2010 Outback Low Beam Lamp Replacement - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 10:27 PM
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Well, my RH side low beam finally kaput. I had no luck changing them out previously....so, oppurtunity to take it to the dealership and see how they handle it.

I went out to Canadian tire and bought the xtravision for $30/- and gave it to the dealership to install it. They charged me installation after tax $27/- with my VIP 10% discount.
Anyway, the tech (senior guy) started to work on the Rh side...he took out the entire air intake system. And got easy access from there. Took him about 10 minutes.

The LH side was a different story...he had to lift the car up and he went through the way of the manual. Didn't take off the bumper.
He pulled out the clips as per manual and got his hand inside the well like the manual (wheel turned of course). I was surprise he didn't take off the bumper like other owners have done. Anyways, took him a while to fiddle around with the cap, spring clip, bulb....I could see he was b!@#tching. Took him about 20 minutes or so and it was done. I guess on the lift, going through the way of the manual is possible by bending back the wheel well. After all said and then...he gives me back the key and tells me...."Now, that was fun!".... So, in about 1/2 hour he got both bulbs changed out.

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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 12:32 AM
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What about cutting a 4 inch hole in the right spot and then installing one of these? The instructions sound ridiculous.

car history: 1969 toyota corona 1970 honda 600 car 1978 dodge p/u slant-6 1978 saab 99 EMS 1967 & 1968 volvo 122 1976 bmw 2002 1968 & 1967 plymouth valiant slant-6 1995 vw golf 1997 honda odyssey 1998 mazda p/u 2005 subaru outback 2003 dodge diesel p/u 4x4 2000 vw golf TDI 2012 subaru outback (RIP)
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DieselOx View Post
What about cutting a 4 inch hole in the right spot and then installing one of these? The instructions sound ridiculous.
that would serve a purpose if removing the wheel liner was the issue. it's not. it's fumbling with one arm blindy in a tight space. still voting for removing the bumper.

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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 10:33 PM
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Wow.... So really enjoying my 2011 Outback, then the other day the driver side low beam burned out. No big deal, right? I have/do own Fords, Hondas, Chevrolets, now Subaru. Until now, bulb replacement has been a pretty simple task. So, I bought the replacement bulb, busted out the owners manual and read the instructions.... What?!!! Remove the inner fender liner? What?!!! So, thinking it would be a 20 minute job, I got out the tools and a flashlight. I couldn't even tell how many clips to look for. I made the mistake of starting near dusk, so I quickly ran out of daylight. Laying on the ground, grimy from the tire and fender, trying to hold the small flashlight in my mouth... Boy, talk about crappy engineering. I have taught my teenage drivers how to look in the manual to replace bulbs... Taillight, headlight, turn signal, whatever. I am pretty mechanical, but due to lack of light, I was defeated and had to put the clips back. Tonight I decided to check the forum for tips. Remove the bumper????? Really???! Holy crap, Batman. I didn't realize it was a couple hour job to replace a bulb.

Whew. I feel better now, having vented my frustrations. Several days of rain forecasted here on the west coast, so I guess I will have to wait awhile before my next attempt.

Ridiculus to plan my day around a simple bulb replacement!

Color me frustrated, Subaru!!!!!
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 11:14 PM
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Totally agree... horrible design decision by Subaru. With a burnt out bulb being a safety issue and also something you can get ticketed for, it should be a task you can perform without tools in the parking lot of an auto parts store or service station if necessary.
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 08:54 PM
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Ok....I've replaced both low beam lamps on my 2011 outback....discovered a couple of tricks that helped in the process. Tip for either side: There is a "cap" on the back on the headlamp assembly that covers the low beam bulb. This cap will only align one way, so make a mark on the housing and the cap so you won't fight aligning the cap to the housing. There is a spring clip that holds the bulb in place. The clip hooks on a latch. To unlatch, push in (towards the bulb) and then down. Clip will hingle out of the way, allowing the bulb to be removed.
Driver Side access: You can see the cap from under the hood, but not enough clearance to work it from the top side. I had to remove the wheel and the fender liner. I worked it via the fender well, but was able to (somewhat) see from under the hood. I'm a big guy with big hands/sausage fingers, but was able to do without too much difficulty.
Passenger Side: Much easier.....did not have to remove the wheel and fenderwell liner. Instead I removed the air cleaner box to gain access.....only two bolts/nuts, less than 5 minutes. The most difficult part was putting the "cap" back on, but here's a trick that worked really well...... Drill a small hole in the tab closest the mark you make on the cap (described above). Tie about a 24" string to the cap thru the drilled hole. Fish the string thru the fender space and out the access hole by the air box. "Pull" the cap into position, align the marks, and tighten. This probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but it will when you raise the hood and check it out.

Hope this helps!
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 04:28 AM
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I am due for an oil change shortly. I might just see what Jiffy Lube charges to change the bulb.

Thanks for the tip, rdh. I can see how removing the wheel will make the job easier. Now I am just frustrated at the principle of the thing.... New owners manual instructions: "To remove the low beam driver side bulb, start by removing the engine and transmission, followed by the wheel and fender liner."

All y'all may not see the humor in my sarcasm, but I crack myself up.

Still lovin' the car, just need to learn its idiosyncrasies.
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 11:52 AM
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This thread is somewhat off-putting. I thought changing the H7s in our SAAB was difficult enough.....

Current rides: '13 VW Passat TDI, '04 SAAB 9-5 Wagon, Looking to acquire a new car within the next year due to VW Dieselgate, consider Outback a prime contender.....doing the research.
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:04 PM
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Add me to the list of the frustrated......I changed the bulbs in our 2004 h6 several times over the years and thought this would be cake so I went to Napa, got some bulbs and then got the book out in my parking lot at work.

It's 36 degrees today and there's NO WAY I was going to be able to pull that liner back even with all the clips out. Guess I'll have to wait until I get home and in the garage to do it.

So ridiculous.
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:12 PM
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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.

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