How to Replace a VW Headlight Assembly

Updated February 21, 2017

Headlights are a commonly replaced part on Volkswagen vehicles. Headlight bulbs will quit operating when they burn out or are damaged by vibration or potholes. Changing a VW headlight bulb is a simple task that the owner can accomplish without having to pay a repair shop. No tools are required to change the bulb. Contact with human skin oil will decrease the life of the halogen bulb, so handle new bulbs with gloves or use a plastic bag to prevent contamination.

Set the parking brake and open the bonnet. Turn the headlights on and off to identify the bad light. Find the headlight housing release lever on the back end of the inoperative headlight. Disconnect the lever spring clamp with your fingers.

Push the lever locking tab downward, then raise the lever. Pull the headlight housing assembly forward and disconnect the electrical connector. Remove the assembly from the car.

Unlock the bulb-holder cover clip and open the cover. Take off the bulb retaining clip and remove the old bulb. Place the new bulb into the holder, being careful not to touch the bulb with bare hands.

Reinstall the bulb retaining clip. Close the cover and lock the cover clip. Place the assembly in the housing slides and reconnect the electrical connector. Slide the assembly back into place and lock the lever and spring clip. Check headlight for proper operation.


Clean the new bulb with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol if accidentally handled with bare hands.

Things You'll Need

  • New headlight bulb
  • Gloves
  • Plastic bag
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About the Author

Daniel Ray has been writing for over 15 years. He has been published in "Florida Sportsman" magazine. He holds an FAA airframe and powerplant license and FCC radiotelephone license, and is also a licensed private pilot. He attended the University of South Florida.