How Do I Replace Headlights on Volkswagen Cars

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

Learning basic car-repair procedures such as oil changes, tire rotations and headlight replacements empowers you, the owner, to handle minor repair needs as they arise--and can save you money to boot. Replacing headlights on the Volkswagen car requires thoughtful navigation of the inner workings of your car's engine and headlight compartments, as well as careful handling of the replacement bulb. Successfully completing this process not only brings your car up to legal street standards, it also saves you the time, trouble and expense of taking your car to a mechanic or dealership.

Under The Hood:

 How Do I Replace Headlights on a 2003 Passat?

Purchase H7 halogen bulbs for each headlight you wish to replace. The 2003 Passat's headlight lamp fixtures require H7 halogen bulbs.

Open the hood and locate the metal clip that holds the headlight compartment in place. Flip the metal clip in toward the engine block to unlock it and the compartment.

Pull the black, plastic covering that separates the headlight compartment from the engine compartment from its plastic attachments and set it aside.

Flip the metal clip holding the old bulb in place up toward the hood and detach the old bulb.

Install the new bulb such that the metal point on the back of the bulb is facing up towards the hood.

Replace the metal clip that holds the bulb in place.

Reattach the black, plastic covering separating the headlight compartment from the engine compartment.

Clip the headlight compartment in place using the metal clip you originally flipped in toward the engine block.

Items you will need

  • H7 Halogen bulb

  • Oil-resistant gloves

 How to Change the Headlight on a 2001 Jetta

Remove the keys and turn off the ignition of the vehicle. If the hood is still hot, wait for it to cool off. You may injure yourself if you do not wait.

There is a switch directly to the left of the steering column inside the Jetta. This switch has an image of a hood opening. Click this switch to the left and move to the front of the vehicle. Under the hood there is another latch that needs to be pulled to the left for the hood lock to disengage. Pull this latch and lift up the hood. Prop the hood up safely and securely.

Find the area directly above the headlight you wish to change. There will be a narrow latch directly above the headlight that needs to be pulled up to access the headlights. Pull this latch and remove the outer lens of the headlight.

Inside the headlight assembly you have access to the headlight bulb. Unscrew this bulb and remove. Replace the burned out bulb with a working 2001 Jetta headlight. Place the bulb directly in the headlight assembly and screw it in counterclockwise. Once the bulb is securely in the headlight assembly, replace the outer lens.

Check to make sure the headlight is working by switching it on and off repeatedly.

Items you will need

  • 2001 Jetta headlight bulb

 How to Change a Headlight in a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle

Turn off your Beetle and prop open the hood.

Locate the lever and tab on the side of the headlight assembly. The tab has cross marks on it for identification.

Depress the tab inward with force. Pull up on the lever until it cannot be raised any higher. Press the tab down with a screwdriver if you can't apply enough force with your hand.

Pull the headlight backward--away from the front of the car--while the lever is in the upmost position. The headlight should slide backward on its grooves. If it doesn't, spray lubricant around the bottom of the headlight assembly and try again.

Depress the metal clip holding the rear weather cover in place on the assembly and pull the cover off.

Remove the wiring plug from the socket by pressing in the clips on the side of the plug.

Pull the locking clip holding the bulb into the socket out of the socket and install the new bulb. Align the tab on the rear block of the new bulb with the indentation of the socket to set the bulb.

Reattach the wiring plug to the socket and return the weather cover to its original position. Lubricate the sliding grooves and remount the headlight assembly onto them. Push the lever downward until you hear it click.

Items you will need

  • Silicone-based lubricant

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace a Headlight on a 2007 Volkswagen

Park your 2007 model Volkswagen on a flat, level surface and turn off the ignition. Pull up on the hood-release latch beneath the dash. Go to the front of the hood and grab the release lever and open the hood.

Locate the small knob just below the bolts that mount the fender behind the headlight assembly. Push the knob to free the headlight assembly from the car and then push the whole assembly out to access the interior.

Unplug the electrical connector cable that runs from the Volkswagen's electrical system to the headlight assembly. Locate the small release tab on the housing cover and depress it to remove the cover and access the bulb.

Turn the burned out bulb to the left to release it. Discard the old bulb and insert a new one, turning it to the right to lock it in place.

Snap the plastic cover back in place, connect the electrical system and push the headlight assembly back into place. Lock it in place by pushing in the knob.

 How to Replace a Headlight on a 2005 Jetta

Pull your Jetta into the garage or park on any level area. Turn the car off and engage the parking brake before working on the headlight.

Determine which headlight bulb is burned out. Then, pop the hood and locate the back of the headlight well. Look for an electrical cable connected to the back of the headlight and unplug it by squeezing the plastic tabs on the base. Pull the plug free. Push the cable out of the way to give yourself room to work.

Twist the headlight bulb to the left and pull it free from the headlight socket. Dispose of the old bulb.

Insert the replacement bulb and secure it in place by twisting the bulb to the right. Once the headlight bulb is secure, reconnect the electrical cable and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb D25

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