DIY Guide: How to Change the Headlight Bulb in Your Subaru Outback

If you’re a car owner who likes to take care of their vehicle, you may be wondering how to replace the headlight bulb in your Subaru Outback. Thankfully, changing a headlight bulb is a relatively easy task that can be done in just a few simple steps. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to change the headlight bulb in your Outback Subaru, along with some safety precautions and common mistakes to avoid.

Tools Needed

Before you start, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Replacement headlight bulb (make sure to buy the right type for your specific model)
  • Gloves (optional, but recommended)
  • Clean cloth or rag
  • Screwdriver (flathead or Phillips depending on the model)

Steps to Follow

  1. Open the hood of your car and locate the back of the headlight assembly.
  2. Identify the headlight bulb that needs to be replaced. You can do this by looking for the burnt-out bulb – it will be darker in color than the working one.
  3. Remove the electrical connector from the back of the bulb by gently pulling it off. You may need to press a tab or lift a latch to release it.
  4. Remove the retaining clip or collar that holds the bulb in place. This may require you to unscrew it with a screwdriver or simply turn it counterclockwise to release it.
  5. Carefully remove the old bulb from the socket by pulling it straight back.
  6. Replace the old bulb with the new one, taking care not to touch the glass part of the bulb with your bare hands. If you do touch it, wipe it clean with a cloth before inserting it into the socket.
  7. Reattach the retaining clip or collar to secure the new bulb in place.
  8. Reconnect the electrical connector by pushing it back onto the new bulb until you hear a clicking sound.
  9. Turn on the headlights to make sure the new bulb is working properly.
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Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Touching the glass part of the bulb with bare hands can cause it to burn out prematurely due to oils and moisture on your skin.
  • Forgetting to reconnect the electrical connector can result in your new bulb not lighting up properly.
  • Not aligning the retaining clip or collar correctly can cause the bulb to fall out or not work correctly.

Safety Precautions to Take

  • Make sure the car’s headlights are turned off before you start.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the heat of the headlight assembly.
  • If possible, let the headlight assembly cool down for a few minutes before you start working on it.

By following these simple steps, you can replace the headlight bulb in your Subaru Outback and save yourself a trip to the mechanic. Remember to take your time and follow the safety precautions we mentioned to avoid any accidents. Your car will thank you for it!


Q: How often should I replace my Subaru Outback’s headlight bulbs?
A: It’s recommended to replace your headlights every 2-3 years, but this can vary depending on how often you use your car’s headlights.

Q: Can I replace my headlight bulbs myself?
A: Yes, this is a task that can be done by most car owners with basic knowledge of car maintenance. Just make sure you have the right tools and follow the steps carefully.

Q: What if my headlights still don’t work after replacing the bulbs?
A: If your headlights are still not working after replacing the bulbs, there may be a problem with the electrical system or the headlight assembly itself. It’s best to take your car to a mechanic to diagnose the issue.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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