How to Replace a Headlight in Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer

If the headlights in your Honda car are dim or one has stopped working, you can purchase replacement bulbs at most auto parts stores. Accessing the headlight bulb from the engine compartment side of the headlight assembly will allow you to remove the bulb without having to remove the entire assembly. It is important to change the headlights in pairs for the best possible results. If you want more visibility from your headlights, consider upgrading to a brighter light when replacing the bulbs.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Headlight in a 2005 Honda Accord EX

Replacing the Low Beams

Turn your steering wheel all the way in the opposite direction of the headlight you are replacing: For example, if you're replacing the passenger's side bulb, turn the steering wheel to the left. This creates enough room in front of the tire to access the low-beam headlight bulbs. Turn the headlights and engine off once the wheel has been turned.

Locate the two holding clips on the inner fender cover. These clips are in front of the tire. Remove them by inserting a flat head screwdriver underneath and prying gently. Once they are partially removed, pull them out with your hand.

Pull the inner fender cover back to access the area behind it. It may be necessary to hold the cover open with one hand, and remove the headlight bulb with the other. If you have an assistant, ask them to hold the cover open for you.

Gently turn the bulb counter-clockwise to release it. Pull it towards you, and then press the tab on the bulb socket to release the wiring harness. Attach the wiring harness to the new headlight bulb. Insert it into place; gently turn it clockwise to lock it. Push the inner fender cover back in place. Firmly push the holding clips back in place to secure the cover.

Replacing the High Beams

Remove the two fasteners from the air intake cover with a flat-head screwdriver, if you are replacing the passenger's side bulb. If you are replacing the driver's side bulb, this is not necessary. Lift the plastic cover up and set it to the side. This provides you with access to the high-beam bulbs.

Slide the connector away from the bulb by squeezing its tabs. Turn the bulb one-quarter turn counter-clockwise; pull it straight out.

Insert the new bulb in its place. Turn it clockwise to lock it. Attach the connector to the new bulb socket. Re-position the air intake cover. Push in the two fasteners to secure it and finish the procedure.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Type 9006 bulb (low-beam)

  • Type 9005 bulb (high-beam)

 How to Change a Headlight in a Honda Pilot

Open the hood and locate the headlight assembly from the rear. The headlight bulb is located on the inner most end of the assembly.

Locate the electrical connector on the base of the bulb. Release the locking tab and pull the connector straight down and off the bulb. Lay the connector aside for now.

Grasp the bulb by the plastic base and turn it counterclockwise ¼-turn and then pull it straight out of the back of the assembly. Discard the old bulb. Install a new H11 bulb into the headlight assembly, being careful not to touch the glass on the bulb with your hands. The oils in your hands will cause the bulb to overheat, cracking the glass and cause the vacuum to fail. The bulb will then fail.

Turn the new bulb ¼-turn clockwise to lock the bulb into place. Position the electrical connector on the base of the bulb, pushing it up until the locking tab engages the base of the bulb.

Move to the opposite side of your Pilot and repeat the process to change the second bulb if you choose. Turn on the headlight switch to test the repair. Check both high and low beams on the headlights to ensure they are working correctly.

 How to Change a Headlight on a Honda Odyssey

1995 to 2004 Honda Odyssey

Open the hood. If you're replacing the driver's side headlight, proceed to Step 2. If you're replacing the passenger side headlight, proceed to Step 4.

Remove the two upper plastic retaining pins from the air intake duct. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers if necessary.

Pull upward on the air duct to release the lower retaining pin. Remove the remaining air duct housing by twisting it off of the air box housing.

Disconnect the wire harness plug from the socket blades of the headlight.

Pull the black rubber weather seal off of the back of the headlight assembly.

Reach down into the location of the headlight and then disconnect the wire retaining clip by pressing it inward and away from the locking tab. Swing the clip out on its screw hinge to remove the headlight.

Install the new headlight and reverse the procedure to reinstall. Be sure not to touch the glass bulb of the headlight with your bare skin. Oils in skin can create a weak spot on the bulbs and cause them to fail prematurely.

2005 to Present Honda Odyssey

Open the hood and turn the headlights on to determine the position of the faulty light bulb. Low beam bulbs are on the outside near the fenders, and the high beams are inside near the grill. Turn the headlights off once you've located the spent bulb.

Remove the air intake duct work as explained in Section 1 for the driver's side headlights.

Disconnect the wire harness plug from the socket of the composite headlight.

Turn the retaining ring collar counterclockwise 1/3 of the turn and then remove the collar and headlight from the headlight assembly.

Install the new headlight by reversing the procedure. Again, be careful not to touch the glass bulb of the headlight with your bare hands. Be sure to align the retaining ring collar tabs to the grooves in the headlight assembly before turning a 1/3-turn clockwise to tighten it.

Items you will need

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Replacement headlight(s)

 How to Replace Headlights in a 2005 Honda Civic

Locate and remove the power steering reservoir from behind the driver's side headlight assembly. Pull straight upward, sliding it off its mount and set aside for access to the headlight bulb. Make sure you keep it upright so it does not spill.

Locate and remove the electrical connector from the back of the bulb. Depress the locking tab to release it and pull the connector down, removing it from the bulb.

Turn the bulb counterclockwise ¼-turn then pull the bulb straight out of the headlight assembly. Insert a new bulb into the headlight assembly and turn it ¼-turn clockwise to lock it in place.

Install the electrical connector by plugging it into the bottom of the bulb. Push the connector in until the locking tab engages the bulb, securing it to the bulb.

Slide the power steering pump reservoir onto its mount. Move the passenger's side of the car to replace the second bulb.

Loosen the battery hold down with a socket and ratchet. Slide the battery toward the windshield of the car to allow access to the passenger's side headlight.

Remove the electrical connector from the headlight bulb after releasing the locking tab. Turn the bulb ¼-turn counterclockwise and remove the bulb from the headlight assembly.

Insert a new bulb, turn it clockwise to lock the bulb into the assembly and connect the electrical connector to the bulb. Make sure the connector locks onto the bulb.

Slide the battery back into position and tighten the mounting bolt on the battery hold down with a socket and ratchet. Test the headlights by turning on the switch. Try them in both high beam and low beam to verify they are working correctly.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

 How to Replace a Headlight on a Honda Fit

Open the hood and remove the power connector from the back of the headlight ballast.

Pull back on the retaining spring clip on the back of the headlight.

Turn the headlight counterclockwise and pull it out of the housing assembly.

Install the new headlight into the housing assembly. Installation is the reverse of removal.

 How to Replace a Headlight in a 2001 Honda Civic

Open the hood and examine the back of the headlight assembly on both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle. When looking at the passenger side you will notice easy access to the electrical connector that powers the headlight bulb. The driver side headlight bulb is blocked by the power steering reservoir.

Pull the power steering reservoir straight up out of the mounting bracket to create an access point to the back of the headlight assembly.

Squeeze the left and right side of the electrical connector and pull straight out to remove it from the headlight bulb.

Remove the weather protector ring that sits around the headlight bulb by pulling out by the tab on top of the ring.

Move the wire holder that locks the headlight bulb into the headlight assembly down and to the side.

Pull the old headlight bulb out of the headlight assembly.

Insert the replacement headlight bulb into the headlight assembly and lock it in place with the wire holder.

Install the weather protector ring and plug the electrical connector into the back of the headlight bulb. The locking tabs on the right and left side of the electrical connector will click when the connector is fully plugged into the bulb.

Repeat Steps 3 through 9 for the other headlight bulb.

Push the power steering fluid reservoir back into the mounting bracket on the driver's side of the Civic.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb Model No. HB2

 How to Change the Headlight in a Honda Civic

Dual Composite Headlight and Combination Composite Headlight

Make sure the headlight switch is in the "Off" position and remains so during the replacement procedure.

Open the hood and prop it up.

Remove the air dam on the passenger side headlight bulb access by pulling it straight up and disconnecting it from the air filter box. For the driver's side, pull the power steering reservoir straight up off the bracket then use the bungee cord to support it in a standing position so it will not leak power steering fluid.

Put on work gloves then reach down behind the headlight assembly to the headlight retaining ring. Turn the ring counterclockwise until the tabs of the ring align with the grooves in the headlight assembly then extract the bulb and collar from the assembly.

Disconnect the wire harness from the composite bulb then install the new replacement bulb by reversing the procedure for removal. Be careful not to touch the glass of any halogen bulb with your bare skin as it will create a weak spot on the bulb. Also be sure to align the ring tabs properly to the grooves in the headlight assembly.

The H4 Combination Headlight

Remove the air dam or the power steering reservoir as noted in Section 1.

Disconnect the wire harness going to the bulb by squeezing the locking tabs on the sides of the plug inward then pull the plug from the blades of the H4 bulb.

Pull off the black rubber protective gasket from the headlight assembly.

Disconnect the wire retaining clip from its locking tab by pushing it inward then lifting slightly upward with the clip.

Remove the headlight from the headlight assembly then reverse the procedure to reinstall the new headlight. Be sure not to touch the glass bulb of the H4 headlight with your bare skin to avoid creating a weak spot on the bulb.

Items you will need

  • Bungee cord

  • Work gloves

  • Replacement headlight

 How to Change the Headlights on a GL1800

Low Beam Bulb Replacement

Park the motorcycle on its center stand and turn the handlebars away from the faulty headlight bulb. Locate the low beam headlight bulb directly below the handlebars.

Pull the electrical connector off of the headlight bulb and pull the rubber dust boot away from the headlight. Unlatch the bulb retaining clip and pull the damaged bulb out of the headlight.

Install a new H7 bulb into the headlight and latch the retaining clip over the bulb. Place the rubber dust boot over the bulb. Align the arrow marks on the headlight and rubber dust boot before pressing the it into place. Reconnect the motorcycle's electrical connector to the bulb.

Turn the motorcycle's ignition switch on to test the low beam for proper operation. Check the bulb's connection if the low beam is not working. Repeat on opposite side low beam if necessary.

High Beam Bulb Replacement

Remove the fairing compartment from the affected side of the motorcycle. Open the compartment lid and locate the four plastic pop rivets that secure the compartment to the fairing. Remove the rivets by depressing the center of the rivet and pulling it out of the compartment. Pull the compartment free from the fairing.

Locate the high beam bulb behind the fairing compartment's mounting position on the fairing. Pull the wiring connector off of the bulb and remove the rubber dust boot. Unlatch the bulb's retaining clip and pull the damaged bulb out of the headlight.

Insert a new H7 bulb into the headlight's high beam position and latch the retaining clip over it. Place the rubber dust boot over the bulb and align the arrow marks on the headlight and boot. Press the boot into position. Plug the wiring connector onto the bulb.

Re-insert the fairing compartment into the fairing. Prepare the pop rivets by pressing the rivet's tip upwards until the center portion protrudes from the top of the rivet. Insert the rivet into the appropriate mounting positions on the corners of the compartment. Lock the rivet into place by pressing the center of the rivet downwards until it is flush with the top of the rivet. Close the compartment lid.

Turn the motorcycle's ignition switch on and test the high beam for proper operation. Check the bulb's connection if the high beam is not working. Repeat on opposite side high beam if necessary.

Items you will need

  • 55w H7 headlight bulbs

 How to Change the Headlights in a 1995 Honda Accord

Open the hood of your Accord and prop it on the support rod to access the headlight bulbs.

Reach into the front corner of the engine compartment and find the electrical connection. Pull the connection from the rear of the bulb. The connector is tight, so you may need to wiggle it some while pulling it out.

Turn the retaining ring counterclockwise to free the bulb, and pull the failed bulb out of the headlight assembly. It can be disposed of.

Insert the new bulb into the headlight assembly. Line up each of the tabs on the bulb with the guide slots in the light fixture. Twist the retaining ring clockwise to lock it in place.

Press the electrical connector into the new bulb until it is secure. Repeat this process on the opposite headlight bulb if needed.

Turn on the headlights to be sure that both high beams and low beams are functional. Close the hood of your Accord.

 How to Replace a Headlight on a 2003 Honda Accord

Turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the bulb that you want to change. For example, if you want to change the right headlight, turn your wheels to the left.

Pull the electrical connection off the old bulb by looking into the wheel well from the outside of the car. The electrical connection resembles a plug.

Remove the bulb by rotating it counterclockwise ¼ turn.

Remove the new bulb from the package but do not touch the glass. Put on gloves to avoid skin oils contacting the bulb.

Place the new bulb in the location where you removed the old one and rotate it clockwise ¼ turn to lock it in place.

Plug the electrical connection back into the bulb and make sure it locks into place.

Repeat the process for any other bulb that needs to be changed then turn on the headlights to test them.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulbs

  • Gloves

 How to Replace a Headlight on a 1989 Honda Accord

Place the keys in the ignition and turn to "ACC" power (two clicks forward).

Raise the retractable headlights by switching the retractor switch (also commonly referred to by Honda Accord owners as a "keep-up switch") to the "On" position (not the headlight on switch).

Remove the four headlight trim retaining screws with the screwdriver. Two are on the top front of the trim and the other two are on the top of each side of the trim. Pivot the trim forward once the screws are removed to release the bottom retaining tab of the trim.

Remove the three headlight bezel retaining screws with the screwdriver. There are two at each bottom corner and one at the top just off-center. Remove the bezel.

Pull the headlight out by hand until access to the three-pronged wire harness plug can be obtained (connected directly to the back of the headlight). Disconnect the wire harness plug from the headlight.

Plug the wire harness plug into the replacement H6054 headlight making sure the DOT numbers and letters stamped on the headlight lens are right side up.

Insert the headlight into the headlight door and place the headlight bezel over the headlight (making sure the two screw tabs are on the bottom and the one screw tab is on the top). Replace the bezel retaining screws and tighten.

Test the headlight by turning on the headlight switch. Do not turn the retractor switch off. Be sure to test both high beam and low beam and then turn off the headlight switch.

Replace the headlight trim and retaining screws.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Replacement H6054 headlight

 How to Change a Headlight on a 2005 Honda CRV

Locate the connector at the back of the headlight assembly. Disconnect it by hand and set the connector aside.

Remove the rubber weather seal from the assembly by pulling the tab on the seal. Unclip the retaining wire holding the bulb in the socket and move it out of the way.

Pull the old headlight bulb out of the socket. Dispose of the old bulb in a safe manner.

Insert the new headlight bulb into the socket. Reattach the retaining wire across the socket to hold the bulb in place.

Attach the rubber weather seal to the headlight assembly. Plug the connector into the back of the headlight assembly.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb, part #9003

 How do I Replace the Headlight on a Honda Accord 2004?

Park the Honda Accord on a flat surface and engage the parking break. Open the hood and go to the spot just behind the burned-out headlight bulb.

Locate the electrical cord running from the Honda's electrical system to the headlight assembly. Grasp the connection in the back of the headlight and depress the side tabs to unplug it.

Press the bulb in gently while twisting it to the left. It will release, and you will be able to pull it free and discard of it appropriately.

Insert the replacement bulb and twist it to the right to lock it securely in place. Then plug the cord back into the headlight assembly. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb No. 9005SU

 How to Change a Headlight on a 2001 Honda Accord

Open the hood of the Accord and pull the radiator reservoir and the air intake duct out of their mounting brackets on the passenger side of the vehicle if your Honda Accord is the four-cylinder model. Pull the radiator reservoir out of its mounting bracket on the driver's side if you own the six-cylinder model. These parts block access to the headlight assembly in the engine compartment and do not require any special tools for removal. Once they're removed, you will see an electrical connector attached to the back of the low-beam and high-beam headlights. The low-beam light is on the outside; the high-beam light is on the inside.

Squeeze the head of the electrical connector of the light you want to replace and pull away from the bulb to disconnect it from the headlight bulb.

Turn the headlight bulb a quarter turn to the left and pull out to remove it from the headlight assembly. Dispose of the headlight bulb after removing it.

Insert the replacement bulb into the headlight assembly and turn it a quarter turn to the right to secure it to the headlight assembly.

Plug the electrical connector into the bulb until you hear the click of the locking tabs.

Repeat Steps 2-5 with any remaining headlights that need to be changed.

Replace the radiator reservoir and air intake duct in their mounting brackets for four-cylinder engines; replace the radiator reservoir into its mounting bracket for six-cylinder engines.

Items you will need

  • Replacement high-beam headlight bulb Model HB3

  • Replacement low-beam headlight bulb Model HB2

 How to Replace a Headlight on a 2002 Honda Civic

Open the hood of the Honda Civic and pull the power steering fluid reservoir straight up to remove it from the mounting bracket on the driver's side of the engine compartment. The power steering fluid reservoir is round, made of a light-colored plastic and is the only reservoir in the engine compartment with a red cap. A hose is attached on the back, left side of the reservoir and leads to the back of the engine compartment. The hose on the power steering fluid reservoir has enough slack that you can move it to the side without having to remove the hose. You now have access to the driver's-side headlight.

Remove the electrical connector from the back of the headlight bulb by squeezing the sides of the connector and pulling straight out.

Pull the weather ring off of the headlight assembly. The weather ring is the round, rubber piece that sits around the headlight bulb.

Press down on the thin holding wire that sits over the headlight bulb and rotate it downward to remove it from the bulb. The holding wire is used to secure the bulb in the headlight assembly.

Pull the old bulb out of the assembly and slide the new bulb in. The tabs on the bulb should match the slots on the assembly. Do not touch the glass part of the bulb with your hands. The oil on your hands will collect on the glass and increase the temperature of the bulb, which shortens its life.

Push up on the holding wire to lock the bulb in the assembly and reattach the weather ring. The word "Top" on the weather ring should face up.

Plug the electrical connector into the back of the headlight bulb.

Repeat Steps 2 through 7 with the second headlight.

Slide the power steering fluid reservoir back into the mounting bracket on the driver's side of the engine compartment.

Items you will need

  • Replacement headlight bulb Model No. HB2