2014 Subaru Outback #- Six headlights

2014 Subaru Outback lighting system is absolutely crazy! I have replaced nine lights, six of them were headlights. The low beam headlights seem to burn out every 4-5 month.

It is very difficult to change the headlight bulb. The car must be jacked up, the wheel taken off, remove trim molding and the wheel splash guard or liner has to be removed. Then you remove the headlight cover. Good luck as it is hard to turn in such limited space. The you unplug the headlight bulb assembly. Be careful not to break the headlight plastic hub, undo the headlight bulb retaining spring and gently remove the bulb.

To install, repeat in opposite order!
Oh yes, all this takes place with only one hand in little to no room.
Look out for sharp metal edges and corners.

Ar e you touching the replacement bulb with your skin by any chance? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzCaAyCELC8


Some “overdriven” bulbs (like “SilverLight” for example) have quite short lifespan.
They have a great “cool white” look, but at expense of running filaments hotter and burning out earlier.
“Long life” bulbs can easily last 4+ times longer, but at expense of lesser light output.
You might want to consider interim steps like Sylvania XtraVision, which have the same high light output, but are not over-driven like SilverLights. They will be less “cool”, but can last 2-3 times longer.


Last year, one of the headlights on my 2011 Outback burned out, and since I was due for an oil change w/in a few days, I told the dealership’s service advisor to replace the headlight bulb. To my surprise, it turned-out to be free because I had only a little more than 99k miles on the odometer at that point, and I was informed that Subaru had extended the warranty on headlight bulbs to 100k miles.

If the OP has less than 100k miles on the odometer, I would suggest that he check with the dealership to determine if his 2014 Outback had its headlight warranty extended to 100k miles.

Subarus have definitely had a problem with the headlights. I own a 2005 Outback, and have had to replace the bulbs several times. The 2005 was much easier to access the bulbs however. I also own a 1993 Miata, the only time I have replaced the headlights was when I put in a better pair for more visibility. The originals were still working just fine.

I suggest you have the alternator output voltage checked to see if the voltage is more than 15 volts. Check the AC ripple voltage also. I also recommend using Phillips bulbs for replacements. Some lights give extra brightness but it is at cost of bulb life.

I’ve never taken the tire off to replace a bulb-I cut the wheel-to the right for the left side/left for the right side of the car-popped out a couple of wheel well liner clips and push it back (only the front half) then the fun happens :roll_eyes: (the left side has the sharp edges) FYI-a small amount of grease on the bulb cover gasket aids in future removals. Check that the headlight is in right, if not, the heat from the bulb will melt the headlight assembly. You also need to perform most of this to replace the corner marker light as well.

Oh for the days of seal beams that didn’t require disassembly of half the front end to replace a light bulb or mortgaging one’s first born to pay the cost.