Replace the Headlight Bulbs on a 2001 Ford Ranger

On my truck, a 2001 Ranger, I first have to remove a little plastic plate that is above the headlight. It comes off after removing three small bolts on top. Remove that plastic and you’ll find two metal tabs behind the headlight housing (the glass part). If you pull up on those they will release the housing, and after a little bit of wiggling you’ll be able to get the housing out, and get at the rear of the housing is where you’ll find the retaining ring that holds the bulb in.

Unscrew the retaining ring (I think it only needs about a quarter turn), pull out the bulb and detach it from the wiring harness, replace with the new bulb, re-insert it back into the housing, and secure it in place with the retaining ring. Now you have to wiggle the light housing’s threaded rods (there are three) back into those tabs that you released to get it out. The threaded rods can be moved around to make this easier. When the housing is back in place, you’ll be able to see these little plastic things sticking out of the tabs, push back down on the tabs to lock the housing into place. Make sure that the housing it secure and doesn’t move around, if it does it means you didn’t get it back into place well enough. Replace the plastic plate on top and you’re done. The procedure for both headlights is essentially the same.

At first I was thinking to myself “This is so stupid and typical of newer cars.” But after I figured it out, it’s pretty easy to do. The second headlight only took me about 5 minutes.

5 Replies to “Replace the Headlight Bulbs on a 2001 Ford Ranger”

  1. Thanks Andrew. Was screwing in new xenon bulbs a while ago and it took a while before I managed to lock the housing back into place…

  2. Thx, was trying to access bulbs while housing was still in place by removing battery and air box on either side of engine comp but could only access batery side but air box side was inaccessable and one HID and one standard would have looked stupid. 🙂

  3. After removing the battery and scratching my head I took to the internet, low and behold here it is! Thanks for the writeup for those of us without a manual!

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