How to Replace HID Lights

by Steve Bradley
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headlights image by Christopher Hall from

A high-intensity discharge, or HID, headlight provides a stronger beam of light than a conventional headlight but can burn out just like any other headlight. When this happens, it should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid dangerous driving conditions or a costly traffic ticket. The replacement of an HID headlight is similar to that of a standard bulb except for having to deal with a ballast.

Step 1

Park your vehicle on level ground. Turn off the engine and let the vehicle sit for 10 minutes to allow the headlight bulb to cool.

Step 2

Open the hood and inspect the area behind the burned-out headlight to determine how you will access the HID bulb. Some vehicles will have a plastic or rubber access panel that has to be removed; others will have open access.

Step 3

Unplug the electrical wiring harness from the current HID ballast. Unplug the wire that runs from the ballast to the light socket.

Step 4

Remove the socket and undo retaining clips that hold the HID bulb in place. Insert the new HID bulb and secure it in place.

Step 5

Replace the socket in the light assembly. Plug the wire from the ballast into the socket and the wiring harness into the ballast. Replace access panels and close the hood.

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