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2016 Headlight Removal Tip

Friendly heads-up to anyone replacing their headlight and watching/reading the various threads/videos on the topic. There is a step missing in all the ones I could find here and on YouTube and that is that there is a bracket (see picture) that further braces the headlight to the car (and also serves as an additional bumper mount). Not sure when this part showed up in the build (I have a late model 2016). In short, you can't get the headlight off without removing this bracket, held in place by one 10mm bolt underneath the bracket. Yup, underneath, which means any hope you had of partially removing the bumper to do this job are now dashed. On the plus side, with the bumper totally off, the whole job gets a lot easier. I found placing a wide ~6" tall box just in front of the bumper to rest the bumper on during the job to do the trick nicely (see other pic).

Other tips that aren't totally obvious:
  • Do pay attention to the rubber grommets in the wheelwell that protect the sensors both in removing the bumper and putting it back on.
  • When removing the covers under the frunk. The big rubber grommet on each side actually unscrews, so you don't have to pull the cover over it.
  • There are two black plastic 1/2" pointy plastic 'guides' near the front and rear bolt mounts on the headlight that help you guide it in place. The front one goes in a hole near the bolt mount. That one's obvious. The rear one goes in a slot that's less obvious. Recommend looking at where it is before taking the old light out.
  • A flat blade jewelers screwdriver (or just a small one, ~1/4" blade) placed in the back of the wiring mount where the 'catch' is works well with just a slight pull backwards towards the car. You'll hear it click and then you know the harness is free.
  • Dismount the headlight carefully while wiggling and slowly angling it out so as not to scratch anything. Same trick going the other way as it takes a fair amount of wiggling to get in the right spot. You'll know it when it happens as all the mounts will be nice and flush and the guides will click into place.
  • I could almost get the bumper back on by myself but to be safe I asked a second pair of hands to hold one side. The tricky bit is making sure the slots underneath go back in their sleeves while sliding the whole bumper straight in so the top mount holes line up. The next tricky bit is getting the part near the headlights clicked back into place so you can screw it in from the wheelwell and not have weird panel gaps. I had to finesse one side a few times to get everything back where it was. Was trickier than I thought it would be.
Thank to all who posted tips on this and good luck with your own repair!


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