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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 $450

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25 Torx

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

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 MkV 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 loosen the bumper cover enough to give you access to the headlight mounting screws. The bumper cover is an expensive piece, and it is only a little more work to remove it completely. I recommend just removing it completely and keeping it safe from damage while removing the headlights. Please see our article on removing the bumper cover.

Disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and place the cable (yellow arrow) where it can not accidentally come in contact with the battery while working.
Figure 1

Disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and place the cable (yellow arrow) where it can not accidentally come in contact with the battery while working. For more information please see our article on battery replacement.

Headlight assemblies on GTI MkV can vary depending on the model.
Figure 2

Headlight assemblies on GTI MkV can vary depending on the model. Some vehicles are equipped with standard Halogen headlights and some with the upgraded Zenon lights. The housings are the same but the electronics and wiring are different. The headlight (red arrow), high beam (yellow arrow) and turn signal lights (green arrow) are in the same place on both units.

You do not need to remove the headlight unit from the car to change the bulbs if your hands are small enough.
Figure 3

You do not need to remove the headlight unit from the car to change the bulbs if your hands are small enough. You can access all the bulbs through panels on the rear of the assembly; the headlight (red arrow), high beam (yellow arrow) and turn signal (green arrow).The bulbs are expensive and there is not a lot of room to work, so if you are worried just remove the assemblies.

The grill (yellow arrow) and bumper guard red arrow) will need to be removed to remove the headlight assemblies.
Figure 4

The grill (yellow arrow) and bumper guard red arrow) will need to be removed to remove the headlight assemblies. Please see our article on grill and bumper guard removal for further assistance. Note; some people just loosen and slide the bumper guard forward enough to gain access to the mounting hardware to the headlights.

There are three T25 Torx screws holding the headlight assemblies in place (red arrows).
Figure 5

There are three T25 Torx screws holding the headlight assemblies in place (red arrows).

Disconnect the wiring harness from the headlight unit (red arrow).
Figure 6

Disconnect the wiring harness from the headlight unit (red arrow). The headlight aim control module (green arrow) can stay plugged in, it will not be removed with the headlight assembly.

Remove the single T25 Torx screw on the top of the headlight assembly (red arrow).
Figure 7

Remove the single T25 Torx screw on the top of the headlight assembly (red arrow).

Remove the T25 Torx screw at the center front (red arrow).
Figure 8

Remove the T25 Torx screw at the center front (red arrow).

Remove the T25 Torx screw that attaches to the bumper trim piece (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the T25 Torx screw that attaches to the bumper trim piece (red arrow).

Slide the assembly out the front of the vehicle (red arrow).
Figure 10

Slide the assembly out the front of the vehicle (red arrow). You may need to turn it slightly to get it to clear the body work.

Remove the headlight access cover from the rear (red arrow) by turning it counter clockwise and pulling it off the housing.
Figure 11

Remove the headlight access cover from the rear (red arrow) by turning it counter clockwise and pulling it off the housing.

You can now see the Zenon bulb igniter (red arrow) mounted on the rear of the bulb.
Figure 12

You can now see the Zenon bulb igniter (red arrow) mounted on the rear of the bulb.

Note the signage on the igniter (red arrow) and turn it counter clockwise to remove it from the bulb retainer (green arrow).
Figure 13

Note the signage on the igniter (red arrow) and turn it counter clockwise to remove it from the bulb retainer (green arrow). Unplug the wiring connection (yellow arrow from the igniter.

The retainer ring only fits onto the bulb in one way.
Figure 14

The retainer ring only fits onto the bulb in one way. Take note of the electrical connections on the bottom (red arrow).

Turn the bulb retainer (red arrow) counter clockwise and remove it from the bulb base (yellow arrow).
Figure 15

Turn the bulb retainer (red arrow) counter clockwise and remove it from the bulb base (yellow arrow).

Pull the bulb straight back out of the housing (red arrow).
Figure 16

Pull the bulb straight back out of the housing (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. Never touch the bulb with your bare skin or dirty gloves. Oils from your skin or gloves will cause hot spots ion the bulb and shorten its life expectancy.

Pull the rubber cap (red arrow) off the housing to give access to the high beams.
Figure 17

Pull the rubber cap (red arrow) off the housing to give access to the high beams.

Pull the wiring connection (red arrow) straight back and off the bulb.
Figure 18

Pull the wiring connection (red arrow) straight back and off the bulb.

Push the wire retaining clip (red arrow) to the left and then swing it up out of the way.
Figure 19

Push the wire retaining clip (red arrow) to the left and then swing it up out of the way.

Pull the bulb straight back out of the housing (red arrow).
Figure 20

Pull the bulb straight back out of the housing (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. Never touch the bulb with your bare skin or dirty gloves. Oils from your skin or gloves will cause hot spots ion the bulb and shorten its life expectancy.

To access the running light and turn signal bulb pull the rubber cap (red arrow) off the housing.
Figure 21

To access the running light and turn signal bulb pull the rubber cap (red arrow) off the housing.

The turn signal (red arrow) bulb twists counter clockwise and pull out from the housing.
Figure 22

The turn signal (red arrow) bulb twists counter clockwise and pull out from the housing. The wiring stays attached. Installation is the reverse of removal. Never touch the bulb with your bare skin or dirty gloves. Oils from your skin or gloves will cause hot spots ion the bulb and shorten its life expectancy.

The running light bulb (red arrow) is tucked away in the side of the housing.
Figure 23

The running light bulb (red arrow) is tucked away in the side of the housing.

Use a small screwdriver between the housing and bulb base and lever the bulb out of the socket.
Figure 24

Use a small screwdriver between the housing and bulb base and lever the bulb out of the socket. Installation is the reverse of removal. Never touch the bulb with your bare skin or dirty gloves. Oils from your skin or gloves will cause hot spots ion the bulb and shorten its life expectancy.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:36:23 AM