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How to Replace Headlight 02-03 Nissan Maxima

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How to Replace Headlight 02-03 Nissan Maxima

Created on: 2013-04-29

Watch this video to learn how to replace and service the headlight assembly and bulbs on your 02-03 Nissan Maxima.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Bumper Cover
    • Remove the four clips at the top of the bumper cover by prying up the middle of the clip and pulling the clip out.
    • Remove the Phillips screws under the bumper cover in front of each wheel.
    • Remove the series of clips under the bumper cover.
    • Pull the inner fender back.
    • Remove the upper 10mm bolt behind the inner fender.
    • Carefully pry out the parking lights.
    • Remove the 10mm bolts behind the parking lights.
    • Pull the bumper cover forward and disconnect the fog lights.
    • Pull the bumper cover free.
  2. step 2 :Removing the Headlights
    • Use pliers to bend the cover on the lower 14mm bolt under the headlight.
    • Remove the two 14mm bolts under the headlight in the security bracket.
    • Remove the bracket.
    • Remove the two 10mm bolts at the top of the headlight.
    • Pull the headlight forward.
    • Disconnect the harnesses.
    • Pull the headlight assembly up and out.
  3. step 3 :Replacing the Headlight Assembly
    • Reconnect the harnesses.
    • Line up the clips on the headlight and push it into place on the car.
    • Replace the two 10mm bolts at the top of the headlight.
    • Reconnect the fog lights on the bumper cover.
    • Put the bumper cover back into place and reinsert the four clips at the top of the bumper cover.
    • Replace the bolts behind the inner fender.
    • Replace the side marker lights.
    • Push the inner fender back into place.
    • Push the bottom panel up and over the front of the bumper cover.
    • Replace the clips under the bumper cover.
    • Reinsert the two Phillips screws under the bumper cover.

Tools needed for replacement

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions


  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    14mm Socket

    10mm Socket

Installation Video
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Brought to you by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out and next time you need parts for your vehicle think of, thanks.

In this video we're going to show you how to replace a set of headlights. We're going to replace the whole headlight assembly on this 2003 Nissan Maxima. This vehicle has the HID headlights. This is the same for any 2002-2003 Maxima with the HID lights. The tools you'll need are pretty basic. You'll need some new HID headlights from, a flat blade screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a 10mm socket with a ratchet and a two inch extension. You'll also need a 14mm socket with a ratchet and that's usually, you'll need a bigger ratchet that bolts the 14mm bolt you have to remove are usually pretty tough and a pair of pliers.

Okay, with the hood open you'll want to remove four clips and you just use a flat blade screwdriver and press in under the middle and pry up the middle of the clip and then it comes out and I'll repeat that for the other three. Now I'll just forward. On these clips you'll only want to pop the center up about an 1/8th of an inch. Pop them up too high and then the clips will be hard to get out. Pop up the center about an 1/8th of an inch and then you can either pull them out or pry up the rest of the clip with your screwdriver. Okay, now up underneath on each side there's a Phillips screw that's kind of close to the front wheel. You want to remove it from each side. Okay and in addition to that screw there's a series of these clips again and I'll remove those. They are here and then continue right across the front.

Okay, I'll fast forward again and these clips can even be more challenging on the bottom; because, a lot of time they get sand and dirt stuck in them and so they're hard to pry out. Using a little bit of penetrating oil on them sometimes helps. Also if you just have to pry them out and end up breaking them. You can get clips that are a similar style usually at any hardware store. Once you get the screw off from underneath here, what you'll want to do is just reach right in here and grab your inner fender and push it in and pull it down. Okay, and then there is another either Phillips screw or 10mm bolt right up there. Okay and then looking further, a little difficult here. Just kind of pull the inner fender out of the way.

Then you can see in further. There's a bolt. It's hard to show it to you. There it is. I'm going to speed up as I remove that first 10mm bolt and then I'm going to use a screwdriver and a rag and pry out each of my side marker lights and disconnect them just by pressing a little tab and pulling on the harness and then again with the 10mm socket and ratchet and you can access it through that hole where the parking light was. Remove that second bolt. Do that for both sides. Okay, so I've got both bolts and the lights out on each side. One thing to keep in mind is the fog lights. I'm going to bring my bumper cover forward. Okay, as I do that I'll reach down in. There's a connector for the fog lights. There's a little button on it. Unplug that one.

Pull the bumper cover right off. Okay, next you'll need a larger 14mm socket and you'll want to remove this bolt here and then right under here take a pair of pliers and bend this up and remove that bolt down there. Okay, I showed you that in regular motion; because, you can see that the bolts can get in there stuck, rusted pretty good. The new headlights from 1A Auto do not include this large security bracket. This bracket was installed basically; because, these lights are expensive and it's a theft deterrent and makes them very hard to steal, but the 1A Auto ones do not include that bracket. You don't really need them. The cars are past the age where people really want to steal the lights anymore.

I even did break off one of the bolts on the other side which is not a big deal; because, again you're not going to re-install that bracket. Now on the top of the light there are two 10mm bolts. You need a 10mm wrench or a 10mm socket and ratchet. Once those bolts are off, grab the light and pull it firmly. Take it up a little bit and pull it firmly out. Pull the top up a little bit and up. Now in behind there's a tab here to press to disconnect that. A tab here to press to disconnect and a tab here. Okay, I'll use a screwdriver on the one that's connected to the inner headlight you pry out on the tab a little bit, pull down and then I used the screwdriver just to put it on the connector and kind of hit the screwdriver with my palm a little bit and force the connector off. Then for the other two I use the screwdriver. Kind of push on the tab as well as insert the screwdriver in between where the connectors connect so you push on the tab at the same time you twist the screwdriver to force the connectors apart.

This connector is free. Pull the whole light assembly up and out. Okay, new light from 1A Auto. You can see how much brighter and more clear it is. You just peel the plastic off of this corner for right now. Okay, it doesn't have the bracket on it and that's kind of an anti-theft measure from the old ones. You can see that here there's a clip that you want to make sure slides back into here on the body of the car you'll see another little clip here. Bring the light close. Reconnect all my connections. Everything plugs right in, put the light here. There's a ball here that goes into a socket back there. Put the light down in. Okay, down here make sure the bottom goes in. Take a look back in you can see the ball going into the socket in the fender. You might have to put some pressure on it that way. Push that in.

Okay, once the lights in place then put the two 10mm bolts on top that secure it and of course replace the other side. Okay, we're going to kind of fast forward through putting the bumper cover on back on. Once you take it off, re-installing it is just a reverse of the procedure. Put it in place. Connect up your fog lights if you have fog lights and then pull it up in place and put a couple of the front clips back in place. Actually you can put all four of the front top clips back in place to hold it. Okay and continuing to work at a feverish pace put both the side bolts back up in and through and make sure that you get the sides secured correctly as well as put both front side marker lights back on. Once you get everything bolted together make sure you push the inner fender back in where it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be in behind the lip around the bumper cover. Okay, now you can see I actually take the lower plastic panels and push them up on to the top of the lower lip of the bumper cover and what you don't see off-camera I took all the clips and sprayed a little bit of penetrating oil on them, cleaned them out and got them to work. You basically just kind of have to work them back and forth until they will push in and clip in easily. Then you secure all those clips and make sure you put the screws that go on the edge near the wheels on the lower side, put those back in each side and you're all set.

Now we can peel off the plastic on each side. I peel down the top first. Put the hood down and take the plastic off of each one and you've got yourself a great looking new set of headlights. This car's got over 200,000 miles on it, but those headlights take off about 50,000, actually take off about 150,000 miles off the front end.

We hope this helps you out. Brought to you by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll free 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 14mm Socket
  • 10mm Socket

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