RAM

How to Change the Headlight Bulb in a RAM 1500

Over time your headlights will start to grow dimmer and will not put out sufficient light for you to be able to see when driving at night. To make your headlights dispense bright light like they did when you first bought your Dodge Ram 1500 all you have to do is change the headlight bulb.

You do not need a lot of tools, or need to take your truck to the shop to get your headlight bulbs changed. You can easily do this job yourself. It is highly recommended that when you change the bulb in one headlight that you go ahead and change the bulb in both headlights. This will allow you to have consistent light from both headlamps and will allow the bulbs to go out at about the same time so you do not end up driving around with one blown headlight.

WARNING

When you are changing the headlight bulb in your Dodge Ram 1500 is critical that you do NOT touch the glass on that bulb. The oil from your hands will cause the portion of the bulb that you touched to burn at a higher temperature than the other portions of the bulb. The result of the bulb burning hotter in one or more places is that the bulb burns out faster and does not last as long as it should.

Choosing your Headlights

You can choose the right headlight bulb for your vehicle according to the driving conditions you face frequently. Some bulbs give off a brighter and whiter light that improves the clarity of your view. These bulbs are often preferred by people who have to drive down rural roads that have little or no lights or street lamps on them.

If you want bulbs that last longer there are options of bulbs that have a more yellow appearance to the light.

Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for which bulbs they suggest you use in your vehicle.

You can go to your dealership to buy replacement bulbs. You can order replacement bulbs online from many different stores. You can buy these items from automotive supply stores in your area, and often you can buy them at large department stores.

Shop around for the best prices and buying multiple pack bulbs will often allow you to save money on the purchase. If you buy a multi-pack of bulbs be sure to store the extra bulbs for safe keeping.

Gather the Following Items Before you Begin

  • Socket set
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Replacement bulbs
  • Panel puller
  • Container to place bolts and rivets in

Replacing the Bulb

First you need to look in the cab of the truck and locate the hood release lever. Pulling the lever will make the hood pup up slightly. You will then release the safety catch on the hood so you can lift the hood completely.

Removing the panel

There is a panel stretching across the front of your truck that is blocking your access to the bulb that you need to replace. You must remove the rivets on that panel in order to move the panel out of your way.

A panel popper is the easiest tool to use to remove those rivets. If you do not have a panel popper you can use a small pry bar or a flat head screwdriver to remove the rivets.

You will have 6 rivets to loosen this panel. Once the rivets have been removed you can easily pull the panel back.

Pulling the Grill Back

You will now have six bolts that have to be removed. These bolts are what hold the top section of your front grill in place. As the bolts are removed be sure to set them aside so they are not lost. You will need all of the bolts to attach the grill back to the truck when you are finished.

The bolts need to be turned counterclockwise in order to remove them. When the bolts have been removed the grill will lean forward so that you can reach the bulbs that need to be replaced. You are going to need a long extension on your socket to be able to reach the lower bolts that are holding the grill in position.

Be careful not to push down on your grill or cause any damage to your grill while it is suspended in this fashion.

Turn the Wheel

You will need to turn the wheel so you have better access to the bulb.

Remove the Panel Covering the Light Housing

You are going to need to pop the rivets that are holding the panel over the back of the light housing. Once the rivets have been popped out you can easily lift the panel.

There is a fastener being held in place by a clip.

You need to push up on the clip to pry the housing away from the truck You are less likely to scratch the paint on your truck if you use a panel popper to pry the housing loose.

When you have gotten the bulb housing loose you need to pull it completely out of the vehicle. On the back of the bulb housing is a cover that needs to be turned counterclockwise in order to remove it.

When you get this cover off of you will see the headlight assembly inside the housing. This assembly will also turn counter-clockwise to be removed.

You will see a tab that you must pry upwards to release the bulb. If you have any trouble doing this you can use a panel puller to make prying the tab upwards easier to do.

Push the connector of the new bulb straight in to make a sturdy connection.

Insert the bulb assembly back into the lens of the housing section. Twist the bulb assembly in a clockwise motion to lock it into position.

Replace the cover at the back of the housing assembly. The cover also turns in a clockwise motion to be locked into position.

Gently reinsert the bulb housing into position on the vehicle. Do not force or twist the bulb housing. If it does not slide into place easily pull it back out and realign it and try again to insert it. You may need to wiggle the housing a little to get it to position into the allotted space properly. Be patient and keep working until you have it fitting properly.

Reach up into the wheel well and pull the fastener down. This is the piece that you slid upwards to remove the housing. Once it is pulled back down you will slide it down to lock it back into position.

Look at the six bolts that you removed earlier. Two of those bolts have finer threads on them. The two with the finer threads will screw into the metal of the truck body. The four screws that have coarser threads will screw into the housing that holds the light bulb. It is imperative that you put the right bolt into the right place.

When you replace the bolts they will turn clockwise to be tightened down. Do not over tighten your bolts, and make sure that you do not cross-thread the bolts as you reinsert them.

It is recommended that you hand tighten the bolts prior to fastening them down completely. You want to get all of the bolts started in place before you completely tighten any bolt back down.

Grasp the bulb housing and try to move it with your hands to make sure that it is secure. You need the bulb housing to be secure before you can replace the grill.

Replace the Grill

You will need to use the four bolts that you removed when you loosened the grill to replace the grill. Be sure to start all four bolts before you completely tighten down any of the bolts. It is best to hand tighten the bolts before you use any tools to tighten them totally down.

Replace the trim

On each side of the truck, there is a black triangle that must be put back in position before you can put the plastic trim back in place. These triangle-shaped pieces can be covering the holes that the rivets go into when you fasten the black plastic trim back into place.

You are now ready to put the black plastic trim back into position. Replace the rivets so that they hold the trim securely into position.

Close the hood and you are ready to go.

Final Thoughts

Changing your headlight bulbs will improve your vision and help you to drive safer. By replacing your bulbs at the same time you get the greatest visual improvement from changing the bulbs.

Many people like to change their turn signal bulbs and their brake light bulbs when they change their headlight bulbs. These bulbs need to be as bright and visible as possible so it makes sense that you change the bulbs all at the same time.