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2006+ New Beetle Headlight Removal

How-to and photos by: shellant
Post by: HarlequinPixie

Estimated Time:
  • +/- 5 minutes
Tools Required:
  • 5mm Socket
  • Two 6" extensions, or One extension 8"+
  • Socket Wrench
  • Long Screw Driver (Optional)

Step 1

Lift the hood and look behind/above the headlight housing.
Locate the small hex head close to an diagram of an open lock, a closed lock and a headlight.

Step 2

Connect two 6 inch socket extensions together to get 12 inches of length or use single 8+ inch extension
with the 5mm socket attached to reach the bolt head.

Step 3

Keep in mind that this is not a threaded bolt. It only requires 90 degrees of clockwise turn to release the headlight lock.
If you start the ratchet at the 12 o’clock position you only need turn it to the 3 o’clock position.

Step 4

This next bit is the tricky bit. Not that it is hard to do but it is a little hard to describe where this piece is.
Please look at the next 3 pictures and hopefully this will make it more apparent where to look.

This is a piece of thin metal that is about 3 to 4 inches in length and runs parallel to the side of the car,
pointing towards the front of the vehicle.


Once you unlock the 5mm hex head it is just a case of pushing this metal towards the ground about 2 to 3 inches.
It is quite flexible but will take a good 2 to 3 inch push. If your hands are to big to fit into the space,
you can use a long screwdriver (or other implement) to reach it.

Step 5

This is the hardest part (it's still not very hard). While pushing down on the metal release (picture 6 of 9),
you have to pry the headlight housing out toward the front of the car. It’s really not that difficult,
but if you have some help it wouldn’t be such a juggling act.

Either get your fingers around the headlight rubber and pull out or push the back of the housing from within
the engine compartment. It didn’t seem that one way was better than the other.

You will see that the 12 pin plug stays and disconnects itself. This is very helpful with the alignment when
it comes time to reconnect.


This picture should give you an idea of what everything looks like inside the headlight housing:
  1. The locking mechanism. Leave this in the unlocked position while you have the housing out.
    (Positioned with the U-Shaped Bend down, as in the picture on the left.)
  2. The spring metal release lever from Pictures 4, 5 & 6
  3. The 12-Pin Plug connector will stay where it is when you remove the housing

The only real notes to make:
  • Be careful when replacing the headlight that it is lined up correctly. If you don’t force it you really shouldn’t break anything.
    It should go straight back into the 12 pin plug.
  • Have some power tools running , so it sounds like a hard job (this will impress the family!)
  • If you drag this job out and really take your time it could take as much as 15 minutes.
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