How to Replace Headlight Bulbs on Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Providing a safe and reliable means of transporting your family, Honda car minivan has received high marks for its practical, yet stylish features. Although the Honda car is fun and easy to use, replacing a burnt-out headlight can be a real pain. This otherwise simple task is complicated by the placement of the Honda car air intake system, which cramps any accessible work space around the driver's side headlight. Don't call your Honda car dealership yet--moving the air intake system out of the way is easier than it appears.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace Headlight Bulbs on a 2004 Honda Odyssey

Basic Bulb Replacement

Determine which headlight bulbs are burnt out. Stand in front of the vanand have an assistant turn the headlights on, cycling between both high and low beams. Once you have identified the faulty bulbs, turn off the headlights and take the key out of the ignition.

Open the van's hood and locate the affected headlight assembly and the wiring harness that connects the burnt-out bulb to the van's electrical system. Squeeze the harness connector and pull it away from the bulb.

Pull the rubber dust boot away from the headlight bulb. Squeeze the spring retaining clip together and pivot away from the bulb. Pull the bulb out of the headlight assembly.

Insert a new bulb into the headlight assembly and close the retaining clip. Place the rubber dust boot onto the end of the bulb. Reconnect the wiring harness to the headlight bulb, pressing it firmly onto the bulb's prongs.

Turn the headlights on and check that the bulb is operating properly. If the bulb is not working, check that the wiring harness connector is seated firmly on the bulb's prongs.

Accessing the Driver's Side Headlight

Open the van's hood and locate the intake duct from the air box. Remove the plastic pop rivets that secure the duct to the frame by pushing down on the center of the rivet and then pulling the entire rivet out. Pull the duct upward and away from the headlight assembly.

Replace the burnt-out headlight bulbs as normal.

Push the intake duct back into the engine compartment and into its mounting location. Push the center tip of the pop rivets upward until it pops out of the top of the rivet. Place the rivet into its mounting location and press down on the center of the rivet to lock it into place. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Halogen bulb #9003 60/55W

 How to Change a Headlight Bulb in 2002 Honda Civic LX

Carefully lift the power steering fluid reservoir from its mount; set the reservoir aside to access the driver side headlight (do not disconnect the hoses from the reservoir).

If replacing the passenger side headlight, removing the reservoir is unnecessary.

Squeeze the sides of the electrical connector (behind the headlight assembly) to release it; pull the connector straight away to unplug it. Pull the tab on the rubber headlight socket seal to remove the seal.

Unclip the top portion of the hold-down wire. Lower the wire to allow access to the headlight bulb. Pull the bulb straight out.

Insert the replacement bulb (it's not necessary to turn the bulb--simply insert it straight). Flip up the hold-down wire and clamp the top to the mount to secure it.

Re-attach the rubber seal by pushing it straight onto the socket. Reconnect the electrical connector.

If you moved the power steering fluid reservoir, put it back in place.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb 9003

  • Gloves

 Change Headlight Bulb for a Honda CBR 600

Accessing the Headlight Unit

Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the tapping screws on the upper cowl of the vehicle near the windshield.

Release the attaching claws of the upper cowl cover from the lower cowl cover.

Gently remove the upper cowl cover from the vehicle by pulling up on the upper cowl. This will reveal the headlight unit.

Replacing the Headlight Bulb

While wearing clean gloves, remove the five screws holding the headlight unit into place and carefully take out the headlight unit itself.

Remove the headlight bulb connector from the headlight unit by squeezing both ends of the connector and disconnecting it. Gently remove the dust connector by pulling on the tabs.

Slightly twist the bulb retainer to unhook it from the headlight unit. Take out the headlight bulb/socket.

Carefully remove the headlight bulb from the socket. Using light force, push the new bulb into the socket. Make sure it is not loose, but avoid touching the halogen headlight bulb with your bare hands.

Install the new bulb/socket by lining up the tabs with the groove in the headlight unit. Hook the bulb retainer into the headlight unit.

Firmly push the dust cover back into its place on the headlight unit. Make sure the arrow is facing up or the dust cover will not stay in place. Reconnect the headlight bulb connector to the headlight unit. Reinstall the upper cowl.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Clean gloves

  • 12v/55w headlight bulb

 How to Change the Headlight Bulb in a 2005-2006 Honda CRV

Open the hood and disconnect the connector from the back of the headlight assembly by pulling straight out.

Remove the round rubber weather seal by pulling on one of the tabs.

Unclip the end of the metal hold-down wire (spring clip) and pivot it away from the bulb. This step can be a little tricky because you literally cannot see what you are doing and have to rely your sense of feel - Use a flashlight to get a good look at the hold-down wire before you complete this step.

Pull the bulb straight out of the headlight assembly.

Install the new bulb in the reverse order of removal. Make sure the rubber weather seal is firmly and completely seated around the entire circumference.

Items you will need

  • Replacement Bulb (I used a Sylvania Part# "H1").

  • No Tools Are Required But A Flashlight Is Helpful.

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Honda CR-V

Shut off the engine, pull the keys out of the ignition and set the parking brake for added safety. Open the hood using the primary and auxiliary hood release latches.

Remove the under-hood fuse box from its holder if you're changing the driver's side headlight (2007 and later models only.)

Detach the electrical connector by pulling it straight back from the bulb.

Pull the tab on the rubber weather seal to remove it from the bulb socket.

Unclip the end of the retaining wire and pivot it away from the socket. Extract the old headlight bulb from the socket and dispose of it immediately.

Insert the new bulb directly into the socket and clip the retaining wire back into position. Replace the rubber weather seal and attach the electrical connector to the back of the new bulb.

Start the engine and switch the headlights on to see if the new bulb works. If it does, replace the under-hood fuse box and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • 9003 replacement bulb

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Honda Accord

Set the parking brake and remove the keys from the ignition. Make sure the headlamps are switched off, then open the hood using the primary and auxiliary release latches.

Locate the back of the assembly containing the malfunctioning headlight bulb. If either the air intake cover or engine coolant reserve tank are blocking the bulb sockets, remove it and set it aside.

Remove the electrical connector from the back of the bulb by squeezing its tabs and pulling it away from the socket.

Turn the bulb one quarter-turn counterclockwise and pull it out of the socket. Headlight bulbs are fragile, so be careful not to drop or scratch it.

Twist the new bulb into the socket and reattach the electrical connector to the socket.

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

Items you will need

  • 9006 or #9005 replacement bulb (low- or high-beam bulb)

 How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Honda Civic

1990 to 2000 Model Honda Civics

Open the Civic's hood. Be sure to do so where light is available to make everything visible.

Remove the power steering reservoir tank by pulling it out to replace the driver side headlight bulb). On the passenger side, you might need to remove the battery or loosen the battery retaining bracket to slide the battery out of the way.

Remove the electrical connector from the bulb. This can be achieved by squeezing the connector on both sides to unlock the tab. The connector can be pulled straight off.

Remove the rubber weather seal by pulling the tab.

Unclasp the hold-down wire from its slot. Push it out of the way until the bulb can be removed.

Replace the old bulb with the new bulb. Be sure the tabs are placed in their slots.

Return the hold-down wire to its original place and clip the end into the slot.

Install the rubber weather seal over the back of the headlight assembly. Be sure the side that is marked "TOP" is right-side-up.

Push the electrical connector onto the tabs of the new bulb. Be sure the bulb locks into place.

Test the bulb by turning the headlights on.

Reinstall the power steering reservoir or battery and battery retaining bracket if necessary.

2001 to 2010 Honda Civics

Loosen the bolt holding the battery using a 10mm socket and ratchet if you're replacing a bulb on the passenger side and the battery is in your arm's way. Once the bolt is loose, slide the battery back far enough to reach the headlight assembly. For a bulb on the driver side, you'll need to remove the power steering reservoir tank by pulling it out of its holders. If you're replacing the low beam headlight bulb on the driver's side, you'll also need to remove the upper part of the windshield washer reservoir tank, uwing a flat-tipped screwdriver to remove the holding clip, then removing the upper part by pulling it straight up, according to the 2004 Civic owner's manual.

Locate the wires that attach to the back of the headlight assembly. Press on the plastic tab that the wires connect to and turn the ring 1/4 turn counterclockwise. Use the flat-head screwdriver if you have trouble pressing the plastic tab. Remove the headlight bulb.

Slide the retaining wire that is holding the bulb in place down to release the bulb. The bulb has a thin retaining wire, be careful not to put too much pressure on the wire or the wire could break.

Insert the new bulb and slide the retaining clip up. Place the bulb back into the headlight and turn the tab 1/4 turn clockwise to secure the bulb.

Slide the battery back into place and tighten the bolt to secure it the vehicle if necessary, or replace the power steering fluid reservoir and upper portion of the windshield wiper fluid reservoir if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Halogen bulb

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Flathead screwdriver

 How to Replace the Headlight Bulb for a Honda Pilot

Do not have the Honda Pilot running or the lights on when replacing the headlight. Release the hood latch and open the hood.

Locate the bulb that needs to be replaced and unplug the wire harness going to the three-pronged bulb by simply pulling it free. This may require a degree of tenacity.

Remove the black rubber gasket that covers the back of the headlight outlet. This simply pries off and it marked "top" for easy replacement alignment.

Locate the spring holding the headlight bulb in place. One side is clipped to a retainer and the other side is hinged. Press in the clipped side and lift upward gently to release the clip from the retainer.

Extract the old bulb and insert the new one in the exact same position. Be careful not to touch the glass bulb of the new headlight. Halogen headlights can be compromised or damaged altogether by the oils and alkaline in our skin.

Replace the spring. This will be the trickiest part of the whole job, but perseverance will pay off.

Replace the black rubber gasket making sure to align the top correctly.

Plug the harness into the bulb and go turn the lights on to make sure that it is working properly. Close the hood.

About the Author

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