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Pelican Technical Article:

Headlight Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdriver, plastic prying tool, 8mm nut driver

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Headlight assembly, headlight bulb, active headlight or Xenon module

Hot Tip:

Do not touch bulbs with bare hands

Performance Gain:

Repair damaged headlight assembly, replace faulty headlight bulb

Complementary Modification:

Replace turn signal bulbs

The headlight on MINI R56 models in now mounted to the fender, instead of on the hood like generation 1 models. MINI models came equipped with traditional tungsten or high intensity discharge (HID) headlights. This article will cover tungsten style bulb replacement only, as the HID headlight procedure is different. The procedure for the headlight assembly is the same for both types of bulbs.

The headlights assemblies seals can wear out over time resulting in water leaks and repeat bulb failures. You may also need to replace or repair your headlight assembly if the lens are cloudy and will not pass a motor vehicle inspection. In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the headlights assemblies and the headlight bulbs on your R56. The procedure is the same for both sides.

To adjust headlight beam aim, open the engine hood and look for the small plastic Phillips head adjuster at the back corners of the headlights. When adjusting headlight aim, be sure to have the tires at the correct pressure, the fuel tank full and the weight of one person in the driver's seat.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

The headlight on MINI R56 models in now mounted to the fender (red arrow), instead of on the hood like with generation 1 models.
Figure 1

The headlight on MINI R56 models in now mounted to the fender (red arrow), instead of on the hood like with generation 1 models. MINI models came equipped with traditional tungsten or high intensity discharge (HID) headlights. This article will cover tungsten style bulb replacement only, as the HID headlight procedure is different. The procedure for the headlight assembly is the same for both types of bulbs.

To access the headlight bulb (red arrow) or the fog light (green arrow), there are access doors in the wheel well.
Figure 2

To access the headlight bulb (red arrow) or the fog light (green arrow), there are access doors in the wheel well. However, I find it much easier to remove the entire headlight assembly when replacing the bulbs. That is the method shown in this article.

Start by removing the four 10mm headlight assembly fasteners.
Figure 3

Start by removing the four 10mm headlight assembly fasteners. Two fasteners are at the top (green arrows), and two fasteners are at the bottom (red arrows).

Slide the headlight assembly out far enough to reach the electrical connector at the rear.
Figure 4

Slide the headlight assembly out far enough to reach the electrical connector at the rear. Squeeze the release tabs and pull the connector straight off (red arrow). Remove the headlight assembly from the vehicle.

Remove the bulb access door by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and removing it.
Figure 5

Remove the bulb access door by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and removing it. Fold down, and then pull it out of the lower mounts.

Disconnect the headlight electrical connector; press the release tab, and then pull the connector straight off the headlight.
Figure 6

Disconnect the headlight electrical connector; press the release tab, and then pull the connector straight off the headlight. Rotate the bulb 45° and remove it from the headlight. Reverse these steps to install the new headlight bulb.

To replace the parking light bulb, flip the headlight over.
Figure 7

To replace the parking light bulb, flip the headlight over. Then remove the access door by rotating it 30° and pulling it off.

Rotate the bulb holder 45° and remove it from the headlight.
Figure 8

Rotate the bulb holder 45° and remove it from the headlight. Rotate the bulb to remove it from the holder. Reverse these steps to install the new headlight bulb.

To adjust the headlight beam aim, open the engine hood and look for the small plastic Phillips head adjusters (green arrows) at the back corners of the headlights.
Figure 9

To adjust the headlight beam aim, open the engine hood and look for the small plastic Phillips head adjusters (green arrows) at the back corners of the headlights. When adjusting headlight aim, be sure to have the tires at the correct pressure, the fuel tank full and the weight of one person in the driver's seat. You can also align the headlight with the opening in the hood. Loosen the 10mm mounting fasteners, and then adjust them using the screw-in or out adjusters (red arrows). When adjusting the headlight to hood alignment, tape the headlight to prevent scratches.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Ryan Comments: I have a.2007 mcs and the left headlight doesn't work. The hi beams work but not the low. I just bought replacement assemblies but the driver side low beams don't work.
November 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is there power and ground to the bulbs on both sides? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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