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How to Replace Headlight Bulbs 2004-09 Subaru Outback

Created on: 2018-05-01

How to replace a broken, damaged or burnt out license plate bulb to the 08 Subaru Outback

  1. step 1 :Replacing the High Beam Bulb
    • Locate the bulb from the back of the headlight
    • Disconnect the electrical connector
    • Turn the bulb counterclockwise to unlock it
    • Remove and replace with new bulb
    • Turn the new bulb clockwise until it locks in place
    • Reconnect the electrical connector
  2. step 2 :Replacing the Driver's Side Low Beam Bulb
    • Remove the clip from the windshield washer filler neck to make more room
    • Turn the grey cap counterclockwise to unlock it
    • Remove the electrical connection by pulling straight out
    • Undo the metal clip from the bulb
    • Remove the old bulb and insert the new one
    • Lock the bulb in with the metal clip
    • Reattach the electrical connection
    • Turn the gray cover clockwise to lock it in place
    • Reinstall the plastic clip that holds the washer filler neck in
  3. step 3 :Side Marker/Turn Signal Bulb
    • Turn the wheel all the way to the left or right to make more room
    • Gently peel back the splash shield
    • Reach in and feel for the electrical connection
    • Turn counterclockwise to unlock and remove the bulb and electrical connection
    • Replace bulb with the new one
    • Insert the bulb into its socket and turn clockwise to lock it in place
  4. step 4 :Passenger Side Headlight Bulb
    • Remove the clips that are holding the air intake on
    • Pull the intake out of the way
    • Follow the same steps as for the driver's side headlight

Tools needed

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

Hi, I’m Mike from 1A Auto. We’ve been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

To remove the high beam bulb, you go to the back of the headlight, this is on the driver's side. Bulb is exposed here, so you want to unplug it. So I'm actually going to push up on the connector a little bit, push the lock. This looks pretty dirty. I'm going to use a small, flat-bladed screwdriver to help me push the lock. It's just they can be difficult to push with your fingers. Just be very careful you don't stab yourself, so yeah, just that amount of force to get it undone and then just push it down. It'll come right off, we'll put the connector aside. We'll turn this counterclockwise to unlock the bulb. Pull it right out. Bulb's got some deterioration, somebody probably touched it with their bare fingers. It's caused the bulb to blister and bubble, and eventually it will burn out. This is a 9005 bulb. I'm going to get a new one and replace it.

So we have a new bulb, and you want to wear gloves when you're installing headlight bulbs because the oils on your skin can touch the bulb. The bulbs get very hot, the oils can start to boil and they will ruin the bulb glass and could cause the bulb to burn out, and reduce it's lifespan. So that's why you want to wear gloves and be careful handling these bulbs, don't touch them with your bare hands. So if you install the new one, it's got some tabs that will line up with the headlight housing, so you just kind of turn it, and it slides into place and then turn it clockwise. It will lock in. Reinstall the connector. It'll give a little click when it's in place. And the high beam bulb is replaced.

To give myself some extra clearance to get to the high beam bulb, the cover is behind the washer fluid neck on the driver's side. I'm just going to remove this clip, it's a Phillips head, it unscrews and it actually doesn't take much, they kind of unscrew like that and then you loosen them up or wiggle it out of here. And then this filler neck's got a little bit of give to it. Just be careful you don't lift up on it, you might pull it out of the washer fluid tank, and then if you've got fluid up here it's going to spill everywhere. But this one flexes pretty far and I can just gently push it under this AC line, just to hold it out of the way.

To remove this gray cap, you can actually lift it up, it will unscrew. A little quarter of a turn then it'll come off, then you take it right out of the way. Behind it is the headlight bulb, so I’m actually going to unplug it. You just wiggle the connector off, there's no lock or anything. And then there is this wire spring that's holding the bulb in. We're going to push it in and then wiggle it over, and then it will release up and the bulb will come loose. Then I can reach in and take the bulb out. This is an H7 bulb. This one's in good shape, so we're going to reuse it.

Again, always make sure you wear gloves when you're handling these. The oils on your skin can reduce the life of the bulb if you happen to touch the glass. So this does have an orientation to it, there's a flat spot with this little locating tab. So that goes in back into the housing in the flat spot, so you don't want to force it in here. The flat spot goes toward the outside here, and if you try, it won't go in, it won't sit flush until you find the appropriate spot for that tab, and then it sits in there nice and flush and then you'll push the wire spring over. That will hold it in place. We'll push it down and then clip it. The bulb is locked in place. We'll reinstall the connectors, reinstall the connector. Push it right over it.

Now we're ready for the gray cap. It does say "Top", and it does have a marking, "Open", and "Lock". And it does these four tabs, so we're going to put it in place, and then you kind of turn it and you'll feel it, it will sit in to the headlight housing. And we'll turn it clockwise, it will lock it. And the headlight bulb is replaced.

Put our washer filler neck back. Reinstall the clip.

The side marker, turn signal bulb, is difficult to reach and you won't be able to get to it from the engine compartment, or without removing the headlight. So we're going to gently peel back the splash shield. Get the wheel turned in here, and you're probably not going to be able to see what I'm doing, be really hard to see. I'm basically just going to fish my arm all the way up in here. I've already looked, I have an idea where the socket is for it, and I'm going to reach up, grab hold of the back of it. And with my fingertips, turn it counterclockwise to unlock it. You pull the bulb straight out to remove it from the socket. Now we have here, it's a 3457 NA amber, so to do a filament. This one's working.

So to reinstall it, find that socket and push it straight back into the socket. You might have to spin the socket around until you find the little locking tabs. And then once you get it in there, turn it clockwise to lock it. We can just push the fender liner back up in. Process will be the same for the other side.

To remove these clips that are holding the air intake, there are those Christmas tree style clips that have barbs that only go one way. So we're going to use the trim clip tool, get that underneath it and just pry the whole thing up. The same for this one. Then we can lift it up and out of the air box. Slides out. So there are the clips. Now with the air intake removed, the procedure will be exactly the same as the driver's side.

So we'll slide this part back into the air box. Push it over. Line up these clip holes, push them down in. That's reinstalled.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

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