All You Should Know When Buying Used Car Headlights

Finding sufficient used car parts should always require a general amount of research and insight prior to making any final purchase. This means understanding what to look out for in terms of overall condition and functionality, as well as knowing how to provide adequate maintenance care on any discounted car part you buy, so it can continue to perform well and flourish.

Buying used car lights from a reputable discount auto parts store is one example of why it’s important to know how to assess a used car part before deciding to invest in it. While it may seem as simple as checking to see if a headlight can still turn on, there are a variety of factors that play into how compatible and practical a used car light will be with your specific vehicle. To put it simply, just because you find a headlight that still works, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll pair well with your car. If you’re currently on the lookout for buying a used car light, here are a few things to keep in mind before making your purchase.

Know What Type of Headlight You Need

Anyone trying to score a quality headlight at a discount auto part store should know right off the bat what type of headlight their vehicle specifically needs. There are essentially three different types of vehicle headlights, which include:

Type Of Headlights

Halogen

Most vehicles, especially older ones, use halogen headlights. They use a tungsten filament alloy that are generally filled with either iodine, bromine, or nitrogen mixtures of gases. Their bulbs produce a ton of heat, producing a significantly yellow light, and is typically the cheapest of all the popular headlight types.

LED

More recently manufactured vehicles tend to have LED (light emitting diodes) headlights, which in addition to being easier to install and more energy efficient than halogen bulbs, are generally more expensive as well. If you’re trying to replace the headlight of a vehicle that came with LED headlights, you’ll only want to be on the lookout for a used LED headlight.

Xenon / HID

Xenon is a specific type of HID (high intensity discharge) bulb that utilizes gas rather than filaments. While they’re also pricier than halogen headlights, they are proven to last longer and emit brighter light, but will require professional installation to ensure they work properly.

When you’re aware of what type of headlight you need to replace, you’ll make it significantly easier for your used auto parts dealer to help you find the right replacement for your vehicle, for the right price. In addition to knowing what type of headlight you need, it’s also important to provide any other vehicle manufacturer details that can also be helpful, such as any specific make or model numbers that came standard with your vehicle.

Know Your Headlight’s Configuration

Back in the day, replacing a headlight could essentially be as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. However, with all the advances and variations of vehicle headlights in the past decade, it’s also important to comprehend the general components of installing and configuring a new headlight. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as it sounds! There are two distinct configurations of headlights, which are:

Sealed Beams

These are the older generation of vehicle headlight installation. In many older cars, headlights use sealed beams, in which the bulb and the lens are attached in a single unit, and supported directly on the front of your vehicle.

Capsules

These are pretty much the norm with newer vehicle headlights, as they can simply be plugged in to a vehicle’s headlight socket, therefore making them easier to install and replace. Knowing which type of headlight configuration you need should be quick and easy to identify by removing the soon-to-be-replaced headlight and determining whether a new bulb can simply be screwed in or not.