I’m not mechanically inclined. It’s fair to say I’m actually pretty much mechanically challenged. But there was a time I was reasonably confident in my basic car care capabilities. By basic I mean changing the oil, filters, windshield wipers, bulbs. etc. But as technology has become more ingrained into our vehicles, I’ve found that there is pretty much nothing basic left when it comes to car care.

OK quick - how do you replace this headlight? I had no idea.

For the sake of time and convenience, I haven’t changed the oil on any car for probably 20 years. But I still thought that I could do the other stuff without too much hassle.

Last night I noticed that one of the headlights was out on our TrailBlazer SUV. In the “old” days (ie pre-halogen lights) I changed out a few headlights and it was really pretty easy – really just like screwing in light bulb practically. But after I picked up the new halogen bulbs at Autozone (they are about 1/4 of the size of old headlights I remember) and got home, I stood and stared at the front of the TrailBlazer, dumbfounded how I was going to change out the bulbs. The old bulb was enclosed in a plastic encasing – which was sealed by the grill and other parts. I really had no clue how I was going to complete this task.

And so I did what millions of us have been conditioned to do in the 15+ years since the Internet became part of our daily lives: I Googled it. I was able to find numerous articles – and even a video – that were specifically tailored to “How to replace headlight bulb on 2003 TrailBlazer.” And between the various instructions (and especially the video) I eventually figured out how to reach into the right area – pop off the rubber seal that protects the bulbs, twist the halogen bulb 90 degrees to release it and then unplug the old and plug in the new. I tested both new bulbs (luckily they worked right away) and then replaced all of the parts and the front grill which I had needlessly pulled off.

So there are two key lessons here: 1) if you have to replace your headlight, give yourself plenty of time and 2) Don’t be afraid to Google *anything* for instructions –  you’ll be amazed what people have posed in both article and videos to help others.

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