Lights tend to dim over time, and bulbs commonly fail. This repair will show you how to replace your lights to make sure the road is visible at night, and you don't get a ticket for not having headlights!
- This applies to third-generation Outlander models: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021
What you will need
Make sure to use gloves during this procedure. Wearing gloves prevents oil from being spread to the thin glass housing of the bulbs, which can cause hot spots and premature bulb failure.
- Pull the hood latch under the dash to pop the hood open. Open the hood and set it on the hood prop.
- Remove the rear headlight cover by turning it counterclockwise on the right side of the vehicle.
- Pull the bulb and connector out of the headlight socket by twisting the headlight connector counterclockwise.
- With the connector out of the headlight, pull the bulb straight out of its connector. This might take some force but should not be difficult. If it is difficult, the bulb may be melted inside the connector, and a replacement connector will need to be spliced in. Be sure to do a visual check for any burn marks or melted plastic.
- Once again, be sure to wear clean gloves when handling the glass bulb. The bulb has two prongs and a tab. The tab will only fit one way into the connector. Press the new bulb into the connector.
- Put the connector back inside the socket inside the headlight housing. Twist it clockwise until it is securely in place and cannot turn anymore. Replace the headlight bulb cover on the rear of the housing.
- Next, the daytime running light bulb will be replaced on the right side headlight. To get to this bulb, the windshield washer reservoir will need to be moved out of the way. It is held in by a plastic retainer clip. Remove this clip with a flathead screwdriver. Pull up on the reservoir neck and move it out of the way.
- Look for the daytime running light cover on the rear of the headlight housing. Remove it by turning counterclockwise.
- Reach inside the headlight housing and turn the headlight connector counterclockwise. Pull the connector out of its socket.
- The bulb has a 90-degree base. Remove the connector from the bulb by pressing down on the end of the plastic tab and pull the connector apart from the bulb. If the tab does not clear the connector, you may need a small flathead screwdriver to pry the tab up and over the bulb. Be careful not to pry too hard, the plastic will break with too much force, and the connector will no longer be able to be secured on the bulb properly.
- Grab the new bulb and some dielectric grease, place a small amount of grease inside the bulb's socket, be careful not to get any on the glass. Slide the connector back into the new bulb socket. The grease will help the connector slide in and also help prevent moisture and corrosion from getting in the connection.
- Slide the connector back inside the headlight socket and turn clockwise until it stops. Replace the daytime running light cover and reinstall the washer fluid reservoir.
- Move to the left side headlight, the procedure is the same except for the airbox, and a bracket will need to be removed.
- Remove the two 10mm bolts on the bracket to get access to the daytime running light.
- Replace both bulbs following the procedure above.
- Reinstall the bracket and airbox, make sure the headlights are now working properly, and close the hood. You are all done!
Why are my headlights dim? How do I replace the headlight?
If the headlight is dim, it may be due to a weak filament in the headlight bulb, or the lens itself may be old and oxidized, preventing light from passing through it. Replace the headlight bulb if the lens of the headlight is clear.
If it is not clear, it is possible to get headlight restoration done on the headlight lens, or the lens assembly may need to be replaced. During the night, it is important to have a clear vision of the road. Inadequate lighting on the road is a safety hazard.