Replacing a Jetta Headlight Bulb
I had to replace the headlight bulb on my 2004 Volkswagen Jetta today. This is how I did it, told through Instagram.
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Replacement bulb
- Bulb grease
- Ratchet (Only if you have a two piece battery cover)
Note: This tutorial focuses on the driver’s side headlight, however these steps will work for the passenger side as well. In fact, they are a step shorter, as you won’t need to mess with the battery.
First, pop the hood and take a gander at the engine. Above the headlight should be a plastic cover held down by a few screws. Unscrew them, but hold off on removing the cover for now. We’ll remove the battery cover first.
The battery cover has a button on the left and right sides (you can see my thumb on the right button in the photo). Press these down and pull the top off. You should now be able to remove the plastic cover from step one. Depress the tab on the left side, and pull it up and out.
Note: My jetta has one piece covering the battery. Some models have two. In those cases, you’ll need to remove the top cover, then you’ll need a ratchet (and possibly an extension) to remove the bolt on the bottom-front holding the second piece in place.
Now that the first layer of covering is off, on to another layer! You’ll remove the plastic headlight cover by first unclipping the two metal clamps holding it in place. There is one on both the left and right sides of the cover (my finger is pointing to the right side in the photo). Be careful with these; Sometimes they pop open rather easily, and other times you may need to pry them up out of their seating with a screwdriver. Once both clamps are off, you can just pull the plastic cover off.
The power connecter has a clip on the side. Pull up on the clip with your thumb…
… and unplug the power to the light.
Next, unscrew the circular ring around the light socket base.
This will enable you to remove the light bulb.
Before you put the new bulb in, it’s good to coat the connector with bulb grease. This will make it easier to get the bulb in, and it apparently extends bulb life. Before you put in on, check out the next photo.
Make sure to only put the grease around the connection area that sits in the socket. DO NOT put it on the bulb itself.
Now you can put the bulb back, and it’s essentially doing the steps in reverse to get everything back together. Make sure to test the light before you put all the plastic back on, so you don’t have to take everything apart to triage any problems. Other than that, you should be good to go.
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It is easier your way than by you tube.
Extend your work to other subjects.
\thanks ,Link to comment
Thanks! I will once something else breaks on my car 🙂Link to comment
Stuff is always breaking on your car. 😉Link to comment
Perfect! Pics were good and new lights installed without a hitchLink to comment
Glad it helped Eric!Link to comment
The instructions were fabulous! It took me 30 minutes to replace the bulb with most of the time spent trying to squeeze my hand into a space half its size!Link to comment
Glad they helped Doug! I had the same problem 🙂Link to comment
Thanks for the instructions but im having trouble unscrewing the circular ring covering the light socket. Any suggestionsLink to comment
You could try a pair of pliers Chloe. Just be careful not to break the plastic.Link to comment
That was incredibly helpful – thank you!Link to comment
Great tutorial! Was able to change the headlight on my 2002 Jetta following your instructions. Thanks!Link to comment
THANK YOU! The last time I took my car to the dealer, they alerted me that I had “a couple of bulbs out” so I said “go ahead and change them”. They charged me $250 in labor to change 4 light bulbs and $40/bulb. I don’t mind paying a little extra for convenience, but this was insulting. I find it strange that I would not notice that many bulbs out, firstly. So last night, when I noticed a headlight out, I thought to myself “I bet I can do both headlights in 20 minutes for $20. I did. Again, thanks.Link to comment
Thanks Jon! Glad I could help.Link to comment
$250 in labor!? That’s nuts!Link to comment
Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.Link to comment
Great tutorial ,was intimidated at start , just needed smaller handsLink to comment
Best tutorial around, period. Much thanks, very appreciated. Any more VW repair stuff, put it up here…Link to comment
Awesome tutorial, way better than what’s on YouTube. Hardest part was squeezing my hand in there to unscrew the circular ring that holds in the bulb. Helpful to have someone with small hands around to help with this step. Got my wife’s headlights replaced. Thanks for your help!Link to comment
Thanks for the tip. It made changing the bulb on my wife’s 2004 VW Jetta more straightforward. A couple things to add: It is a 9007-style bulb that is used for this car. A Sylvania 9007 seems to be a popular bulb as it was shown in your photo and also in my wife’s car. And the wired socket shown in your photo can also be unplugged to allow a bit more room in removing the wide oval-ish cover that is held on by the two wire clips. I found I needed more room to put the clips back on as they had come off entirely during the disassemble process and it wasn’t clear where they attached on the backside. Overall, great instructions though! Thank you a bunch!Link to comment
Thanks for the tutorial. I definitely found unclipping the power connector the hardest part.Link to comment
Awesome!!! I Thank you for the step by step instructions on putting head lights bulbs, manual vw book does not you, but to go to the dealer ship.Link to comment
Thank you!!! My car repair place warned me that this was very tricky. Not with your instructions – 10 minutes and all is done and working perfectly again.Link to comment
very helpful, thxLink to comment
Preview of the task always helps, good work on this one!Link to comment
Thanks Pete!Link to comment