SUBARUPictures of how I fixed the headlights by replacing a bulb and polishing the lenses on the Subaru Legacy Outback.

But first, lets pay some bills:

  1. Not only is a bulb burned out, but just look at how foggy the plastic headlight is. Scratched up from a decade of sand, dust, bugs, shopping carts, car bumpers, light poles, parking meters, and other road grit.
    foggy headlight

  2. First the easy part, the bulb. Opened hood, back of headlight is a rubber cap, pulled on the rubber tab to open.
    headlight rubber cap

  3. Below the protective rubber cap is th back of the headlight. I opened the little metal clip and the bulb is loose.
    headlight clip

  4. There is the headlight bulb out, you can see the metal clip disengaged. Then the bulb unplugs and I could put in a replacement now, or I can keep going and take out the whole headlight lens assembly.
    headlight bulb     headlight plug

  5. To take off the headlight I first took off the grill as described in the "Hood Latch" writeup. Took off a few bolts, the headlight plug, and squeezed this turn signal bulb plug to get the headlight off.
    headlight plug

  6. Here's the new bulb part number from Kragen. This one is more expensive and noticeably brighter. The standard ones are just too dim on this car. Usually I am super cheap, but this is my wife's car and it's a safety issue.
    headlight bulb part number

  7. Pretty simple supplies needed to polish the lens. Wet dry sand paper ranging about 600 to 1500 grit depending on how bad it is. A sanding pad or just a hard sponge or something to back up the paper. And some polishing compound and a rag or paper towel. Sandpaper, coarse to fine, I did wet with several rinses at each grit, then polishing compound.

  8. There is the left headlight polished and the right one foggy.
    headlight before and after

  9. And here are the lights on, both lenses polished, with the brighter bulb on the driver's side. I can see a difference.

  10. Next I sold out to make 02ยข so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.

    But no minivans!

  11. Then I finished my beer.

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Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy.   Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives.   If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities.   If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic.   The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle.   For all you know I made this up.   Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.

Disclaimer: The technical information in these documents is provided without any warranty whatsoever and at no cost.   All information is in general terms and is not meant to apply to your particular situation, be current at the time you read it, or even be correct in the first place.   Improperly maintained vehicles can lead to serious injury, death, or unavoidable accidents. The author is not responsible for any errors on this site, and does not make any claim at all about the validity, safety, or veracity of the information contained on this website. Any work you choose to do or not to do on your vehicle is done at your own risk. The information on this site is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional advice, professional workmanship, dealer service, union labor, or psychological counseling.   The author disclaims any and all liability directly or indirectly arising from the application or use of any information or idea contained on this or any other web site.   By opening this page, you agree to never sue anyone ever or allow anyone to be sued on your behalf.   The appropriate professional should be consulted regarding your specific condition. does not take responsibility for the information posted on other sites to which it links.

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Last modified: 11/21/2014