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Changing the modern headlight bulb...or, how I battled Satan and lost (some knuckle skin, that is) Login/Join 
addicted to trailing-throttle oversteer
Modern engine bays are a vile place. Those effin efficiency engineers and that penchant of using up every frickin' cubic milliliter (it's a foreign car) of volume in the damn compartment. It's evil an inanimate space. The worst is just how much OTHER stuff has to be pulled off the car just to get to what needs to be fixed or replaced.

And so we come to the lowly headlight bulb, in this case a HID Xenon whatchamacallit. It's what my wife's Mazda takes, and did I mention that it's expensive too? How on the Good Earth is this a simple task, as was preached by the evil souls with their so-called DIY videos on YouTube. Google should BAN THESE cretins for their exaggerations, lies and obtuse oversimplifications instead of going after honest, thoughtful gun folk only trying to shed knowledge on a hungry, craving populace.

I'm digressing, aren't I?

But NEVERYOUMIND! These useless DIY car maintenance videos are the work of the Devil himself. The worst kind, just like those dastardly designers, engineers and assemblers who dream up and put together these awful engine bays. Why must I take off the wheel and then the wheel well liner just to gain access to the back of the darned headlamp? And THEN why is it the carnsarnit electrical plug can't be moved out of the way in order to get the new bulb cleanly in so that the stupid thing won't get its precious glass contaminated with evil stuff and fail prematurely, just like the LAST ONE DID when the dealer soaked us for an UNGODLY amount to have them do it for my evidently helpless missus.

Why can't she be such a pushover when it comes to me taking out the garbage? Oy, that digressing thing again...

Why can't engines be in the BACK? Like my 911! Then changing the darn bulb would be SO EASY. So what if I have to drop the engine if a gasket goes kablooey, but how often does THAT happen? Not nearly as much as a stupid, evil headlight bulb going out, that's for dang sure. Besides, the engine is a BIG THING, so taking off a buncha other parts is EXPECTED. A light bulb is such a puny, itsy-bitsy insignificance in the totality of it all. IT SHOULDN'T REMOVING HUGE PIECES OF THE CAR JUST TO CHANGE THE DAMN THING OUT. The scale of such endeavors is just out of whack!

But now that this is finally over with and I'm seeing a hint of calm slowly enveloping my being...I get set all of that aside as I will soon have to remove the FRONT BUMPER of my Volvo to change ITS dead daytime running light bulb out.

Lucifer is just grinnin' over all of this, I'm as certain of it as it's going to rain in Seattle.
Posts: 8983 | Location: Drippin' wet | Registered: April 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
Picture of arfmel
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My 01 Suburban has a good setup. Open the hood. Pull a pin, and the headlight assembly swings out on a hinge to allow access to the bulb holders.

Naturally they "corrected" this simple and efficient system on subsequent models

Posts: 24034 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
St. Vitus
Dance Instructor
Picture of blueye
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Now you know why they charge a ton of money for simple tasks at the dealership, that and they are crooks nonetheless.
Posts: 4601 | Location: basement | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Last time I attempted this was on my wife's Rav4. Eventually took it to the dealership to have the new bulb installed and the old bulb fished out of wherever the hell it went to when I dropped it while trying to extricate my hand from their monkey-fist-trap of an engine compartment.
Posts: 876 | Registered: October 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Leemur
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I nearly took a hammer to my wife’s 2003 Spectra over the driver side headlight. The side marker light on my Tacoma was marginally better.
Posts: 11657 | Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA | Registered: October 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Out of curiosity, which model of Mazda?
Posts: 9930 | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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Nothing beats the 8th gen Honda Civic (2006-2011) in being a more miserable exercise in what SHOULD be a 5 minute job.

You have two options:

1. Literally disassemble half the front engine compartment of the car, like I'm talking AC components and battery and battery tray, etc to get to the headlights


2. Cut your wheel hard, and reach into the wheel well and RIP a piece of that down, THEN stick your hand up in there and do everything by feel getting to the old bulb.

I'd like to murder the engineers who designed an engine compartment where you can't even do simple things like this anymore. NO WONDER the damn dealerships charge a shitload of money for seemingly mundane things!

Posts: 24722 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of P250UA5
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My F150 isn't much better.
-Partially detach fender flare (first few clips on the front end)
-Remove headlight trim
-Remove entire headlight housing
-Replace Bulb
-Repeat in reverse.

Simple in steps, took me about 90 minutes to do both.

The Enemy's gate is down.
Posts: 6682 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Sailor1911
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Thanks for shedding some light on that!

Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

“If in winning a race, you lose the respect of your fellow competitors, then you have won nothing” - Paul Elvstrom "The Great Dane" 1928 - 2016
Posts: 2791 | Location: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: March 27, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
War Damn Eagle!
Picture of Snake207
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My 2011 4Runner is the same way - what a huge PITA.

Cut wheel hard, unscrew 4 fender liner clips, literally pry the liner back and apart. Blindly try and reach and unscrew the bulb assembly out, all the while doing a funky contortion pose.

"It pays to be a winner."
Posts: 11885 | Location: Realville | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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I had to take the front bumper cover off to access the headlights on my 2003 Honda Civic. I replaced all the bulbs while I had it taken apart. Wasn't going to replace just the burned out turn signal and then have to do the others and go through the same process again.


Posts: 10019 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
Picture of HRK
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Then you'd love to change one on the Caddy STS, you have to remove the inner fender well bolts for both sides, remove the front bumper cover and only THEN can you get to the housing to pull it out to change the bulb.

Or you can get someone with tiny hands to try and get into the space to change the bulb..I mean deadpool two day old chopped off hand size tiny...

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill
Posts: 13174 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
Picture of LS1 GTO
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My wife's 2011 Accord...grrrr.

Now I understand why the owner's manual doesn't even list light bulbs but instead refers the owner to the dealer for the maintenance.

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.

Help, I'm having premonitions of future flashbacks.

Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.

Some people listen to the noise of the world,
And some people listen to the quiet.

"All Californians, like all citizens of the United States, have a fundamental Constitutional right to keep and bear common and dangerous arms. The nation’s Founders used arms for self-protection, for the common defense, for hunting food, and as a check against tyranny." Judge Benitez - March 2019
Posts: 10266 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of jbcummings
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Outstanding rant!

Car engineers suck!

Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.
Posts: 4056 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of cparktd
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The local Advance Auto changes them for free... except for the time my wife took her GMC Envoy by and they sent her home with the new bulb, not installed. They told her they could not figure out how to change it.

Oh Boy, I thought, this is going to be a real PIA...

Was I ever wrong, open hood and pull up a locking tab and the light comes right out! Maybe 30 seconds total and no tools required. Nice! They got one thing right.

Deplorable before deplorable was cool!
Posts: 2286 | Location: Middle Tennessee | Registered: February 07, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of 4MUL8R
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I had to do my 2006 Buick LaCrosse last month, and cursed the engineers who were incompetent designers. So much is right about the car. A few things are just not.

NRA Life Member
Posts: 3142 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: January 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Mars_Attacks
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My BMW, you have to remove the headlight housings.

My Frontier is stupid easy, just reach down. pop them out, snap the new one in, reconnect wire


Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
Posts: 31183 | Location: North, GA | Registered: October 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We bought one of the original boxy Jeep Cherokee’s, when the passenger side headlight went out I read the book on how to change the bulb, ended up disconnecting the battery to get out the old bulb, the book warned about not touching the glass part of the bulb because the oil from your hands would cause the bulb to shatter once it heated up so I dug into my hunting stuff got a pair or disposable gloves to keep oil off the bulb. Then the first flat tire that we had on it, I found out that the lug wrench that the factory supplied was the wrong size.
Posts: 1775 | Location: central Alabama | Registered: July 31, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On my 2008 GMC 2500HD, I have to remove the battery on the driver side and the air filter on the passenger side. My wife drives a 2014 Acadia, I had to remove the wheel well lined to get at those. Both are a pain in the ass, but I’m not paying someone to do it...
Posts: 1816 | Location: St. Louis | Registered: January 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My little turbo shopping cart- the Chevy Trax- was a super easy bulb change. On one side. The other side? Disassemble many things. Nope.
Off to the dealer.

End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
Posts: 8217 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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