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If you need to replace or upgrade your car bulbs, whether it is headlight bulbs, sidelight bulbs, indicator bulbs or even brake light bulbs, finding out exactly which type of bulbs you need and how to fit them correctly can sometimes prove quite a challenge. The easy option is to take you car down to the local main dealer and ask them to replace your car bulbs for you, although you will certainly have to pay a hefty premium for the parts and labour.However with the right knowledge and a few simple tools you can quite easily do the job yourself, and make considerable financial savings in the process. In order to help you understand what is required when buying and changing car bulbs this guide has been designed to answer the most commonly asked questions.How can I find out which car bulbs are fitted to my vehicle?Initially you should consult the car owners manual, normally all of the bulbs fitted and their locations will be listed within it. Alternatively there are now some very good car bulb finder search tools on the internet, whereby you enter your vehicle's, make, model and year and it will show you which bulbs you require. One point to note is that whilst he owners manual or online search tools are very accurate, occasionally the vehicle manufacturer will change the design, specification or parts supplier during a production run so inaccuracies can occasionally occur.Should I replace my car bulbs in pairs?If you are changing your headlight bulbs or sidelight bulbs then the answer is yes, and this makes good sense for two reasons. Firstly if one headlight bulb has blown the other one will follow quite shortly so if you change them both together you wont need to worry about repeating the job for a while. The second reason is that as headlight bulbs get towards the end of their service life their performance starts to reduce, and so if you only changed one headlight bulb you would be left with a light imbalance that reduces the performance of your headlights and can prove distracting. When it comes to changing other car bulbs like indicator bulbs or brake light bulbs it is normal practice just to replace the failed bulb.Can I touch the glass when changing the car bulbs?If you are replacing headlight bulbs or sidelight bulbs filled with either halogen or xenon gas, then you should not touch the glass, because the natural oils on your skin will leave a residue on the glass bulb, which creates a hotspot when the bulb is illuminated and can lead to the bulbs premature failure. To prevent this it is a good idea to wear latex gloves when changing your headlight bulbs. For all other car bulbs like indicator bulbs, number plate bulbs or brake light bulbs it does not matter if you touch the glass.When buying replacement car bulbs how can I tell if they are good quality?Although car bulbs from different manufacturers can look identical, they can differ quite considerably in terms of quality of construction, materials used and the testing process that they have undergone. The best quality car bulbs are labelled as OEM and this stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer and it means the these car bulbs are built to exactly the same standards as the bulbs that were fitted to your vehicle when it first left the factory. The other mark to look for is the testing standards E1 mark. The E1 code denotes that the bulb has been tested in Germany, which is widely regarded within the car bulbs industry as superior.When it comes to buying your replacement car bulbs, it is a good idea to shop around between the internet, large chain stores and small independent accessory shops. However never buy your car bulbs simply on price alone, always look for the OEM and E1 marks so you can be assured of buying a high quality product. Working car bulbs are something we all take for granted, but good quality cars bulbs are vital for road safety helping you to be seen and to see more clearly, so always aim to fit the best for your own safety and added piece of mind.
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