Essential Considerations When Shopping for Used Headlights

Posted on: 27 December 2021

Finding the right used car parts calls for deliberate research and insight before spending your hard-earned money. It is mainly the case when shopping for used headlights. While shopping for used headlights might sound as easy as simply checking whether they can turn on and off, there is more to it than meets the eye. For instance, just because a headlight works perfectly does not mean it is compatible with your vehicle. This article highlights a couple of issues you should consider when shopping for second-hand headlights.

Type of Headlight 

When you are trying to save money by buying used headlights rather than new ones, you must know the exact type needed for your vehicle. Broadly, there are three types of headlights: halogen headlights, LED headlights and Xenon headlights. Halogen headlights are the most common type, and they are found in older cars. Typically, halogen headlights feature a tungsten filament surrounded by either iodine, bromine or nitrogen gases. The light from halogen headlights is often yellow, and they produce a lot of heat. LED headlights are popular in newer models, and they are energy efficient and easy to install. However, a new LED headlight is costly; hence, many motorists prefer used ones in good condition. Lastly, Xenon headlights use gases to produce light, and the lack of a filament means they last longer. However, a professional must install a used Xenon headlight because of its intricacies.

Headlight Configuration 

Today, replacing headlights has become challenging thanks to the advances and variations in the automotive industry. Therefore, you must consider the general components needed to install and configure a used headlight. For instance, if your car is an older generation model, the chances are high that the headlights use sealed beams, a configuration where the bulb and lens are manufactured as a single unit. On the other hand, the headlight configuration on newer car models features a capsule. Thus, all you have to do is plug the capsule into a headlight socket, and you are good to go. In this regard, examine your car's original headlight to determine the configuration.


Different headlights have varying power ratings that determine brightness. Therefore, when buying a used headlight, you need to match its illumination to the original piece. It can be tempting to buy a brighter model, but such a high power-rating can pose problems to your car's electrical system. If a used headlight is too bright, it could short circuit the electrical system. You can only get away with installing a used headlight with a high power-rating if you adjust a car circuitry to accommodate the new demands. Otherwise, stick to headlights that your car's electrical system can handle.

Check out a local auto part supplier to learn about used headlights and other products like Toyota spare parts.