I recently purchased a headlight for the drivers side for the first time since buying the car new. I took it to two different shops and had four mechanics tell me it was not possible to change it without removing the entire front panel of the car and they were going to charge upwards of $40. to install the $12. light. I finally called the dealership where I had purchased the car and scheduled an appointment after being told by their mechanic that it would take about 30 minutes to do and was not an uncommon problem for the honda. While at work I mentioned my dismay at this irony of paying $12 for a light and $40 to have it installed. A young man who is an engineering student at YSU could not believe my story and without any access to the tools the mechanics had he removed the old light and installed the new one in 20 minutes!! Watching him I saw the light looks more like a fuse and there was no bolt attached as the other 4 mechanics had struggled with. Could they all have been wrong? Or did my young friend and hero just get lucky from their having loosened it ?
My '03 Civic has a good section in the owner’s manual on changing the headlights. It is not hard. I think the '04 Civic is the same basic model so this should not be a hard job at all. One side is “tighter” than the other (don’t remember which) because either the alternator or power steering pump makes access harder. Folks with smaller hands can do the job. Big handed folks have to remove some parts to get those big hands in there.
Replacing the bulb should be fairly simple. Replacing the headlight assembly itself is another matter.
I’m assuming you were just replacing the bulb. Some are in tight spots, and not easy to reach. Others are quick and easy.
Can’t speak to your vehicle, but my wife’s 04 Maxima requires the front bumper to be removed for a headlight bulb replacement. My Mazda requires multiple parts to be removed from the engine compartment. It isn’t uncommon. What does you owner’s maunal say?