Nissan Altima Headlight Replacement Sucks

Recorded on November 27th, 2016

I replaced both headlight lamps on our Altima today. It sucks. Bad. It’s a slow, awkward process. It’s not like on the Hondas I’ve had, where you just lift the hood, reach behind the headlight shell, and untwist the bulb.

The passenger side is the worse of the two. You have to pry the fender away from the car by removing various bolts before you can unfasten the headlight. Once you do, getting it disconnected is a pain, as is rotating the weatherproofed plastic skirt that encloses the actual lamp. This video was crucial in helping me get it done:

The driver’s side was less bad, but only by a little. You don’t have to pull the fender away, but there’s more to take apart around the air dam and filter box. And then there’s almost no clearance to get good leverage to twist the skirt away from the lamp assembly. You can do it, but it’s tedious if the rubber gasket is stretched like mine was and therefore hard to keep seated. I couldn’t have done it without this video:

It took a total of two hours, but at least I saved $100-$200 in repair bills. If you do it, don’t forget blue nitrile gloves so you don’t get finger oils on the bulbs.

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