How to Replace Headlight Lens?
Replacing the lens of a headlight is significantly harder than replacing the bulbs. Nonetheless, with the right tools and a bit of time, you can do this procedure at home. Moreover, the difficulty also depends on the type of vehicle you have.
Here, we have covered the steps on how to replace headlight lenses for specific models and brands of cars we use! After giving them a read, you will be more confident working on your headlights without prior expertise.
Remember that using a bad or broken headlight cover may cause you legal trouble as well as bring unwanted vision impairments while night driving. Therefore, it is better to take care of such headlight lenses sooner than later. Here are the detailed guides:
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Headlight Lens?
Table of Contents
- How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Headlight Lens?
- How Long Does It Take To Replace a Headlight Lens?
- How to Remove Headlight Lens with Heat Gun
- How to Replace BMW Headlight Lens
- How to Replace Headlight Lens on C6 Corvette
- How to Replace Headlight Lens on Toyota Tacoma
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Note
The cost of replacing your headlight lenses depends on whether you are doing it yourself or leaving it up to a professional. Usually, you have to pay anywhere around $250 to $650 for professional restoration. The cost will also include the price of the new lens they will be using.
If you choose to do a DIY replacement of the lenses, you will be spending only around $75 to $200. Usually, new headlight lens pairs are available at around $60. Adding the cost of the equipment you will be using (which you should already have), the cost usually remains significantly low.
Here’s a brief comparison between DIY and professional headlight lens replacement:
Costs significantly less.
You have to pay the labor cost, which always exceeds the DIY restoration cost.
You are likely to damage the headlights if not instructed properly.
The replacement will be done right!
You may have to wait a couple of days for the replacement.
Will My Insurance Cover This Expense?
If you are changing the headlight lenses just for an upgrade, insurance companies will not cover that. However, some companies provide roadside assistance if your car breaks down. Accidents, collisions, and similar factors will allow you to get insurance if you broke your lenses in those circumstances.
How Long Does It Take To Replace a Headlight Lens?
If you are taking help from a professional service, it may take one or two days to get your car back. However, the DIY process should take around:
- Removing the headlight assembly: 30-45 minutes
- Getting the lenses out: 10 or 30 minutes depending on the technique
- Adding the new lenses: 10 or 30 minutes depending on the technique
- Reinstalling the headlight assembly: 30-45 minutes
So, it may take one and a half or two hours on average if you are doing the task for the first time.
How to Remove Headlight Lens with Heat Gun
Professionals and experienced DIY restorers will recommend you to take out the entire headlight assembly and then put it inside an oven for the removal of the headlight lenses. However, removing a headlight can be complicated for beginners. In addition, a lot of vehicles nowadays are more complicated to work on.
So, what is the alternative method of removing headlight lenses for beginners? The answer is a heat gun.
A heat gun emits hot air that can be used to soften the adhesive that seals the headlight lenses. This process allows you to pry open the lens for replacement purposes.
Things You Will Need:
- A heat gun; we recommend the SEEKONE 1800W.
- A flat head screwdriver
- At a moderate temperature, use the heat gun on the edges of the headlight lens until the seal becomes hot. Repeat the heating process several a few times to make sure the adhesive softens entirely.
- Do not heat the same area for too long. Keep moving the heat gun to ensure a balanced heat on the edges and repeat the process before the lens is ready for removal.
- Get your flat screwdriver. Use it around the edges to pry open the lens. Do not try to take out the lens until you have used the screwdriver all around.
- In case your headlight’s lens won’t come off; repeat the heating process and try again.
Remember that this method is suitable if your headlight lens is connected with adhesive. If there are other kinds of joints and plugging, then you will have to remove the headlight assembly from the car and follow other guides that we explain below:
How to Replace BMW Headlight Lens
Compared to many other brands of vehicles, the headlight lenses on BMW cars can be easier to replace. Start by removing the headlight assembly from your BMW car and then follow these steps:
- Remove the upper weather stripping trim on top of the headlight by removing the joints with your hands.
- Now, you will discover that the lens is connected to the headlight assembly via clips (usually in E46 3-Series). The clips are situated on the top, bottom, and side of the assembly. Carefully remove all of the clips.
- Remove the old lens. While on this process, be careful not to get any debris inside the headlights that may damage the bulb or the housing.
- It’s time to plug in your new headlight lens. Make sure not to touch the inside of the lens. First, clip the top part and follow it by the side then the bottom.
- Reconnect the weather stripping trim. And you’re done!
You shouldn’t use the heat gun or oven method for BMW headlight covers that are plugged in via clips. New headlight lenses for BMWs can be around $50 but the price may differ according to models. For the E46 3-Series, we recommend the Arotom pair.
How to Replace Headlight Lens on C6 Corvette
The bezel component on a C6 Corvette makes it look cool as well as keeps the lens in place. Unlike removing lenses from a BMW vehicle, getting the lens out of a C6 Corvette headlight requires heat! Here’s how you can replace the headlight lenses on a C6 Corvette.
What You Will Need:
- New headlight lenses; we recommend the YouVbeen pair.
- 7mm socket
- 7mm star screwdriver
- Hairdryer or heat gun
- Prying bar of socket size
Step 1: Removing the Headlight
Make sure the battery is disconnected from the Corvette before starting to remove the headlights.
The first step is to remove the headlamp assembly. Disconnect the plugs from the fender liners to begin this procedure. After that, you'll see the screws on the front upper bumper that must be removed. The fastening pins may be found behind the headlamp and in front of the tire. Remove those, then unscrew the screws on the fender to push it away from the headlight gasket.
Unplug the wires connected to the headlights and the rubber washers as well as the nuts below the headlights. Make sure to take your time while trying to remove the headlights and be careful while unscrewing the three nuts.
Step 2: Heating
A specific type of adhesive is used to hold the bezel and lens together. Heating the headlight assembly in an oven will melt the adhesive and make it easy to remove the lens. Put the assembly in an oven for around 15 minutes at 200 degrees. Use a flat head screwdriver to pry open the lens.
While prying, you may need to put the assembly back in the oven if the adhesive hardens. Start the prying from the top of the headlight.
Step 3: Connect the New Lens
The adhesive you removed for getting the headlight lens out can be reused if melted. However, we recommend using a new adhesive made of silicone. You can use a heat gun or a hairdryer of 1500 watts for keeping the lens clear of adhesive.
How to Replace Headlight Lens on Toyota Tacoma
According to DIY experts, aftermarket Toyota Tacoma’s headlights’ lenses are hard to find and they recommend replacing the entire assembly entirely. Even though you have to spend more, the end result makes it worth it. By spending more, we mean you have to at least keep around $150 for a pair like the DWVO one.
Replacing the Headlight Assembly on Toyota Tacoma
- Under the hood, you will be able to find the three side marker screws. One screw is situated on the top of the light and the other two keep the lens in place. Unscrew all of them.
- Unplug the electrical connector and market the assembly.
- In the front of the vehicle, you will find clips that keep the grill in place. Nose pliers can help you open the clips.
- Remove the grill and use a ratchet and socket for getting one bolt and two nuts out from the headlight assembly. If you push the assembly forward, the headlight should come out easily.
- Replace the assembly with the new headlight assembly. Plug the connectors in and install the nuts and the bolt you took out. Then, reinstall the grill and connect the clips that held it into place.
- Reinstall the side marker lights. Use a Phillips screwdriver to screw in the retaining bolts. Now, test if the headlights are working!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you change headlight lenses?
This can be done with a simple hand lens and some household items. Use the hand lens to clean your headlights and remove the old lens, then put on the new one. You can do this with just a hand lens or even a pair of scissors.
However, if you don't want to spend money on a hand lens, then you can always use a simple pair of scissors to cut the headlight lens.
How do you remove a headlight lens cover?
Headlight lenses can be removed easily using a Phillips screwdriver. Make sure to turn the lens slowly while applying light pressure, and remove it carefully. You can also remove the lens cover by using the right tools or by unscrewing the lens mount.
But if you use tools, make sure to apply the appropriate torque to the lens. You can also use a heat gun to melt the glue holding the lens in place.
How hard is it to replace a headlight?
It’s not as simple as replacing a bulb, and it involves changing a few things in the car. Replacing the headlight requires you to change the headlamp lens, the light assembly, the tail light assembly, and the headlight switch.
What tools do I need to change a headlight bulb?
This depends on the make and model of the lightbulb, but most commonly you'll need a Phillips screwdriver, a pair of wire cutters, and a flathead screwdriver. For any bulb that has a flat base, you'll need a Phillips screwdriver, while for any bulb that has a circular base, you'll need a flathead screwdriver.
What holds the headlight bulb in place?
The headlight bulb is held in place by a clip that is attached to the dashboard. The bulb itself is attached to a metal housing, which is fastened to the dashboard.
The bulb has a socket at the base end, where it connects to the housing. The housing also has a slot through which the bulb’s wires pass. The wires connect to the electrical system of the vehicle.
How do you change a headlight assembly?
This can be done easily by removing the old bulb from the headlight assembly, and replacing it with a new one. Make sure that the new headlight has a screw base, and that it is rated to handle the amount of current required for your vehicle. You can find these headlight assemblies in the aftermarket, and also from most automobile shops.
Remember that you cannot use the oven technique to remove headlight lenses on some vehicles’ headlight assemblies. Make sure you take advice from DIY experts or contact us to let you know which methods you can use!
DIY lens replacement can sometimes be harder than headlight assembly replacement because of the way lenses are attached to an assembly. However, with some patience and a bit of guidance, it can be easy!