HID headlights were first introduced as an option with the Generation II Prius in 2004. Though 10 times more expensive than halogen bulbs, HID headlights provide much greater visibility than standard headlamps and generally last for the life of the Prius. Converting HID lights back to halogen bulbs may be advantageous in certain circumstances, such as when HID replacement bulbs are simply not available. Replacement, however, involves more than just swapping one bulb for another.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Replacement halogen headlamps
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Flat head screwdriver
- Shop rag
- Small flashlight (optional)
Open the bonnet. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the black plastic shield that runs the width of the front of the car under the bonnet. Gently turn the six screws that hold the plastic shield counterclockwise approximately 1/4 turn each.
Remove the plug that secures the passenger side vent. Use a flat head screwdriver to lift the top half of the plug. The vent will pop off.
Remove the window washer fluid container on the passenger side to access the light assembly. Pop off the screw holder on the left and remove the threaded screw near the firewall on top using the Phillips head screwdriver. Remove the two electrical connectors on the bottom by pinching then pulling them out. The window washer fluid container will release with a little manipulation.
Remove the spring wire that secures the back of the light assembly by hand. Be careful not to bend the spring wire. Wear gloves or use a rag to protect your fingers. Apply consistent pressure counterclockwise.
Detach the electrical connector from the plastic lens backing that was just removed. Position it out of the way from the work space.
Turn the chrome electrical connector counterclockwise until it clicks and remove the electrical connector. The back of the HID bulb will be visible.
Remove the HID bulb. Make sure the spring wire has been removed beforehand.
Install the new bulb. Hold the bulb by its base; oil from hands leaves marks on the glass. Feel for three little bumps to ensure correct positioning and gently reapply the spring wire around the bulb.
Turn the chrome electrical base 1/8 turn clockwise to lock the bulb into place.
Reattach the electrical wire connector to the back of the plastic lamp cover. Turn it clockwise to lock it into place.
Remove the fuse box cover. This provides more room to replace the driver's side headlight bulb. Repeat Steps 4 through 10 to replace the driver's side bulb.
Reinstall the black plastic shield, close the bonnet of the Prius and test the headlights.
Tips and warnings
- HID bulbs use a projector lens to focus their light beam. Replacement of the lens for a halogen bulb is also advised.
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