What is a courtesy light bulb replacement?

Whether it is totally burned out or only giving off a faint glow, a courtesy light bulb that has reached the end of its lifespan can be replaced when you take your car to a mechanic for maintenance.
Like other light bulbs, courtesy light bulbs have a thin wire called a filament inside of them. When an electric current flows through the metal filament, it instantly gets hot and glows brightly.
After much use, the filament will eventually burn out. The fragile filament can also get damaged over time, causing the light from your bulb to be much dimmer than normal.

How to replace a courtesy light bulb

To replace a burned out courtesy light bulb, a mechanic will:
  • Remove the plastic housing cover with a small screwdriver
  • Remove the old bulb by pulling or twisting it out of its socket
  • Install a new light bulb in the socket and replace the cover
  • Test the new bulb to make sure it turns on and off like it’s supposed to
When replacing a courtesy light bulb, it is important that the wattage of the replacement bulb matches the requirements for your car. If the bulb is a higher wattage, it can get too hot and damage or melt the courtesy light housing.

How important is replacing a courtesy light bulb?

Since your car’s courtesy lights are a convenience feature and not a necessity, it’s not an emergency if one (or more) stops working. You can typically wait until the next time your car needs maintenance to get the light bulbs replaced. Even so, if all your courtesy lights are burned out, it’s a good idea to get them replaced sooner rather than later. Your car’s interior lights can help you to verify whether all your car doors are closed before you begin driving. Without working courtesy lights, it is much easier to accidentally leave a door open, which can keep your car’s electronic systems running and drain your battery.

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