Question about 2003 Honda Civic

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How do i replace a head light in a 2003 honda civic

How do you remove the exisiting light?

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Civic 03 - driver's side light: pop the hood, find the resevoir canister that obstructs the headlight assembly. You can acutally just grab this canister and pull upward - it is fixed on a rail and does not requre tools to release. Pull the cannister up and place it somewhere out of the way of you getting to the headlight. The cannister is attached to a hose which won't give you too much leeway but just enough to get it out of the way. Now get a flashlight and look inside the hood where the headlight assembly is. You will see/find a rubber ring that is about 3 inches in diameter that protects the headlight. Connected through the center of this ring is the electronic cable that powers the headlight. First unplug the connector cable and place somewhere out of the way. Then remove the rubber ring. It has a tab that you can grab and pull on. The ring will have some resistance so just pull hard. Now is the tricky part. Look at where the headlight is positioned. There is a metal wire clip that is holding the bulb in position. This clip can be a real pain to release. The trick is to push on this clip in toward the bulb. Push moderately hard - while pushing the clip in, you must then kind of move the clip to ( I cant remember which way) to the right or left? Sorry cant remember. But, as soon as you push it toward the right direction, the clip will release and fold down away from the bulb. The bulb will be free at this point and you can just pull it out of the headlight assembly. Put the new bulb in, fold up the metal clip and again push it in and wiggle it around left/right to make sure it is clipped in place and holding the bulb securely. Then put the rubber ring back in place making sure to allow the prongs of the bulb to stick through the center of the ring. Then plug the electronic cable to the bulb's prongs, replace the cannister on the rail and you are done. Might want to test the light before replacing everything... The driver's side is the same BUT.... the battery is in the way. Hopefully you have the code to unlock your stereo after the battery has been disconnected. If you have the code, remove the battery and go through the process outlined above for the driver's side light. If you do NOT have the code, what I did was have my dad's civic on and running, then we connected my battery to his with cables (so my car would not lose power thus causing my stereo to lock up permanently) remove battery while attached to cables, (carefully yes) and do your thing. I do NOT recomment this technique but it does work. Phew! Good luck!

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

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  • mk542b Jan 26, 2009

    Slight correction on my post above - I mean to say, connect the alternate civic ( In this case my dad's) battery cables directly to my car's battery cables, not the battery itself as that would accomplish nothing. This will keep power to the car you are working on, preserve the stereo, and allow you to remove your battery temporarily while you replace the light. Again, this is a nutty thing to do. Don't do it. Take it to a shop. Or find the code.. :)

  • mk542b Jan 27, 2009

    Ok amendment to my two above posts - last night I replaced my driver side headlight on my 2003 civic ex without tools and WITHOUT removing the battery. I was thinking about this yesterday and tried it last night. You can do most of it just by feel. Reach in between the battery and the headlight and remove the electric cable from the light. (People with really big hands may not be able to do this). Then pull off the rubber ring, hold on to it tightly and pull it up out of the way and set aside. Reach in, feel around for the wire clip holding the bulb in place. Push this clip in toward the bulb and to the right. You will feel it release - then allow the clip to fall back away from the bulb and swing down. You can now remove the bad bulb. Now take the new bulb - only handle the prongs - dont touch the glass - reach in carefully while looking through the front of the headlight to see what's happening and position the new bulb in place. Now, take your right hand and reach down with a finger or two and hold the new bulb's prongs to prevent the bulb from slipping out of place. While doing this, reach in and find the wire clip again. You might need to pull this clip back toward the car away from the bulb to get it into the position where it will be able to swing back up and over the bulb's prongs. Push the clip up and in toward the bulb. Push the ring in and to the left until it locks in place. Then take the rubber ring (keeping a finger on the inner hole of the ring), reach in and position that inner ring over the three prongs of the new bulb. This step is the hardest to do. Once you finesse the ring over the bulb's prongs, press the outer edges of the ring into place securely. After that, grab the power cable and feel around until you re-plug it to the new bulb. Voila, done. Amazing, but possible. Just take time and be patient with yourself. It can seem impossible but just keep trying and you will eventually get it. And.. you can still use your stereo without risking electrocution. : )

  • mk542b Jan 27, 2009

    3/4 of the way down the paragraph - Should read - push the CLIP in and to the left until it locks in place. Sorry for the confusion.



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