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Introduction

This guide provides the steps required to replace the headlight bulbs of a 2011-2015 Kia Optima LX/EX/SX.

Dim or burnt-out headlights are a safety risk to you and others, and it can be illegal to drive in the dark without them. Replacing the headlights allows you to remove non-functioning headlights and replace them with working ones or replace dim lights with significantly brighter lights, enabling you to see clearer while driving at night.

Before beginning this repair, turn off the car, engage the parking brake, and disconnect the battery.

Tools

Parts

No parts specified.

  1. 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement, Headlight Bulb: step 1, image 1 of 3 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement, Headlight Bulb: step 1, image 2 of 3 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement, Headlight Bulb: step 1, image 3 of 3
    • Pull the hood lever inside the driver's side footwell.

    • Pull the hidden latch under the hood.

    • While pulling the latch, lift up on the hood.

    • The hidden latch can be found slightly to the right of the Kia logo.

    • Make sure to lift the hood all the way up. Failure to do so will cause it to slam shut. The hood is hydraulic and is locked into place when it can't be pushed any higher.

  2. 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Twist the weather cap counter-clockwise and remove it.

    • There are two weather caps on either side of the car. Make sure to remove the one closest to the side of the car, as the interior caps are for high beams.

  3. 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Rotate the bulb assembly counter-clockwise.

    • Remove the bulb assembly to access the wiring and harness.

  4. 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Squeeze the fins on either size of the bulb connector.

    • Pull the bulb away from the connector.

    • You may have to wiggle the bulb a little bit or apply some force to fully disconnect it.

  5. 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Plug the new bulb into the wires.

    • The bulb is fully connected when you hear a click.

    • If installing LED headlights, the wiring is polar and will only work in one orientation. After connecting, verify that the light turns on as you expect. If it doesn't, flip and reattach the connector.

  6. 2011-2015 Kia Optima Headlight Bulb Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Align and insert the now-connected bulb into the headlight slot.

    • Turn the bulb clockwise to lock it into place.

    • The bulb is locked in place when it can't be pulled straight out of the headlight. You'll need to make sure the fins on the bulb are properly aligned to the fixture.

Finish Line

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