Replacing the halogen headlight bulb on a Honda Civic can be challenging. A number of steps must be taken to accomplish the task. Removing and replacing the halogen bulb must be done with care, for the bulb is delicate. By learning a few important details, replacing a Honda Civic headlight bulb can be done in under 45 minutes. Although the process varies slightly between model years, replacement is essentially the same for all Civics of the 1990 and the 2000 model, and essentially the same for all 2001 to 2010 Civics.
Open the Civic's bonnet. Be sure to do so where light is available to make everything visible.
Remove the power steering reservoir tank by pulling it out to replace the driver side headlight bulb). On the passenger side, you might need to remove the battery or loosen the battery retaining bracket to slide the battery out of the way.
Remove the electrical connector from the bulb. This can be achieved by squeezing the connector on both sides to unlock the tab. The connector can be pulled straight off.
Remove the rubber weather seal by pulling the tab.
Unclasp the hold-down wire from its slot. Push it out of the way until the bulb can be removed.
Replace the old bulb with the new bulb. Be sure the tabs are placed in their slots.
Return the hold-down wire to its original place and clip the end into the slot.
Install the rubber weather seal over the back of the headlight assembly. Be sure the side that is marked "TOP" is right-side-up.
Push the electrical connector onto the tabs of the new bulb. Be sure the bulb locks into place.
Test the bulb by turning the headlights on.
Reinstall the power steering reservoir or battery and battery retaining bracket if necessary.
Loosen the bolt holding the battery using a 10mm socket and ratchet if you're replacing a bulb on the passenger side and the battery is in your arm's way. Once the bolt is loose, slide the battery back far enough to reach the headlight assembly. For a bulb on the driver side, you'll need to remove the power steering reservoir tank by pulling it out of its holders. If you're replacing the low beam headlight bulb on the driver's side, you'll also need to remove the upper part of the windshield washer reservoir tank, uwing a flat-tipped screwdriver to remove the holding clip, then removing the upper part by pulling it straight up, according to the 2004 Civic owner's manual.
Locate the wires that attach to the back of the headlight assembly. Press on the plastic tab that the wires connect to and turn the ring 1/4 turn counterclockwise. Use the flathead screwdriver if you have trouble pressing the plastic tab. Remove the headlight bulb.
Slide the retaining wire that is holding the bulb in place down to release the bulb. The bulb has a thin retaining wire, be careful not to put too much pressure on the wire or the wire could break.
Insert the new bulb and slide the retaining clip up. Place the bulb back into the headlight and turn the tab 1/4 turn clockwise to secure the bulb.
Slide the battery back into place and tighten the bolt to secure it the vehicle if necessary, or replace the power steering fluid reservoir and upper portion of the windshield wiper fluid reservoir if necessary.
When halogen bulbs are lit, they become very hot. Oil, a scratch, or perspiration from your hands can cause the bulb to shatter.