One of the most common questions GM owners ask when one of their headlights gets damaged is “how much is this going to cost me?”
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The answer is it depends on several factors.
The Key Factors That Determine the Cost of Repairing Headlights
Replacing your headlight assembly can cost between a few hundred dollars and over a grand. Why is the range so broad, though? Because of these two key factors:
1. Replacement Headlight Assembly
In order to replace your headlight, you need a replacement assembly first. The cost of one depends on the design of your vehicle. The more complex the assembly, the more expensive it might be. For example, the headlights on newer Corvettes have a unique shape and design. Therefore the assembly is more complex than usual. An OEM replacement headlamp assembly for 2014-2017 Corvettes is nearly $900. That’s about $775 more expensive than this headlamp assembly for 2005-2007 GM trucks and SUVs, which has a much simpler design and fewer components.
Other GM headlamp assemblies fall within this range. For example, this OEM replacement headlamp assembly for 2015-2017 Suburban and Tahoe models is over $450. While this assembly for 2000-2005 Monte Carlos is under $175. The best way to find out how much an OEM replacement headlight assembly for your car costs is to look it up here.
Whether you replace the assembly yourself or have a shop do it for you, labor should be factored into the total cost. Unless your time is worth more than $100 per hour, it will be more expensive to pay a shop to replace your headlight assembly.
Now you understand the key factors that determine the cost of repairing your headlight. You may have noticed that there’s still a lot of wiggle room. So how much should you invest? It depends on what you want to save the most: time or money.
Do you have only a little auto repair experience? Are you more concerned about saving time rather than money? If you answered yes to both questions, you’d be better off having a shop do it for you. If you’re concerned about money, it’s likely cheaper to do it at home. If you have experience replacing a headlight assembly, you’ll get to save both time and money by doing it at home.
Calculating the Cost of Doing it at Home
You can definitely replace the headlight assembly yourself if you have:
- A little experience.
- The right basic tools.
- A good tutorial.
- About an hour to spare.
It's really pretty straightforward. However, keep in mind that your time is worth something. You’d be using up an hour of your life, and at what cost?
Once you figure out how much your time is worth hourly, you can add it to the amount of money you paid for a replacement OEM headlight assembly. You’ll have the total cost of replacing your headlight at home. Then you can compare it to the estimated cost of doing it at a shop or GM dealer to see if it’s worth it.
What a Shop Will Charge You for a Replacement
Labor typically costs about $100 per hour at a shop or GM dealer. And they will mark up the price of a replacement headlight assembly by about 30%. So calculating the cost of a shop doing the replacement is pretty easy. All you have to do is to raise the cost of the replacement headlight assembly by 30% and then tack on an extra $100.
Please contact us if you need assistance finding the right replacement headlight assembly for your GM vehicle.