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Damsel in distress over shot headlight bulb

Yes, I am a do-it-yourself female. I can tear apart a laptop, install all new everything, but I cannot figure out how to get the wiring harness off of my 1994 Honda Accord headlight bulb. The socket won’t turn. The wires do not seem to be held in by anything removable, and all directions tell me to remove the wires first. They face down. I am stumped. Got to have headlight by 3:00 PM today! Thanks.

Oh, yes, it is on the passenger side which somehow matters…???

It probably twists counterclockwise then you pull back. But that’s just a guess because a lot of cars work that way. Try the driver’s side and see if that is easier to get apart. The passenger side will almost for certain work the same way as the driver side. I vaguely think that I once may have run across a car where you push in, twist counter-clockwise, then pull outward. But I may be imagining that.

still nothing

I think there’s a plastic clip that you depress to get the wire connector off .
Then there’s a black plastic ring that you twist ccw to get the bulb out .
Don’t touch the glass part of the bulb - if you do wipe the bulb clean before installing it .

I just went to the garage and looked at my Accord.

The plastic wiring connector has a tab on it, right in the center. Press on the lower part of the tab (it has little grooves where you press). This will release the upper part of the tab (you can see it moving) and the connector can be slid downward to remove it from the bulb. It will be tight. Wiggle it a bit if necessary, while holding the tab down.

Then turn the bulb counterclockwise to remove it from the headlight assembly.

DO NOT touch the glass part of the new bulb. If you accidentally do wipe it with alcohol (the drug store kind, not beer).

Install the bulb and snap the wiring connector onto the new bulb. Done.

I found the tab, and pressing down on it tried to loosen the wires underneath. They will not come out. I don’t know if the tab is releasing far enough as part of it looks broken when compared to the tab on the driver’s side connector. I am frustrated. No mechanic shop is open here on Saturday. What to do now?

This sounds like my daughter’s 2001 Civic.

I had to get a manual and a good worklight. There was a rubber cap covering a dual sided spring clip that needed to be squeezed a specific way. Removal of the spring clip then enabled the bulb socket to be extracted straight out.

I recommend a Haynes manual and a good worklight. And perhaps a graduate degree in engineering.

Great explanation! I have finally gotten a little movement of the connector, but holding down the broken tab while trying to move it is killing my fingers. Is there anything I could spray on it to loosen without ruining the electrical stuff involved?

i have some spray for stereo system that is safe

Use a very small screwdriver to pry the upper end of the tab away from the bulb. You don’t remove the wires, you remove the entire plastic connector from the bulb. Don’t pull on the wires, push down on the plastic connector.

They can be very tight and difficult to remove, but they will come off if you can get the little tab, which is what keeps from moving, to release.

I finally kept hitting the connector with a hammer on each side while I wedged another hammer under the little clip until the connector came off. I cried. Now, do I put the bulb in and tighten the ring before I put the connector on? Or do I connect the connector (seems redundant) to the bulb, place the bulb in the reflector/headlight, and then tighten the ring? I can’t seem to get it either way. A 15 year old car does have its drawbacks.

For all who tried to help- I finally deciphered the number on the burnt out bulb and it is an 06 but the guy at NAPA sold me an 05. I guess that is why I could not get the bulb in. I will go tomorrow and try it again. Thanks.

They should be able to look up the correct bulb if you tell them the year and model of the car. Bulb information is also listed in the owner’s manual.

The bulb has to be inserted and correctly positioned in the headlight assembly before you attach the electrical connector.