How To: Replace Your Vehicle’s Headlight Assembly

How To: Replace Your Vehicle’s Headlight Assembly


Hey everybody. Rene here from O’Reilly Auto Parts to show you how to replace the headlight assemblies in your vehicle. Today I’ll be working on this 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. Procedures will vary from one vehicle to the next so always know the specifics of your vehicle. Before getting started, it’s not uncommon for a vehicle to have panels or parts that need to be removed in order to change headlight assemblies. These procedures are usually simple but a little more time-consuming. If you’re not completely comfortable doing this job yourself, we’d be happy to recommend a professional technician in your area. Once you get your supplies together here’s what you’ll do. Locate the two bolts on the top of the assembly and remove them with your wrench or socket. Set them someplace safe. Now you should be able to gently slide the entire assembly out enough to release the headlamp bracket tabs from their slots on either side. Disconnect the electrical connectors from the headlamp and parking light sockets. Turn the headlamp retainer ring counterclockwise to remove it from the headlamp. Remove both bulb sockets from the headlamp assembly. Disconnect the electrical connectors from the headlamp and parking light sockets. Once the bulb sockets are free of the old assembly on our application we’ll change out the headlamp wiring harness. Remove the screw from the top of the assembly between the headlamp and parking light. This will allow the parking light lens to open so that the old headlamp wiring harness can be removed. Now the bulbs themselves can be changed. Some assemblies will come with bulb replacements and some won’t. Either way once the assembly is removed it’s the perfect time to upgrade bulbs. Be sure not to touch the bulbs with bare fingers especially the headlight. Nitrile gloves work great for this. Finger oil can cause hot spots that cause the bulb to burn out prematurely. Transfer the headlamp wiring harness to the new assembly by removing the screw to make room like we did on the old assembly. After securing the new bulbs in their sockets they can be inserted into the new assembly. Secure the headlamp by turning the retainer ring clockwise into its socket. Reconnect the electrical connectors to the headlamp and parking light sockets. Position the assembly so that the bracket tabs are aligned with their slots and slide the headlamp inward to engage the tabs. Replace the two bolts at the top of the assembly. If you were replacing both assemblies repeat these steps on the other side. Turn on your headlights to make sure everything is working the way it should. As you can see the new headlight assemblies can make quite a difference. And that’s it. You’ll find everything you need for this and other jobs at your local O’Reilly Auto Parts store or OReillyAuto.com. Our DIY videos are designed to help answer questions we get in our stores every day. If you found this one helpful, subscribe to our channel to get all the latest. We’ll see you again soon.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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