How to Change Headlight Bulbs for the 2003 Ford Escape

by Allen Moore

The Ford Escape reached its third model year in 2003. The compact SUV filled the need for Ford customers who wanted the versatility of an SUV with the size and fuel economy of a car. The Escape engineers also had economy in mind when designing the headlight system, using halogen lights instead of less efficient, sealed beam lights, which don't last as long as halogens. Ford recommends inspecting all of the Escape's exterior lights twice a month and replacing burned-out bulbs before operating the vehicle.

Step 1

Turn off the headlights and remove the Escape's key from the ignition. Open the hood.

Step 2

Reach behind the headlamp and squeeze the two tabs on the headlight wiring connector inward. Pull the connector straight back to remove it from the bulb.

Step 3

Pull the rubber insulator boot off the lamp assembly by pulling on one of the side tabs. Press the ends of the retainer ring together and then push the ring forward to clear the hooks. Swivel the ring out of the way.

Step 4

Pull the old headlight bulb straight back out of the headlamp assembly. Align the tabs in the bulb with the slots in the headlamp assembly and insert the new HB2 bulb into the headlamp assembly without touching the glass portion of the new bulb with your bare skin. Skin oils can boil on the glass when you turn on the head lights, causing micro-fractures in the glass, which leads to immediate bulb failure.

Step 5

Swivel the retaining spring back into place. Compress the spring's ends and push them in, then release them so they catch on their retaining hooks.

Step 6

Place the rubber insulator boot back onto the back of the headlight assembly. Push down on the perimeter of the boot to make sure it seals properly all the way around.

Step 7

Plug the electrical connector into the new bulb. Push in on the connector until it snaps into place. Close the hood.

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