How do you replace headlights for a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse?
This seems to be a mind boggler for many people..... It was for me also 3 months after I drove it off the showroom floor!!!
(1) Remove the plug the first thing going to the bulb. PLEASE NOTE that it may be difficult to remove, but it has to be removed before you can continue. Another note here, Upon my first replacement (and now I am seeing other posts on other sites about this now that several years have gone by for the cars) the connector may have melted. I was a field rep and on the road 200-400 miles daily and ran the lights all the time and found it to be that the low beam connection was the one that melted on the passenger side, but for some reason the passenger side was fine (Then)! Anyway this may make removing the connector difficult, and you may need to head for the parts store to get a new set of connectors, about $9.00 for a pr I believe it was at Advance. So just keep wiggling and pulling till you get it off. Upon getting it off DO inspect the connector, DO go get a new one if you see any melting on it because it will fail soon!!! If it is melted or you have problems with step #3 & 6, or think you might have problems feeling around in the dark for steps #3 & #6 then go to steps 1(A), 1(B), 1(C), and 1(D). Otherwise go to step #2.
(A) If your connector is melted or shows ANY signs of melting or browning from excessive heat replace it now because it is going to fail, I repeat it is going to fail, so just go back to the store now and get a pack of new ones for the bulb. (I don't know why they put such a crappy connector and small wire for the headlights!!) Of course they didnt give you enough wire to work with here, so a litle hint here, take out the headlight assy itself. There are 3 bolts right on the top to remove and that's it. Remove the 3 bolts (besure not to loose the washer on the top elevated bolt as it is under the clip under the bolt) You will have to use a "Little" lifting and wiggling force as there is a plastic catch alignment clip underneath the headlamp assy that is not visible. Once the headlamp Assy is removed you have easy access to the "SHORT DERN WIRES" to be able to replace the connector.
(B) On the back of the headlamp assy remove the black rubber boot. Upon removing it you will see the light itself and the retaining clip. Push in and down on the looped end of the clip and swing it away from the bulp. Now you can slide the bulb straight out. Insert the new bulp paying attention to its orientation. The center of the 3 pin electrical connection the center one is oriented straight up. You will feel it drop into place when correctly inserted and oriented. Now swing the clip back across the back of the bulb and push in and the up to latch the clip. Dont use too much pressure as it means you are not oriented correctly. Now replace the rubber weather boot on the back of the headlamp assy.
(C) After you have repaired/replaced your connector and lamp, you can reinstall the headlamp assy. Align the pin underneath the assy with the clip/hole and gently ensure you are aligned with the hole/clip and then push into place. Insert the Bolts...oh yea in case you forgot the washer goes underneath the headlamp assy clip for the top clip, the bolt alredy has a washer on it. Also Dont overtighten or you will break the clips on top. So try and be careful, Dealer replacement cost for this piece of plastic is over $400 ( Someone backed into me and I found out just recently) so junkyard is probabily $50-$150!
(D) Go to Step #8
(2) Now if you look and then feel there is a rubber boot about 3" in dia on the back of the Headlight assy. Just pull it off, it has tab(s) on it so you can grab ahold of it if needed.
(3) Now the fun part.... I know it is hard to see but look at the back of the headlight assy and you will see the 3 prongs for the connector, and a brass colored wire clip across the lower portion of the bulb. On one side of this clip is a loop on the end of the clip that stick our and away from the bulb about 1/4-3/8 of an inch from the bulp and to the side of it. Once you have located to loop reach in and push in and down at the same time on the clip so the clip no longer latches on its catch. Once this is done swing the clip to the opposite side out of the way. If you cant get it loose go to steps 1(A), 1(B), 1(C), and 1(D).
(4) The bulb will now come straight out.
(5) Insert the new bulb with the center of the 3 connection pins in the straight up position, you will feel the bulb seat or drop into place when it is oriented correctly. If the bulb is not oriented correctly as stated you will have problems getting the locking clip to lock and you can break the clip and then you are in for fun trying to find a replacement.
(6) This is similar to #3, you will be doing this be feel. Once the new bulb is inserted and oriented correctly, swing the retaining clip back across the back of the bulb. Now push in and apply upward motion to latch the retaining clip. If you are trying to apply substantially more pressure trying to latch it vice unlatching it go back to #5 and reorient it correctly. (If you cant get it to latch go to steps 1(A), 1(B), 1(C), and 1(D))
(7) Slide the weather boot back onto the back of the headlight assy.
(8) Plug the connector back on to the bulb
(9) ***YOU"RE DONE*** I hope this helped some of you!
P.S. The "Sylvania SilverStar's" Always lasted the longest 9-12 months vice 5-7 months with the Bluestar's, and 3-4 months with standard issue bulps. Im sure the new HID's may last longer, but at a WAY HIGHER price! But on a cost comparsion for the $ the "Silverstars" were the best bang for the $ when ran on a continious use basis. Just remember though, 9-12 months of my driving was probabily more like 4-ish years of your driving in their useage