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Headlight Assembly and Bulb Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Headlight Assembly and Bulb Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$5 to $250

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25 Torx

Applicable Models:

VW Golf (1999-05)

Parts Required:

New assembly or bulbs

Hot Tip:

Do not touch the bulbs with bare skin

Performance Gain:

See better at night

Complementary Modification:

Polish headlight lens

Headlight assemblies on GTI Mark 4s can vary depending on the model with some including a fog light. The assembly we had on our project car includes the low beam, high beam, turn signal indicator and fog light. While some people with very small hands and extreme flexibility may be able to change bulbs with the assemblies in the car I find removing the assemblies easier and helps eliminate damaging the new bulbs.

If you are going to change the bulbs out I recommend removing the units. To do this you must first remove the bumper cover. Please see our article on removing the bumper cover.

The headlight assembly also includes two adjustment devices for aiming the lights while mounted in the car. There are two plastic knobs that you can turn with a Philips head screwdriver to assist in the vertical and horizontal adjustments.

Begin by disconnecting the wiring harness form the unit. The harness plugs into the unit by the high beam bulb. Squeeze the plug and pull straight out from the assembly.

There are four T25 Torx screws that hold the assembly in place; two on the upper section and two located below the lens. Remove these, pull the unit out of the front of the car and place lens down on a soft cloth or rag. From the back you can see the access to the high beam bulb, and the low beam, turn signal, fog light area. You can also see the vertical and horizontal adjustment mechanism.

To change the high beam bulb squeeze in on the clasp and pull the cover up and back.

Remove the connector from the bulb and push the retaining clip over the lugs and release the clip.

Pull the bulb out of the reflector and replace with a new one. Be careful not to touch the bulb with your bare skin as the oils on your skin will cause a hot spot on the bulb when in operation and can cause premature failure of the bulb.

To replace the low beam, turn signal or fog light bulbs release the spring clip on the back and remove the access panel.

The low beam and fog light are replaced the same way as the high beam bulb; the turn signal bulb is replaced by removing the connector and turning the plastic base a quarter turn and pull it from the housing.

If your lenses have yellowed now is a great time to polish them as you do not have to worry about damaging the paint while they are out of the car.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Headlight assemblies on GTI Mark 4s can vary depending on the model with some including a fog light.
Figure 1

Headlight assemblies on GTI Mark 4s can vary depending on the model with some including a fog light. The assembly we had on our project car includes the low beam (green arrow), high beam (yellow arrow), turn signal indicator (red arrow) and fog light (blue arrow).

The headlight assembly also includes two adjustment devices for aiming the lights while mounted in the car.
Figure 2

The headlight assembly also includes two adjustment devices for aiming the lights while mounted in the car. There are two plastic knobs that you can turn with a Philips head screwdriver to assist in the vertical (yellow arrow) and horizontal (red arrow) adjustments. Note: thisPicture shows the adjustment knobs with the unit out of the car for better illustration purposes.

Begin by disconnecting the wiring harness form the unit.
Figure 3

Begin by disconnecting the wiring harness form the unit. The harness plugs into the unit by the high beams. Squeeze the plug and pull straight out from the assembly (red arrows).

There are four T25 Torx screws that hold the assembly in place; two on the upper section (red arrows) and two located below the lens.
Figure 4

There are four T25 Torx screws that hold the assembly in place; two on the upper section (red arrows) and two located below the lens.

This photo illustrates the two T25 Torx screws located below the lens (yellow arrows).
Figure 5

This photo illustrates the two T25 Torx screws located below the lens (yellow arrows).

Remove these, pull the unit out of the front of the car and place lens down on a soft cloth or rag.
Figure 6

Remove these, pull the unit out of the front of the car and place lens down on a soft cloth or rag. From the back you can see the access to the high beam bulb (yellow arrow), and the low beam turn signal, fog light area (red arrow), you can also see the vertical (blue arrow) and horizontal (green arrow) adjustment mechanism.

To change the high beam bulb; squeeze in on the clasp and pull the cover up and back.
Figure 7

To change the high beam bulb; squeeze in on the clasp and pull the cover up and back.

Remove the connector from the bulb (yellow arrow), push the retaining clip over the lugs (red arrow) and release the clip.
Figure 8

Remove the connector from the bulb (yellow arrow), push the retaining clip over the lugs (red arrow) and release the clip.

Pull the bulb out of the reflector and replace with a new one (red arrow).
Figure 9

Pull the bulb out of the reflector and replace with a new one (red arrow). Be careful not to touch the bulb with your bare skin as the oils on your skin will cause a hot spot on the bulb when in operation and can cause premature failure of the bulb.

To replace the low beam, turn signal or fog light bulbs release the spring clip (red arrow) on the back and remove the access panel.
Figure 10

To replace the low beam, turn signal or fog light bulbs release the spring clip (red arrow) on the back and remove the access panel.

The low beam (red arrow) and fog light (yellow arrow) are replaced the same way as the high beam bulb; the turn signal bulb (green arrow) is replaced by removing the connector and turning the plastic base a quarter turn and pulling it from the housing.
Figure 11

The low beam (red arrow) and fog light (yellow arrow) are replaced the same way as the high beam bulb; the turn signal bulb (green arrow) is replaced by removing the connector and turning the plastic base a quarter turn and pulling it from the housing.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Cahill Comments: And if I touch the adjustment Manuel and when using my electric adjustment it will not squeeze if too much adjust

Regard Cahill
November 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if adjusted correctly, the electrical adjuster will nt be affected. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cahill Comments: Hello
Just want to ask you what is the purpose of the adjustment vertical and horizontal?
And if I adjust Manuel with a screw driver does it affect my electrical adjustment becose my mk4 has a motor adjustment up and down level
November 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Mechanical adjustment is for setting the initial aim of the headlights. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:33:29 AM