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How to remove the headlamp on a 2005 Nissan Altima?

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2014-07-15 21:21:37
2014-07-15 21:21:37
This pertains to the 2005 Altima and perhaps the 2006. There are two 10mm bolts on the top of the headlight and a pin on the inner side (towards the grill) of each light (which pulls straight out towards the front of the car). HOWEVER, there is a third bolt hidden by the front bumper covering on the outside front of the headlight. This is completely covered by the fascia of the bumper. I had to partially remove the front inner fender (one small bolt, three Phillips screws and plastic removable push pin/rivets (reusable), then reach under the now exposed insides near the headlight to remove a 10mm bumper bolt, and partially drop the bumper fascia to reach the hidden bolt. This allows the whole headlight assembly to be removed and easily access the back and all of the lamps. I did this so I could install aftermarket h.i.d. (high intensity discharge) headlamps in my car. I have installed h.i.d.s on a number of cars, but this was by far the worst and most time consuming of any of them. It really helps to know about that third hidden bolt!

Actually, I believe my three bolts and one screw method might be a tad easier: Low Beam.

Important: Never touch any part of the bulb with your fingers as the oil could decrease the life of the bulb.

Driver's side Low/High-Beam access:

Unscrew the two top mounted 10mm bolts. Then the Phillips(10mm) bolt holding the air filter box in place and unscrew the hose clamp behind the air filter and pull the air box out of its two(?) rubber mounts and you will have all the access you need. Then turn the grey (Low Beam) cover clockwise and pull out of the rear of the headlight assembly. Once the grey cover is removed you will see two connecting wires: The grey wire at 12:00 and the red at 6:00. Gently pull the red wire off of the back of the bulb and then a small retaining clip (attached). You will be able to pull out the bulb.

It is important to pay attention to HOW the bulb is sitting against the small metal contact. Half-way down the low beam bulb, there is a circular metal contact shaved at a angle on the left side as you are looking from back to front that needs to mate against the other.

To replace the passenger side Low Beam:

Unscrew the two 10mm bolts holding the coolant reservoir and pull the reservoir and attached tubing out from around the window washer filler tube and set off to the side.

In case of the grey cover you now must turn it to the left (counterclockwise). Everything else is the same: Pull off the red wire cover, attached retaining clip and pull the bulb out etc.

The right bulb took me twice as long to replace,if you were to figure the time just to replace the bulb, as the space was far more limited than on the driver's side.

This method of removal should allow you access to the High-beam, as well.

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