How to Change HID low beam headlights

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The low beam HID headlights on my 2003 GS430 stopped working.  So looking into the cost etc, I decided to go with the OEM Philips D2R on Amazon for $44 each and replacing both seemed like the appropriate plan of action to get the best light.  My local autozone et al wanted 70-90 for 1.  There are cheaper alternatives on eBay and Amazon but I wanted to do the job once and maybe again in 13 years.

There a gray plastic ~5" diameter plastic covers on left and right sides right behind the headlight housing near the bumper.  The plastic covers are removed by twisting them counter-clockwise.  Once you remove the covers you will either see a 9006, non HID light bulb which is an angle connector with bulb built in or a HID D2R which will have a silver colored metal protector and a silver colored sheathed connector wire.  

The metal connetor protector cover is held in place by two clips; top and bottom of the bulb holder, 12 & 6.  Remove the bottom of the cover first and then slide the metal cover out from the top clip.  The clips are bulit into the bulb holder so you can't lose them and are simple spring metal.  The metal covers will have cutouts to match the clips on the bulb holder/housing.  Once the metal covers are off you can now remove the bulb connector.

The bulb connectors are horizontal position and need to be rotated 45 degrees or so to be released.  The bulb connectors have 4 positions where the bulb's two round knobs connect into so it's hard to tell if you should rotate CW or CCW and left and right sides rotated differently on my car.  The connector will only rotate one direction and it comes off fairly easily so don't force it.  

The buld has a round base with round winglets that secure the bulb to the slotted connector.  Once the connector is removed you can remove the bulb.  On my car, the right connector had to be turned 45degrees up to fit on the bulb and then rotated down to be horizontal and the left was attached down and rotated up to be horizontal.  Remember how you took the connectors off as you will have to put them back on.

The bulb base has indentations on it that match the headlight housing and the bulb can only be inserted one way.  There are two spring loaded clips that hold the base into the housing.  The clips are long spring wires that are fixed at the bottom of the housing and secure around two two metal tabs at the top of the headllight housing.  Pushing the rounded end of the spring in and pushing it from under the metal tabs will release the bulb from the housing.  Observe the shealthed wire connector and its location relative to the springs, as you will need to replicated this during installation.  Be careful removing the bulb as the external wire is exposed and you can break it very easily.

Reversing the procedure will be a lot easier now that you've gone through the removal process.  The bulb external filament will be on the bottom and the indent in the bulb base located opposite at the top which is important to remember when installing it.  Once you have identified the indent on the headlight housing base ^|^ and the corresponding matching indent on the bulb base the bulb will easily slide in place and the metal springs will easily get pushed underneath the metal tabs.   Connect the connectors, rotate to horizontal position.

The metal backing cover should be slipped under the springs at the top and connected first and then snap the bottom in place.  Keep the connector wire in the same position and then put the gray plastic cover and voila!  it's done and you have succesfully saved yourself hundreds of dollars!  

My descriptions are pretty exact and I have never replaced HID headlights on any other car so can't tell if my car/year is unique or not.  I would be surprised if there are different methods as "variation is the enemy of quality" (Deming) and Japan used Demings theory in creating their reputation for quality!

Have fun 


Edited by paulr
needed clarification after reading the next day
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Hi Paul

Thanks for posting the tutorial...very helpful to anyone who hasn't yet changed an HID and confirmation for those who have but weren't sure of whether they had done it correctly

Cheers   Trevor

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