Question about 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

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How do I replace headlight on 2006 subaru tribeca

I noticed that I am gong to ahve to remove the battery and the air filter is there anything else I need to know?

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  • Anonymous Dec 27, 2008

    I have the same problem.  My third headlight out in three years, and each time the dealer charges me $60-$100 labor to get the headlight changed.  Last time they took off the bumper/grill to replace the passenger side headlight.  The driver's side is easier.  No solution yet and checked the web without results as well.  Would love to get a cheaper fix.  Solution?  Possibly trade it in on another car :-)

  • FunNcars Jan 10, 2009

    I moved the battery, counterclockwise unscrewed the low beam headlight cap, pulled the two spade electrical connectors off .....and spent the last 45 mins using a mirror and trying to figure out how to remove the spring retaining clip. This bulb assembly sucks. Still have no clue how to change this damn bulb ...and if Subaru didn't over-ride my choice to turn the headlights off during the day "for my safety" I wouldn't need to be replacing this bulb for another 3 years! I love the car, but EVERY thing I don't like this vehicle was done on purpose by Subaru for my safety.

  • ltcnurse00 Jan 30, 2009

    Just wanted to add...i have had replaced 2 headlights and 1 fog light and 1 interior light in less than 3 years!

  • Anonymous Feb 08, 2009

    Same problem here - No room to work - this should be an easy replacement any owner could take care of. But the engineers and workers at subaru must have tiny hands and vendictive personalities.

  • tmill4030 Feb 14, 2009

    I've been working on it for like 4 or 5 hour. I got the light on the passager side replaced but i dont know how to get the clip to hold it in place. i cant even get the driver side out and i have more room. it's retarted

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To remove light bulb from Tribeca B9 low beam simply 1) remove outer cap, 2) reach into round cavity holding bulb and disconnect two leads, 3) then press on one end of wire clip--the one with the larger bracket (use mirror to view then go by feel) and while pressing on wire move outward away from bracket and clip will swing up and out of the way while being held from falling away by screw on other side of bulb socket. 4) pull bulb out noting that there is a tang which goes back in the same location. Driver side is easier if you remove battery. Other side only requires you remove air intake vent to air box ----- two pop-outs hold it in. Do not take the front end of the car off or light unit out as suggested above.

Posted on Oct 18, 2009

  • Joe McDaniel Dec 28, 2010

    I have a 2008 Tribeca. Perhaps it is a bit different than the 2006, but I found a Phillips screw at the top of the outer cap (step 1) that I had to remove to get the cap off.

    Also, be careful when inserting the bulb, it is very easy to miss the hole and "insert" the bulb into the space around the reflector (another poor design feature). I had to get a magnet to retrieve the lost bulb (thank goodness the bulb is magnetic!); a prong pickup would probably also work.

    Otherwise, these instructions worked well (it was still a hassle).

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Took me less than 10 minutes to replace low beam for driver's side, following different advice in these posting.

Let me summarize:

1. Loosen battery to it can be twised away.

2. Unscrew plastic cover to low beam hide out.

3. unplug top wire to lamp and push up and out of way.

4. Unplug bottom wire to lamp and push down and out of the way.

THis way you should find it easy to plug back on.

5. Now you need to unhook clip holding lamp in. You push spring clamp inward and to ground to unhook. "The side that releases is on the fender side, and it swings toward the motor"!

6. Pull lamp out and notice tab is pointing towards ground.

7. Put lamp back in.

8. Swing clip back around, pushing down and inward till you feel it latch.

9. Put bottom wire lead on.

10. Put top wire lead on.

11. Screw on cap to lamp hideout.

12. Move battery back in place and secure.

Really, no more than 5 minutes needed.

Posted on Dec 16, 2010

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  • rufusprime99 Jan 26, 2011

    NO TOOLS REQUIRED. This can be done by touch on either the passenger or drivers's side. The bulb resides in a tube with a screw on end cap. Remove the end cap by screwing counter-clockwise. Reach in and you will feel 2 electrical leads. Pull both out. They will naturally stay one on top of the other, so no worries about them swapping places. Here is the tricky part. There is a wire that is holding the bulb in place. It looks complicated, but is made by design to be EASY to deal with. With your thumb, press the wire retainer in and a bit down. It will pop loose. Remove the bulb holding it by one of the electrical leads. Remove it carefully AND TAKE NOTE OF ITS' EXACT ORIENTATION SO YOU CAN PUT THE NEW BULB IN THE SAME WAY. Get the new bulb and remove from its' protective cover, holding it by its' electrical lead. Do not touch the bulb. The oils from your hand can reduce bulb life. As mentioned above, hold the bulb in the same orientation as the bulb you removed. The wire clip is as easy to replace as it was to remove. Push it forward and up. Again, it will snap into place. Replace the 2 electrical leads, and replace the screw on end cap. Test the headlight. BE CONFIDENT. THIS IS REALLY JUST AS EASY AS I HAVE DESCRIBED.

  • MTkaye Feb 18, 2011

    Thank you SO much for this clear and succinct description of how to change this globe! As my husband isn't very helpful, I really appreciate your assistance!!! :)

  • humms Mar 09, 2011

    Wonderful post. Thank you. This, along with the pictures at the link below, made this an easy job.
    http://www.dr-chuck.com/csev-blog/2010/0...

    A few comments that could help some people:
    - On my 2009 tribeca, the plastic cover to the "low beam hideout" does not unscrew (step 2). It's held in place by a single phillips screw which must be loosened at the top of the cap. The cover then hinges downward and can be removed.
    - The clips on the driver and passenger sides (step 5) are identical (not mirror images). So the side that releases is toward the driver-side fender in both cases. In both cases, push the clamp inward (toward the front of the car), and rotate toward the ground (counterclockwise) to release the clip.

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Thanks to pjwalonee for providing a great solution. I'll steal his answer and add pioctures to make it easier to understand.

First here is what you do! For either side you have to remove the intake for the air box(2 plastic screw plogs)

how do I replace headlight on 2006 subaru tribeca - 737e7ca.jpg

then take off the Plastic piece under( like 9 plastic plugs)

23ad58a.jpg

Then: Drivers side - Remove the Battery, take 2 tohow do I replace headlight on 2006 subaru tribeca - ddc7dc1.jpgt of light assembly

ddc7dc1.jpg

then underneath the fender skirt remove 3 lhow do I replace headlight on 2006 subaru tribeca - 68f183f.jpgc plugs and 1 plastic plug screw, pry open plastc skirt and look inside

68f183f.jpg

There you will see a plastic piece on the bottom of the light assembly connected by 3 small screws on the bottom and a screw in the front like on the top of the light, I took the front screw off first, its how do I replace headlight on 2006 subaru tribeca - 00ec686.jpgd removed the 3 small screws with a magnetic ratcheting screwdriver( keeps screws from being lost and installs them great)

00ec686.jpg

once this piece is off the bottom of light assembly the light willl come right out, ..
IMP... Dont forget to remove main harness plug from entire light assembly to remove it so you can work on it outside, this will make the light and little spring easy to remove,

Passenger side is a little easier, but the Air filter box must be removed, 2 10mm screws and a 10mm nut. otherwise the lower fender/spoiler piece lowers the same . not bad really just take your time and work slow.

Posted on Jul 05, 2009

  • Davmarco Nov 02, 2010

    Please...hardest part is removing battery........20 min job

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Well just did mine and don't know how you guys got into your solutions. Hardest pasrt was battery removal. Twist off cap and a clip holds the bulb in. Push clip and remove bulb. Repalce and clip back in !! Simple!!

Posted on Oct 19, 2009

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First I would like to say! This is Possible although I didn't think so!
First here is what you do! For either side you have to remove the intake for the air box(2 plastic screw plogs) then take off the Plastic piece under( like 8 plastic plugs)
Then: Drivers side - Remove the Battery, take 2 top screws out of light assembly, then underneath the fender skirt remove 3 lower plastic plugs and 1 plastic plug screw, pry open plastc skirt and look inside. There you will see a plastic piece on the bottom of the light assembly connected by 3 small screws on the bottom and a screw in the front like on the top of the light, I took the front screw off first, its a 10mm, and removed the 3 small screws with a magnetic ratcheting screwdriver( keeps screws from being lost and installs them great)
once this piece is off the bottom of light assembly the light willl come right out, ..
IMP... Dont forget to remove main harness plug from entire light assembly to remove it so you can work on it outside, this will make the light and little spring easy to remove,

Passenger side is a little easier, but the Air filter box must be removed, 2 10mm screws and a 10mm nut. otherwise the lower fender/spoiler piece lowers the same . not bad really just take your time and work slow.

I was frustrated, but this will work! and save you at least 50 bucks a side, change both together, for obvious reasons!
good luck. pjwalonee@yahoo.com

Posted on Feb 15, 2009

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I have very large hands and I was able to replace both headlights from above without removing anything extra besides the little screw cap behind the lights.

Posted on Jul 07, 2009

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Quite frankly I was worried about replacing my lower beam bulb in 2006 Tribeca since I was due for a oil change anyway I asked my local Jiffy Lube shop to replace it for me...$20.00 and that include labor and part...I watched the whole thing ,it took him 20 min...no problem at all!!

Posted on Jan 16, 2010

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For low beam light on drivers side. Take the battery out. Take the cover off of the fuse box( more room to see). DO NOT TAKE THE LIGHT ASSEMBLY LOOSE. Screw the back of the low beam light cap off. Pull off the two wires to back of bulb (make sure you remember which wire goes where. Push the retaining clip in and down towards the ground. It should open about 100-110 degrees. Remove old bulb. Install new buld with square side toward the ground. There is a guide in which the square side fits. Flip retaining clip back into place. Push the clip in and it snaps under a little metal holder. Plug wires back in. Put cap back on. Put fuse box cover and battery back in. Smile and tell your friends it took you 30-45 minutes!

Posted on Oct 29, 2010

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Like dannivi, just twist off the cap, push retaining clip sideways (hardest part to figure out-especially going back in), and remove 2 clips from old bulb. Total time less than 5 min.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010

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Don't get discouraged. Read solutions 3 and 10; use a mirror as suggested to see how the clip releases. The side that releases is on the fender side, and it swings toward the motor (I just did my driver's side). Once you get the clip figured out, you're "10 minutes from home." Seriously.

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

  • TheMooMan Dec 29, 2010

    read solutions 3 & 10. Yes, the battery and the duct will have to be removed, but that's not difficult. Get a light and a mirror and you'll see how the clip swings away from the fender toward the engine.

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I have the same problem with my Tribeca. I replaced more headlights in this car over three years than I replaced in the life of my driving, I have been driving for 32 years.
I attempted the right side and chickened out. Then I went to the dealer and the labor and the bulbs are costly!!! I thought it was my dealer ripping me off with cheap bulbs. This is the only trouble I have had with this car. Because of the light bulb problems I probably will not buy another Subaru. It is plain ridiculous.

Posted on Sep 03, 2010

  • TheMooMan Nov 06, 2010

    Don't get discouraged. Find the 2 posts below by jgneuw and ackerman; read both. The key to success and saving time

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I just finished replacing the driver side low beams. I could unscrew the cap but for the rest I had to unsecure the battery (different from actually removing it) so I had enough room to get my hand in there.
Hardest part (besides having the patience of a Buddha) was getting the spring clip on and off.
Total time was 2 hours.

Posted on Apr 01, 2010

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The driver's side will require you to remove the battery. Once done here is what you do. Remove the cover from cup/tube that leads to the bulb. Then, remove the 2 electrical leads to the bulb. There is a wire clip that holds the bulb in place. It is REALLY EASY to remove if you know the trick. Push the wire clip forward and it will pop loose. Then grab the bulb by its' lead and remove. Note the position of the bulb. Get the replacement bulb, and hold it the same way, by the lead. Do not touch the bulb, as any contamination can reduce bulb life. Remove protective covering from bulb while holding by lead. Insert, and then close wire retainer by pushing it forward. It will click in in a very obvious fashion. Replace the 2 electric leads, Put tube cover back on, On passenger side, that is it. On driver side, replace battery.

Posted on Dec 24, 2010

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I to could do this with out going under to remove whole thing.. it just turns a half turn then pops out..

Posted on Oct 15, 2009

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I just replaced both bulbs in the 06 Tribeca. Time taken 40 min. ( 2 beers)
I removed the battery bracket and moved the battery across to gain access to the light housing. I didn't disconnect the battery- i could move it far enough. Then unclipped etc as per others advise. (1 beer)
The other side ( I'm in Australia so can't say driver passenger side as this may be confusing). I removed the air intake as per manual then removed the air filter box. This gave me enough access to the housing to replace bulbs. (2nd beer)
Tools 10mm ring spanner and socket. Phillips head screw driver for air clamp.
Be patient and as others have said take note and look which way the lug is facing on the globe.

Posted on May 03, 2012

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Completely was able to do this without taking everything out as well.. however, I don't suggest doing it this way if you don't have a good feel for auto work. I might as well have done this blindfolded, cuz doing this without removing anything is all touch and feel with your arm contorted and hand shoved into blind crevices. Don't know how the guy with the large hand did the driver's side cuz i'm skinny and was barely able to feather the bulb through without dropping it.

My 2 cents (if you attempt to do this without removing all those pieces) -
- if you removed the bolts holding in the headlight assy put them back in, it'll make it harder to undo/redo the spring (it needs resistance)
- pull the plugs (2 per bulb) straight out and tuck them away so they don't impede putting the new bulb in
- pull up this page on your phone and keep the pic of the back of the bulb handy (http://www.dr-chuck.com/csev-blog/2010/05/how-do-i-replace-the-headlight-on-2006-subaru-tribeca/)
- feel for the loop in the spring mechanism, push in and down to release.. this is where it helps to have the pic in front of you
- DON'T DROP THE BULB!!! just do it all in reverse and your done
- I suggest doing the passenger side first since there's a little more room and you can get a better understanding of how the process goes before doing the tougher driver's side

Posted on Feb 23, 2012

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Don't loosen any screws to the tension springs for the bulb. Once you take the round plastic cover off where the headlight bulbs are, you unplug the two wires first. The small tension spring just has to be pushed down where it goes under a small metal piece. The other side is held in place with a screw. You then take the old bulb out and put the new one back in. On the drivers side you have to loosen up the battery without taking it all the way out in order to get to the light housing. On the passenger side you have to reach in by the air intake cover and take the plastic round cover off there. I made the mistake of taking off tension spring off and everything went wrong from there. I then found out that the other side blew out as well. The drivers side bulb had bulged in the glass part of the bulb and then when I tried to get it out of the socket, it blew up. there was a whole blown out in the side of the bulb. A five minute job turned into a five hour one.

Posted on Feb 19, 2011

  • blt13kat Feb 19, 2011

    The springs for the bulbs do not need to be taken out, only push down the spring side that is nearest the engine. You don't need to loosen any air intake on the passenger side and only the battery on the drivers side to get to that bulb. The spring is held in place by the screw and the spring side that needs to be pushed back into place goes under a small metal piece with a screw on top of it. There is a small notch under the metal piece that looks like brass. The other screw has a small line groove beside it and does not need to be loosened at all. If you do loosen this screw you are in for 5 hours of frustration.

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