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I only looked at that area briefly while at the dealership and to me it looked quite involved - removing a lot of plastic pieces and squeezing your hand into a tight space to remove the plastic lock ring...and that was only on the driver's side! Does the entire headlight housing have to be removed completely from the car?

I am assuming that the fog lights are out of the question because it looks like you'll need something to get the front wheels off of the ground.
 

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Nope. I just changed all the bulbs out in my car cept the turn signals. The H7 Halogens were the worst, but not bad once my brother showed me how the lock worked.

The fogs are easy. You may not even have to jack up the car to get under it if you're small enough. You unscrew 3 screws forward of the front wheel wells and "peel back" the plastic. Then reach in and follow the grey wrapped cable to the light. Press the tab, seperate the connector and untwist the light to get it out.

High beams are easy too, just press the tab, separate the connector and twist the light out.

Halogens are harder, the projector casing is waterproof. You have to disconnect the harness (connector), then remove the water-ring by pulling on the 3 rubber tabs one by one. It'll come loose in about a minute of working around it. After you must press the wire tab and then push down to unhook (this part was a bitch). When the bulb comes out it will have an extender attached to it. You must remove this from the bulb and then place it on the new one (flathead screwdriver was handy, work around the base until its all loose and can be taken off). Remember the orientation of the bulb because they do no LOCK in place until you resecure the wire around the bulb. Put the new bulb on the extender. Insert the bulb and extender assembly into the projector housing. Resecure the wire lock. Seal with the waterproofing ring and then reconnect the connector. In all it should take only about 10 minutes for each (if you know how to do it right).
 

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rpc180 said:
Nope. I just changed all the bulbs out in my car cept the turn signals. The H7 Halogens were the worst, but not bad once my brother showed me how the lock worked.

The fogs are easy. You may not even have to jack up the car to get under it if you're small enough. You unscrew 3 screws forward of the front wheel wells and "peel back" the plastic. Then reach in and follow the grey wrapped cable to the light. Press the tab, seperate the connector and untwist the light to get it out.

High beams are easy too, just press the tab, separate the connector and twist the light out.

Halogens are harder, the projector casing is waterproof. You have to disconnect the harness (connector), then remove the water-ring by pulling on the 3 rubber tabs one by one. It'll come loose in about a minute of working around it. After you must press the wire tab and then push down to unhook (this part was a bitch). When the bulb comes out it will have an extender attached to it. You must remove this from the bulb and then place it on the new one (flathead screwdriver was handy, work around the base until its all loose and can be taken off). Remember the orientation of the bulb because they do no LOCK in place until you resecure the wire around the bulb. Put the new bulb on the extender. Insert the bulb and extender assembly into the projector housing. Resecure the wire lock. Seal with the waterproofing ring and then reconnect the connector. In all it should take only about 10 minutes for each (if you know how to do it right).
Hey rpc180,

I tried swapping out the fog lights myself and couldn't do it at all. I then asked the dealer service rep and he said to push the bulb unit slighly and turn to pop the bulb unit out and then proceed to remove the bulb. After many attempts I couldn't do it so I paid them $40 to replace the fog light bulbs.

Now in your description, you said that you will have to press the "TAB", separate the connector and untwist the bulb. What "TAB" are you referring to? I looked in the manual and it didn't state anything about pressing the "TAB". When I was trying to remove the bulbs...I was able to turn the bulb unit counterclockwise about 1/4" and it stop there. I couldn't turn it any further.

The reason I'm asking is if the bulbs need to be replaced again, I would like to do it myself and save $40. Can you provide us with the specific details OH GREAT ONE :D ?

Thanks,
Spencer
 

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i think the "tab" that he mention is the tab on the harness. ou have to push it in inorder to remove the harness abefore you can remove the bulb.
 

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yeah, it was the tab on the harness. Press it to release the harness from the bulb. Then turn the bulb and pull it straight back towards the end of the car. It was cold so maybe it was easier to remove the lights since the plastic base of the bulb wasn't expanded (due to running the fogs or hot weather).
 

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Glad to hear replacing the fog lights isn't all that hard. Section 8 of the manual makes it appear easy. We'll see.

I bought the Hoen xenonmatch v.2 H11 bulbs. Just waiting for a warmer day (above 40) to install them...
 

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how in the heck did you get the bulbs out to change the headlights? haha my friend and i cant even take out the turn signal lights, which btw ist he only thing i want to change right now haha....think u can tell me how to do it rpc180?
 

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imposible? haha...but the bulb is like RIGHT there haha...if only had baby hands we could fit our hands in there and just tke the bulb out and replace it...how are all of u able to change the high beams and headlights? they are all in the same cluster... :(
 

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did any of you guys check to see if there's instructions in the manual? usually they tell you how to replace your bulbs... i don't have a 3 yet, so i can't say for sure, but every other car i had with a manual did. *shrug*
 

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lol yes i checked the manny...and due to the complexity of changing these bulbs we gotta bring it in to mazda haha...i have the xenons maybe thats why?
 

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If you are a little machanicly inclined, seeing drawings in the manual and looking at what needs to be done is pretty easy. My first bulb was a bit tougher to figure out but now I change them on Pathfinders and changed them all on my 3 and it was a breeze. I'll change them again once a_kaup sends me his Titanium bulbs :wink:

I know nothing of changing Xenons so I can't say hoe tough a job it is. But Halogen bulbs are easy to replace. The 3 is no exception.
 

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m3-gt how do u change the turn signal lights? the front turn signals i just want to change the bulbs on that haha care to pm me with any tips?
 

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funkyfreshmonke said:
m3-gt how do u change the turn signal lights? the front turn signals i just want to change the bulbs on that haha care to pm me with any tips?
This one is tougher because you have to remove the hole headlamp unit just to have acces to the connector and the bulb. That's why there's nothing in the owner's manual except "go to your dealership". I haven't changed it on the 3 and won't because of the law here but it's doable. Just take time and some patience. Sorry that I can't help you more...
 

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Hey, yeah, all the lights were changed except the turn signals. The side markers are listed as one peice and must be changed at a dealership. However, the turn signal lights in the headlight cluster are just to the side. I haven't taken them out, but believe me, the other lights in the car are easy, its all diagramed in the manual.

For the low beam, the wire lock is really hard to disengage. You have to push it forward and then down to unhook and release. It took me almost 2 hours to get the first one (and I was even using a sewing thimble cause it hurt), but the second one took only 10 minutes.

The HID Xenons are a whole different animal. No experience how to remove.
 

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But since this topic is getting more attention than my other thread:

Does anyone know if the Halogens projectors can be manually leveled? The new bulbs are extremely bright but they're still limited because the aim of the lens is low. Because of this low aim visibility is greatly impaired. When I use my high beams everything on the planet gets lit up like a christmas tree.
 

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Some helpful tips for changing headlight low beams:
Remove the wire harness by squeezing the two clips on either side and pull straight back.
Remove the boot by pulling the tabs.
Remove the spring clip by lifting the U shaped part on the top drivers side (same side for both drivers and passengers side).
Once the clip disengages from the metal holder (by the screw on the drivers side) pull it forward to release the headlight.
Remove the headlight.
Remove the socket from the headlight.
Attach the socket to the new headlight, orientation doesn't matter as it is keyed on both sides.
Put the bulb w/socket back in the reflector, check the key (notch) of the metal portion (not plastic portion), the metal key should point up and to the drivers side to lock it into the car and the bulb should be securely in place (it won't twist).
Hold the bulb at the back with one hand and push the clip towards the front of the car with the other. Note that the lock is by the screw on the drivers side of the hole in the reflector where the bulb goes. Lift the hook slightly and push it down once it clears the lock that holds it in place.
Replace the boot, then the wire harness.

NOTE: The clip spring may become deformed when it is removed if you lift it too high up. If it does, with the light bulb removed, squeeze the top portion of the spring down towards the bottom to make the two wires closer together. Mine was spread apart and failing to hook onto the lock by the screw on the driver side.
NOTE 2: When clipping the bulb back in, make sure the bottom and top wires of the spring rest across the plastic bulb socket that you transferred from the old bulb to the new bulb. These wires hold it in place, and you won't get the clip spring to hook back on if it isn't resting over the top of the plastic.

This is a !#@$ to change until you see where the spring hooks and figure out that the spring is bent. The only useful information in the manual is the picture that shows where the wires of the spring rest on the socket.
 
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