Help: 2008 Spectra5 headlight assembly removal - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 11:15 AM
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Angry Help: 2008 Spectra5 headlight assembly removal

Ugh...what a pain in the arss it is to change out a simple bulb in these cars!

The dealer wants something like $45 to change a bulb..no way.

So I'm trying to replace the drivers side little "position" bulb and for the life of me I can't get headlight the assembly out.

I thought it would be like my older Sorento and just need to take out those two nuts on top and slide it out...but that's not working.

So what all do I need to tear apart to get this darn assembly out so I can reach that far right bulb area? This are so tight I can't even reach behind the assembly to get at anything.

Anyone who can walk me through this I would greatly appreciate it.


If you can point me to actual pix, that would be great too.

Seems like this is a known frustration around here on these cars.

Other than this, the car has been great and we still love driving it.

Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 11:50 AM
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In addition to the two bolts on top there are also one or two (i think just one) bolt one the back of the housing. Once that is out the lens should pop right out. $45? That's a little steep, we charge about $18 for small lights like that.

A shortcut worth trying: Remove the cap that covers the headlight bulb and then try to access the position light. It may not work on the Spectra, but it does work on other models.

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#3 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 12:04 PM
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There is indeed one nut on the back of the housing. It is about in the center of the housing up and down and toward the center of the car. You can see it with a flashlight. A 10mm nut if I remember correctly. If it is the drivers side you can move the battery, but that is just as much hassel as pulling the assy out.
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 12:15 PM
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Yep...
10mm...nut... back just to the left of the battery.
After removing the black "cover" you will find an "air snorkel" that is held in place by a rubber grommet. The snorkel faces away from the engine and is the actual air feed to the engine through a convoluted pathway. It comes off very easily by just pulling up on it. You now have access to the back of the headlight.. Not too terribly hard once you get to know how... I put HIDs in my 06 Spec and my wife's 08 Spec...Both have the same arrangement.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 12:37 AM
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Aren't they also held in by a couple clips, or is that just the '07s? I tried to pull mine out to check something and after getting the screws and bolts out, the stupid thing still wouldn't come lose. I gave up trying to pull it out cause I was afraid I'd break something.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 09:23 PM
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Here's what worked on a 04 KIA SPECTRA.

I found the best way was to Remove the 2 10mm bolts on the top of the headlight assembly and the 1 10mm nut on the stud on the inner side of the headlight assembly. You have to push from the back and pull the assembly out towards the center of the car to dislodge the headlight assembly. The assembly will only come far enough out based on the wire assemblies length. Once the assembly is out you can flip it down to access the bulbs. Remove the plastic cap by turning a quarter turn. Disconnect the wire assembly. There are 3 screws inside, but only 2 are used to hold the spring clip. Observe how the spring clip is positioned before removing it. Loosen the phillips screw on the right side a few turns and hold on to it and it will loosen to be taken out. If you don't hold on to it it could fly out and end up elsewhere. Now the bulb is loosely cradled in the socket just take it out. Apply dielectric grease to the bulb contacts (optional). Do not touch the glass of the bulb. Place bulb back into the cradle. Put the left side of the spring clip under the brass retaining clip and position the right side in the notch next to the right side screw and tighten screw. Attach connector to bulb connections. Place headlight assembly back into car and line up the stud to go into clear hole. Tighten bolts. Job done.
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