How to Replace the Headlights in Your Subaru

If you drive a Subaru in the Chandler, AZ area, Autobahn Collision wants you to have the knowledge and tools necessary to change the bulbs on your new or used Subaru when they start to fade or burn out. While there are a few different types of bulbs and different types of Subaru models, most new and use models follow a similar pattern when it comes to changing their bulbs. For this procedure you will need:

  • Two screwdrivers: one flat-head, one Philips head: the rivets that keep equipment attached in your Subaru may require either head, depending on the year it was manufactured, so it helps to have both handy.
  • A pair of gloves: necessary for protection of the bulb itself as oil from your fingertips can create hot-spots and cause the bulb to burn out quicker. You may change the bulb with bare hands, if you choose, but it is highly recommended that you wear gloves to avoid even accidental touching of the bulbs.
  • Two replacement bulbs: The right headlight/high beam, turn-signal bulb you use depends on the year and make of your vehicle. It is advised that you replace both bulbs to prevent uneven lighting. If one fades, it stands to reason that the other might be on its way out.
  • A panel popper: this can be obtained from an auto parts store.

Changing the Bulbs in Your Subaru

While different Subaru models from different model years may look different under the hood, the process for accessing their head light/high beam bulbs tends to be fairly universal, though we will let you know if something may look different.

  1. Remove equipment blocking access: after you pop the hood, you will see how to access the bulbs to your new or used Subaru. Typically, one side will be blocked by the windshield washer fluid intake tube, while the other will be blocked by a cover or the air intake snorkel tube. To remove these, use the screwdriver to gently unscrew the rivets while applying pressure to the outside. Use a panel popper to remove the rivets and set them aside in a place where you can find them easily.
    • Once the rivets are unscrewed, you may remove the necessary tubes. With the coolant tube, keep in mind that there may be some excess coolant that may leak out, so have a towel at the ready to soak up the excesses.
    • For models like the Subaru Impreza, the battery itself may be blocking the bulb housing. If this is the case, use a 10-millimeter wrench to unscrew the negative charge first, then the positive. Then, unscrew the main bracket and use the attached handle to lift the battery our when everything is unscrewed.
  2. Typically, the bulb is housed behind a plastic cover, which can simply be unscrewed by turning the plastic mold counterclockwise and removing. Behind the plastic cover, there will be a pin keeping the bulb in place; push it in and it will swing out, allowing you to pull the bulb itself out.
    • Some Subaru models, such as recent Crosstrek models, do not have the plastic cover, but you can simply find their bulb cover in the same position and twist it counterclockwise to remove it as you would with the plastic cover.
    • If the bulb is kept in this system, there will be a small tab button on the side of the connector, which you can press to release the bulb by pulling it out.
  3. Discard the bulb and use a gloved hand to push the new one in where the old one was, using a gloved hand.
  4. After the bulb is replaced, push the bulb connector back into its original position, linking the pin back to where it was and turning the plastic cover back in clockwise to refasten it.
  5. Gently place all tubing back in their original spots and reconnect the rivets by pushing them in, then screwing them back in securely.
    • If you had to remove the battery before accessing the bulbs, be sure to give the base where the battery was located a good cleaning with a rag, as well as the connectors for the positive and negative adapters, using a clean cloth. This can prevent excess corrosion which can cause the battery to wear out prematurely
  6. Once the bulbs are securely fastened and all proper equipment is reconnected, turn on the headlights to ensure they are in good working order and that all systems are functioning properly

What Types of Bulbs are Needed?

The type of bulb your Subaru requires depends on many factors, such as driving conditions and what year/trim level it is. Typically, many Subaru models use halogen headlights, which can come available as soft, white varieties which cast a wide and bright field of view. There are also lightbulbs which are better suited for urban environments and may last as longer. The right bulbs can be located through the local Subaru dealership in the Satan Motorplex on Gilbert Road in Gilbert, AZ, but you can also schedule an appointment through Autobahn Collision Center to have the lightbulbs you need installed if you need any help. While changing a bulb on your car is not as simple as changing one in your house, you may find it to be a relatively simple process.

However, if your Subaru requires more intricate repairs and replacement headlights, then you should schedule an appointment with Autobahn Collision Center. As an affiliate of Satan Motorplex in Gilbert, AZ, we carry the most Subaru-compatible parts and our technicians are highly skilled to give your Subaru the repairs it deserves. Schedule an appointment and come see us today!

Categories: Parts, Service, Body Shop