Replace The Headlight Bulb on a Mazda 3
Let's replace a 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Mazda3 headlight bulb (1st generation). Especially how to deal with that bulb retainer clip.
Replacing headlight bulbs is a pretty quick and simple maintenance procedure. This article will cover everything you need to know, and provide you with replacement headlight bulb part numbers.
For some reason, the bulb's on our Mazda 3 burn out several times a year, so I've been replacing them fairly often.
Quick Steps to Replace a Mazda 3 Headlight Bulb
- Open the hood.
- Disconnect the wire connector.
- Remove the dust cap and unlatch the retaining clip.
- Replace the burned out bulb, do not touch the glass.
- Reconnect everything.
- Test and clean up, you're done.
Open the Hood
The hood release is located on the bottom of the driver's side of the dash. Just pull the lever up.
Open the hood and prop it up.
Locate The Bulb to Replace
On the 2005 model like this, the headlight bulb is the outermost of the two headlight bulbs. The high beam is the bulb closest to the center of the car.
To double check I turn on the lights and inspect which bulb I need to replace.
Remove the Burnt Out Bulb
Disconnect the connector on the rear of the bulb. It just pulls straight out, but you may need to wiggle it a bit.
Then pull the surrounding rubber seal completely out.
Unlatch the metal locking pin/clip. It's a little hard to see, and not obvious how it locks, but push it in and to the side to free it the latch. One side unhooks, the other acts as a hinge.
Here's the pin once it's unlatched.
Pull the bulb out, working it around the the locking clip. Here you can see the bulb, the Mazda specific adapter attached to it, and if you look close, the burnt filament.
Disconnect the Bulb Carrier
The headlight bulbs sit in a plastic carrier/adapter. Pull the old bulb out of this adapter.
Install the Bulb Carrier
Put the new bulb in the carrier. Be careful not to touch the glass of the bulb, supposedly the oils on your hands can cause hot spots that result in shorter bulb life.
Install the new bulb
Place the new bulb and adapter into the headlight housing. The bulb only goes in one way, be mindful of where the directional tab on the bulb is and how it needs to align to fit into the housing.
Lock the Retaining Clip
This is the dumbest part. I've managed to clip this correctly on the first try once. Other times I've spent 30 minutes trying to get the clip into the right position.
Hopefully these pictures will keep you from wasting time like I did. (note all the scratches from my previous miss-adventures)
Basically you need to push the clip pretty far into the housing, and get it latch behind the little metal retainer.
Install the Rubber Seal
Replace the rubber seal. Be sure the press it in around the center of the bulb so that it seals properly (it slides down the sides of the bulb some).
Reconnect the Wire Harness
Now plug the power connector back onto the bulb. Again, this only fits on one way so just match it up and press it onto the prongs on the back of the bulb.