A Jeep Grand Cherokee 1998 had a broken headlight. I replaced the bulb, and noticed that the glass had shattered. The new bulb broke soon, also shattered. Any idea what's going on?

  • Do you mean the actual headlight assembly is shattered as well?
    – theUg
    Jan 26, 2013 at 20:21
  • No, just the bulb. Jan 26, 2013 at 21:59
  • Then @hillson’s answer should be correct. Handle new light bulbs gently, protect them from grease (use clean rag, paper towel, etc.). And double check that your assembly is in good shape. It might not be cracked, but it might be dirty, or lose hermeticity (along the seam between clear and opaque plastic), thus allowing moisture and other contaminants to get into otherwise sealed off case, and cause the bulb to break.
    – theUg
    Jan 26, 2013 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


New bulbs sometimes don't last long if they have any oil or dirt on them to begin with before you install them. Sometimes you can't even see the dirt or the oil but it's enough to cause the glass to overheat once your headlights warm up. Also, it should go without saying ( and surely you already know this? ) that you can't touch the new bulb with installing it or the oil from your fingers will overheat it to.

You might also have moisture or dirt in your headlight assembly that's causing this. Make sure everything is good and clean in there and that your headlight assembly is seated securely and isn't moving around while you drive.

  • I have no experience of the problem, but have read on the box, not to touch or get oil on them. I think you can clean with white spirit and a clean disposable white kitchen cloth (without print as the ink comes off). Jan 26, 2013 at 14:19

What happened is there was a small amount of water in the casing of the headlight, due to a sealing breaking loose. I drained the water, sealed the crack, and the headlight has been working fine ever since.

  • 3
    So, what was wrong with @hillsons answer? This is exactly what he hypothesised.
    – theUg
    Feb 27, 2013 at 9:09

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