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How to Replace Headlights 00-04 Nissan Pathfinder

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How to Replace Headlights 00-04 Nissan Pathfinder

Created on: 2018-06-29

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace the broken, damaged, cracked, faded, cloudy, or chipped headlights on 00, 01, 02, 03, 04 Nissan Pathfinder

  1. step 1 :Removing the Grille
    • Clasp behind the grille with needle nose pliers
    • Press the clips on the grille with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Remove the grille
  2. step 2 :Removing the Headlight
    • Remove the 10mm bolt from the side marker light
    • Pry the side marker light out with a trim tool
    • Disconnect the wiring harness
    • Remove the 10mm bolt from the lower headlight bracket
    • Remove the two 10mm nuts from the side of the headlight
    • Remove the 10mm nut from beneath the headlight
    • Remove the 10mm nut from the side headlight bracket
    • Pull the headlight in toward the center and remove it
    • Pull the socket boot off the headlight
  3. step 3 :Installing the Headlight
    • Release the retainer from the old headlight with needle nose pliers
    • Transfer the retainers over to the new headlight
    • Connect the headlight socket boot
    • Connect the electrical connector to the headlight
    • Line the headlight with the holes on the vehicle
    • Tighten the 10mm bolt beneath the headlight
    • Tighten the three 10mm bolt to the sides of the headlight
    • Tighten the 10mm bolt to the lower headlight bracket
    • Connect the wiring harness to the side marker wiring harness
    • Press the side marker light into place
    • Tighten the 10mm bolt to the side marker light
  4. step 4 :Installing the Grille
    • Snap the grille into place
  5. step 5 :Adjusting the Headlights
    • Mark on a wall the center axis point of the headlight
    • Back up 25 feet from the wall
    • Turn the headlights on
    • Turn the adjustor with a Phillips screwdriver
    • Have the passenger side 2 inches below the mark
    • Have the driver side 4 inches below the mark

Tools needed for replacement

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Rust Penetrant

    Painter's Tape

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions


  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Trim Tool Set

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

We're going to pop the hood. Grab the handle right there. Pull it back. To release the safety, come over here and you're going to pull up on the latch. It'll come up and pull up on the property rod. Stick it right there. So we're going to pull this grille off. I'm going to use some needle nose pliers and a straight screwdriver.

Back here there's some clips, so I'm going to have to squeeze on the clips right here with this screwdriver. Just pry in here. You can hear them pop off like that. Right here. There's the lower one and there's the upper one. So we'll just go in behind here with the needle nose to pinch it. I'll show you a little better one that sits out. Right here, you're going to take your straight blade screwdriver and push down. Pull that clip out. And over on this side squeeze these. Take your screwdriver, squeeze in the clips, and it'll pop right out.

So these are the clips that are from the back set. I was taking the needle nose and just squeezing them and them popping them out. Just like that. All right, we'll take this 10mm bolt out. Pull that off. You can grab the light. Put a little pressure. Use a trim tool. Get in behind here. Pop it out. That's the little pin that was stuck. It goes in right there. Disconnect the electrical connector right here. Push down on that tab and pull it off.

All right, so I'm going to take this 10mm bolt out right here with a 10mm socket and extension and a ratchet. Pull that bolt out. In this panel, it's just going to pull out a little bit right here, and it's going to slide to the side just like that. The clips slide out of those two grooves. Take these two 10mm nuts out. And underneath here, there's a 10mm nut. Take that one out. And we'll take this nut out.

You can use your other hand to try to grab it so it doesn't fall, or use a magnet. And I'll take this 10mm nut out. This nut's a little rusty, so we're going to spray some rust penetrant on it. Let it sit for a minute. Then we'll take this nut out. Pull that off. Now you can grab the light and pull it out this way first. And then you pull a little further, and then these studs come out.

Next, we're going to pull the socket off just like that. The driver's side is the same procedure, but on ours we noticed that if we take this 10mm nut out of the coolant reservoir, we're able to bend it out of the way so that we could get this nut off for the headlight assembly, and it also made pulling the headlight assembly out easier.

Here's our old headlight assembly. Here's our new headlight assembly from As you can see, our old headlight assembly is very faded and hard to see through. Our new headlight assembly is crystal clear, and as you can see the shape is the same. The mounting holes are the same.

On the back side the adjuster is in the same location, and the bulb. Underneath, when you get your new headlight assembly, you are going to have to move these retainers to the new headlight assembly. Get yours at, and you'll be ready to rock and roll.

Okay so this retainer, what I'm going to do is take one finger, stick it in here up against the retainer, and then use some needle nose pliers, and there's a tab right here on the front and on the back side. As I'm pushing pressure up, I'm going to squeeze those just like that, and it pulls right out. All right, so we'll move this one to the new one. Slide it in like that so it locks in. And you're going to do the same for the other side.

Next, we're going to connect the headlight socket. Push that on. All right, so we're going to line these two studs up over here first, and we're going to slide this onto this stud, and the stud underneath should line up. We'll take our 10mm nut and slide this one on first. So to do this bottom nut, we're going to take the nut, and stick it in the socket.

We're going to use some masking tape, and we're just going to tape the socket to the nut, and that'll hold it from falling out. You can hold the nut upside down and it won't fall out. So now we can install this nut down here. And because this one's hard to get to, I'm just going to tighten this one down. Then we'll put these nuts on. And this one right here. And we'll tighten these down. Snug those nuts up. Now we're going to snug this nut up.

So we'll install this trim piece. Slide it right on. Lock it in place. Then we'll take this 10mm bolt. Get that in. Just snug it up, not too tight. It is plastic. Now we're going to connect the electrical connector just like that. Then we'll align this tab up with that and slip it in. And we'll take the 10mm bolt, install that. And we'll snug this down. Not to tight, because it is in plastic.

We're going to install the grille now. We're going to align these tabs up right there, and line up the center tab as well. Just push gently. And there we go. To adjust the headlights, you're going to take a Phillips head screwdriver, and you're going to slide it down here. And you can go back and forth. One way will go up and one way will go down.

This is a basic tutorial on how to aim the headlights on your vehicle. Find the axis of your headlights. This is usually indicated with a small dot or the headlight bulb size on the lens. If not, it's the actual center point of your headlight bulb. Transfer this mark to a vertical wall with a preferably dark color that'll allow you to back up 25 feet.

Pull up and find the center line of your vehicle, as well as the center line of your headlight axis. Mark the wall with the height of the headlights and a straight line going across at that axis height. Back your vehicle up 25 feet from the wall to the front edge of your vehicle's headlights. Turn your headlights on and locate the adjusting screw, usually on the backside of your headlights. You'll want to rotate this until the passenger hotspot or focus of the beam is approximately 2" below the line, and the driver's side is 4" below the line. We change the heights on each side so you can still get a good beam to the offside of the road on the passenger side and have the driver's side low enough to not blind oncoming traffic.

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

Tools needed for replacement:

    Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant
  • Painter's Tape

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Trim Tool Set

2000 - 2004  Nissan  Pathfinder
1999 - 1999  Nissan  Pathfinder
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