How to change the headlight bulbs for your mk5 VW Jetta, Golf, or Rabbit (both halogen and HID)

difficulty: 1/5
back to 1000q: mk5 Jetta "how to" list


This article shows how to replace the headlight bulbs for both halogen and HID d2s xenon headlight bulb on your 2005 2006 or 2009 2010 Jetta TDI.

There's a trick to removing the xenon HID bulb igniter that isn't obvious until you know it!  To see how to install HID headlights on a Rabbit, Golf, or Jetta, see 1000q: HID retrofit.  If you touch the bulb glass, clean it with rubbing alcohol and a lint free cloth.  Oils from your fingers can damage the bulb.


For halogen housing:  high/low beams: h7 55 watt.  Turn signal: 1156a 25 watt.
For xenon housing: bixenon bulb: d2s 35 watt.  High/flash to pass halogen bulb : h7u 55 watt.  Turn signal: h2 wll 21 watt.


Open the hood and remove any stuff behind the headlight housing.  

Halogen housings (removed for illustration)

To remove the high beam, pull the plug, press the wire clip in, and slide the clip to the left to unclip.  To remove the turn signal, unscrew the tab.

High beam

To remove the low beam, turn the gray handle counterclockwise.  Pull the bulb out to remove it from the gray handle.  During installation, press it in slightly while turning it clockwise.  Pictured below is what you are removing.  If you never noticed, there's a VW symbol in the headlight.

Xenon HID housings

HID bulb - 
Unscrew the larger cap and remove the plug sticking out of the igniter.  Below is a view from the rear.  There's a small lock (yellow arrow below) that is released when you remove the plug.

Then turn the igniter counter clockwise and pull it straight out.  Don't force it.  Note its orientation when you remove it - it must go back the same due to a pin and contacts.

Here you can see the plug that is removed in the first step.  Turn the black plastic ring to remove it.  There are 2 side tabs on the bulb that must be cleared when removing the ring.

Note the spot punched out for the tab on the locking ring and igniter.  The ring will only go on one way.

Also note the notches on the bulb.  The new bulb must sit on the notches.  The cutout on the housing is for the "wire" on the outside of the HID bulb.  Before inserting, make sure the notch and wire are both correct.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Halogen or side bulbs
Refer to the top picture for the locations of those bulbs.  Here is the halogen flash to pass/high beam bulb.  First remove the plug.  Then press the clip, move to the side, and the bulb will come out..

Do you need more help on changing the headlight bulb or have a comment?  Please ask in the Volkswagen TDI forum.