How To Change A Headlight On Your Ford Focus?

How To Change A Headlight On Your Ford Focus?

While the Ford Focus might not be currently featured on Ford's SAS pricing roster, its past popularity has ensured a substantial number are still available for purchase. Given their age, a significant portion of these vehicles might require a headlight bulb replacement. As bulbs are not immune to wear and tear, we provide a convenient guide on how to swiftly and effortlessly change the headlight in the comfort of your own home.

Step 1: Acquire the bulb.

Despite the insistence of my nearby automotive supply chain, it became evident that the MK1 facelift Focus did not require H4 bulbs with dual filaments, contrary to their claims. Notably, the MK1.5 is equipped with distinct high and main beam functionalities, thereby necessitating an H7-dipped beam bulb.

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Step 2: Loosen upper headlight unit bolts.


Choose a rain-free day, unless you have access to a garage.

Required tools: ratcheting socket wrench, 10 mm socket, and an extension piece.
Pop open the hood and ensure it's securely propped.
Using the 10 mm socket wrench, extract the two bolts securing the headlight unit. As depicted in the diagram, one is positioned at the upper corner, while the other is midway along the top edge of the headlight.
These bolts, along with the one you will be removing from under the car shortly, possess the same specifications. However, take note that they differ from the ones securing the grille's plastic trim, which must also be taken off. Be cautious not to mix them up.

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Step 3: Disengage the lower bolt.


The last securing bolt is situated beneath the vehicle, requiring you to extend your arm underneath the plastic trim located at the front of the wheel arch. A downward-pointing tab extends from the car's bodywork, serving as an attachment point for a bolt that connects to a similar tab on the headlight assembly. It might be necessary to lay down a mat to comfortably reach this area. Although you will need to get under the car, with familiarity, you can perform this step by touch. Due to the confined space, the standard length socket should be used this time, omitting the extender piece.

The process's most annoying stage turns out to be this one. It is logical to assume that the Ford Focus may have purposefully created it this way to entice people to go to a dealership. More recent designs have eliminated this complication. In fact, some have chosen not to reinstall this particular bolt; the headlight unit remains firmly secured by the upper two bolts.

Step 4: Loosen the front plastic grille.


This step is essential in facilitating the removal of the headlight assembly.

You only need to loosen the grill on one side—the side corresponding to the headlight you intend to remove. If necessary, it's also possible to fully remove the grill.

You will notice plastic arms with clips that disengage when pulled upwards. Loosen one of these arms, or both if complete removal is intended. Unscrew and extract the bolt along with the washer. This particular bolt is located deeper down and necessitates the use of the extender component from your socket set.

Once the grill is loosened, you should be able to lift the headlight unit off. It will now only remain attached by the power connector.

Please be aware that this screw differs from the others securing the headlight, so exercise caution to avoid mixing them up.

Step 5: Disconnect the power cable.


At this point, the headlight is solely secured by the power connector. Insert a flathead screwdriver into the clip on the power connector and gently pry it off. It might require a bit of effort. Proceed to carry the headlight to your designated workspace and depress the metal bar downward to release the rear cover and disengage it from the hinge slots. Take note of its original orientation before removal.

Step 6: Extract the headlight back cover.


With the headlight unit now ready to be worked on, proceed to relocate it to a well-suited workspace, ensuring adequate lighting and accessibility.

To access the interior components, locate the metal bar positioned on the back cover. Gently press downward on this metal bar. Doing so will disengage the back cover from its secure position within the hinge slots. Carefully slide the back cover away from the headlight unit to reveal the internal elements requiring attention.

Step 7: Replace the old bulb.


An incorporated spring-loaded metal clip serves to secure the bulb. The clip extends over both the bulb and its connector. Press down on the clip to disengage it from the securing notch. The loop of the clip goes over the black square-shaped bulb connector and the attached wire. Gently detach the old bulb from the black connector. Allow the wire and black connector to remain threaded through the metal loop. Ensure proper disposal of the old bulb, adhering to appropriate waste disposal guidelines.

Step 8: Install the new bulb.

Handle the new bulb by its metal housing, avoiding contact with the glass portion. Connect it to the square black power connector, ensuring that the connector is still threaded through the metal clip loop. Carefully position the bulb within the headlight unit.
Orient the bulb to match the designated slots within the unit. There is only one correct alignment. Once it's appropriately positioned, keep it in place with a finger while you close the metal retention loop.

If closing the loop requires excessive force, it is an indication that the bulb is not seated properly. In this case, recheck and readjust the bulb's positioning before proceeding.

Step 9: Verify bulb functionality and reassemble.


  • Before reassembling the headlight, perform a bulb test to ensure its proper functionality.
  • Reconnect the rear plastic cover to the headlight assembly, being sure not to overlook this step as I previously did.
  • Position the headlight unit onto the car. This might require a bit of adjustment to correctly align the tab that fits beneath the car.
  • Secure the power lead in place. Fasten the three headlight bolts (or two if you've chosen to omit the one beneath the car).
  • Snap the grill back into position and reinstall the bolt and washer. As you tighten the bolt, be cautious not to catch the plastic lip underneath the washer. Gently push it aside if needed.

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Changing the headlight in your Ford Focus is a straightforward process. If you have any uncertainties, feel free to consult your owner's manual or get in touch with your local Ford dealer for assistance.

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