Saturday, January 19, 2008

Replace The Low Beam Headlamp Light Bulb

I got in my 9-5 late this morning to go to lunch and immediately there was an info display alert, my front left headlight was out. So I turned off my lights, went to lunch, and then picked up a $7.99 replacement bulb at Target on my way back home.

The 2000 SAAB 9-5 uses the common H7 bulb for both the low and high beams. The driver side bulbs look like they are much easier to replace compared to the passenger side because of the air intake cramping the right side of the engine compartment.

This was my first headlamp bulb replacement in the year and a half I've owned the car, so I haven't tried messing with the right side headlight or the high beams.

You won't need any tools for this job. You will want a pair of latex/rubber gloves, a soft rag, or a tissue to keep skin oil off of the new bulb. I personally always wear latex gloves when I work on the car to protect against light abrasions and to make washing up easier when I'm done.

How to remove the burnt bulb from the headlamp:

The back of the head light assembly has a large round black plastic cover. It twists off with a half turn like a jar lid. Set it off to the side.

This exposes the light socket. Remove the brown wiring harness from the back of the bulb by pulling away with a slight rocking motion.

There is a metal wire clip holding the bulb in place. The top of the clip held by a hook at the top. Press towards the headlamp and over to the passenger side to free the clip from the hook.

The burnt bulb now can be removed from the head light with little effort. The new bulb is put in its place, lining up the notches in the bulb with the base to make sure it seats correctly. Use the rag/glove/tissue when you handle the new bulb to keep it clean and free of skin oil. This precaution will make the bulb last longer and keep it from discoloring. The wire clip is lifted back into place and secured and the brown wiring harness is pressed into the new bulb. Return the plastic cover and you should be back in business.

I accidentally pulled the wire clip off completely as I was removing the bulb because I didn't remove the wiring harness first. It just goes back into place at the bottom of the headlamp. Luckily you shouldn't have to worry about this because you'll follow the directions.


  1. Thanks for this! I am replacing a head light today and the pictures really help.

  2. That's great to hear. I'm glad the site has been useful.

  3. How do I replace the high beam bulb? Right now the driver's side one is burnt out on my 2003 9-5.

    Also, do you hve pictures showing how to replace the thermostat and temperature sensor in the same car?

  4. It should be the same process, except it's behind the round cap next to the low beam cap seen in this post. The question is, with the 2003 change in the body style, did it change how the bulbs are changed? I don't know. I've never seen under the hood of the 03 and newer 9-5.

    Good luck. :)

  5. My headlight in my 2000 Saab 9-5 blew this morning, and I was able to find your article when I got home. Male neighbors passed by and asked if I needed help, but I felt confident enough to handle this on my own. Following your instructions, replacement was a breeze, aside from removing the wire clip from the prong; however, using the plier section of a Leatherman got it off with ease.

    It feels awesome to be able to do this myself and not have to rely on a mechanic. Thank you!

  6. Which battery lead do I disconnect ithout effecting th computr?

  7. this site rules