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Replacing Headlight Bulbs


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30 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   MikeB

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

I'm the type who likes to tinker with my car just a little bit, and upgrading my headlights is usually on my list. The simplest upgrade is to replace the budget headlamp bulb with something with a little bit higher performance. The DOT mandates that bulbs perform in a certain range, but you can always get bulbs that are at the top of that range rather than the bottom. Any bulb with a blue coating on the glass is trash, but there are a couple good brands that are worth the money. Either Osram Night Breaker or Philips X-treme vision are considered top choices, and I picked up a set of the Orsams for xmas.

 

Btw, our low-beam bulbs are H11, and the high-beam is H1. Any bulb that meets those specs will fit.

 

So, looking in the owners manual, it appears that I have to remove the whole headlight assembly before I can access the bulbs inside. Two screws and some maneuvering, and I should be good, right? The screws are easy, I already have a torx bit that fits, but the maneuvering doesn't work. The actual instructions are on page 298, and the important bit is this:

 

1. Make sure the lighting control is in the off position and open the hood.
2. Remove the two screws from the headlamp assembly.
3. Carefully pull the headlamp assembly as far as possible towards the center of the vehicle to disengage it from the lower fixing point.
4. Carefully lift the outer side of the headlamp and remove it.
5. Disconnect the electrical connector.

 

Except step 3 doesn't seem to work, there's no room at all to pull the assembly to the center. I can get it to go forward a tiny bit, which does release a pin or something towards the back. But then the back of the lamp won't lift up, it's still trapped. Anyone else taken a look at this yet?


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#2 OFFLINE   PWBarrett

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

Man - I'm coming from a '96 that had yellowed headlight lenses.  The stock low-beams on the C-Max are way brighter than the high-beams were on that.  I can't imagine needing more brightness.

But that's just me - not a useful reply to your question, sorry.



#3 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

I know with my Smart Car one had to take the whole front end of the car off to change headlights.  Not something to be done by the average joe citizen.  Sounds like the C-Max will have to go to the shop for headlight changes--bummer.



#4 OFFLINE   Ryan McEachern

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

Not sure if the models are similair enough, but here is a portion of a thread covering this topic from the UK.

 

 

"Yes it does
If memory serves me right theres a self tapper on the top of the light unit and then you need a long screwdriver to push two long plastic clips that go from the front of the headlight to the metalwork at the front ofthe car.
Treat them gently. I broke one and they are about £17 from Fords.
Quiet a simple operation, plut it tells you haow to do it in the owners manual.

Cheeers

Geoff"

 

-Ryan

 

p.s. there is also this video, but it might be way different than the US car.


Edited by Ryan McEachern, 29 December 2012 - 08:06 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   CarpeNivem

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in this struggle. I also think the headlights are in dire need of upgrade. If you're used to upgraded lighting, as it seems we are, then the CMax's stock headlights are definitely lacking. Maybe it depends where you live, though. If there's adequate street lighting everywhere, then alright, I guess. But in the dark mountainous roads of Colorado, I can't imagine being stuck with original bulbs, let alone getting used to anything less, so I've upgraded every car I've owned, usually with great success.

 

That said, I tried to do the same with the CMax, and bought a set of Philips' VisionPlus (pair of H1s and pair of H11s) but then found myself quite stumped about how to install them. It's more than just the space being cramped; there's also no slack at all on the wires. I'm not even sure removing the housings will help. I figure I have to, but I haven't tried yet. I think I have to simply because I don't know what else to do, but even still, I wonder if it'll be enough.

 

Tell us - it's been months since you created this thread - have you figured it out since?

 


Edited by CarpeNivem, 26 July 2013 - 11:07 AM.


#6 OFFLINE   ceemax71

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:18 AM

You have to remove the headlight assembly to get to the bulb.  Here's a picture:

 

E151784_EUR_580.JPG
 
E151785_EUR_580.JPG

 

 


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#7 OFFLINE   wamba2000

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:15 PM

I posted this in a previous thread.  I too struggled to remove the headlamp assembly per the owners manual.  Figured out that I could access and remove low beam bulbs from behind, it's a bit tight as I have large size hands, but getting the rubber boot in place correctly was the biggest time challenge.  I replaced with Silverstar Ultras ( and got ripped since they are blue glass tinted - so I already know) and the Ultras have worked very well so far.

 

Glad I did not have to remove the assembly - if I broke it, we are likely talking hundreds of $$ to replace.



#8 OFFLINE   bigalpha

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:12 AM

Has anyone thought about fitting H9's into our car?  Do you think the wiring and other associated parts can handle the extra 10 watts of power?



#9 OFFLINE   CarpeNivem

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:44 AM

Got it. I was able to remove those two screws and then wiggle the entire assembly out of place. There's a cable clipped in towards the bottom of the housing which also needs to be unclipped. The housing needs to be wiggled a LOT in order to get it out if the car, but it can be done. And once it's removed, then changing the bulbs is quite easy. All told, it took about half an hour to change 4 bulbs, which is still pretty long compared to any other car, but not terrible.
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#10 OFFLINE   MikeB

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:45 PM

Glad you managed it, Carpe. I think it took me a few weeks before I wggled my out, so I'd forgotten about this thread by then.

 

One little helpful bit: there's two painted 10mm bolts that hold the side body panel in place, near the hood hinge. If you remove those bolts, you can flex the body panel just a little bit outward, and the back part of the light assembly will come out and up.


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#11 OFFLINE   armoredsaint

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:26 PM

just replaced mine and took about 5 minutes, the driver's side i did remove the 2 torx screws and the assembly moved about an inch forward- that give me enough space to replace the light.

 

on the passenger side, it took about a minute.  :)

 

i bought the Sylvania Silverstar ZXE 2pck H11 Xenon 


Edited by armoredsaint, 10 October 2013 - 05:27 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   CarpeNivem

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:29 PM

just replaced mine and took about 5 minutes, the driver's side i did remove the 2 torx screws and the assembly moved about an inch forward- that give me enough space to replace the light.

 

on the passenger side, it took about a minute.  :)

 

i bought the Sylvania Silverstar ZXE 2pck H11 Xenon 

 

Interesting approach. Remove the screws only to slide the headlight assembly forward slightly, but not actually remove it. I'll have to remember that!



#13 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:54 AM

I'm the type who likes to tinker with my car just a little bit, and upgrading my headlights is usually on my list. The simplest upgrade is to replace the budget headlamp bulb with something with a little bit higher performance. The DOT mandates that bulbs perform in a certain range, but you can always get bulbs that are at the top of that range rather than the bottom. Any bulb with a blue coating on the glass is trash, but there are a couple good brands that are worth the money. Either Osram Night Breaker or Philips X-treme vision are considered top choices, and I picked up a set of the Orsams for xmas.

 

Btw, our low-beam bulbs are H11, and the high-beam is H1. Any bulb that meets those specs will fit.

 

So, looking in the owners manual, it appears that I have to remove the whole headlight assembly before I can access the bulbs inside. Two screws and some maneuvering, and I should be good, right? The screws are easy, I already have a torx bit that fits, but the maneuvering doesn't work. The actual instructions are on page 298, and the important bit is this:

 

1. Make sure the lighting control is in the off position and open the hood.
2. Remove the two screws from the headlamp assembly.
3. Carefully pull the headlamp assembly as far as possible towards the center of the vehicle to disengage it from the lower fixing point.
4. Carefully lift the outer side of the headlamp and remove it.
5. Disconnect the electrical connector.

 

Except step 3 doesn't seem to work, there's no room at all to pull the assembly to the center. I can get it to go forward a tiny bit, which does release a pin or something towards the back. But then the back of the lamp won't lift up, it's still trapped. Anyone else taken a look at this yet?

after reading your thread I went out to see if I could remove the drivers side headlight.  I found that it won't come out unless you remove the torx screw which holds down the black plastic cowl cover across the bottom of the windshield.  This cover contains the vents for the A/C and cabin ventilation.  Once I removed the screw at the end closest to the drivers side hood hinge it came out with a firm tug straight up.  I can take a picture, but I was hoping this might be clear enough to assist you getting yours out.  Good Luck, really squeeze them in there.


Edited by mtb9153, 11 October 2013 - 12:54 AM.


#14 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:50 AM

Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in this struggle. I also think the headlights are in dire need of upgrade. If you're used to upgraded lighting, as it seems we are, then the CMax's stock headlights are definitely lacking. Maybe it depends where you live, though. If there's adequate street lighting everywhere, then alright, I guess. But in the dark mountainous roads of Colorado, I can't imagine being stuck with original bulbs, let alone getting used to anything less, so I've upgraded every car I've owned, usually with great success.

 

That said, I tried to do the same with the CMax, and bought a set of Philips' VisionPlus (pair of H1s and pair of H11s) but then found myself quite stumped about how to install them. It's more than just the space being cramped; there's also no slack at all on the wires. I'm not even sure removing the housings will help. I figure I have to, but I haven't tried yet. I think I have to simply because I don't know what else to do, but even still, I wonder if it'll be enough.

 

Tell us - it's been months since you created this thread - have you figured it out since?

 

I was able to pull my drivers housing out.  It wasn't easy but the only way I found how to do it was by removing of course the two Torx screws at either end.  Plus I removed the Torx screw on the end of the drivers side which holds down the long black plastic panel which contains the air vent openings for fresh air intake to the cabin.  The cowling at the base of the windshield in other words.  Once that screw was removed while wiggling the headlamp housing and a strong upward tug I was able to remove it with out first disconnecting the wiring harness.  There was enough play in the harness to pull up while twisting the housing so I could clearly see the wiring harness and release the locking pin which holds it in place to the Headlamp.  One word of caution when reinstalling.  I would cover the edges of the clear plastic lens with tape since I scratched my lens on the edge of the fender while trying to reposition it.  Have fun...



#15 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:57 AM

 

You have to remove the headlight assembly to get to the bulb.  Here's a picture:

 

E151784_EUR_580.JPG
 
E151785_EUR_580.JPG

 

Very nice CG picture of the headlight assembly removal



#16 OFFLINE   Phil1336

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:20 PM

Me thinks that future Headlamp Replacements will be left for Dealer Installation.  Wonder if they charge a Flat Rate including the cost of the Lamp or Parts plus $138@hr labor?



#17 OFFLINE   armoredsaint

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:27 PM

Me thinks that future Headlamp Replacements will be left for Dealer Installation.  Wonder if they charge a Flat Rate including the cost of the Lamp or Parts plus $138@hr labor?

 

 

it is silly easy.



#18 OFFLINE   timber725

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 06:24 PM

I will have to give the hood torx screw a try.  I wanted to take the foglights off, and was going to remove the headlamps to see if I can get to it.  I failed.



#19 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:32 PM

timber725

 

Take a look at this thread for help working on your fog light.

It has a picture of the cover under the motor, post # 6.

 

http://fordcmaxhybri...47-oil-changes/

 

The fog light is fairly easy to access when you remove this cover.

 

wab



#20 OFFLINE   joe

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 02:57 PM

I had to replace the front turn signal.  If you follow the manual, it is impossible but I found a video that shows how to do it. 

http://www.carcareki...ights/headlight

 

The secret is removing the screw on the black shield over the firewall.  I didn't loosen the body connector in the front as suggested although it probably would make it a little easier.  I was able to replace the turn signal without unplugging the headlight assembly.

 

Hope this helps.


Edited by joe, 16 December 2015 - 02:59 PM.

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