How to Replace a Headlight Switch

by eHow Cars Editor

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.

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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