How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Subaru Outback

Written by ehow cars editor
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Whether they become damaged in an accident or simply burn out over time, your Subaru Outback's headlights may eventually need to be replaced. Fortunately, once you've purchased the right replacement bulb for your model year, performing the repair yourself is relatively easy. These instructions only apply to Outback models made after 2000.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • #H7 replacement bulb (2005 and later models)
  • #H1 replacement bulb (2000-2004 models)
  • #9005 replacement bulb

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Instructions

    Replacing the Low-Beam Bulbs

  1. 1

    Undo the clips on the air intake ducts using a screwdriver and remove the duct from the engine compartment (driver's side bulb removal only.)

  2. 2

    Loosen the secured clip on the washer tank with a screwdriver and slide the tank horizontally to allow easier access to the headlight assembly (passenger's side bulb removal only.)

  3. 3

    Turn the bulb cover counterclockwise and remove it from the assembly.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the headlight electrical connector and undo the assembly retaining spring.

  5. 5

    Pull the old bulb directly out of the socket and replace it with the new one. Press the retaining spring back into place and reattach the electrical connector.

  6. 6

    Replace the bulb cover, and then turn on the engine. Test the new headlight to make sure it works before replacing the air intake duct or the washer tank and closing the hood.

    Replacing the High-Beam Bulbs

  1. 1

    Undo the clips on the air intake ducts using a screwdriver and remove the duct from the engine compartment (driver's side bulb removal only.)

  2. 2

    Loosen the secured clip on the washer tank with a screwdriver and slide the tank horizontally to allow easier access to the headlight assembly (passenger's side bulb removal only.)

  3. 3

    Disconnect the headlight electrical connector and undo the assembly retaining spring.

  4. 4

    Turn the headlight bulb counterclockwise and pull it out of the socket.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the new bulb, replace the retaining spring and reconnect the electrical connector.

  6. 6

    Test the new headlight to make sure it works before replacing the air intake duct or the washer tank and closing the hood.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're unsure of which bulb to replace, check the headlight assembly diagram in Section 11 of your Outback Owner's Manual.
  • Shut off your Outback's engine, switch the headlights off and remove the keys from the ignition before opening the hood using the primary and auxiliary release latches.

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