How hard can replacing a headlight bulb be?

Before we start, firstly know that at some point during this maintenance you are likely going to swear, and maybe even pick up a minor injury as well (as I did).  In order to replace the headlight bulb in a Renault Megane you have to reach through an access hole in the wheel arch, not via the front of the car, as you might expect.  This is due to the nature of the chassis and front bumper design, and trust me they didn't make it easy.  Regardless, if you're a "do it yourself" kind of person this certainly can be done without having to take it to a garage and get charged the earth, so check out the process below:

Things you will need

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Torch
  • Time (approx 45 minutes)
  • Patience!

I was advised before taking on this piece of work that in order to get good access to wheel arch access panel that you have to jack the car and take the wheel off.  I refused to believe this was necessary, and managed it without.  But I can honestly say, it may have been easier with the wheel off.  However, this article will be based on the method I took so it'll be your call - and perhaps it'll depend on how big you are.

Additionally, those of you that are double jointed or have small enough hands may be able to manage this work from the front of the car, but you'll have to do much of it blind.  Again, this will not be covered in this guide.


  1. Firstly, turn the wheels full lock away from the arch you'll be working in.  This should provide you enough room to gain access to the area. (see above about removing the wheel)
  2. The access panel is located at the front of the wheel arch, and is unscrewed to expose a path through to the headlight assembly.
  3. At this point I also removed the inner wheel-liner, which is simply done by pulling the two plugs out and using the Phillips screwdriver to remove any screws holding it on.  Then just pull it down out the way, or pull it out entirely - so I had less to do later on, I simply moved it half hanging on away from me.  Removing the liner allows you are little more room to manoeuvre without being restricted to the access hole only.
  4. Using the torch, if necessary, you should now have a reasonable view of the headlight assembly - though you won't be able to look whilst reaching in so you'll need to do much of this by feel.  Remove the cap covering the headlight assembly.  You should now be able to see the connector, a spring, and the bulb.
  5. Squeeze the release tabs on the headlight connector and pull it from the back of the headlight assembly.
  6. You now have a spring to remove so that you can release the bulb.  Press down on the top of the spring and it should swing back, remove the spring from the back of the headlight assembly and pull the assembly through.
  7. Remove the bulb and replace with a new one.
  8. Perform the removal instructions in reverse.

Getting the spring back on can be a bit of a fiddle as you would expect, but once you know how the components came out it should now be pretty straight forward to put back in.

Here's a simplified break down of the steps taken.


  1. Turn the wheels away from the side you are working
  2. Unscrew the access panel in the wheel arch.
  3. Optional: Remove the inner wheel-liner
  4. Remove the cap covering the assembly.
  5. Remove the headlight connector from the assembly.
  6. Remove the spring from the assembly and withdraw the bulb.
  7. Remove the bulb and replace with a new one.
  8. Perform the instructions in reverse to replace all components.

Good luck.