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Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:42 am
by Jags4186
Hi everyone,

Hopefully someone can help me out. I have a 2012 Subaru Impreza 4 door limited model with HID headlights. One of them is out. Can someone point me in the right direction to what I need to purchase and also if this is user replaceable? The manual is unhelpful and just saying go to a Subaru dealership for replacement. Every time I google “2012 Subaru Impreza HID replacement bulb” I keep getting results for conversion kits which seem awfully expensive.

Thanks in advance

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:47 am
by stan1
Did you search on YouTube?

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:51 am
by Jags4186
stan1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:47 am
Did you search on YouTube?
I did search and the results I get seem to be either for the Impreza with halogen bulbs (manual says are user replaceable) or a WRX sport model with HID bulbs where the engine compartment is laid out differently. Still doesn’t help with what to actually purchase.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:56 am
by Jack FFR1846
How do you know that the lamp is what's bad? Could the controller be bad? Is it possible that some wires are broken? Is a fuse out?

When the HID was out in a 350Z I had, first, I checked all the fuses.....with an ohm meter because a good looking fuse can be blown. I swapped lamps between them. Same side was out, meaning the lamps were fine. Then I swapped controllers side to side and the same side lamp was out, meaning the controllers were fine. Looking through the wiring on one side, the plastic fender liner was gone and some of the wires were bare. That's where my problem was.

If you can't troubleshoot at least to the level I just described, bring it to a mechanic and let them fix it. These are not halogen or incandescent bulbs. They're closer to fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:58 am
by onourway
It appears from this link https://www.automotivebulbfinder.com/philips/ that your car uses a D1R bulb. These are generally user-replaceable if you have even a small amount of mechanical know-how.

Note that the vast majority of these bulbs you will purchase from locations like Amazon are likely to be fakes, especially if the price is off by an order of magnitude (although they have caught on to this and now even at full price you can't be sure).

I would suggest this site as a reputable dealer with good prices https://www.powerbulbs.com/us/store/cat ... itting/d1r and I would suggest you replace both bulbs, as HID bulbs lose output over time, and at 7 years old you'll be near the end of life for both bulbs.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:02 am
by bottlecap
I would just go to Walmart (or an auto parts place), punch in your vehicle information into the little keypad by the bulbs in the automotive section. Pick out a set with the correct part number, take them home, and search YouTube (or your owner's manual) as to how to replace them. It's typically easy. I always replace both, because the other can't be too far behind.

But, I've never replaced an HID bulb. I don't know if WalMart even carries them. They also seem pretty expensive, so you might want to swap the lights as suggested above before shelling out that kind of dough for a replacement set.

Good luck,

JT

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:04 am
by Jags4186
onourway wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:58 am
It appears from this link https://www.automotivebulbfinder.com/philips/ that your car uses a D1R bulb. These are generally user-replaceable if you have even a small amount of mechanical know-how.

Note that the vast majority of these bulbs you will purchase from locations like Amazon are likely to be fakes, especially if the price is off by an order of magnitude (although they have caught on to this and now even at full price you can't be sure).

I would suggest this site as a reputable dealer with good prices https://www.powerbulbs.com/us/store/cat ... itting/d1r and I would suggest you replace both bulbs, as HID bulbs lose output over time, and at 7 years old you'll be near the end of life for both bulbs.
Thank you very much! I will bookmark that site for future reference.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:22 am
by wilked
For $10 you can get a pdf of the service manual. It appears you are DIY inclined, I think it's worth it

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-Subaru-Im ... SwTf9ZTFSR

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:11 am
by adamthesmythe
bottlecap wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:02 am
I would just go to Walmart (or an auto parts place), punch in your vehicle information into the little keypad by the bulbs in the automotive section. Pick out a set with the correct part number, take them home, and search YouTube (or your owner's manual) as to how to replace them. It's typically easy. I always replace both, because the other can't be too far behind.

But, I've never replaced an HID bulb. I don't know if WalMart even carries them. They also seem pretty expensive, so you might want to swap the lights as suggested above before shelling out that kind of dough for a replacement set.

Good luck,

JT
I recently replaced one of these on a different car.

I wouldn't bother with Walmart, try a real parts store. I went to two auto parts stores. One had an entire headlight assembly only. ($$). The other (Autozone as it happens) had just the bulb and socket and multiple choices of "quality". I went middle of the road, around $30.

It was replaceable from the back of the headlight housing, no tools needed. I got directions on the web, knowing how and where helps a lot.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:23 am
by jbmitt
Once you find the correct bulbs you will discover the process to swap them is a pain. There isn’t enough access with the hood open. I ended up having to drop the bumper and fender liner to get enough clearance to access the light assembly.

Otherwise my 2012 Impreza has been pretty reliable.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:28 am
by harrychan
To replace the headlight for HID's, you need to remove the bulb which is connected to ballast. If I remember correctly, the ballast is in a location that is only accessible by removing the bumper. I have the 2012 Subaru Legacy and I installed HID's and had to remove the bumper in order to do so. This is the time to look into your phone book and try to ask a mechanic friend or a relative who enjoys tinkering with cars. Otherwise, it's a dealer job.

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:56 am
by Housedoc
Be sure to wear rubber gloves if you attempt to fix yourself. The oil from your skin will create hot spots on the replacement bulb causing them to fail early

Re: Replacing burned out headlight in 2012 Subaru Impreza

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:18 am
by SoDakJeff
I don't know if this will apply to your car at all, but I had to have a burned out Halogen bulb replaced recently for my 2016 Mazda CX-5. I'm not much of a mechanic, so I took it to the dealer service area. The guy there said the Halogen bulb cannot be replaced separately - said I had to buy a new "headlight assembly unit". $1200!! I got lucky in that I had just bought the car a couple months before, so the guy talked to someone who talked to someone else and I ended up only having to pay $100 and they ate the rest.