DIY Guide: How to Replace Low Beam Bulb on Your 2011 Subaru Outback (+ Easy Car Maintenance Tips!)

If you own a 2011 Subaru Outback, you know how important it is to keep your car in good condition. One area that often needs maintenance is the headlights. If your low beam bulb has burned out, it can be a safety hazard and a nuisance. However, replacing a low beam bulb is a simple process that you can do yourself. In this article, we will guide you through the process of replacing the low beam bulb on your 2011 Subaru Outback, as well as provide some other easy car maintenance tips.

What is a Low Beam Bulb?

Before we dive into the specifics of replacing a low beam bulb, let’s first define what it is. A low beam bulb is a part of your car’s headlight system that is used for regular driving. When you turn your headlights on, the low beam bulbs illuminate the road in front of you without blinding other drivers. Over time, these bulbs can burn out and need to be replaced.

How to Identify When Your Low Beam Bulb Needs to be Replaced

Most often, you will notice that your low beam bulb has burned out when you turn on your headlights and notice that one of them is not working. If you have any doubts, you can park your car facing a wall and turn on your headlights. You should be able to see two distinct beams of light. If one of them is not there or is significantly dimmer than the other, it is likely that your low beam bulb needs to be replaced.

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Tools You Will Need to Replace the Low Beam Bulb

To replace the low beam bulb on your 2011 Subaru Outback, you will only need a few tools. These include:

  • A new low beam bulb (make sure it is the correct size and for your specific make and model of car)
  • A screwdriver (usually a Phillips head)
  • A clean cloth or paper towel (to prevent the oil from your skin from getting on the bulb)

Steps for Replacing the Low Beam Bulb

  1. Turn off your engine and headlights. This will prevent any electrical shock and also allow the bulbs to cool down so you can handle them.
  2. Locate the low beam bulb. The low beam bulb is found in the headlight assembly towards the front of your car. There is a cap covering the back of the assembly that you will need to remove. Look for a handle or tab to open the cap.
  3. Remove the low beam bulb. Gently twist the old bulb counterclockwise to remove it from the assembly. You may need to wiggle it a bit to get it out.
  4. Handle the new bulb with care. Do not touch the glass part of the new bulb. Instead, hold it by the base. If you do touch the glass part, clean it with a cloth or paper towel.
  5. Install the new low beam bulb. Align the base of the new bulb with the slot in the assembly and gently twist it clockwise.
  6. Test the new bulb. Turn your headlights on to make sure the new low beam bulb is working properly.
  7. Replace the cap. Put the cap back on the assembly and make sure it is securely in place.
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Safety Precautions

When working with headlights, it is important to take some safety precautions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear gloves to prevent any oil or dirt from your hands from getting on the bulb.
  • Follow the steps for replacing the bulb closely to avoid damaging any other parts of your car.
  • Be sure to use a clean cloth or paper towel when handling the new bulb to avoid getting any oil or dirt on it.
  • When testing the new bulb, make sure to turn off your engine to prevent electrical shock.

Other Easy Car Maintenance Tips

Now that you know how to replace a low beam bulb, here are some other easy car maintenance tips that you can do yourself:

  • Check your tire pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the recommended PSI. This will improve gas mileage and prolong the life of your tires.
  • Change your car’s oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations (usually every 3,000-5,000 miles). This will help keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Replace your air filter every 12,000-15,000 miles to improve your car’s efficiency and prolong the life of your engine.
  • Check your car’s brakes regularly to ensure they are working properly. If you hear any strange noises or feel any pulsations when braking, it may be time to have them checked by a professional.


Q: Can I use any type of low beam bulb?

A: No, it is important to use the correct type of bulb for your make and model of car. Check your car’s owner manual to ensure you are using the correct bulb.

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Q: How long does it take to replace a low beam bulb?

A: The process should take no more than 15-20 minutes.

Q: Will replacing the low beam bulb improve my car’s performance?

A: While it won’t necessarily improve performance, it will improve your ability to see while driving at night and increase overall safety.


Replacing a low beam bulb on your 2011 Subaru Outback is a simple process that you can do yourself. By following the steps we outlined in this article and taking the necessary safety precautions, you can have your headlights shining brightly once again. Additionally, by following some other easy car maintenance tips, you can prolong the life of your car and keep it running smoothly for years to come.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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