Question about 2003 Lexus LS 430

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Need to replace low beam headlight bulbs

One of my 2003 LS430 Lexus low beam headlight bulbs needs to be replaced, and I am looking for instructions on how to do this without going to a dealer. I was quoted $440 to replace 1 low beam bulb at a Lexus dealer. I have determined how to loosen the headlamp package from the body, but can't get it out over the front bumper. I also don't know how to open this to change the bulb out. This car requires the HID bulbs in the low beams, and I can buy a pair of Sylvania/Osram bulbs for about $120 (I think these are what lexus uses). Help!

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  • 5 more comments 
  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    I only got a question from leecom72. No solution.

  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    It is not a sealed beam. If you are familiar with the Lexus ls430, there is a light package which it appears you have to remove from the car before changing out the bulb. However, the fromt bumper is in the way. Do I have to take the bumper off? Once I get the light package out of the car, do you know how to replace the bulb?

  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    mdsaaed67 did not provide a solution. Still need a detailed solution.

  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    marked gave me a good link, but no idea about this specific car (lexus 2003 ls 430). Do I have to remove the top portion of the front bumper to get access to the headlamp assembly? If so, how (are there hidden bolts at each end of the bumper?)

  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    Actually, I don't believe this expert is familiar with this car. The battery is on the firewall, on the right hand side of the engine compartment.

  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    Thank you to emissionwiz. That is what I was afraid of. There are 2 bolts in plain view under the grille, but there must be other fasteners on the top 1/2 of the bumper (it appears that the bumper is split and only the top 1/2 has to come off). Does anyone know where the other fasteners are and how to reach them?

  • plumblee Dec 01, 2008

    I'll accept this one for now, ( I am not near the car now), but I did have clear access to the light assembly yesterday and did not see a door to open. I was able to disconnect the wire harness, but it is connected to the reflector, so that cannot be removed from the back. If there was a door there, I sure didn't see it.

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But, it's changing a light bulb...open hood, look at back of light assembly, open door that accesses bulb for low, disconnect wire, disconnect retainer spring, insert new bulb & reverse steps. Takes about 1 minute. Although you can frequently get the existing one to work just by jiggling it, you may want to purchase the replacement first...so you can see what it looks like...it is a small bulb...not the old sealed beam. 

also  --remember not to touch new halogen bulbs with your bare hands. --- 
--oil from you skin is not good for them -- 

I think this wins the prize for one of the most annoying headlight replacements I've ever tried. By the way, the high beam is simple, it just twists and pulls out. These directions are for the much more annoying low beams. 

1) unplug the headlight. The (probably white) connector pulls straight back without any latch or clip. Wiggle it a little. Remember what orientation it was in. This will help later. 

2) peel back the rubber gasket. It just slides on and off. 

3) now see a strange little metal clip. Push on the looped part and slide it down a little. It should pop off. It's on a hinge, so pull it out of the way as far as possible. 

4) now take the bulb out. There is a black connector base. Take it off the old bulb and put it on the new bulb...without touching the new bulb glass. 

5) put the new bulb in. Use the same orientation the old bulb was in. The bottom (towards the ground) is shaped a little different. 

6) replace the clip. yes this can be a pain. If it's a real pain you may not have the bulb in correctly. 

7) replace the rubber gasket. Do the outside first. Press the inner part with a finger tip...running it around the new bulb to make sure it is all the way down and won't interfere with the connector. 

8) replace the connector/wires. 

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

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  • Lexus Master
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I checked with a Lexus owners club and the front bumper must indeed be removed to access the bulbs, I checked at 2 different owners club forums, I quote, I KNOW IT SOUNDS LIKE BULL BUT THE FRONT BUMPER MUST BE REMOVED, end quote.

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 01, 2008


    llincon's solution is a dead end, the bulbs can't be accessed with the bumper being removed, check with a Leus owners forum, there are many on the net.

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  • Lexus Master
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This is the CORRECT procedure:
Remove the lower engine cover
Remove the both front inner fender liners
Remove the bumper cover
To remove the headlamp assembly
Remove the 3 screws, pull it forward, and disconnect the wire
To remove the HID discharge bulb
Remove the HID socket cover
Remove the socket, rotating CCW
Remove the discharge bulb by releasing the spring clips




Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • Toyota Ed Dec 01, 2008

    The "best solution" is 100% incorrect.

    Emissionwiz's advice is correct.

    My solution comes right out of the Lexus Service Manual; I'll be very glad to send you a .PDF of the actual correct procedure.

  • Toyota Ed Dec 01, 2008

    Re-reading all of the advisements, I find that NONE are remotely correct, none of these will rectify your problem, other than mine & Emissionwiz's. I know that it is a large amount of work to remove the bumper, but, you run the risk of damaging the HID controlller and or the socket if you try to pry it out with the headlamp installed. The replacement cost for the HID unit is way too much to piddle about with the other useless solutions previously posted. Trust me. I do this every day of the week, the others do not.

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  • Mark Gil
    Mark Gil Dec 01, 2008

    Try this:
    * Remove the headlight bezel retaining screws. Remove the bezel. If necessary, disconnect the turn signal lamp wires.
    * Remove the retaining ring screws from one or both lights.
    * Remove the retaining rings.
    * Remove the light from the housing. Disconnect the wiring connector from the back of the light.
    * Push the wiring connector onto the prongs at the rear of the new light.
    * Place the new light in the headlight housing. Position it so the embossed number in the light lens is on the top.
    * Place the retaining ring over the light and install the retaining ring screws. Tighten them slightly.
    * Check the aim of the headlight and adjust it, if necessary.
    * Install the headlight bezel. Secure it with the retaining screws.
    * Connect the turn signal lamp wiring (if it was disconnected).



  • Mark Gil
    Mark Gil Dec 01, 2008

    Let me look for a much detailed way of replacing the headlight beam that may be the exact solution that you're looking for....


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  • Master
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If it is sealed beam then it can not be replaced. otherwise just dismantle the beams and you will find the bulb right behind the beam. replacement could be made and assemble it again.

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

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On either side opf the car, there is a spring type wire that holds the bulb in place,(it is located under the rubber boot) undo the wire clip and the bulb assembly will fall out, or you may need to pull slightly. Be sure to bring the old bulb with you unless you are buying OEM parts(from Lexus parts). Many auto parts stores list the bulb as one that has a 90 degree bend where the plug is, but on my Lexus, it is a straight bulb.


Thnx.

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • taran_2005
    taran_2005 Dec 01, 2008

    In simple language :)





    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 fixture.



    Thnx.

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Headlight dissmantle?

Posted on Dec 01, 2008

  • Lee Hodgson
    Lee Hodgson Dec 01, 2008

    remove the battery and air intake assembly and just replace the bulbs while the light assemblies are still on the car. There is a plastic cover to remove that seperates the back of the lights from the engine bay...after removing that you can get to the bulbs.

    or....



    Take out the parking light first (1 screw)

    headlight assembly (4 bolts)



    kind regards

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