How to Change Headlight bulb in 2003 Prius

Has the headlight bulb burned out in your 2003 Prius? Don't fret!


  1. 1
    Driver Side - Open Hood and locate the washer fluid fill tube. You will need to remove this before starting. The tube is connected to the frame with a plastic clip. Pinch the clip from the top and gently pull upward. The tube should slide up and out.
  2. 2
    After removing the tube, you should be able to see the electrical connection to the bulb. Grab the connector with your thumb and index finger and GENTLY rock the connector up and down and side to side while applying rearward pressure until it comes free from the bulb.
  3. 3
    Next you need to remove the rubber seal that protects the bulb from outside debris. The seal is about 4" in diameter and surrounds the back of the bulb. There are 2 tabs that you can use to remove this seal. It may be easier to grab the lower one and pull out and then grab the top one and do the same. It should come out fairly easy using this method. There is no twisting or turning needed to remove this.
  4. 4
    After you have removed the rubber seal set it aside and locate the metal latch that secures the bulb in the socket. It crosses over the back of the bulb and is latched on what will be your left side if you are standing facing the car. The bar is latched by a hook so you have to push the bar with your index finger towards the front of the car and then pull up. If done correctly the bar will come away from the bulb.
  5. 5
    Rotate the bar to the right so that the bulb is now free to be removed. GENTLY grab the back of the bulb and slide it out of it's socket.
  6. 6
    Using rubber gloves insert your new bulb into the socket. Make sure it is correctly. A way to make sure it went in the right way is to look at the bulb from outside the headlight while turning it. (may want to plug the light in and turn on the car lights. This will help you see if it is seated in the socket).
  7. 7
    Once you are sure you have it securely in the socket, follow the steps above in reverse order. Make sure you get the rubber seal back on securely and that it has a good fit over the back of your new bulb.
  8. 8
    Passenger side - The only difference here is that you need to remove a plastic air flow vent. Not sure what it does, but it will definitely be in your way. Use a flat head screwdriver to pop the plastic rivet up. Once the rivet has been freed from the car frame, grab the air vent and GENTLY slide it up and out.
  9. 9
    Follow same steps outlined above after removal of air vent.


  • Don't touch new bulb

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Rubber gloves (Optional)

Article Info

Categories: Toyota Prius