Car Repair PSA

I own a 2004 Nissan Murano named Enrique. While it's a well-known fact that I don't like this car much, it has come in handy more times than I can count, is extremely spacious inside and has a great stereo system. My driver's side headlight went out about 3 months ago, and in an effort to save money, I bought new bulbs to replace both at the same time. I was resourceful, watching three YouTube videos on how to change the lightbulb in this car. The videos were disheartening. In each one, the person said to remove the bumper, the grill & the headlight casing in order to get to the bulb. I was appalled. In my BMW, you could pop the hood, reach in, pull out the bulb and pop a new one in. How could Nissan make it so difficult to do something so simple?

It turns out that it IS simple. If you pop the hood, you can see the bulbs on each side. One is behind the air cleaner casing (driver's side) and the other is behind the windshield wiper fluid container (passenger side.) The air cleaner casing is held in place by one bolt, the wiper fluid by two bolts. Three easy screws to undo and move those pieces out of the way. Unlock the bulb by twisting the white plastic "lock" and gently but firmly pull the bulb out. You may need to depress the tab with a flat head screwdriver.

Once the bulb has been pulled out, carefully remove the burned out bulb from the plug. Use a towel to hold onto the bulb. Even more carefully, remove the new bulb from the package, never touching the bulb with your fingers, only a towel. Plug the bulb into the socket and put the bulb back into place, locking with the white plastic lock.

Place the air cleaner & wiper fluid pieces back where they belong, screwing them into place with their washers & bolts. 

That's it. Seriously. I am not kidding. Try this before you pay Nissan $300+ to change a headlight bulb. While you're at it, the toothpaste trick on fogged headlight lenses is not a joke. I saw this on Pinterest years ago, and have been carrying around an old toothbrush and plain white toothpaste (not gel) for a year with the intention of seeing if it actually worked. With my new brighter bulbs in place, I thought I'd brush the lenses with the toothpaste and then buff them out. The toothpaste definitely worked, though it may have been too harsh, it still got 90% of the gunk off the lens and my headlights look nearly new. Plastic polish from a hardware or car parts store may work just as well and be gentler, but for $.97 (toothpaste price...old toothbrush = $0, because, well, ew), it was worth it.

All in all a great birthday celebration day. And yes, I am officially old when a great birthday means replacing a headlight bulb and cleaning headlight lenses. Cheers!