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How to Replace Headlights 04-09 Subaru Outback

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How to Replace Headlights 04-09 Subaru Outback

Created on: 2018-05-25

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace the broken, damaged, cracked, faded, cloudy, or chipped headlights on 08, 09 Subaru Outback

  1. step 1 :Removing the Front Bumper Cover
    • Remove the plastic push clips at the bottom of the bumper
    • Pull the inner fender liner out of the way
    • Disconnect the electrical connection
    • Remove the clip beneath the exterior fender cover
    • Pry out the clips from the exterior fender cover to release it from the bumper cover
    • Firmly pull out the sides of the bumper cover
    • Pry up the push clips on the grille
    • Press in the clips atop the grille with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Remove the bumper cover
  2. step 2 :Removing the Headlight
    • Remove the 10mm bolts from the headlight
    • Pry up the push clip with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Pull the headlight straight out
    • Disconnect the wiring harnesses
    • Press the tab on the retainer with a flat blade screwdriver and remove the retainer
  3. step 3 :Installing the Headlight
    • Connect the plastic retainer to the headlight
    • Connect the headlight bulb wiring harnesses
    • Insert the headlight into place
    • Tighten the 10mm bolts to the headlight
    • Test the headlight
  4. step 4 :Reinstalling the Front Bumper Cover
    • Lift the bumper cover into place
    • Clip the sides of the bumper cover into place
    • Clip the exterior fender liner into place
    • Lock the grille clips in
    • Press in the push clips to the top of the grille
    • Press the push clip beneath the exterior fender liner in
    • Snug the fender liner into the bumper cover
    • Reconnect the electrical connection
    • Reinstall all the plastic push clips back in

Tools needed for replacement

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Rust Penetrant

  • 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!

In this video, we will be removing and installing new headlights in a 2008 Subaru Outback. If you need this part or other parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to

Open the hood. There's a hood release right here. Pull that back. Hood latch safety is right there. Pull it to left. Then there's a prop rod right here. Stick that right there. We're going to take these clips out. There's one here. I believe there should be one there, but there might be a shield missing. There's one here, here, and here. We're going to use trim tools. We sell these at Just get in here. They are a bit of a struggle.

I'm going to use a flat blade screwdriver just to break this free. This one is a little sticky. I'm going to pull it down a little bit, not too far. Then we should be able to get underneath and pull it out. For the sake of the video, we took the wheel off, but if you had the car on the ground, you can always turn the wheel back and forth to gain access to this. You can do the same procedure for taking these clips out for all the clips. That's all the clips.

Right here there's a clip. I'll pull this clip out. Pull this inner fender well shield out, so we can gain access to the fog light. There's a connector right here. I'm going to push down on the tab and pull the connector straight out. There's the tab. Push down and pull it out.

This part of the fender is intertwined into the bumper, so we need to pull this off a little bit. There is clips that are pushed in right here, but before we do that, we're going to pull that clip out over here. There's going to be one right there. Then we're going to get in under here with our clip tool. Try to pry up a little bit. Do this at the same time. You can grab with your fingers up top. Just pull it out a little bit to get that out of the way. See how it clips it in there. You have to do it together. You can grab this part of the bumper. We're just going to pull firmly like that. There's clips right there to hold it in. Don't forget to pull the clip out on this side. The same as the other side.

Pull this back just a little bit. Get that unlocked. Then grab the bumper, and firmly pull out. We're going to pull these. It snaps out. Using a flat blade tool and our trim tool, and this one too, pull that out. Right along here there's these little clips. Push these down. Pull out on the grille just like that. Like that. Now we're going to grab the bumper. The whole bumper should be loose now. Pull it right up.

These bolts are really rusty, so we're going to spray some penetrating oil on them. These two right here. Right in here. I believe there was probably supposed to be a bolt there, but it is not there on this vehicle. There's some more right here, and another one right there. We're going to use a 10-millimeter socket, extension, and a ratchet. Break these bolts loose. There's another one down here. Take it and pull it straight out.

This connector right here, we're going to push down on that tab and pull it off. Connector right here, push on that tab and pull out. I'm going to pull this clip off, which holds the wire on. Push in from the backside and get it out. You can pull this out.

Before we put the new headlight on, we're going to have to take this piece off and transfer it to the new headlight. There's a little clip right here. This little retainer is what holds this in, so you're going to take a flat-blade tool on the backside, pry it up just a little, just to release the lock. And then this whole thing will slide right out.

This is our old headlight, and this is our new headlight assembly from As you can see, the shapes are the same. Light bulb configuration is the same. The marker on the side is the same. On the backside, see all the connectors are the same. All the mounting brackets are the same. This will be a fresh upgrade to your car, to make it look brand-new in the front. Get your part at and you'll be ready to rock and roll.

Our new headlight assembly comes with light bulbs, and I'm just going to show you on the back how you adjust it. There's an adjuster right here. You can take your Philips-head screwdriver, it's helpful if you have a long one, and stick it right there in that slot. And then turn this, and that's how you adjust the headlights.

I'm going to reinstall this plastic piece that's going to go over on the front like that. And then once you get it over here, it's going to lock in right there, just like that. All right, I'm going to plug this back in this connector here until it clicks in. And then this little tie is going to go in here. And then this connector right here, click that in.

Before we put it all back together, we want to make sure it works. We're going to turn the key on. Here's the key. Turn it on. As you can see, the headlight works, and the marker light works. I'm going to try our high-beams. Those work. And our blinker, and those work as well. Now that you know that the light is functioning properly, you can install it. We want to align this little tab up in there—that little slot. Now reinstall our bolts.

There are bolts right here. Use my socket and ratchet, my socket and my extension, so I get this one started. You're going to get them all started before you start tightening them down, because otherwise the holes might not line up. This is the last one. Now I can start tightening them down. I'm just going to snug them up, like that.

Snug that one. Be careful—that one's just in plastic. The procedure will be exactly the same for the driver's side.

We're going to slide this back in. Be careful on the sides. We got the front up here. Just push these in. We're not going to push them all the way down yet. Just like that. Then get it lined up over here. I'm going to line it up with the headlight and push it in. Then on the side and right there. Lock that in. Same with the other side. Line it up with the headlight here. Push it in. Line those tabs up in there. Push that there. Push those on. Now we can push down on these, lock these in. These lock retainers back in.

Now we're going to install the push clip right here on the sides first. Just push it in. Then lock in in like that. Same for the other side. Pull this back. Push that in there, and then lock it in. I'm going to connect our fog light like that to the bulb. Plug the connector in and do the same for the other side. Plus the connector in. Lock it in.

Now we can slide these inner fender wells back in to place. This is going to slide in under here just like that. Then the other side too. Slide this in. Whoops. Underneath here, it's going to slide. It goes on the outside. Push these push clips in right there. Another one right there. Another one right here. Another one right here. Two more right here, and the last one.

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

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Trim Tool Set

2008 - 2009  Subaru  Outback
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