How to Replace a Headlight on a 2005 Altima

1.

Unscrew the bolt holding down the air filter box on the driver's side of the vehicle. The bolt is located at the side of the engine compartment directly above the left front tire. Open the air filter box and remove the air filter, then find two clips at the bottom of the air filter box that hold the air filter assembly in place. Unlatch the clips and lift the entire air filter assembly out and set it aside.

2.

Remove two bolts holding down the coolant bottle on the passenger side of the vehicle. One bolt is directly behind the headlamp and the other is on the side of the engine compartment. Lift the coolant bottle out and set it aside.

3.

Twist the white bulb-holder one-quarter turn to the left using your hands to remove the bulb-holder. Now pull out the old bulb with your fingers and slip in the replacement, being careful not to get any skin oils on the actual bulb. Wearing rubber gloves while replacing the bulb will ensure that no contaminants reach the bulb. Twist the bulb-holder one-quarter turn to the right until it clicks into place.

4.

Switch on the headlamps inside the passenger compartment to make sure they illuminate properly, and then switch them off while reassembling the air filter box and the coolant bottle.

5.

Reinstall the coolant bottle on the passenger side and the air filter box on the driver's side. Latch down the air box assembly, replace the air filter and then bolt down the top of the air filter box.

Tips and Warnings

  • When reinstalling the coolant bottle, finger-tighten the bolts before tightening with a wrench. Do not over tighten. The plastic bottle could be damaged from over tightening the retaining bolts.
  • Replacing a headlight on a 2005 Altima can be a challenge because the engine compartment directly behind the headlamp assembly is filled with engine components, which first must be removed before the headlamp can be reached. The engine parts on the 2005 Altima are rather large, while the engine compartment is small, so there is not much room for maneuvering under the hood. However, once the air filter and coolant bottle are out of the way, changing the headlamp is quite easy.