How to Replace a VW Headlight

Written by daniel ray
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How to Replace a VW Headlight
Changing your headlight is an easy task. (headlight image by Carbonbrain from

Changing the headlight bulb on your VW is a straightforward task that requires no hand tools. Before starting, identify which headlight bulb is inoperative. Each headlight has a separate high- and low-beam bulb. Halogen bulbs will prematurely fail if the glass is contaminated with oil from human skin. Use gloves, and handle each lamp carefully. Regularly inspect the headlights on your VW to ensure all bulbs are working.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • New headlight bulb
  • Gloves

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  1. 1

    Park the vehicle on a level surface. Set the parking brake, and chock the tires. Pull the hood release, and raise the hood.

  2. 2

    Locate the headlight housing release lever for the nonworking headlight. The release lever is on the upper aft end of the housing. Using your fingers, disconnect the lever spring clamp.

  3. 3

    Depress the lever locking tab, and move the lever upward. Slide the headlight housing forward until the electrical connector is accessible. Disconnect the connector, and slide the housing forward until free of the car.

  4. 4

    Release the bulb-holder cover clip, and lift the cover to access the bulbs. Remove the retaining clip for the nonworking headlight bulb. Remove the old bulb. Hold the new bulb with gloves, and insert into the housing.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the retaining clip on the bulb. Replace the cover, and lock the bulb-holder cover clip. Slide the headlight housing into the housing slides, and slide the aft until the electrical connector can be reconnected.

  6. 6

    Check headlight for proper operation before completing reinstallation. If the headlight bulb illuminates, slide the housing fully aft, and lock the lever and spring clip.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean the bulb with rubbing alcohol and a clean rag if you happen to touch the bulb with your fingers.

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