Replacing the headlight on my smart car

I recently noticed that one of my smart car’s headlights was out when I was driving. I was going to attend my first ever Triangle Tweetup that night, though, and I wanted neither to risk driving without a head lamp nor to skip the event to wait for a more convenient time to take her to the smart Center’s service department, even though they offered to replace it free of charge, being under warranty still and all.

Instead I determined to change the bulb myself! The nice folks at the smart Center faxed me the instructions for replacing the bulb (as I had left my manual at home that morning). They also supplied me with the bulb’s part number. I was able to secure the bulb at the Mercedez dealership down the street from my workplace for about $15.

Replacing the bulb seemed simple enough, until I realized how tight the space behind the light fixture is!

HNI 0089 300x225 Replacing the headlight on my smart car

The head light assembly

Make sure your car is off before you start! First you have to remove a little rubber cap from the back of the head light assembly. You really have to feel this one out! The cap keeps dampness out of there.

HNI 0090 300x225 Replacing the headlight on my smart car

Taking the cap off.

After you take the cap off, there’s a spring you have to pop off to release the bulb from it’s harness. You just press it in firmly and it comes undone. Next you have to take off the electrical plug (make sure your car is not on or you might get hurt!). I found that I needed to use quite a bit of force on this one, which is why it took me so long. I was being too delicate. Smart cars are not delicate cars, I had to remind myself. They want you to treat them like big cars! Slam that door as hard as you like! Yank that electrical cord right off!

It’s suggested that you handle the bulb with a lint-free cloth. I used the one that came with my eyeglasses, but a screen cleaner would also work.

HNI 0093 300x225 Replacing the headlight on my smart car

Handle the bulb with a lint-free cloth.

Then you just follow the above steps in reverse. To finish, turn the smart car on to make sure the light is working properly, and you’re good to go!

Many thanks to the kind people at the smart Center in Cary for helping me through this long distance so I could make it to the Tweetup! How nice is that?

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  1. Lucas's Gravatar Lucassays...

    Thanks for posting :) Smart rocks!

    Oct 13 2010 | Permalink

  2. Denise L / Vancouver, Canada's Gravatar Denise L / Vancouver, Canadasays...

    Very helpful! My headlight went out a couple days ago so this post will be very useful for me. Thanks!

    Dec 1 2010 | Permalink

    • Terry G / Ohio USA's Gravatar Terry G / Ohio USAsays...

      Replacing the 2 headlights on my smart car was a snap thanks to u

      Sep 21 2011 | Permalink

  3. Ernie's Gravatar Erniesays...

    Thanks, that helped!

    Nov 13 2011 | Permalink

  4. sharon's Gravatar sharonsays...

    Thank you sooooo much!!! *Very proud I did it myself*

    Nov 15 2011 | Permalink

  5. Steve's Gravatar Stevesays...

    This was spot-on… I had seen other tutorials that suggested removing the entire front end. I replaced both low beams in less than 5 minutes! Thanks!

    Feb 11 2012 | Permalink

  6. Mark's Gravatar Marksays...

    What year is your smart? The dealer told me I have to take off the fronted the car to get to the bulb . I have a 2009. If you did it a 2009, did you reach up from underneath? Thanks

    May 21 2012 | Permalink

  7. RedConvertible's Gravatar RedConvertiblesays...

    I don’t know how much money you saved me by not having to take my car for service, but I bet it was a lot! I just (August 8, 2012) replaced the lowbeam headlight bulb in my 2009 Passion with one from Pep Boys for $14.99 plus tax.

    The only problem I had was the spring clip. After I removed the electrical cord I simply could not figure out how to “pop off” that thing.

    Of course my purse had all the stuff I needed to solve this problem. My iphone flashlight plus my compact mirror showed me what the spring clip looked like and gave me a clue about how to release it. After that, everything was easy – and behold there was light . . .

    Thanks so much!!!

    Aug 8 2012 | Permalink

  8. Wheaton pat's Gravatar Wheaton patsays...

    Thank you red convertible
    The answer to the spring became obvious with use of a mirror

    Aug 9 2012 | Permalink

  9. Ray's Gravatar Raysays...

    This helped out alot. The spring is hard to snap off but your instructions were great. Thanks!!!:)

    Aug 31 2012 | Permalink

  10. ted's Gravatar tedsays...

    Thanks.did this in 5 minutes with your instructions

    Dec 14 2012 | Permalink

  11. l80magpie's Gravatar l80magpiesays...

    thank you! how cool that a woman is telling another woman how to change a headlight! the service department did the right one since it was out when i took baby in for service, but i’m going to do the left one myself :) thanks again!

    Mar 3 2013 | Permalink

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