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Courtesy Light Bulb Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your courtesy light bulb replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your courtesy light bulb replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a courtesy light bulb?

The average courtesy light bulb replacement cost is $100-$130. The exact price will depend on your vehicle.
How long does it take to replace a courtesy light bulb? You will have to wait about 1 hour for an automotive courtesy light bulb replacement. Make sure to call ahead to inquire about your specific model.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my courtesy light bulb replacement and how much do those parts cost?

Here are the parts you will need for a typical courtesy light bulb replacement:
  • Courtesy light bulb: The cost of a single courtesy light bulb typically ranges from $2 to $10, depending on the brand and type of bulb.
  • Screwdriver: You may need a small flathead or Phillips screwdriver to remove the light cover. The cost is usually around $5 to $10, or you might already have one at home.
  • Replacement light cover (optional): If your existing light cover is damaged or missing, you might want to get a replacement. The cost can vary based on the make and model of your vehicle, ranging from $10 to $30.
You can buy courtesy light bulb parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three brands we recommend for reliably courtesy light bulbs are Philips, Sylvania, and Wagner. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
You can go either way. OEM parts are made by the original manufacturer, ensuring a perfect fit and reliable performance, but they can be more expensive and might require a visit to a dealership. On the other hand, aftermarket parts are more affordable and offer a variety of options, but their quality can vary, potentially leading to fit or performance issues.  
You can head to a local car store, like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts, where they've got a wide variety of bulbs and car accessories. If you're more into online shopping, check out websites like Amazon or RockAuto that have a wide selection. 
If you're keen on sticking with the original equipment, hit up the car dealerships for genuine parts. Just remember to double-check if the bulb is the right fit for your vehicle before making the purchase.

Where can I get my courtesy light bulb replaced?

Replacing your courtesy light bulb can be a hassle, especially if you don't have a trustworthy mechanic. Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
has your back! With its extensive network of over 2,500 reputable repair shops across the country, finding the right spot for your bulb replacement is a breeze.
The platform makes comparing fair price estimates super easy by considering real hourly labor rates. You'll also be able to figure out potential diagnostic fees and read real reviews from other customers, helping you choose the best service for your ride.
Check out vetted shops below and get the app to start reviewing car repair quotes in your zip code.
129 Reviews
I & A Automotive
address
24850 Aurora Rd Ste G, Bedford Heights, OH
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$79.99
189 Reviews
Cornerstone Automotive - Round Rock
address
2225 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, TX
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$139.95
180 Reviews
Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service - Howell Mill #1792
address
1685 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
120 Reviews
Tisdell's Mobile Mechanic Services

Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$75
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my courtesy light bulb?

Here’s how a mechanic will go about replacing your courtesy light bulb:
  1. Locate the courtesy light housing: The mechanic will identify the location of the courtesy light housing inside the vehicle. This is typically near the doors on the door panels or the vehicle's ceiling.
  2. Remove the light cover: Using a small flathead or Phillips screwdriver, the mechanic will carefully remove the light cover to access the bulb.
  3. Take out the old bulb: The old courtesy light bulb will be gently twisted or pulled out from its socket. In some cases, the bulb may be secured with clips that need to be released.
  4. Insert the new bulb: The mechanic will insert the new courtesy light bulb into the bulb socket, ensuring it is securely seated.
  5. Test the new bulb: Before reassembling the light cover, the mechanic will test the new bulb to ensure it works properly when the doors are opened or the interior lights are turned on.
  6. Reattach the light cover: Once the new bulb is confirmed to be working, the mechanic will reattach the light cover to its original position.
  7. Test the courtesy light: The mechanic will perform a final test by opening and closing the vehicle's doors to verify that the courtesy light activates as expected.
That's it! Following these steps, your courtesy light bulb will be successfully replaced, providing you with proper illumination when entering or exiting your vehicle.

What happens if I don’t replace my courtesy light bulb?

Not replacing your courtesy light bulb can lead to reduced visibility, safety concerns, and inconvenience. 
With a non-functional courtesy light, it becomes difficult to see the area around your vehicle when entering or exiting, increasing the risk of accidents. The lack of proper illumination might also make it challenging to locate seat belts, personal belongings, or access interior controls, compromising your safety and convenience. 
Additionally, if the bulb is left on due to a faulty switch or wiring, it could drain your vehicle's battery, potentially leaving you stranded. Yikes!

What is a courtesy light bulb?

A courtesy light bulb is a small, typically low-wattage bulb used in vehicles to provide interior illumination. Also known as "interior" or "dome" lights, they are designed to light up the interior of the car when you open the doors or turn on the vehicle's interior lights. 
Courtesy light bulbs are essential for providing visibility and convenience, especially during nighttime or in dimly lit areas. Car interior lights help you see inside the car, find seat belts, personal belongings, and access controls easily. 
These bulbs are usually located on the door panels or the vehicle's ceiling, near the doors. 
Courtesy light bulbs come in various types and sizes, depending on the make and model of the car. Most modern vehicles typically use LED bulbs for interior lights and door lights, whereas incandescent halogen bulbs or Xenon may be used in fog light illumination—and LED light bulbs are typically more expensive than halogen.
Different shapes of bulbs are available, too. The festoon bulb is commonly used in courtesy lights. It’s elongated and typically cylindrical in shape, with a metal or glass housing containing a filament or LED. 
Unlike the larger and more general courtesy lights that illuminate the entire interior, map lights offer a more concentrated and adjustable light source to help the driver or passengers read or see specific objects (like maps) without affecting the overall cabin lighting. They’re usually located on the vehicle's ceiling, near the rearview mirror or overhead console, with individual light switches.
Plate lights for your license plate
, tail lights, and reverse lights to back up safely are not considered courtesy lights.
Replacing non-functional or dim interior light bulbs is a simple and cost-effective way to ensure you have adequate interior lighting for safe and comfortable travel. 

When should I replace the courtesy light bulb on my car?

You should consider replacing the courtesy light bulb on your car if you notice any of the following signs:
  • Dim or flickering light: If the courtesy light appears dim or flickers when you open the doors or turn on the interior lights, it may indicate that the bulb is nearing the end of its lifespan and needs replacement.
  • Non-functional light: If the courtesy light doesn't turn on at all when you open the doors or activate the interior lights, the filament may be broken.
  • Discolored or cloudy bulb: Over time, courtesy light bulbs may become discolored or cloudy, affecting their brightness and appearance. If you notice any discoloration or cloudiness, it's a good idea to replace the bulb for optimal illumination. You can also try the same cleaning process for the housing of headlight bulbs on the courtesy light bulb housing.
You can also replace the courtesy light bulb during routine vehicle maintenance or inspection to ensure all interior lights are in proper working condition. Not all vehicles can take LED interior lights, but it’s a good idea to install an LED light assembly if possible.

How often should a courtesy light bulb be replaced?

Courtesy light bulbs, like most interior car bulbs, have a long lifespan and can last for several years before needing replacement. 
However, if you notice that the dome light bulb is dim, flickering, or not working at all, it's time for a replacement. In some cases, bulbs may also become discolored or cloudy over time, affecting their brightness and appearance. 
As a preventive measure, it's a good idea to inspect your courtesy light bulbs regularly and replace them as needed to ensure proper illumination and convenience while entering or exiting your vehicle.

Can I replace my courtesy light bulb myself?

Yes, in most cases, you can replace your courtesy light bulb yourself. 
Replacing a courtesy light bulb is typically a straightforward task that doesn't require advanced mechanical skills. The process usually involves removing the light cover, taking out the old bulb, inserting the new bulb, and putting the light cover back in place.
It's essential to consult your
vehicle's owner's manual
for specific instructions on how to access and replace the courtesy light bulb properly.
If you’re in California, consult the California Vehicle Code (CVC) requirements. These regulations cover the color, brightness, and positioning of lights, including those used for interior illumination. 

FAQs

To change a courtesy light bulb, begin by locating the courtesy light housing. Then, use a small flathead or Phillips screwdriver to carefully remove the light cover. 
Gently twist or pull out the old bulb from its socket. Now, purchase a replacement light bulb that exactly matches the old bulb.
Next, insert the new courtesy light bulb securely into the socket. Test the new bulb to ensure it functions properly when you open the doors or activate the interior lights. 
Once verified, reattach the light cover to its original position. Finally, perform a final test by opening and closing the vehicle's doors to confirm that the courtesy light activates as expected. 
Yes, in most cases, the terms "dome light" and "courtesy light" are used interchangeably to refer to the same type of interior car light. 
Both dome lights and courtesy lights serve the same purpose of providing interior illumination inside the vehicle. They are typically located on the vehicle's ceiling or near the doors and are activated when you open the doors or turn on the interior lights. 
The names "dome light" and "courtesy light" are often used differently in various regions or by different manufacturers, but they generally refer to the same type of light used to illuminate the car's interior for convenience and visibility. 
Dome light bulb replacement cost is cheaper for DIY, or more costly if you hire a mechanic. Ask for an upfront quote before you commit to hiring someone.
The courtesy light in a car is typically located on the vehicle's ceiling or near the doors. 
In most cars, you will find courtesy lights above the front seats, near the rearview mirror, or integrated into the vehicle's overhead console. Additionally, there may be separate courtesy lights on the door panels to illuminate the floor area when the doors are open. 
These lights are positioned to provide interior illumination when you open the doors or activate the interior lights. The exact location and design of the courtesy light can vary depending on the car's make and model, but its primary purpose remains the same: to offer visibility and convenience when entering or exiting the vehicle.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.