a headlight bulb.

Open the hood by pulling up on the interior hood release latch located under the instrument panel on the driver's side. Release the auxiliary latch under the front center of the hood and lift the hood.

Press down on and turn the bulb socket of the bulb you need to change counterclockwise about a quarter of a turn. Remove the bulb socket by pulling it straight out.

Install a new bulb into the bulb socket. Insert the bulb socket back into the headlamp. Turn it clockwise about a quarter of a turn until it stops and fits securely into place.

Close the hood and check that your headlights are working properly in your Chevy Camaro.

Items you will need

  • 9006 replacement bulb for low beams in models 1998-1999 and after 2001

  • 9005 replacement bulb for high beams in models 1998-1999 and after 2001

  • 4703 replacement bulb for low beams in 2000 model

  • 4701 replacement bulb for high beams in 2000 model

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb On an S10

The Chevy S10 has been around for many years and undergone several generational upgrades. The headlights on the S10 have also been modernized from the old sealed beam units to the newer composite halogen bulbs. Whichever type of S10 you own, you can save some money by replacing the blown headlight yourself.

How to Replace a Halogen Headlight Bulb On an S10

Open the hood of the S10.

Locate the removal pins (2 on each side) for the headlight assembly at the top of the radiator support and remove the protective black caps from them. Use the ratchet and socket to remove the pins.

Pull the headlight assembly out of the front of the S10 and unplug the wire harness plugged into the back of the headlight.

Turn the bulb counterclockwise to remove it from the assembly. Insert the new replacement bulb into the headlight assembly and turn clockwise until it clicks in place. Plug the wire harness into the back of the new bulb and test by turning on the lights before securing the headlight assembly. Replace the headlight assembly and pins and tighten. Remove the tools and old bulb and close the hood.

How to Replace a Sealed Beam Headlight Bulb On an S10

Remove the screws from the headlight retainer using a magnetic-tipped Phillips head screwdriver.

Pull the headlight outward and remove the retainer.

Unplug the wire from the back of the sealed beam headlight and remove it.

Plug the new headlight in and test it by turning on the lights first before replacing the retainer.

Place the headlight back into the cavity and replace the retainer and screws.

Items you will need

  • Magnetic Phillips head screwdriver

  • 1/4-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/4-inch drive 3/16-inch socket

  • Replacement headlight