Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Car: 2010 Outback 3.6R
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Yeah, I just replaced both of my low-beam bulbs, and it's ridiculous. Since a number of people have recommended taking the front bumper off as the better/easier method, I removed all of the clips from the top and bottom of the bumper (in addition to the ones that hold on the front portion of the wheel-well liner). But then the bumper wasn't actually removing easily, and I was afraid of ripping/tearing something accidentally. So in the end I just went through the wheel-well liners. On each side there are three "plain" push-pull pins on the horizontal portion of the liner piece, attaching it to the bumper, basically. Plus two more Phillips-headed pins nearby that go into a vertical surface. Then, from the wheel-sell side, there is one more of the plain push-pull pins to remove, near the "lip" of the wheel arch.
The liner pieces folded back OK, and with the wheel turned away from the side I was working on, there was JUST enough space to get my hand up by the bulb, to first remove the round cap, then the wiring socket, and then to undo the spring clip. The spring clip is actually pretty easy to either clip in or out, once you do it the first time.
On the driver's side I freed up a little room by slipping a pair of wire cables or small hose lines out from a holder. But you're still working more by feel, since you can either see, OR have your hand in place, but not both.... It might actually help to have a "spotter" looking at things from above, although they couldn't really see much, either. As far as I can tell, there is/was no particular rotational alignment/position required for the bulb, even though the bulb itself has a tab on it. I just made sure the bulb was "flat" against its seat, and then hooked the spring clip. Things seem to be working fine afterwards, so I assume the rotational position didn't really matter....
There's a bit more room on the passenger side, but it's not much better. At one point, while I was trying to get the new bulb in position, it slipped out of my fingers, and dropped partly next to, and partly behind, the socket area. I thought I'd "lost it" for a few minutes, but was finally able to retrieve it.
Whoever designed this must have had very small hands.... My hands are relatively large, and I scraped them up pretty bad.