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Replacing the headlight bulb on a 2005 Polo August 13, 2005

Posted by doobya in cars, fuck this, money.
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polo-headlight-replacement.jpg

The car’s owner’s manual recommends paying a visit to your favorite dealer to get the light bulb replaced.

In Holland, if the cops pull you over and one of your headlights is out, you must be able to replace it on the spot, otherwise you’re up for a fine. This is why my 2005 lease VW Polo came with a VW-labeled box of spare light bulbs.

Earlier this month I was driving from Rotterdam to Paris, a 5-hourish drive. At one of the pit stops, I noticed one of the headlights on the Polo was out. Since I would be driving at dusk, I though I’d quickly replace it before hitting the road again. I pulled out a new headlight bulb from the box of spares that came with the car and opened up the hood. I found it wasn’t obvious to localize, and even less reach, the back of the headlight.

Flipping through the owner’s manual for this car, I eventually found a section called “Replacing light bulbs”. The subsequent instructions consisted of two paragraphs of text telling me to please ask my car dealer to replace the light bulb for me, as it required disassembling several pieces from the engine compartment.

So, replacing a dead light bulb from a 2005 VW Polo’s headlights requires to (1) find my dealer’s phone number, (2) schedule an appointment with him, (3) drive to and from the dealer, probably waiting at least a half-hour for the mechanics to do their work in the meantime, (4) probably have to pay for the whole thing.

Replacing a dead light bulb from my 1987 [t]rusty old Badax took about two minutes, including ample time to wipe both my hands clean.

What was bound to happen, did. I thought, “screw that noise,” and decided to fix the light bulb myself, on the side of the highway, without tools, right then. Ten minutes later, I was back on the road with a brand-new headlight shooting up towards the stars, annoyed about the blinker’s light bulb that decided to fall into the water-tight plastic headlight block during the process. (I do use my blinkers, and having to drive without one, sucked).

Anyway, long story short, it cost me the better part of the following morning to fix both lights, disassembling in the process such minor, insignificant parts as the entire front fucking bumper.

What can we learn from this experience, asks the inquisitive wise-ass in me? For one, that your local VW dealer wants your money. And two, that VW gives not a shit about your time, as long as you give money to your local VW dealer.

The Polo is an otherwise good car. I certainly don’t mind having to drive it, all expenses paid by my generous employer. And I really could have asked my dealer to fix the light without having to pay for anything. Nevertheless, spending several hours with a car dealer to get a dead light fixed still sounds like a suboptimal way to waste my free time.

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Comments»

1. Jesse - August 13, 2005

Praise the lord of über-sub-compact cars. I remember going to a presentation in college about the Polo. I learned that this car was so warped and twisted under the hood that an untrained mechanic would turn to stone just by looking at it. Thus, the engine is neatly hidden away allowing easy access to only the window washing fluid and the oil dip-stick.

2. -W- - August 13, 2005

So, learning point number 3: this car has not evolved much since your college days.

3. Jesse - August 13, 2005

Well this was in 1999 or 2000 or something, so it’s not like it should be all that different.–>

4. Andy Watson - October 28, 2007

I had to do the sidelamp bulb on my 2004 Polo.
It was a swine of a job.

Unless the salesman can demonstrate how to change the bulb on the spot I won’t buy another VW.

5. Louise - February 6, 2008

just attempted to change my main headlight bulb and appears i need a PHD in engines and a head that can turn 360 degrees and upside down. even with the manual there I couldn’t for the life of me find the ‘bulb release spring’ given up! THANKS VW!!!!!! Your manual is rubbish

6. Andy B - January 24, 2009

The best part of 4 hours it took me to change both headlight bulbs on my 2005 VW Polo GT, forunately I managed to get the job dones with removing nothing more than, the fuel filter, filter housing, intercooler pipe, battery and battery tray! This give me nearly enough room to get to the back of the headlights. Technically you should remove the bumper and then remove the headlights to change the bulbs properly but fuck me if I could find how to remove the bumper!

7. Paddy Connell - January 29, 2009

I feel that I must join in this discussion… I am currently struggling to type as i have ripped my hands to shreds trying to sort the twatting bulbs on my partners 04 polo…
It is about -5c outside and my hands were falling off anyway, i came inside to look for inspiration and all I can find is VW saying take it to your dealer…
It has got me stumped and there is no way that i am about to remove the bumper and/or battery etc in fading light..
This is totally ridiculous, They cash in on their customers… set of gits.

Throughout my time fumbling under the bonnet all I could hear going around and round in my head was that famous phrase…. “IF ONLY EVERYTHING IN LIFE WAS AS RELIABLE AS A VOLKSWAGEN”
Load of shite… this is the 5th set of headlight bulbs since 2004..

VW can ram it… I will never buy another

8. Jon - February 1, 2009

Just tried replacing headlamp bulb in 2004 polo, what a fucking nightmare. A bulb should be simple to change afterall you wouldn’t call an electrician to change a bulb in your house. I am cold and totally pissed off that a company such as volkswagon could make a simple job so hard. In fact i am going to take it to main dealer to get fitted. Then when it is done i am going to book car in for a new clutch and just not turn up and see if they like their time being wasted.

9. Paul - February 24, 2009

I was quite prepared to take the bumper off on my 2000 Polo but the release screws are in the wheel arches and are, understandably, rusted solid after 9 years’ worth of road spray.

And I’ve tried going in under the bonnet by releasing all screws and bolts for the grille and front bracket. No way in!

It really shouldn’t be this hard to change the headlight. The indicators are accessible enough (as I’ve replaced two of them so far) but it’s the headlights you can get a spot fine for if stopped by cops.

I am really loathe to spend money at the garage on something that any resourceful, self-respecting person should be able to do in 5 minutes… 😦

10. sean - February 25, 2009

I had a 2004 polo headlight go on me as I was on a long drive home the other night, I stopped at a petrol station, bought a new bulb, popped the bonnet and spent a solid hour in the freezing cold trying to get the bulb in place. With nothing but the light from my mobile phone to help find a retaining spring I ended up just resting the bulb in place until I could get a better look. Next morning I had another look only to discover there is no spring but instead it’s a couple of torq screws in the most awkward of places that hold the bulb. And to make matters worse the plastic housing has melted from the heat off the bulb I tried to fit. Now I’m 50 quid down for a new headlight. I NOW FUCKING HATE VW’s

11. The Contrarian - April 10, 2009

Thank fuck for this site. I’ve been outside trying to replace the headlight bulb on my wife’s Polo. Having spent a few moments scratching my head, I came to the conclusion that:

1. I’d have to remove the front bumper to get the access I need (this seemed so improbable that I thought myself an arsehole just for considering it); or

2. I’d have to remove the fuel filter, the housing and the intercooler pipe.

Both of these seem fucking ridiculous and certainy not something you’d want to be doing on the side of the road in the dark, cold and rain. VW have most certainly pissed on their chips. They’re sorely mistaken if they think I’ll ever buy another one of their cars again. Wankers!

12. Steve - April 25, 2009

My headlight bulb (drivers side) on my 2003 polo has just died. I thought this would be quick to change… a quick twist, pull out the bulb and swap. Dammit was I wrong. I unscrewed the two screws that held the light in. Took out the metal and plastic ring. Connected the new bulb, and then was totally fucked. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how the fuck this bulb is held in place, because the stupid thing just drops through that metal ring. If anyone can assist please let me know. By the way, I am an experience engineer – who can’t change a fucking lightbulb in a car.

13. Cris - May 4, 2009

I have a polo 1.2 (from 2002) and was going to try change my left sidelight.. but from the sound of things here it does not seem very easy!! this is redicoulous.. (although being a girl i’ve changed several bulbs in other cars since i come from a country where you have to have 2 spare bulbs in the car at all times and change any bulb immediatelly if it dies.. or huge fine!). can anyone advise me if i should just pay the fortune they willl charge me to change a bulb or is there any easy way to replace the left sidelight?

14. raf - May 30, 2009

this website saved me – the picture gave me an indication of what was in store for me after my polo 2002 se headlight went out.. i tried taking out the coolant reservoir and poking my head in all sorts of directions – but that damn metal ring kept falling out! so today (saturday) i set aside a good few hours in daylight to do the whole bumper removal. let me tell you – do not even try to attempt changing the headlight any other way.

while it’s a total joke you need to take half your car apart to change the headlight, it’s much, much, MUCH easier to do once you have the whole headlight piece disconnected.

probably took me 1-1.5 hours all up to do both headlights, only because after i screwed everything back, the bumper didn’t look like it sat right so i unscrewed and tried again.

if it helps anybody, here’s how i got it off. the screws are all torx bits/screwdrivers.

– 2 screws either side of the front grill.
– pop grill off (I just lifted it up).
– 3 more screws after the grill is out.
– 4 screws for each front tyre holding the bumper (total of 8).
– 2 screws on the bottom of the bumper on either side, and there might be another screw nearby you need to take out.
– you should be able to slide the bumper towards you a little and free up some room.
– there’s 4 screws holding each headlight “container” in place, pretty easy to take those out (2 underneath, one on the top, one on the side).
– disconnect the power cable to the headlight “container”.
– from here, it’s pretty easy to work it all out – take note of the way the metal “washer” is held – the 3 hooks should point upwards. you don’t need to unscrew the screw at the bottom, just the 2 screws on the left and right.

hope that helps.

15. raf - May 30, 2009

just to point out and be clear – you don’t need to take the ENTIRE bumper off (as shown in the photo).. in my instructions above where i mention to slide the bumper towards you, do it as much as you require to access the screws on the “container” and pull the whole thing out.. pulling the whole bumper off will just make more work for yourself.

16. Alb - June 28, 2009

We have a 2002 Polo bought new, we have replaced 3 headlight bulbs. When I lifted the bonnet I envisaged problems, my mate does the job for £20.00, money well spent! I still think my wifes Polo 1.4 TDI is still one of the best cars on the road. Bought from Holland with masses of extras. We want to buy the new one when it comes out in autumn, to piss off the local agent I will ask him if he can change the headlight bulb in 15 minutes we will buy the car ( hope he cant ) I would prefer to buy it online.

17. Neil - July 23, 2009

Dunno about you guys, but I managed to change my main head light bulb in a few minutes, by taking the rubber cap off, turning the two black things, and popping the globe out, and then replacing it, and turning the black things again.

Very easy if you know how 🙂

I have a 2003 Polo, and it’s the same on a 2004.

18. Marcus - July 30, 2009

Neil, I thought i knew how to do it that way but every time i do it, it goes in for MOT it has been done wrong and they charge me to fix it. VW are absolute bastards for making it such a hassle. I agree you do not have to take the whole car apart to do it otherwise VW would charge you nearly £200 to do it (such is the huge price of their labour charges), I just ordered the Hayne’s manual for my polo and i hope this might shed some light on the topic…I shall try remember to let you all know what it says when i get it….

19. Garreth - September 19, 2009

Don’t know if it is different in various countries. My 2005 Polo in South africa took me 5 minutes yesterday. Removed Rubber cover, loosened 2 torx screws on the metal plate (not remove), twisted and pulled out the bulb fitting. Replaced the buld and reversed the procedure. When I had the same problem 2 years ago and the car warranty (and did not want to fiddle too much), I phoned the VW assistance line who told me that I had to take the car in to the dealer as they had to remove the whole bumber to do the job. When I took it to the agent they said the same thing. Doing the job my self cost me a 10th of the cost of taking it to the dealer ship.

I think, besides the means of getting extra money, VW don’t want to risk people injuring themselves or damaging something. From what I have read, touching the crystal on the HID bulb can have bad results.

20. Johny - September 26, 2009

Hey,
I did it in 30 seconds::))) All I had to do was to remove the back cover, then I put my hand inside de hole (:) ) and put two fingers on the black plastic ring ( the one you can see from the outside) exactly in the two spots where you can see the two torq screws (which seem to hold everything). Then I twisted that counterclockwise just a bit and the bulb pupped out. I changed the bulb and reversed the procedure.
Usually on a car you have to twist the bulb in order to pull it out. On this car ( as on my previous honda accord 96 ) the bulb stays in place as is and another part( in this case the black ring) is the one that needs to twist and holds the bulb in place.
Hope it helps
Good day to you and…visit Romania its nice around here:)

21. P K IRELAND - October 26, 2009

put a new bulb into my polo 1.L YEAR 2000, IT WILL NOT LIGHT ,
THE BULB IS OK ,ANY IDEAS?

22. S. Mistry - November 4, 2009

I’ve had exactly the same problems as you guys. I was actually given the car as a repalcement for my Ford Focus that I’d sold. When I tried to change the bulbs, the same issue applied – can’t get your hand into the headlamp unit to twist out the bulb because: 1) Some major mechanical parts are in the way and 2) the battery and housing are in the way.
Kwik Fit changed the bulb for me for £10 but the guy made a pigs ear of it. When I inquired at VW, they wanted to charge £54 to change a £2 part. I opted for the Haynes and Halfords approach – Socket set and Hayne manual – Total cost £44. First time I change the bulb, it took 2hrs but thats because there are a few bolts under the wheel arch that can be missed. But I’ve had the bulbs go twice since and I’ve changed the lot in 1/2hr at a saving of £54 each time. Money well spent.
If I ever buy a car in the future from VW, I’m gonna make the salesman change the bulb before I consider buying. You’d think German design would be practical and efficient! Bollocks is it!

23. chris - November 10, 2009

pretty easy to remove the bulb from my 2004 polo, remove the rubber cap, remove the wire connector attached to the back of the bulb, pull the bulb out of the headlight, attach a new bulb to the connector, push back through into the headlight.

24. Tom - November 16, 2009

Let’s get it straight – it IS easy to change the front headlight bulb – see Johny’s post. Do NOT twist he bulb – twist the black ring – anticlockwise to open, clockwise to lock. The pointy bit on the metal ring on the bulb has to point straight up. Don’t forget to put the rubber cap back on!

25. Ken - December 15, 2009

Actually I’ve just changed my main head lamp on my polo, and its not as bad as it first seems, although it still took me 15mins to figure it out (I didn’t read the comments or advices here until I had figured it out and that was by accident lol ) Tom is right, all you need to do is twist the black ring which looks like it is being held solid with two hex screws but in fact it does twist slightly (you don’t need to twist too much only a little is enough to loosen the containment ring holding the bulb in place, you will feel it move ever so slightly when you twist it). Once you have loosen the containment ring by twisting the black ring, it is a simple matter of pulling the bulb out easily, no resistence at all. replace it making sure the square tab is at the top, then simply twist the black ring clockwise to tighten the containment ring, re-attach the wire connector and the rubber cover and job finished. Simple as that, it should really take you 2 minutes tops to change it once you have figure out the solution 😀

26. amanda - December 28, 2009

17. Neil – July 23, 2009

Dunno about you guys, but I managed to change my main head light bulb in a few minutes, by taking the rubber cap off, turning the two black things, and popping the globe out, and then replacing it, and turning the black things again.

Very easy if you know how 🙂

I have a 2003 Polo, and it’s the same on a 2004.

Thanks, it really is as easy as that!!!! only took minutes, no need to remove anything other than the bulb 🙂 was seriously panicing having read some of these other messages!!!

27. Bzoow - December 31, 2009

Thanks guys, after getting the bulb out fairly easily I was having a hard time getting the new one in. I am an engineer so logically there had to be an easy way as VW would not make assembly that difficult, however I could not understand why the bulb would not clip back in as the clip at the bottom seemed to stop the bulb locating. In frustration I googled and found this site and had the bulb back in 30 seconds. This was the bulb behind the battery on an ’05 Polo GT and I did not remove anything other than the rubber cover.
Thanks again!

28. NickB - January 18, 2010

I took my Daughters 05 Polo to Halfords. They changed the headlight bulb for £15 inc fitting, brilliant! Took the guy about 1 minute with no tools. He just took the rubber cap off, fiddled about, out came the bulb! I still can’t work out how he did it.

29. Rich - February 14, 2010

we have 2005 polo and i have come across the second time to change the bulb by myself. I still cant understand how I did it last time when it was -15 outside. In Latvia they first give a warning and at the second time they charge a fine. In the fuckin manual it is written in three steps
1. open the hood and take off the rubber
2. turn the holder and take it out
3. REMOVE THE BULB

I would love to see an explanation for what stands for REMOVE. It is a nightmare. freakin bastards. We have a warning from the cops already and now have to leave home, but I cant change it by myself anyhow. If we hit the road even to go to the dealer and there are cops – we get our fine. Fuck VW.

30. Rich - February 14, 2010

Reading the last comments that says it is easy I see that you dont have the same problems as I do. I take off the rubber cover, put my hand in, turn it clockwise then it comes out still with wires. you can see the bulb, but the wires hold it so you cant take it completely out. the bulb itself doesnt come out from the holder (tried every little turning, rotating, pushin, pulling)… what to do?

31. Col - March 13, 2010

Is it just the diesel model where you have to remove the fuel filter and housing? Shredded my hand trying to change driver’s side headlight

32. Matt - May 2, 2010

Thanks to those in the know. The owners book Australia says nothing more than take it to your dealer (or words to that effect) it doesn’t even mention the type of bulb, for head lights being H7 55w.

As those above have stated all you need do is:
1 pop the bonnet
2 remove the rubber dust cap
3 turn the black ring around the headlight bulb anti clockwise (looking from behind the headlight) about 5mm and you will hear and feel a distinct click.
4 remove the bulb and disconnect the wiring.
5 insert your new bulb, lug uppermost
6 ensuring your bulb is securely in place, turn the black ring clockwise about 5mm and again, you will hear and feel a click as it locks into place
7 reconnect the wiring (it’s easier to do once you have the bulb in the housing)
8 replace the rubber dust cap.
9 shut the bonnet and you’re done.

33. laws - May 5, 2010

ok so should have come on here before the removal of the headlight and all the bits, as they are currently sat in a lunchbox. but right now i need some help in how to put it all back together. even halfords wouldnt touch it and after about an hour of fiddling with all the componets in the car park with a work colleague who thought it would be a 5 min job ( who is an engineer) we gave up and drove home. The main problem seems to be how to get the metal ring to stay in when replacing the black ring and screws, grrrrrr HELP, what i really want is a picture of it all and how it all fits but can i find one on the internet……..no i bloody cant, grrrrrrrrr.

34. laws - May 5, 2010

and now i forgot to press the follow up tab, this day just gets better and better

35. Charlie - July 8, 2010

The problem I’m experiencing is that only one headlight of my VW POLO seems to be working, I replace the non working one only to find that it’s not blown or fused, then the working one stops working and the replaced one works. What seems to be the problem. Any Idee’s or experienced the same thing..

36. Dubz - September 29, 2010

Okay guys, here is my story. So the first time the driver side headlight died on me I decided to do the natural thing and attempt to change it myself. Man did i fail at that.My mistake was trying to change it from the engine bay rather than the bumper removal.So I took it to my local VW dealership who changed it for me. 3 months down the line the other side died on me once again. Seeing as this side looked easier, I decided to remove the battery and give it a shot.In any event I removed the battery and the housing and managed to remove the two torx screws holding the bulb in place. My mistake was that I removed it completely. Trying to put it back together was a nightmare and I had given up and decided to book it into the VW dealership to have it changed once again. So I rocked up at the dealership and they took the car to the repair bay where “A QUALIFIED VW TECHNICIAN” took a look at it. My service advisor came back to me with a look that screamed problems for me. I was told that whilst I was trying to replace the bulb I had damaged the housing and broken a clip which holds the bulb in place and that now I had to replace the entire light. Good thing I decided not to let them go through with the repair. Took it to a backdoor mac who also said since the tech at vw said that it should be changed I should do so. Went ahead and purchased a pirate part and was going to fit it 3 days later. I sat and thought to myself after finding these posts, why not give it one last crack since they said the entire headlamp should be replaced so I couldnt possibly break it any more than it already was, according to the dealership that is. I decided to get my tools together and remove it to see what plan I could make.Followed the instructions on these posts and removed the bumper, all the instructions worked like a charm. Although there were two torx screws hidden under the fog light grills on the TDI model. Managed to figure out how to remove the cover which has little plastic tabs on either ends of the grill that clip out.Removed the screws and the bumper came off with ease. Removed both headlamp housings and noted the way the working one was and presto. I had fixed it without the cost of having to replace the head lamp. What have I learned from this exercise is that dealers are just out to rip the consumer off. They prey on the fact that we believe their professional word.
Maybe the technician was just too lazy to try or to help me out. I say try people, these posts are what made me try and I thank the gentleman who had started it. I saved myself a ton of money.Good luck people

37. hothercule - October 9, 2010

The method in comment 32 also works for 2000/2001 polo with slight modifications.

Clip holds black plastic cover in place – slide away clip and cover should come off easily enough. Once you’ve removed the housing for the wiring and contacts from the back of the bulb a further thin metallic wire clip holds the bulb in place – quite easy to remove. Replace the bulb and then reverse the steps you’d taken previously – getting the headlamp cover back on is slightly fiddly but you’ll get there in the end.

Saved me about £50 guys thanks!

38. Stump Grinder - November 26, 2010

Yep – its easy to replace the head light bulb on a Polo. As described by Johny (Sept 26, 2009), just remove the rubber cover and rotate the black plastic ring. It will only rotate one way and the bulb should just pop out. Replace the bulb and rotate the black plastic ring the other way to secure the bulb in place….and that’s it!! No need to visit the VW Dealer or remove the bumber, battery, soleniod, breather pipe…… Thanks Johny – I owe you a beer!!

39. John Shaw - February 1, 2011

The only bulb that is easy to change is the headlight bulb on the passenger side. I have asked at my local VW dealer how much they would charge to change the bulb and was quoted £8 this is not alot considering the time and effort needed.

40. Andy Brown - February 5, 2011

JS, that’s because they have specially bred, small handed reverse jointed mechanics (1 per dealership) especially for this task.

Did my nearside light today twice for the hell of it (no really the first replacement bulb was knackered wasn’t that fun to find)I can’t see how you’d get your hand in to do the driver side one though.

Next task is to repair the pipe for the rear wash is come off/split at reservoir and that WILL be a bumper off job!

41. myJohn - June 20, 2011

Re Matt’s list “5 insert your new bulb, lug uppermost”

I found the ring stiff to turn, even though the plastic ring screws were not tight, but the only thing I’d like to add is that the lug on the bulb did not go in uppermost for me, it was slightly to one side. I couldn’t get my head down far enough to see where it should go, but I was able to feel the position.

Good luck if you have large hands! VW didn’t design this for you. Amazingly user-unfriendly for what should be a simple operation.

42. Uri - September 3, 2011

Great blog! For tdi polos… The best way is to remove the bumper! Thnx again for the info!

43. Si Rockson - December 8, 2011

32. Matt – May 2, 2010
Thanks to those in the know. The owners book Australia says nothing more than take it to your dealer (or words to that effect) it doesn’t even mention the type of bulb, for head lights being H7 55w.

As those above have stated all you need do is:
1 pop the bonnet
2 remove the rubber dust cap
3 turn the black ring around the headlight bulb anti clockwise (looking from behind the headlight) about 5mm and you will hear and feel a distinct click.
4 remove the bulb and disconnect the wiring.
5 insert your new bulb, lug uppermost
6 ensuring your bulb is securely in place, turn the black ring clockwise about 5mm and again, you will hear and feel a click as it locks into place
7 reconnect the wiring (it’s easier to do once you have the bulb in the housing)
8 replace the rubber dust cap.
9 shut the bonnet and you’re done.

NO TOOLS REQUIRED))))))))))))))))))))))

44. ade - January 21, 2012

Cheer’s Johny, 20. Just changed my lightbulb in about a minute.

45. rob - April 4, 2012

makes me sick will never get another vw again pure rip of

46. Mark - April 12, 2012

LoL, this is funny. People have ended up stripping half the car for changing bulbs, hahaha! Then they are complaining about vw. The changing of headlight bulbs takes max. 5 minutes and it´s easy, no tools needed whatsoever. As described above by many, just remove the rubber, turn the black ring holding the bulb and put a new one in, reverse the order and it´s done! 🙂

47. Alan - April 15, 2012

For those of you who think it’s a no tools easy task then you don’t have the same model of Polo as those who think it’s a difficult task. On my model you can’t even see the rubber cover let alone remove it without major bumper surgery!
It just took me an hour and fifteen!

48. Tom - April 26, 2012

It is the Tdi Polo’s that are a swine to change, there is a lot less room in the engine bay. To do drivers side you need hose clip pliers to remove intercooler hose and a torx set to remove the fuel filter housing. Not something everyone can be expected to carry in their car everyday!!

49. handles - July 11, 2012

yup, 30 seconds with aid of small mirror, lamp out. amazing. thanx. only comment – use only a little more force than you think you should

50. handles - July 12, 2012

‘n then hour and a half to take bumper off and replace it again. grr

51. umbongo - July 25, 2012

Thank you to Matt and Johny for the info re changing the headlight bulb on a 2003 Polo 1.4 Took about 2 minutes. Apart from boosting the VW dealer’s income, why does the VW UK instruction book say this must be done by a dealer? To answer my own question: there is no reason apart from boosting the dealer’s income.

52. sootblower - August 16, 2012

I just finished replacing mine, after just removing the water reservoir and getting my hand raped by my own car. After that i thought replacing the park lights will be easy.. well… no.. after raping my hand some more I still couldn’t get them out. Any advise? I drive a 2006 polo tdi

53. Blackisler - November 10, 2012

Thanks for the info previously left, have added a couple of points if you need to remove the whole bumper- I had to to get the lights out
– 2 screws either side of the front grill.
– pop grill off (I just lifted it up).
– 3 more screws after the grill is out.
– 4 screws for each front tyre holding the bumper (total of 8).
– 2 screws on the bottom of the bumper on either side, and there might be another screw nearby you need to take out.
– you should be able to slide the bumper towards you a little and free up some room, if this is not enough-remove plastic cover around fog lights. Pop ‘rivets’ between bumper and undertray below bumper. Remove 2 bolts behind the fog lamp covers.
– remove bumbler, watch for cables to sensor behind bumper.
– there’s 4 screws holding each headlight “container” in place, pretty easy to take those out (2 underneath, one on the top, one on the side).
– disconnect the power cable to the headlight “container”.
– from here, it’s pretty easy to work it all out – take note of the way the metal “washer” is held – the 3 hooks should point upwards. you don’t need to unscrew the screw at the bottom, just the 2 screws on the left and right.

54. Jordan - December 8, 2012

Just done this today, pulling the bumper away (not completely off) to gain access to the headlight casing.

You’ll need Torx screwdrivers(T25,27 and 45 I believe)

55. Alan - December 9, 2012

I used Allen keys (hex keys). Not ideal but they fitted in the torx screws which luckily weren’t too tight.

56. mark - March 7, 2014

Hi everyone This is a real pig on the rhs of atdi where the fuel filter is in the way.
However VW will fit a bulb for free if you buy it from them That doesn’t sound like a rip off to me!!

57. mark - March 12, 2014

Or just buy a new bulb from VW dealer and they fit it free!!

58. auldreeker - April 7, 2014

I’ve got a new bulb in place, but it’s shooting upwards far too much and it will fail an MOT when it next comes along.

Can someone tell me if there is a retaining clip for the bulb when it is in the headlamp?

I had a monkey at Halfords (in the UK) fit the bulb, but they failed to complete this simple task and instead packed the light with foam to keep it in place.

However, when I took it to a proper mechanic he says they’ve not put the clip back in place. New headlamp from VW in the UK is £109+VAT!!

Any thoughts appreciated

59. Jeremy BlueMotion - February 8, 2015

The whole point missed by so many is that it is the outer dipped beam H7 bulb that needs the headlight to come out. Sidelight and H1 main beam are simple. Sadly, the whole front does need to come off, and on the BlueMotion Polo that is a large piece of kit.
And no-one has said —– while you have the front off, replace all the bulbs.

60. pxs@1somco - February 24, 2015

I brought my polo 05 thought it was good car until half a year in. It burnt out the valves( new chain, gaskets,seals, then all the bushes perished – ripped so I polyed them out , exhaust, tyres, starter motor, brakes, cv boots, wheel bearings. After I fixed all these problems she still gives me more. could be worse tho as I don’t pay for labour.

however bulbs easy to replace as said take bumper off. Just ridiculous why they seize in

61. Allan mody - May 21, 2015

First, thanks to all commenting, no matter what sollution you used.
Those saying its a 2 – 5 min job, you must have very small hands, but you pointed me in the right direction, thanks.
I removed the rubber cap, but there was no way, for me, to get my fingers to the black plastic ring. I was close to remove the battery, but ended removing the horn instead. Not easy to get the 3 philips screws out, but probably easyer than removing the battery box.
After the horn was removed it was easy. Just turn the black plastic ring counter clockwise (5 mm max). Remove bulb with wires. Replace bulb. Get it seated and turn the black plastic ring clockwise. Mounted the horn again, and the rubber cap.

62. Youcandoit - May 7, 2017

I have a 2005 polo 1.4 TDI and to all the scoffers on here – all polos are different. Some are easy but on some – like mine – it is impossible to replace the headlight bulb on the drivers side without partly removing the bumper and easing out the headlight unit. If yours is inaccessible like mine then follow the advice of posts 14 and 15 by Raf in 2009 which is spot on and the only way, As he says just take out all the screws as described and ease the bumper away from the headlight until you can get your hands in to undo the 4 torx screws on the headlight – 2 below one on the side and 1 on top,
Gently ease the whole unit out so you can access the back and clearly see everything – just loosen slightly the 2 torx screws on the bulb clamp twist and out she comes. Replace and reverse – twisting slightly clockwise and tightening screws then replace rubber cover and screw back into place. When refitting bumper start with bumper 2 inches forward and push in from side while pushing backwards so it slides into holding clips and when it clicks into place perfectly aligned – then do up all screws. Thanks Raf you are a life saver – saved me £70 garage visit and only took an hour and a half taking my time.


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