Monday, December 18, 2017

How to remove and install the front bumper cover and headlamps Subaru Legacy '09 to '13

This post will show how to remove the front bumper cover and headlamp assembly on a Subaru Legacy made from 2009 to 2013. Several of the bulbs in the headlamp assembly can only be replaced with the bumper cover and headlamp assembly removed..

                                                     The job at a glance

  • Tools:  Car ramps, 10mm socket and ratcher
  • Parts:  4 side marker and parking lamp bulbs W5W or Philips 168; 2 turn signal bulbs, W21W or Philips 7440; high beam headlamp is 9005; low beam headlamp is Osram 64210.
  • Time: 1.5 hours      

Replace Low and High beam Headlamps

1) Remove two panel fasteners holding the air inlet duct near the air filter at the right front corner. 

2) Remove the air intake duct above the passenger side headlamp  
3) There is now access to remove and replace the high and low beam headlamps on the passenger side. Replacing the low beam requires removal of circular plastic cover and release of a spring. Replace with 9005 and Osram 64210.  
4) Repeat on the driver's side. There are no additional parts to remove to access this side. 

Remove Bumper Cover

1) Drive the front of the car up onto ramps to make removal easier. 
2) Remove eight panel fasteners on the top of the cover.

The eight top fasteners are the easiest

3) Remove one panel fastener at each wheel well.
4) Remove nine panel fasteners under the front of the bumper cover. Remove three fasteners in the cutout opening at the front lower middle of the bumper cover. 
5) Pull the bumper cover out at the seam by the wheel well on each side. Give it a good jerk and it will separate from the catches.

6) Remove the cover and set it aside. 

    Remove headlamp assemblies

1) There are seven 10mm machine screws and two panel fasteners that will need to be removed.  There are two screws and one panel fastener on top that hold the headlamp assembly. There are five screws and a panel fastener that hold the bracket . Three screws are on the front, and two screws and on panel fastener hold the side of this bracket. Remove the lower fasteners first. 

Right side view of the passenger side fasteners

2) Remove the plastic bracket the encircles the headlamp assembly.

The five bracket screws. There is also a panel fastener on the left side

3) Pull the headlamp assembly out to allow access to all the bulbs. Here are the bulbs from innermost to outermost: 

High beam headlamp can be rotated out. Replace with 9005
Parking lamp W5W, replaced with Philips 168
Low beam headlamp behind white cover is Osram 64210
Turn signal is W21W replaced with Philips 7440
Side marker is W5W, replaced with Philips 168

Test the bulbs before reassembly. 


1) Mount the headlamp assembly with two 10mm screws and a panel fastener. Make sure to seat the alignment pin on the side first.  Be careful not to over-torque thescrews.

Seat the side alignment pin first

2) Mount the plastic bracket that encircles the headlamp assembly with five 10mm screws and a panel fastener. Start on the outside. Again, do not over-torque. 

3) Mount the bumper cover. Make sure the lower cover and wheel well sections are positioned correctly in relation to the vehicle mating surfaces before snapping the sides of the cover into place.
Snap the panel fasteners into place, making sure to maintain a quarter inch gap between the two pieces on insertion. A bit of lithium grease is helpful if the fasteners are sticking, especially on the lower ones subject to road grime. 


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