A few things to remember:
1. Always replace bulbs in pairs. Do one side first, (so you can use the other side as a reference).
2. Do not attempt to replace bulbs while vehicle is on.
3. Never touch the actual bulb. If you must, wear gloves. (natural oils from the hands create hot-spots on the bulb, significantly reducing the bulbs life) Here is my two cents for the replace/ install: Lift the hood. Start on the passenger side. Look behind the headlight assembly, and you will notice a small section cover to the area directly related to the headlight. There will be two metal clips that use pressure to hold the cover in place. Push the metal clips away from the middle of the cover. That will loosen the piece. Remove the cover. (caution should be used not to damage the wiring harness that is directly above, nor the hose that is directly behind the cover). These covers a plastic, and in cold weather, or in a vehicle that hasn't been recently worked on, they could snap. Use gentle pressure, rather than excessive force. Once the cover is removed, look inside the assembly from the engine standpoint. You'll see a black ring that obstructs the removal of the lightbulb. First, twist the ring (about a quarter turn) to release it, then, pull the whole bulb, harness, and ring directly out of the headlamp. Remove bulb/ bulb housing from the wiring assembly, then the locking nut. Assembly is the reverse action. Take care to ensure that when installing the new bulb, you look from the exterior of the vehicle to the headlight placement to ensure the bulb is installed completely. There is three little grooves that the bulb fits into, to ensure correct placement. If the bulb is installed correctly, when you look at the bulb from the outside, you will see the o-ring seal the bulb into place. Take your time, do not be frustrated by the lack of space to work in.
The drivers side is pretty tight, hope you have small hands. First there is a plastic cover that has to be removed. It's located directly above the headlight. It's attached by 2 Phillips screws. Once the screws are removed pull the plastic piece straight up. Behind this cover, in between the battery and the headlight, you will see a black rectangular box being held by a pressure clip. Slide the metal clip to the opposite side of the box. Remove the cover. Unplug the wiring harness attached to the headlight bulb. Around the bulb is a plastic ring that acts like a nut. Turn this plastic nut until it loosens then slide over your headlight bulb. Once this ring is removed your headlight bulb should pull straight out. Insert the new bulb and put back together in reverse order. Don't forget to plug the wire harness back up.
I have found that with some after market bulbs like the Hella H83175112 HB5/9007 do not quite fit into the bulb socket of the 2001 Jetta. It has a red O-ring that creates a seal between the bulb and the engine compartment. Well the O-ring is too thick preventing you from fully seating the bulb in place. This will also make it impossible for the black plastic ring nut from sliding over the bulb and locking into place no matter how hard you push and turn. All bulbs have this O-ring but the Hella model I had was just too big. This must be a design flaw. So I took the O-ring from my old bulb that was smaller in size and used it to replace the red o-ring. The O-rings slide off and on like tight rubber bands. Once I did that I was able to properly seat the bulb (note: Aligning the three little grooves is very important). That took about 5 seconds. The plastic ring was then able to slide all the way into position where I was able to easily turn and lock it into place. My recommendation however is to get genuine VW parts.
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