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Nissan Altima

How do you replace the headlight bulb located on a 2002 Nissan Altima?


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2015-07-15 20:50:16
2015-07-15 20:50:16
Good job pcsgrp35se. Here's some changes to reflect ground plate addition recall due to headlight ground problems. Also some other suggestions.

Low Beam Headlight Replacement 2003 Nissan Altima

Passenger Side:

1) Use a 10 mm socket to remove the two bolts on the radiator overflow bottle. Move the bottle and place it in an upright position between the radiator and the dipstick (if the engine is cold) or on top of the grille by the hood release. You will notice that the overflow rubber tube will lift off the windshield-washer bottle cap. Replace the cap so nothing falls in.

2) On the passenger-side fender you will see a bracket that one of the bolts came from. That too is bolted to the fender with a 10 mm head bolt. Remove the bolt and bracket.

3) You will see a large round cover; this is where the low beam bulb is located. Remove the cover by turning it right/clockwise (as viewed from the outside-front of the car) or by turning it left/counterclockwise (as viewed from inside the car). When you can no longer turn the cover, pull it out.

Note: I found it difficult to align the covers behind the lights. You have to figure out which little square goes where on the lamp assembly. I put a mark on the cover before I took it off and then I put another mark on the lamp assembly, aligned with the mark on the cover, after I turned the cover to remove it. Doing this will make it easy to reinstall the cover.

4) The headlight wires run through a rubber gasket in the center of the cap that will prevent you from completely removing the cover. However, you can pull the cover back a few inches and/or slide the wires through the gasket toward the bulb to make room to change the bulb. I suggest that you see how the bulb goes in so it aligns correctly.

5) There is a metal clip that holds in all H1 bulbs. This one is a real pain to get off. On the bottom of the bulb housing you will see a little ring. First push it down (towards the front of the car), then push it to the left (toward the passenger side). Flip the clip all the way up. Once you flip it up you will notice it has two places where it holds the bulb in, one on each side. You may want to use a 4" long piece of tape to hold the clip up and out of the way.

6) The bulb may have a separate ground plate with a spade terminal for the ground wire mounted on the base of the bulb. Slide this base over the spade terminal end of the new bulb with the flat sides of the bulb base and ground plate aligned. (If there is no ground plate you will only need to remove the hot wire from the base of the bulb leaving the ground wire in place)

7) Put the bulb in and clip it in place being sure the metal clip is all the way up. Once the bulb is in position move the metal clip down and toward the driver's side and secure the little ring end to hold the bulb in place.

8) To install the turn-signal and high-beam lights, simply turn each to the right/clockwise (as viewed from the outside-front of the car) or left/counterclockwise (as viewed from inside the car) and pull the bulb out.

9) Put everything back together.

Driver Side:

1) Remove the 10 mm bolt that holds the air box down (this is on the gold colored bracket on the driver-side fender).

2) Release the two clips that hold the air-filter box together and remove the filter. You can then lift the top of the air box out of the way. Loosen the steel clamp on the flexible rubber intake tube running toward the top of the engine to make this easier.

3) Remove the ram air assembly along the front of the hood. There are 4 plastic push pins on this assembly. Do not try to pry these off. Gently pry only the center plug of the pin up. Once the center plug is up they come right out. (To install push the push pin in with the center plug up then push the center plug down to secure.

4) Pull the air box straight up and out. It takes a little force because it is held in place by two rubber-male shaped plugs that go into holes. Once you have this out, the bulbs are easy to access.

5) Replace bulb using steps 3 thru 7 in Passenger side directions.

Replacing the air box:

6) Align the air box's two pointed rubber connectors with their holes and push down hard. Make sure the front air tube is out of the way. One note: there is another intake path at the bottom of the air box. Make sure that the air box is properly aligned with it.

7) After you get the bottom of the air box in, install the bolt on the fender, replace the air filter, and then replace the ram air assembly with its four push pins.

Notes: I do suggest that after you get the bulbs in and are sure that the round covers are in place correctly (as I mentioned, that was the biggest problem I had) to turn the lights on and make sure they work. I say this because, as you will see, putting the covers on sometimes causes the red wire to disengage from the bulb.

Once you get all the junk out of the way (the air box on the driver's side and the radiator overflow on the passenger side) you will see a 10 mm bolt right in the middle of the headlight assembly. This is for headlight adjustment.

Open up the hood, and go in behind the fixture where the light is located. Sometimes there is an access panel on top. Open it and reach down inside and grab the bulb's socket. Twist the socket a quarter turn counter clockwise, and pull out the socket. Grab the bulb, and pull it straight out. To replace the new bulb, never touch it with your bare fingers, as this will greatly shorten the bulb's life, if it even work's at all. Use a tissue or something else in that order to handle the new bulb. Push the new bulb into the socket, put the socket back into the housing, and twist a quarter turn clockwise to secure the socket into the fixtu

    • seems that you have to remove the coolant bottle(two screws), and also the unscrew the washer fluid bottle, after that you can reach the socket that holds the bulb. There is a wire that holds the bulb in. if you loosen the screw you can tip up the wire and be careful to leave it in place...also the long side of the wire seems to connect to ground wire for the light...

Well, I didn't get very far, but you need to replace the headlamp bulb, right?? I went to two auto part stores and got two different bulb numbers, discovered that the 9005 was the HIGH beam, decided that a 9007 would "probably work". Wrong answer, I could have saved some time by reading my manual before I went shopping. I was able to get at the driver's side lamp by removing the air filter housing, then the low-beam lamp housing opens with a 1/4 turn of a plastic disk. Strangest bulb I've ever seen, secured by a fancy spring clip and two screws, and widely spaced push-on terminals fed by individual wires.

for me will be to read the Chilton manual the next time I go shopping. Not much help, I know, but that's all I've got!

3rd Generation (2002+) Nissan Altima Headlight Bulbs Installation Procedure Written by pcsgrp35se, Edited and Pictures by V4

Passenger Side:

1) Use a 10 mm socket to remove the two bolts on the radiator overflow bottle. Move the bottle and place it in an upright position between the radiator and the dipstick (if the engine is cold) or on top of the grille by the hood release. You will notice that the overflow rubber tube will lift off the windshield-washer bottle cap. Replace the cap so nothing falls in.

2) On the passenger-side fender you will see a bracket that one of the bolts came from. That too is bolted to the fender with a 10 mm head bolt. Remove the bolt and bracket.

3) You will see a large round cover; this is where the low beam bulb is located. Remove the cover by turning it right/clockwise (as viewed from the outside-front of the car) or by turning it left/counterclockwise (as viewed from inside the car). When you can no longer turn the cover, pull it out.

Note: I found it difficult to align the covers behind the lights. You have to figure out which little square goes where on the lamp assembly. I put a mark on the cover before I took it off and then I put another mark on the lamp assembly, aligned with the mark on the cover, after I turned the cover to remove it. Doing this will make it easy to reinstall the cover.

4) The cover has a rubber gasket inside the will prevent you from completely removing the cover. However, you can pull the cover back a few inches and change the bulb. I suggest that you see how the bulb goes in so it aligns correctly.

5) There is a metal clip that holds in all H1 bulbs. This one is a real pain to get off. On the bottom of the bulb housing you will see a little ring. First push it down (towards the ground), then push it to the left (as viewed from the outside-front of the car). You may want to use a 4" long piece of tape to hold the clip up and out of the way.

6) Put the bulb in and clip it in place.

7) To install the turn-signal and high-beam lights, simply turn each to the right/clockwise (as viewed from the outside-front of the car) or left/counterclockwise (as viewed from inside the car) and pull the bulb out.

8) Put everything back together.

Driver Side:

1) Remove the 10 mm bolt that holds the air box down (this is on the gold colored bracket on the driver-side fender).

2) Release the two clips that hold the air-filter box together and remove the filter. You can then lift the top of the air box out of the way.

3) (see pictures) Pull the plastic tube from the under-hood "ram air" assembly towards the front of the car (it will move about 1/4 inch) and then pull the air box and straight out. It takes a little force because it is held in place by two rubber-male shaped plugs that go into holes. Once you have this out, the bulbs are easy to access.

Replacing the air box:

4) Align the air box�s two pointed rubber connectors with their holes and push down hard. Make sure the front air tube is out of the way. One note: there is another intake path at the bottom of the air box. Make sure that the air box is properly aligned with it and the �ram air� intake.

5) After you get the bottom of the air box in, install the bolt on the fender, replace the air filter, and then finish putting everything on.

Note: Total time to remove everything, change the bulbs, and re-install was 15 minutes. I do suggest that after you get the bulbs in and are sure that the round covers are in place correctly (as I mentioned, that was the biggest problem I had) to turn the lights on and make sure they work. I say this because, as you will see, putting the covers on sometimes causes the red wire to disengage from the bulb.

Note: Once you get all the junk out of the way (the air box on the driver�s side and the radiator overflow on the passenger side) you will see a 10 mm bolt right in the middle of the headlight assembly. This is for headlight adjustment.

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