How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

With a new style and much improved powertrain, Pontiac car has a winner in the classy Pontiac car. This sporty station wagon gets rid of all the old ideas about how a wagon should look and has reinvented the family wagon, while becoming a viable solution in energy and fuel efficiency. The Pontiac car is remarkably easy to maintain as well. Everything from changing the oil to replacing a headlight bulb can be done with little effort. With a quick snap in, snap out light bulb socket, you will have your headlight bulb replaced and ready to go in no time.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Kia Spectra

Shut the Spectra's engine off and engage the emergency brake for added safety. Also, make sure the headlights are switched off.

Open the hood using the primary and auxiliary hood release latches.

Remove the front retaining screw from the headlight assembly and pull the assembly out of its clips and away from the car.

Disconnect the headlight bulb electrical connector and unsnap the retaining wire.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and replace it with the new bulb. Dispose of the old bulb immediately to prevent it from becoming a hazard.

Replace the retaining wire and reconnect the headlight bulb electrical connector.

Push the headlight assembly back into position and test the new bulb to make sure it works before replacing the assembly retaining screws and closing the hood.

Items you will need

  • H7 replacement bulb (2000-2004 models)

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Subaru Outback

Replacing the Low-Beam Bulbs

Undo the clips on the air intake ducts using a screwdriver and remove the duct from the engine compartment (driver's side bulb removal only.)

Loosen the secured clip on the washer tank with a screwdriver and slide the tank horizontally to allow easier access to the headlight assembly (passenger's side bulb removal only.)

Turn the bulb cover counterclockwise and remove it from the assembly.

Disconnect the headlight electrical connector and undo the assembly retaining spring.

Pull the old bulb directly out of the socket and replace it with the new one. Press the retaining spring back into place and reattach the electrical connector.

Replace the bulb cover, and then turn on the engine. Test the new headlight to make sure it works before replacing the air intake duct or the washer tank and closing the hood.

Replacing the High-Beam Bulbs

Undo the clips on the air intake ducts using a screwdriver and remove the duct from the engine compartment (driver's side bulb removal only.)

Loosen the secured clip on the washer tank with a screwdriver and slide the tank horizontally to allow easier access to the headlight assembly (passenger's side bulb removal only.)

Disconnect the headlight electrical connector and undo the assembly retaining spring.

Turn the headlight bulb counterclockwise and pull it out of the socket.

Reinstall the new bulb, replace the retaining spring and reconnect the electrical connector.

Test the new headlight to make sure it works before replacing the air intake duct or the washer tank and closing the hood.

Items you will need

  • H7 replacement bulb (2005 and later models)

  • H1 replacement bulb (2000-2004 models)

  • 9005 replacement bulb

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Hyundai Santa Fe

Turn off your Santa Fe's engine and turn the headlamp switch to "OFF." Open the hood using the primary and auxiliary hood release latches.

Detach the headlamp assembly mounting bolts using a socket wrench. Place the bolts in your pocket or a small bag for safekeeping.

Disconnect the electrical wiring from the back of the headlamp assembly.

Remove the plastic bulb cover by turning it counterclockwise.

Find and disconnect the connector from the bulb base in the back of the headlight. Then, press the bulb spring to extract the old bulb.

Match the new bulb's plastic base with the headlight hole, and then reattach the bulb spring and connector.

Reconnect the electrical wiring and test the new headlight to make sure it lights up and is properly aimed. If it looks good, replace the mounting bolts and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • H7LL replacement bulb (2007 and later models)

  • 9003 or #HB2 replacement bulb (2001-2006 models)

 How to Change the Headlight Bulb in a Cadillac SRX

Open the hood of your SRX and disconnect the power connector from the back of your headlight. Squeeze the tabs on the connector and pull the connector off the back of the headlight.

Pull the rubber dust cover off the back of the headlight housing.

Rotate the collar on the headlight counterclockwise and pull it out of the headlight assembly.

Insert the new headlight and turn the collar clockwise to lock it into the housing assembly.

Replace the dust cover.

Reconnect the power connector to the headlight.

Items you will need

  • Replacement headlights

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb on a Pontiac Vibe

Open the hood of your Pontiac Vibe and locate the light bulb socket on the back of the headlight for the bulb that needs to be replaced. The socket is tucked in behind the coolant reservoir or battery, depending which side of the engine the bulb is on.

Remove the coolant reservoir if the light bulb is located on the front passenger side of the car. To remove the coolant reservoir, remove the screw that is holding it to the car frame with a small socket wrench.

Remove the car battery if the light bulb is located on the driver's side of the car. Use a crescent wrench and a socket wrench to remove the battery cables and then lift the battery out of the carrier.

Unplug the light bulb socket from the back of the headlight. Remove the light bulb from the socket by gently pushing it into the socket and giving a slight twist. The light bulb is held in by two pins that will slide out with this push and turn move.

Pick up the new bulb with a clean cloth and install the bulb into the light bulb socket by pushing in and turning the bulb until the pins slide into the slots in the socket.

Reinstall the headlight socket into the back of the headlight and then reinstall the coolant reservoir or battery as necessary.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Screwdriver

  • socket wrench set

  • crescent wrench

  • Cloth

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Cadillac Escalade

1999-2000 Models

Switch the headlamps off and open the hood using the primary and auxiliary release latches.

Remove the turn signal assembly to access the headlamp assembly. Then, remove the two turn signal bulb sockets and the sidemarker bulb socket from the turn signal assembly.

Extract the two bolts at the top of the radiator support, and then pull the headlamp assembly away from the bumper.

Turn the old bulb counterclockwise and pull it out of the socket. Then, disconnect the electrical connector.

Install the new bulb in the socket and reattach the electrical connector.

Reinsert the headlamp assembly into the vehicle and tighten the two radiator support bolts back into place. Then, reinstall the turn signal and sidemarker bulbs and replace their assembly.

Start the engine and test the headlamps to make sure they work before closing the hood.

2002-2006 Models

Switch the headlamps off and open the hood using the primary and auxiliary release latches.

Pry loose the eight radiator fastener plugs and pull them out of their holes. Place the plugs in a small bag for safekeeping during the repair.

Lift the radiator cover away from the vehicle. Then, pull either the top left or top right corner of the grille away from the vehicle to create enough room to remove the headlamp assembly.

Locate the horizontal headlamp assembly pin. Pull the end of the pin up and then toward the center of the vehicle to remove it.

Find the vertical headlamp assembly pin. Turn its end away from you until it clicks and then pull it upward.

Remove the headlamp assembly, detach its electrical connector and remove the rubber bulb cap from the broken bulb's socket. Then, twist the bulb counterclockwise to remove it from the socket.

Detach the electrical connector from the old bulb and attach it to the new one. Then, screw the bulb back into its socket.

Repeat Steps 4 through 6 in reverse and then test the new bulb to make sure it works. If it lights up, reposition the grille and replace the radiator cover along with its plugs before closing the hood.

Items you will need

  • 9006 HB6 and 9005 HB3 replacement bulbs (low and high beam bulbs)

  • Socket wrench

  • HID-D1R and 9005 replacement bulbs (low and high beam bulbs)

  • Flathead screwdriver

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in an Acura Rsx

Open the hood of the car. If you are replacing the headlight bulb on the driver's side, unhook the neck of the windshield washer reservoir by sliding it to the left.

Remove the bolt on the battery tie-down (using a crescent wrench) and move the battery toward the windshield to give yourself a little room to work, if you are replacing the bulb on the passenger side. The battery tie-down is the metal strap that goes across the battery and holds the battery firmly in place--by removing the bolt on one end of the tie-down you can move the battery away from the area of the headlight.

Find the electrical wire that is connected to the headlight. This wire will have a clip on the end that is slipped over a tab on the back of the bulb. Remove this electrical connector to the bulb by grasping it and pulling it straight back. It will pull straight off.

Locate the black rubber weather stripping that goes all the way around the headlight assembly. There will be a small tab on the weather stripping, usually at or very near the top. Remove the weather stripping by grasping the tab and gently pulling it until it comes off. Keep the weather stripping in a safe place.

Find the springy hold-down wire that is stretched across the back of the headlight assembly. Un-clip the end of the springy hold-down wire from its slot and then pivot the wire out of the way. Pull the back of the assembly toward the windshield until the bulb is visible. The bulb should now slip easily out .

Replace the old bulb with a new halogen bulb, BEING CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE BULB WITH YOUR FINGERS. Make sure the tabs on the bulb are properly fitted into the slots provided.

Replace the springy hold-down wire, slipping its free end back into its slot. Replace the rubber seal, making certain the word "Top" is at the top. You may need a "Popsicle stick" or other small object with a soft, rounded end to press the weather stripping back into place all the way around the headlight assembly.

Push the electrical connector onto the tab of the bulb and test to make sure everything is working. Re-hook the neck of the windshield washer or push the battery back into place and reattach the bolt to the battery tie-down.

Items you will need

  • Small crescent wrench

 How to Change the Headlight Bulbs for a 2003 Galant

Be sure the headlight switch is in the "Off" position and the keys are not in the ignition. For added safety, apply the parking brake.

Open the hood and locate the bulb that requires replacement. Find the wire connector attached to the socket of the bulb, and squeeze hard on both sides and wiggle it backward away from the headlight socket.

Grip the rubber tabs on the black protective boot covering the rear of the headlight assembly. The tabs are at the top and bottom of the boot. Firmly pull the boot off the headlight assembly and set it aside.

Look inside the back of the headlight assembly to locate the retaining spring. There is a screw on one side of the hinged spring holding it in place. On the opposite side, the spring clips into a small metal tab. Press the spring inward slightly on the side with the retaining tab, and push slightly downward to release the spring. Pivot the spring backward to remove the bulb.

Note the three prongs on the new headlight bulb. Without touching the glass part of the bulb, reinsert it into the headlight assembly according to the notch sizes. It will only fit in correctly in one position.

Swing the retaining spring back into place to secure the bulb in the headlight assembly. Press slightly inward and then upward to secure the end of the spring into the retaining tab.

Replace the rubber boot, making sure it is pushed in securely with the tabs at the top and bottom of the boot.

Plug the wire connector back onto the bulb, then test the bulb to make sure it's working. Remove the old bulb and any other debris from the engine compartment before closing the hood.

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Mercury Cougar

Models Made After 1997

Remove the center cover and the screws attached to the radiator grille. Pull the radiator grille out of the engine compartment and set it on the ground.

Use a T30 Torx screwdriver to remove the two primary retaining screws from the headlight assembly. Make a note of each screw's original location--they're not interchangeable, so you'll need to put them back in the right slot to reassemble the light.

Draw the headlamp assembly away from the car and then disconnect the electrical wiring connector.

Release the wire clip on the back of the headlight assembly and remove the cover.

Disconnect headlight electrical connector and turn the bulb socket counterclockwise to remove it from the assembly. Install the new bulb, replace the cover and reattach the electrical connector.

Reconnect the headlight assembly wiring connector. Test the new bulb to make sure it works before replacing the retaining screws and radiator grille.

Models Made Between 1989 and 1997

Remove the electrical connector from back of the bulb with a quick rearward tug.

Turn the retaining ring counterclockwise and slide it off its plastic base. Keep the ring in your pocket or in a small bag for safekeeping.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and replace it with the new one. Push the bulb in until its plastic base touches the back of the socket.

Twist the retaining ring onto the socket base and reattach the electrical connector.

Test the new bulb to make sure it works before closing the hood.

Items you will need

  • 9006 and #9005 replacement bulbs (low- and high-beam bulbs)

  • T30 Torx screwdriver

  • 9007 replacement bulb

 How to Replace the Headlight Bulbs on an Isuzu Trooper

Turn off the Isuzu engine and open the hood.

Disconnect the battery ground cable from the battery with a socket wrench.

Pull out the electric connector from the rear of the headlamp assembly.

Remove the rubber cap by turning it counterclockwise and pulling it off of the assembly.

Pull the bulb out of the assembly. With a clean rag wrapped around the bulb, install it into the assembly.

Reattach the rubber cap by rotating it clockwise. Reconnect the electric connector.

Reconnect the battery and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Clean rag

  • Replacement bulbs

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a BMW

Open the hood and unplug the HID power connector from the back of the HID ballast on back of the headlight housing assembly.

Pry the rubber dust cover off the back of the headlight housing assembly with your fingers.

Turn the headlight collar counterclockwise 1/4 turn and pull it straight out of the headlight housing.

Slide the new HID headlight into the housing. Align the tabs on the collar with the notches in the headlight housing.

Turn the headlight clockwise to lock it into the housing.

Slide the dust cover back over the back of the headlight housing.

Reconnect the power connector to the back of the headlight.

Items you will need

  • Replacement HID headlights

 How to Replace the Headlight Bulbs on a GS 300

Turn the GS300's engine off. Put on a pair of clean gloves and place the jack under the vehicle. Open the hood.

Raise the GS300 to a comfortable position and remove the lug nuts with the wheel wrench. Once the nuts are removed, remove the wheel cover with the wheel wrench and remove the tire from the vehicle.

Remove the two screws holding the wheel well cover in place and take the cover off. Use a socket wrench to remove the two headlamp assembly retaining bolts. Pull the wiring connector off the rear of the assembly and push the assembly forward.

Go to the front of the GS300 and pull the assembly out of the engine compartment. Rotate the GS300's bulb sockets counterclockwise and pull them off the assembly. Pull the bulb out of the socket and install the new bulbs. Place the sockets back into the assembly and rotate them clockwise to secure them.

Place the assembly back into the engine compartment and reconnect the wiring connector at the rear of the assembly. Crawl under the vehicle and reattach the two retaining bolts. Place the cover back onto the wheel well and reinstall the two screws. Reattach the tire and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Clean gloves

  • Jack

  • Wheel wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement bulbs

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb on a 2003 Mazda Tribute

Raise the hood of the Tribute. Disconnect the wiring harness from the rear of the bulb.

Pull the rubber cover off the rear of the bulb assembly. Squeeze the retaining clip together and remove it from the back of the bulb.

Pull the bulb out of the Tribute’s headlight assembly. Insert the new bulb into the assembly and replace the retaining clip.

Push the rubber cover onto the back of the bulb. Push the wiring harness connection together until it clicks.

Repeat the process on the opposite side if necessary. Close the hood and test the Tribute’s new lights.

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a VW Passat

Shut off your Passat's engine and turn the headlamp switch to "OFF." Open the hood using the primary and auxiliary hood release latches.

Remove the air intake duct retaining screws and place them in your pocket. Carefully pull the duct out of the engine compartment and gently rest it on the ground (passenger side bulb removal only.)

Pull the rubber weather seal off of the low beam bulb socket. To access the high beam bulb socket, press down on the tab at the top of its plastic weather cover.

Turn the bulb socket counterclockwise and pull it out of the headlight assembly.

Take the old bulb out of the socket and dispose of it immediately.

Grip the new bulb by its plastic base and carefully insert it into the socket.

Replace the weather seal, reinstall the air intake duct (if necessary) and turn on the headlights to make sure the new bulb works.

Items you will need

  • H7 replacement bulb

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Shut the Grand Cherokee's engine off and engage the emergency brake for added safety. Also, make sure its headlights are switched off.

Open the hood using the release latches beneath the instrument panel and above the grille.

Disengage the headlamp cover and carefully pull it away from the vehicle. Be careful not to scratch the lens or your Grand Cherokee's paint.

Turn the bulb one-quarter turn counterclockwise to remove it from its housing.

Disconnect the electrical connector from the back of the bulb.

Insert the new bulb and dispose of the old one. Reconnect the electrical connector and twist the bulb back into its housing.

Test the new headlight to make sure it works before replacing the headlamp cover and closing the hood.

Items you will need

  • 9006LL and #9005 replacement bulbs (low- and high-beam bulbs for 2005 and later models)

  • 9006XS and #9005XS replacement bulbs (low- and high-beam bulbs for 1999-2004 models)

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.