Changing the Headlight Bulbs

Changing the head light bulbs are pretty easy after you have seen it done once.

First thing is you are going to need to buy some replacement bulbs. I had the PIAA lamps in but one died. So I decided this time to try a set of "Sylvania Ultra Stars". The bulb type you will need is a #9007.

The PIAA's I had were their "Super Whites" rated at 3800K color temperature and ran around $60, remember this was ten years ago.

The new Silver Star Ultras are rated at 4100K and they run around $50 for a set.

First thing is to open the hood, I bet you knew that was coming.

Next I like to put a shop towel between the light assembly and the fender.

Next is to remove the two locking pins that hold the headlight assembly in place. They should pull straight up by hand but if they are tight, you may need to use like a pair of needle nose pliers.

Next is to pull the light forward to gain access to the two wire connectors. The head lamp connector is not the locking type so you can just pull straight back without having to release any catches.

The side marker light has two catches on the connector. After 10 years, these catches are pretty brittle so be gentle. Actually they were pretty fragile when new also. Good chance one or both of them will break no matter how careful you are. But the good news is that they have a water tight seal which keeps the connection pretty tight even with out the catches.

With both wires disconnected you can remove the assembly. Simply turn the bulb retainer counter clockwise and lift off.

You can now remove the bulb.

Here is you standard caution, DO NOT TOUCH THE BULBS. Oil from your fingers can cause the bulb to over heat on that portion of glass and it can crack. Or so they say.

Insert the new bulb and seat it all the way into the assembly. They will only fit one way. The flat of the bulb base faces up. Replace the retainer and tighten it down. It only turns about 60 degrees.

This is what the bulb looks like fully seated and the retainer installed.

Next, lay the assembly back down on the shop towel over the fender and connect the side marker first and then the head light connector.
I do not use headlight grease. I do not have a problem with the connections becoming corroded, your choice.

Now you can push the head light assembly back into place and install the retaining pins. I put a real light coat of silicone grease on the pins.

Turn the headlights on to test and you are done.

Just a couple of notes while we are here. You may have heard people say that their head light assemblies have collected moisture in them. Well they shouldn't, if you look closely you can see that each light has an inner and an outer vent tube. Most likely what they are seeing in the headlights is the gassing of the super glue they used to glue the lights together with.
Here is a pic of the inner vent tube. It looks like the two vent tubs vent the headlight and parking light separately but they are connected inside.

I have also seen articles where people use silicone to seal up their light assemblies to keep moisture from getting in the lens. Maybe they seal up the vents also and just forget to mention it. Or maybe nobody ever noticed the vents before?
Maybe the after market ones don't have the vents like the factory lights do? Not sure, maybe omitting that little feature help cut costs?

Also, next to the inside retainer pin is the headlight adjustment screw. Looks like you can us a Phillips screw driver or a 6mm Allen wrench.

To adjust your headlamps

1. Park on a level surface with a wall or garge door, pull your car up next to

2. Use a couple of pieces of masking tape to mark the horizontal and vertical lines where the headlight bulbs line up to the wall.

3. Back the car up around 25 feet and note where the light beam is at in relation to the taped marks.

4. You want the top of the light pattern to line up just below the horizontal tape line.

Note: there is no left or right adjustment, only up and down. If for some reason your beams are way to the left or right, it is possible that the light assembly is not seated correctly.
This same information is covered in the "2001 Owners Manual".

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