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How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Ford Explorer

by Contributor

Since the early 90s, the Ford Explorer has been one of the most popular SUV's on the road. It's important to check the headlights on your Ford Explorer often to make sure they're working. When one burns out, some simple steps is all it takes to replace it without a costly trip to the dealership. These instructions apply to vehicles made after 2002.

Turn off your Ford Explorer and remove the keys from the ignition. Engage the parking brake before attempting any repairs. Double-check that the headlight control switch is off.

Open the hood by locating the interior release handle located at the bottom left under the instrument panel. Pull the lever up and towards the rear of the vehicle. Walk to the front of the vehicle and release the secondary hood latch located at the front center of the hood. Raise the hood.

Locate the two retaining pins at the back of the headlight assembly and pry them up until you can remove them. You should be able to do this with your hands, but you may use a screwdriver or pliers, if you encounter some difficulty. The pins should pull straight up and out, releasing the headlight assembly from the Ford Explorer.

Pull the headlight assembly out and away from the front of the vehicle. Disconnect the electrical connector from the bulb assembly by pushing the center tab on the connector and pulling downward.

Remove the burnt-out bulb by turning it counterclockwise until it unlocks and then pulling it straight out from the bulb assembly.

Align the plastic grooves in the new bulb with the tabs in the bulb assembly and push it straight in to install the new bulb. Give the bulb a clockwise turn to lock it into place. Reinstall the electrical connector and headlight assembly in reverse order of removal to complete the installation process.

Turn on your Ford Explorer to test that the new headlight bulb is working properly.

Tip

  • The high and low beams of the Ford Explorer are located in the same headlight housing, so you can use these steps to change either of them. The low beams are the two inner bulbs and the high beams are the two outer bulbs.

Warning

  • Never handle a new halogen bulb with your bare hands. The oils from your skin will shorten the life of the bulb and possibly cause it to burst. Use gloves or a clean cloth when installing a new bulb.

Items you will need

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