How to Replace a Headlight Assembly in a VW Passat

Updated July 20, 2017

Replacing the headlights on any vehicle can seem a daunting task, but it is a necessary repair. Driving in dark conditions becomes a much more dangerous activity without functional headlights. Fortunately, replacing the headlight assembly on the Volkswagen Passat is a relatively simple process.

Put on the gloves. Park the vehicle and turn the engine off. Inspect the front wheel-wells of the Passat and locate the eight screws used to keep the wheel well in place. There are eight screws on each wheel well. Remove them from the side of the vehicle that requires a new headlight assembly using the Phillips screwdriver.

Remove the two screws on top of the grill of the vehicle using the Phillips screwdriver. Remove the four bumper-mounting screws found on the top of the bumper. Two screws are located on the far top-left of the bumper and the other two on the far top-right.

Slide the bumper out by pulling it away from the vehicle once all of the screws have been removed.

Use the socket wrench to remove the holding bracket underneath the headlight assembly. With the bumper removed the headlight assembly should be exposed, allowing easy access to the holding bracket.

Pull the headlight assembly out of the vehicle. Unplug the electrical connector by squeezing the tabs and pulling it away from the headlight assembly.

Slide the new headlight assembly into the vehicle and connect the electrical connector to the headlight assembly by pushing it into the unit until a click is heard. Reattach the holding bracket.

Reattach the bumper and replace all of the screws that were removed from the bumper, the grill and the wheel wells.


The bolts holding the assembly in place do not need to be removed, but it's easier to access the assembly unit if they are.


Allow time for the vehicle to cool down before performing any maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • New headlight assembly unit
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About the Author

Daniel Valladares began his career as a medical writer in 2008. He has written patient education brochures for several pharmaceutical companies and has worked as an auto mechanic at Kim's Speedy Auto Service since 2007. Valladares holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rice University and is currently studying to become a personal trainer.