C5 Headlight Bulb Replacement
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Thread: C5 Headlight Bulb Replacement

  1. #1
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    Default C5 Headlight Bulb Replacement

    I know that this has been posted before but just having gone through it I thought I would give my take on this frustrating job.

    My 2006 C5 had a non working left parker when I got it 2 years ago. I got the correct bulb H6W but when I tried to replace it found it was impossible without taking the battery out. As I had heard of problems after doing this I just gave up. A few months ago the car wouldnt start and I took the battery out thinking it was this (turned out to be the starter motor) and I had no problems after replacing it. I had been thinking of taking it out one weekend and have a crack at replacing that bulb.

    Last weekend the right low beam stopped working and when I had a look it is obviously impossible to replace except for double jointed dwarfs with pincer fingers. A search of this and other forums indicated that some disassembly is required. There was some mention of removing the whole bumper but the following is the method I found and that worked well.

    First I removed the 3 torx bolts across the front which are exposed when the bonnet is lifted. Then I removed the metal torx head bolt that is obvious in the front aspect of the right wheel arch about 50mm in. The last thing to undo is the fixing which is just inside the wheel arch at about 2 oclock. It is not obvious on looking but can be felt. A flat screw driver is used to turn it 90 degrees then it pulls out. It's a metal fixing the same as the rear one that holds the under engine plastic guard to the cross member.

    Once all these have been removed the right hand side of the bumper can be pulled directly forward about 60mm. Using a torch the lower headlight bolts can be visualised. Using a 1/4" driver, extension, uni joint and 10mm socket the 2 lower ones can be removed. The top one is always visible and is also removed.

    Where the harness connects to the headlight unit is a plug with a red tab. Pull the red tab sideways and the plug will automatically disconnect allowing the whole headlight unit to be removed.

    I took the headlight to my kitchen table to replace the bulbs. For the low beam after the rubber protector is removed the bulb connector pulls straight off but was so tight I needed a small pair of pliers to pull it off. There is then a spring wire tab that is depressed then pushed to the right to allow it to swing down and the bulb removed. A H7 bulb was inserted with the flat part facing up to where the clip hooks. Once the bulb was obviously seated correctly the clip was rotated back up and hooked in place.

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    For the parker bulb there is a connector that is rectangular shaped to look at. It must be grasped on the narrow edges of the connector (as there are locking tabs here that must be depressed) and pulled straight out. The bulb which is a conventional bayonet design was replaced. Lining the connector up correctly to slide back in the hole is tricky but with perserverence it will slide in and click in place.

    After doing this it was obvious that there was no way I was going to replace either of these bulbs with the headlight in the car. Armed with knowledge of the design of the parking light connecter I proceeded to remove the battery and replace the parker bulb on the left side which was a bit tricky but I managed it.

    The headlight was then bolted back in place and the plug put back in place and locked in place by pushing the red tab.

    If you study the side of the bumper there are a couple of clip shaped parts which engage as the bumper is pushed straight back. The 2 fixings under the wheel arch were replaced followed by the 3 torx screws across the front.

    Job done and every bulb now working for the first time since I bought the car.

    Note thet the pre 2004 (pre facelift) C5s have a slightly different design of headlight fixings and also different arrangement of fixings for the bumper but the same general process can be used. The Haynes manual shows photos and decription of both designs.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Glad to see the C5 shares some DNA from the early cars. On a CX you can't take out the battery unless you remove the headlight. In the C5 you can't remove the headlight without removing the battery. In both cars provision has been made to remove the offending items.
    Mine

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    Toyota Prius

    In the family

    Xantia SX

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Then I got out of it lightly! I had a headlight go in my 2002 C5 and bought the correct globe. When I went to fit it I discovered the fitting nightmare. After persevering with the 'removal by braille' technique I got my camera and took a close up of the mechanism. Now mentally armed I closed my eyes and managed to flick off the retaining spring wire after a few minutes and removed the globe. Fitting the new one was not quite so easy and I needed a refresher look at the photo but I think all up it took half an hour.

    I do believe I got lucky though and would not be so foolish as to offer to repeat the exercise for someone else. However maybe worth a try before dismantling the car.

    SF

  4. #4
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotFrog View Post
    Then I got out of it lightly! I had a headlight go in my 2002 C5 and bought the correct globe. When I went to fit it I discovered the fitting nightmare. After persevering with the 'removal by braille' technique I got my camera and took a close up of the mechanism. Now mentally armed I closed my eyes and managed to flick off the retaining spring wire after a few minutes and removed the globe. Fitting the new one was not quite so easy and I needed a refresher look at the photo but I think all up it took half an hour.

    I do believe I got lucky though and would not be so foolish as to offer to repeat the exercise for someone else. However maybe worth a try before dismantling the car.

    SF
    One side is relatively straightforward (on a series1) without any disassembly, it's been a while since I've had to do the job and now can't remember whether it was the left or right. You may indeed have got lucky

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Have a series one and have had no such problems.
    Went to local auto electrical store to buy the globe.
    They offered to fit it for me. They always do there.
    Less than 10 mins (closer to 5) and all done.
    No skinned hands nor cursing (by me)
    Easy (and they did not charge to fit either though the globes maybe a bit more expensive than elsewhere, but not by much)
    Peter
    1950 11BL
    1970 AZUA "La Poste" van
    1986 2CV Dolly (red and white)
    2004 C5 HDi silver 2.0L

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