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Replacing low beam headlight

Recently new to Car Talk and this forum. I thought I’ll learn a thing or two from all you auto experts. One of my low beam headlights stopped working two days ago. Simple enough, just changing a light bulb. I thought I checked the manual and proceeded to investigate how to uncapped the headlights cover from under the hood. By the way, it’s a 2005 Volvo XC70. Manual says it’s a H11-55W bulb. Here are my questions:

1. Do I need to change both low beam lights (driver side and passenger side) every time one of those failed?

2. Is it simply plug and play if I want to change my standard bulb to the safer, they claim, XtraVision kind?

3. Will the onboard computer currently displaying an error message of my low beam bulb failure be reset automatically once I replace the bulb?

Thanks in advance!



  1. No, you only need to replace the burned out bulb, but see the answer to 2.

  2. Yes, they connect the same and are interchangeable.

If you are upgrading to XtraVision (which I recommend), you should replace both left and right bulbs. I use XtraVision bulbs exclusively in both of my cars. I like them better than any other bulb I’ve every tried, and I’ve tried quite a few.

  1. The computer should reset once the new bulb(s) is (are) installed. The computer knows the bulb is burned out because the circuit is incomplete. The new bulb will complete circuit and the warning light should go off.

Thanks a lot. Your answers are very precise. Happy Holidays!

One of the major bulb manufactures is currently running a TV spot about their product, one of the cautions is “always replace bulbs in pairs” no I don’t go for it,sounds excessive,now if you do only change one and there is a difference in brightness I guess it is necessary (I would check voltages)

When you replace the bulb, don’t touch the glass with your fingers. The oil could make the bulb fail more quickly.

I use the xtra vision and like them. I also replace them in pairs. Don’t have to but seems like they lose brightness with age plus if one burns out usually the other isn’t too far behind so just saves some work.