Bulbs are accessed from the rear of the headlamp units under the bonnet. To expose the bulbholders,you have to remove the battery cover,the inlet pipe to the air filter and the filler pipe to the washer reservoir.
Starting under the wheel arch whichever side lamp you need to remove,unscrew nut from wheelarch strip and two bolts from edge of panelling.Raise wheelarch strip slightly and ease front panel off it's retaining pins.Unscrew fastener bolts from headlamp and front panel.Press and pull down the front panelling enough to remove the lamp assembly.Disconnect harness plugs for headlamp bulb,side and indicator bulbs and servo motor.Replace in reverse order.
I have a 1999 Forester, but I imagine the 2003 is similar in this regard. You don't actually need to remove the headlamp to replace the bulb. On my car, I unplug the wire from the bulb at the back of the headlamp, remove the large rubber piece around the back of the bulb, unclip the clips that hold the bulb in place, remove and replace. Cheers! Mark This is a good answer and is so just as stated. Thanks Mark! RicT
Caution Halogen bulbs contain gas under pressure. Handling a bulb improperly could cause it to shatter into flying glass fragments. To help avoid personal injury: Turn off the lamp switch and allow the bulb to cool before changing the bulb. Leave the lamp switch OFF until the bulb change is complete. Always wear eye protection when changing a halogen bulb. Handle the bulb only by its base. Avoid touching the glass. Keep dirt and moisture off the bulb. Properly dispose of the used bulb. Keep halogen bulbs out of the reach of children. Raise the hood. Remove the headlamp assembly bolts from the upper fascia support. Slide the headlamp assembly outward enough to release the headlamp bracket tabs from the slots in the upper fascia support. Position the headlamp assembly away from the vehicle body to access the electrical connector. Disconnect the electrical connector from the headlamp assembly. Remove the headlamp assembly from the vehicle. Disconnect the electrical connector from the headlamp bulb/socket. Remove the headlamp bulb/socket retainer ring from the headlamp, by turning counterclockwise. Remove the headlamp bulb/socket from the headlamp assembly.
HEADLAMP UNIT REMOVAL (1) Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable. (2) Remove the push pins attaching the seal to the fender. (3) Remove the bolts attaching the headlamp unit to the fender (Fig. 10). (4) Remove the bulb sockets from the headlamp unit (5) Separate headlamp unit from vehicle. provided with the tool for proper procedures.
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