Repairing Volkswagen New Beetle Headlight bulbs

Member-Contributed Guide

Member-Contributed Guide

An awesome member of our community made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

Replace the headlight bulb in a 2007 and later Volkswagen New Beetle.

  • Author: Nick Ivanov
  • Time required: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

It is quite easy to replace a burnt-out headlight bulb in your Volkswagen New Beetle, although it may not be obvious how do it. Instead of taking the car to a dealer, save time and money by doing it yourself.

Relevant Parts
  • Replacement bulb Both low and high beam bulbs are 55W H7 halogen bulbs; the parking light bulb is 5W type 2825 (also known as W5W)
Buy these parts and tools

Edit Step 1 Repairing Volkswagen New Beetle Headlight bulbs  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Repairing Volkswagen New Beetle Headlight bulbs  ¶ 

  • Before you decide to change a burnt-out bulb, make sure it's not the blown fuse that keeps you in the dark. You will need to open the fuse block cover that is located on the left hand side of the dashboard. Use a thin flat object, such as a flat head screwdriver or a key to pop open the cover.

  • Under the cover you will see a number of multicoloured fuses.

  • Use the reference card and the white plastic tweezers attached to the back of the fuse cover to locate and pull out fuses responsible for headlight bulbs. Fuses 18 and 19 are for high beam bulbs; 20 and 21 - for low beam; 22 and 23 - for parking lights. Pull fuses one by one so as not to mix them up.

  • Fuse body is semi-transparent. Look at it from the side to see if the fuse is good.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • You have verified that all fuses are OK, and it must be the bulb that has burned out. To replace a bulb you will need to remove the entire headlight assembly by sliding it out of its housing in the fender.

  • First, unlock the hood by pulling the handle located on the left hand side of the driver's foot well.

  • Then open the hood by pulling the plastic tab toward you and lifting the hood.

  • The headlight assembly on the passenger side can be easily found, while on the driver side it hides beneath the battery. It may be useful to remove the battery cover - this will provide a little more 'viewing' and a bit more 'maneuvering'.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • To remove the headlight assembly, first use the 5mm nut driver to turn the locking nut 1/4* of a turn in the indicated direction. On the passenger side the nut is clearly visible; turn it clockwise.

  • On the driver side you will need to reach between the battery and the car body, using a nut driver with a long handle, to turn the nut counterclockwise.

  • * Try not to turn the locking nut more than 1/4 turn. Doing so may rotate it back into a locking position.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Once the headlight assembly is unlocked, press down on the bright locking lever - it is visible when looking straight down from above the headlight.

  • On the driver side only a portion of the locking lever is visible between the battery and the air box, but you can still reach it with a screwdriver that has a long handle.

  • While pressing down on the locking lever, push the headlight assembly forward and out of its housing. Careful - it may take a hard push and it might lurch out suddenly.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Locate the bulb cover at the back of the assembly. Unclip and open the cover to expose bulbs.

  • Remove the electrical connector and pull out the bulb that you want to replace. The high beam bulb is held in place with a clip. Other bulbs are held by friction; use pliers to gently pull them out.

  • Put in the replacement bulb and reattach the connector. Do not touch the bulb glass with your bare hands -- oils from your fingers will remain on the glass and cause it to crack when it heats after turning the lights on.

  • Replace the bulb cover.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • When inserting the headlight assembly back into the housing, make sure that the housing locator guides fit into the catches on both sides of the assembly.

  • Push the assembly into the housing until you hear it click into place.

  • Again use the 5mm nut driver to turn the locking nut that locks the assembly in its housing.

  • Turn on the ignition and check that the new bulb works. Close the hood.

After the reassembly, make sure you turn the locking mechanism in the indicated direction to lock the headlight assembly in place, otherwise there may be poor electrical contact and the lights may not work.

For more information, check out the Volkswagen New Beetle device page.

Required Tools

Small Needle Nose Pliers

$24.95 · 27 In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Thanks so much for that photo of the lever itself. Wish I'd seen your photo first -- would have saved 30 minutes of cursing :)

mp4surf, · Reply

First part of step 6 is ESSENTIAL. Be warned that the assembly will slip easily into position without the locator guides being inside the catches on the unit, and the locking lever will click into place, but the locking nut will not tighten it into position. Don't ask me how many times I repeated this before I did it properly because I will lie!

Fred Flintstone, · Reply

Extremely helpful. NOBODY would ever figure this out on their own!! Thanks!!

David, · Reply

Seriously! Im an engineer and I was fighting with the headlight wondering why I couldn't loosen the latch to get it out. I apparently turned it more than 1/4. I feel like this was a bad design...


Thanks for the guide, this was super easy to perform and took less than 10 minutes.

I had to squeeze the headlight assembly and holder together really hard to get the connector to seat properly - at first nothing worked when I put it back together...

Pitt Monqui, · Reply

Thank you, Nick, for creating this manual! My daughter has an '06 Beetle. I've had to replace the driver side headlight three times. I recently had to replace the whole assembly because when I replaced the light bulb, I evidently did not properly lock the assembly, and it vibrated loose in traffic, and disappeared. As for the click, I have never heard it click. Even with the new headlight installed, still no high or low beam. Not sure what's going on. All comments have been helpful, though. Thank you, iFixit!

Jim, · Reply

I am far from handy when it comes to cars, but I was not going to pay $200 to fix a headlight ! It took about 1.5 hours of reading this site, looking under the hood and some trial and error...but it all makes sense if you follow this closely. Be sure to look closely at what they show in the red boxes above. The main problem was finding a nut driver long enough to reach the Driver's side lock for the headlight. I found one that was a 3/16 inches and it worked fine. Depressing the lever to release the assembly and pull at the same time also was tough to figure out the first time. All total I got it done for $24 bucks (new bulb, nut driver) and 90 minutes of work (will only take 30 minutes next time....) Thanks to you for putting this together.

Robert, · Reply

Followed the instructions and it took less than an hour to replace the bulb. Would have cost us at least $80 to have it done for us. Thanks for the info!

taniles13, · Reply

Can anyone help troubleshoot lights not working after putting assembly back together? I've tried 5 times already and still nothing! All lights worked fine when I first replaced it but I'm thinking maybe I didn't lock it correctly and vibrates loose? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thelma, · Reply

Have you looked at the copper leads? Do they look like they might have been burned? Volkswagens are notorious for electrical issues and they can short circuit. There should be three copper coated wires in the assembly, and if even one is burned it will cause the light to only work sometimes. You can check that. If they all look fine, make sure the connections are touching fully and going to the right places. It is also easy to put the metal clip part on backwards! Don't do that, I did that, it only goes one way. Hope I helped. There should be another guide on this. Maybe I will make one.


I am a 40 years old woman, who never did anything like this before, and I completed my task with not trouble because of these guide! so just want to say THANK YOU.

Ella, · Reply

The low beam has the clip.

Be Green, · Reply

My problem was that the socket was burned out. So be sure to check that. It was easy to replace. They had the socket at the autoparts store and we just spliced the wires together.

Rashel Mereness, · Reply

Excellent guide. Thanks!

Brian, · Reply

Confirming what Be Green said: the low beam bulb is the one with a clip.

Jamieson C, · Reply

I replaced the bulb but now all lights aren't working! Can anyone help?

Thelma, · Reply

Thelma, it is possible that the headlight assembly did not make solid contact with the connector when you slid it back in. The result will be that none of the lights will come on for that side. Try sliding out the assembly and slide it back in. For the driver side assembly, at least, you can also access the back side of the connector to try pressing it in tight after the assembly is seated.

Jamieson C,

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