It is quite easy to replace a burnt-out headlight bulb in your Volkswagen New Beetle, although it may not be obvious how to do it. Instead of taking the car to a dealer, save time and money by doing it yourself. The replacement bulb used is a 55 Watt H7 halogen bulb for either low or high beam; the parking light bulb is 5W type 2825 (also known as W5W) .

  1. Before you decide to change a burnt-out bulb, make sure it's not the blown fuse that keeps you in the dark. You will need to open the fuse block cover that is located on the left hand side of the dashboard. Use a thin flat object, such as a flat head screwdriver or a key to pop open the cover.
    • Before you decide to change a burnt-out bulb, make sure it's not the blown fuse that keeps you in the dark. You will need to open the fuse block cover that is located on the left hand side of the dashboard. Use a thin flat object, such as a flat head screwdriver or a key to pop open the cover.

    • Under the cover you will see a number of multicoloured fuses.

    • Use the reference card and the white plastic tweezers attached to the back of the fuse cover to locate and pull out fuses responsible for headlight bulbs. Fuses 18 and 19 are for high beam bulbs; 20 and 21 - for low beam; 22 and 23 - for parking lights. Pull fuses one by one so as not to mix them up.

    • Fuse body is semi-transparent. Look at it from the side to see if the fuse is good.

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  2. You have verified that all fuses are OK, and it must be the bulb that has burned out. To replace a bulb you will need to remove the entire headlight assembly by sliding it out of its housing in the fender.
    • You have verified that all fuses are OK, and it must be the bulb that has burned out. To replace a bulb you will need to remove the entire headlight assembly by sliding it out of its housing in the fender.

    • First, unlock the hood by pulling the handle located on the left hand side of the driver's foot well.

    • Then open the hood by pulling the plastic tab toward you and lifting the hood.

    • The headlight assembly on the passenger side can be easily found, while on the driver side it hides beneath the battery. It may be useful to remove the battery cover - this will provide a little more 'viewing' and a bit more 'maneuvering'.

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    • To remove the headlight assembly, first use the 5mm nut driver to turn the locking nut 1/4* of a turn in the indicated direction. On the passenger side the nut is clearly visible; turn it clockwise.

    • On the driver side you will need to reach between the battery and the car body, using a nut driver with a long handle, to turn the nut counterclockwise.

    • * Try not to turn the locking nut more than 1/4 turn. Doing so may rotate it back into a locking position.

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    • Once the headlight assembly is unlocked, press down on the bright locking lever - it is visible when looking straight down from above the headlight.

    • On the driver side only a portion of the locking lever is visible between the battery and the air box, but you can still reach it with a screwdriver that has a long handle.

    • While pressing down on the locking lever, push the headlight assembly forward and out of its housing. Careful - it may take a hard push and it might lurch out suddenly.

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    • Locate the bulb cover at the back of the assembly. Unclip and open the cover to expose bulbs.

    • Remove the electrical connector and pull out the bulb that you want to replace. The low beam bulb is held in place with a clip. Other bulbs are held by friction; use pliers to gently pull them out.

    • Put in the replacement bulb and reattach the connector. Do not touch the bulb glass with your bare hands -- oils from your fingers will remain on the glass and cause it to crack when it heats after turning the lights on.

    • Replace the bulb cover.

    The low beam has the clip.

    Be Green - Antwoord

    My problem was that the socket was burned out. So be sure to check that. It was easy to replace. They had the socket at the autoparts store and we just spliced the wires together.

    Rashel Mereness - Antwoord

    Excellent guide. Thanks!

    Brian - Antwoord

    Confirming what Be Green said: the low beam bulb is the one with a clip.

    Jamieson C - Antwoord

    I replaced the bulb but now all lights aren't working! Can anyone help?

    Thelma - Antwoord

    Thelma, it is possible that the headlight assembly did not make solid contact with the connector when you slid it back in. The result will be that none of the lights will come on for that side. Try sliding out the assembly and slide it back in. For the driver side assembly, at least, you can also access the back side of the connector to try pressing it in tight after the assembly is seated.

    Jamieson C -

    Okay, so I took my Beetle to the dealer to have them replace the bulb, and I asked them to let me watch the mechanic as he replaced the bulb, which they did. He showed me how to do it, and the first thing that I noticed was that you DON'T turn the 5mm nut 1/4 turn, you turn it until it stops turning. That's why I wasn't able to get the headlight assembly out of the car. He even let me turn the nut with his ratchet, to see where it stopped turning.

    ssnmyer - Antwoord

    • When inserting the headlight assembly back into the housing, make sure that the housing locator guides fit into the catches on both sides of the assembly.

    • Push the assembly into the housing until you hear it click into place.

    • Again use the 5mm nut driver to turn the locking nut that locks the assembly in its housing.

    • Turn on the ignition and check that the new bulb works. Close the hood.

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After the reassembly, make sure you turn the locking mechanism in the indicated direction to lock the headlight assembly in place, otherwise there may be poor electrical contact and the lights may not work.

36 andere personen hebben deze handleiding voltooid.

Nick Ivanov

Lid sinds: 09-10-11

1.639 Reputatie

3 handleidingen geschreven

Thanks so much for that photo of the lever itself. Wish I'd seen your photo first -- would have saved 30 minutes of cursing :)

mp4surf - Antwoord

First part of step 6 is ESSENTIAL. Be warned that the assembly will slip easily into position without the locator guides being inside the catches on the unit, and the locking lever will click into place, but the locking nut will not tighten it into position. Don't ask me how many times I repeated this before I did it properly because I will lie!

Fred Flintstone - Antwoord

I never heard a "click"; however, I lock the hex nut ok. So the light works but seems like the car hits a bump and the light jumps out of the connector enough to stop working. Any thoughts?

juliejanus -

Extremely helpful. NOBODY would ever figure this out on their own!! Thanks!!

David - Antwoord

Seriously! Im an engineer and I was fighting with the headlight wondering why I couldn't loosen the latch to get it out. I apparently turned it more than 1/4. I feel like this was a bad design...

Marcy -

Thanks for the guide, this was super easy to perform and took less than 10 minutes.

I had to squeeze the headlight assembly and holder together really hard to get the connector to seat properly - at first nothing worked when I put it back together...

Pitt Monqui - Antwoord

Thank you, Nick, for creating this manual! My daughter has an '06 Beetle. I've had to replace the driver side headlight three times. I recently had to replace the whole assembly because when I replaced the light bulb, I evidently did not properly lock the assembly, and it vibrated loose in traffic, and disappeared. As for the click, I have never heard it click. Even with the new headlight installed, still no high or low beam. Not sure what's going on. All comments have been helpful, though. Thank you, iFixit!

Jim - Antwoord

I am far from handy when it comes to cars, but I was not going to pay $200 to fix a headlight ! It took about 1.5 hours of reading this site, looking under the hood and some trial and error...but it all makes sense if you follow this closely. Be sure to look closely at what they show in the red boxes above. The main problem was finding a nut driver long enough to reach the Driver's side lock for the headlight. I found one that was a 3/16 inches and it worked fine. Depressing the lever to release the assembly and pull at the same time also was tough to figure out the first time. All total I got it done for $24 bucks (new bulb, nut driver) and 90 minutes of work (will only take 30 minutes next time....) Thanks to you for putting this together.

Robert - Antwoord

Followed the instructions and it took less than an hour to replace the bulb. Would have cost us at least $80 to have it done for us. Thanks for the info!

taniles13 - Antwoord

Can anyone help troubleshoot lights not working after putting assembly back together? I've tried 5 times already and still nothing! All lights worked fine when I first replaced it but I'm thinking maybe I didn't lock it correctly and vibrates loose? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thelma - Antwoord

Have you looked at the copper leads? Do they look like they might have been burned? Volkswagens are notorious for electrical issues and they can short circuit. There should be three copper coated wires in the assembly, and if even one is burned it will cause the light to only work sometimes. You can check that. If they all look fine, make sure the connections are touching fully and going to the right places. It is also easy to put the metal clip part on backwards! Don't do that, I did that, it only goes one way. Hope I helped. There should be another guide on this. Maybe I will make one.

Marcy -

I am a 40 years old woman, who never did anything like this before, and I completed my task with not trouble because of these guide! so just want to say THANK YOU.

Ella - Antwoord

Something you don't explain is that, on the driver's side light, once you've turned the nut 1/4 turn, and as you are pushing down on the lever, how do you get the headlight assembly out? There is nothing to grab hold of from the front of the headlight, and you can't get your hands on the back of the assembly, so how do you get it out? I tried putting the handle of a pipe wrench between the back of the headlight assembly and the air filter housing and pushing as hard as I could while pushing down on the lever, and the headlight assembly wouldn't come out. After an hour, I gave up and took it to the dealer.....a 15 minute job my rear end!

ssnmyer - Antwoord

Thank you so much! Finished it in 10 minutes!

Susie - Antwoord

I thought my bulb replacement would be a 15minute job also...... no such luck. After the bulb was replaced, I pushed the headlight assembly back into the housing until I heard it click. I did not lock the assembly down using the hex nut. I then turned on the ignition and headlights to see if it was operational. None of the bulbs would light. I diagnosed the problem and found that the electrical connector was not fully seated. Once I locked the light down with the hex nut, the electrical connector snugged into place and everything was working fine. Hopes this helps someone with the same dilemna.

Wild Bill - Antwoord

Thanks Nick. This was very helpful. My wife called the dealership and they were going to charge upward of $150 to complete the job. The bulb cost me $12.00...I had the tools. Took all of 15-20 minutes. I sincerely appreciate it!

Dmart - Antwoord

I replaced the bulbs. It fixed the driver side low beam but the passenger side still doesn't work. Fuses are good. Any suggestions?

Nancy Sthram - Antwoord

Where is the lever for the passenger side to release the light

reesesluver10 - Antwoord

After putting in new headlights my high Beam light in the dash is on when you turn headlights and it will not go between low and high beams. Any idea what could be up?

Judy - Antwoord

Replaced both headlights now when you turn them on the high beam light on my dash stays on and it won't switch between low beam and high beam? Any idea why?

Judy - Antwoord

Better than YouTube!!! Excellent work. Thank you so much!

Gary White - Antwoord

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this information. Previous instructions had major removal of other components to complete this repair. The only issues that I had were not getting a good electrical connection. One was caused by not turning the locking screw tight enough. The second was not having the lamp housing seated correctly. I completed replacement of both head lamps in under 1/2 hour.

hotandcold7395 - Antwoord

I replaced all 4 bulbs on my 2000 beetle and dims wouldn't work found out that each bulb has it own fuse replaced low beam fuses and lights came on ur head light fuses are top left corner of box 15 amp between 19 and 23 number fuse for headlights

James a Banks sr - Antwoord

I’m 67 years old and a woman last time I took my car to VW dealership costed 200.00 for a 10.00 bulb so I got on you tube and the man said use this nut with a long handle and then push this gold level down but he didn’t show how or what size nut but this is step by step with pictures on how to did it love it save a lot of money thank you

Johnnie mae edmonds - Antwoord

I have a 99 better, the high beams work fine. Only one of the low beams work. I checked the fuse and replaced the headlights,and the low beams on one side still don't work. I'm homeless right now a trying to save what money I have. My question is if I switch the high and low beam connectors around will that screw up everything.

John M Horton - Antwoord

I had to replace bulb in wife’s 2006 bug but it didn’t work. After searching these sites I and seeing what others were doing I tried drilling a hole and putting a short 3/4 shim with screw between the plastic that holds the headlight socket and the inner fender. This helped keep the socket from flexing when the headlight assembly was reinserted. Also, and this is important, after all was together, from inside engine compartment I pushed the socket even harder with a large screwdriver and heard a ‘click’. I knew all was right with the world then.

Jeff - Antwoord

Great guide, there is no way I would have figured this out on my own. Sadly, it didn't fix my driver side light. Neither the hi or low beams work, the fuses are all good, replaced the low beam as a test and put the headlight back in even heard the click but still no lights. Any suggestions what else to check, is there a way to test that power is going to the pins?

kent_e - Antwoord

What happens when you find that the lever (passenger side) was broken by te former owner and badly glued back?

John Morrison - Antwoord

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