Buick Regal 1997-2000

Exterior Lights 2

Print

Headlights



Aiming

The headlamps must be properly aimed to provide the best, safest road illumination. The lights should be checked for proper aim and adjusted as necessary. Certain state and local authorities have requirements for headlamp aiming; these should be checked before adjustment is made.


CAUTION
About once a year, when the headlamps are replaced or any time front end work is performed on your vehicle, the headlamp should be accurately aimed by a reputable repair shop using the proper equipment. Headlamps not properly aimed can make it virtually impossible to see and may blind other drivers on the road, possibly causing an accident. Note that the following procedure is a temporary fix, until you can take your vehicle to a repair shop for a proper adjustment.

Headlamp adjustment may be temporarily made using a wall, as described below, or on the rear of another vehicle. When adjusted, the lights should not glare in oncoming car or truck windshields, nor should they illuminate the passenger compartment of vehicles driving in front of you. These adjustments are rough and should always be fine-tuned by a repair shop which is equipped with headlamp aiming tools. Improper adjustments may be both dangerous and illegal.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical composite headlamp aiming rods



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical horizontal and vertical adjuster locations



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Vehicle headlamp aiming device (RH)-Buick shown, others similar

Before removing the headlamp bulb or disturbing the headlamp in any way, note the current settings in order to ease headlamp adjustment upon reassembly. If the high or low beam setting of the old lamp still works, this can be done using the wall of a garage or a building:

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface, with the fuel tank about 1 / 2 full and with the vehicle empty of all extra cargo (unless normally carried). The vehicle should be facing a wall which is no less than 6 feet (1.8m) high and 12 feet (3.7m) wide. The front of the vehicle should be about 25 feet from the wall.
  2.  
  3. If neither beam on one side is working, and if another like-sized vehicle is available, park the second one in the exact spot where the vehicle was and mark the beams using the same-side light. Then switch the vehicles so the one to be aimed is back in the original spot. It must be parked no closer to or farther away from the wall than the second vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Perform any necessary repairs, but make sure the vehicle is not moved, or is returned to the exact spot from which the lights were marked. Turn the headlamps ON and adjust the beams to match the marks on the wall.
  6.  
  7. Have the headlamp adjustment checked as soon as possible by a reputable repair shop.
  8.  

Removal & Installation
Composite Headlights

The headlamps used on the majority of vehicles covered by this manual are called "composite lamps". Unlike the glass sealed beam units used on older vehicles, these headlamps are made of special plastic using small halogen gas bulbs. The bulbs are replaceable, but they do require special handling.


CAUTION
Halogen bulbs contain a gas under pressure. Handling a bulb improperly could cause it to shatter into flying glass fragments. Always allow the bulb to cool before removal. Always use the following precautions to help avoid personal injury.



Turn the light switch OFF and allow the bulb to cool before changing bulbs. Leave the switch OFF until the bulb replacement procedure is complete.
 
Always wear eye protection when changing a halogen bulb.
 
Handle the bulb only by its base. Avoid touching the glass. Do not drop or scratch the bulb.
 
Keep the bulb away from moisture.
 
Place the used bulb in the new bulb's carton and dispose of it properly. Keep halogen bulbs out of reach of children.
 

Depending on the installation, the low-bean and the high-beam halogen bulbs may actually be removable without removing the entire composite headlamp assembly. Look your application over carefully to see there is enough room behind the headlamp to fit your hand to remove the bulb holder. Since removing the composite headlamp assembly is not difficult, the following procedure assumes that the headlamp is being removed from the vehicle for halogen bulb service.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This Pontiac headlamp uses screws as retainers



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This Buick headlamp uses U-shaped plastic clips as retainers



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This Chevrolet uses multiple special screw type retainers, although it may be possible to remove the halogen bulbs from behind, without removing the headlamp assembly.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This Oldsmobile headlamp uses multiple screws as retainers

  1. Raise the hood and look at the headlamp installation. On some applications, the headlamp is retained by screws and some molded tabs that slip into slots in the sheetmetal mounting bracket. On other applications, two U-shaped clips may hold the headlamp in place. Remove the headlamp retainers and gently work the headlamp free of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. If the wiring harness is so short that it is difficult to work on the headlamp, simply unplug the electrical connector from the headlamp assembly.
  4.  
  5. The halogen bulb may have a large, knurled plastic ring that retains the socket to the headlamp. Turn this ring to detach it and remove the socket with the halogen bulb.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This Grand Prix uses two screws to retain the headlamp assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. With the two screws removed, the headlamp assembly is gently moved outboard (away from the vehicle center) to disengage the plastic tabs on the back of the lamp from their retainer slots in the sheetmetal mounting bracket



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This halogen bulb has a large, knurled plastic ring that retains the socket to the headlamp. Turn this ring to detach it



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Pull out the socket with the halogen bulb from the headlamp



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This type of halogen headlamp socket is turned to release and remove, or engage and install



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. After twisting the socket free, pull the bulb and connector rearward, holding the base, NOT the glass



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Holding the bulb by the base, unplug from the connector



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of a common headlamp bulb replacement

  1. Remove the burned-out bulb and discard safely.
  2.  


WARNING
Do not touch the glass bulb with your fingers. Oil from your fingers can severely shorted the life of the bulb. If necessary, wipe off any dirt or oil from the bulb with rubbing alcohol before completing installation.

  1. Take great care not to touch the new replacement halogen bulb as oil from your skin will burn when the bulb is turned on and may damage the glass, shortening the life of the bulb. Use a clean, dry paper towel to handle the bulb.
  2.  
  3. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  4.  
  5. Verify that the lights work correctly.
  6.  

Sealed Beam
  1. Open the hood.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the headlamp bezel retainers and bezel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the spring from the bottom edge of the headlamp assembly.
  8.  


NOTE
Do not apply pressure to the plastic bubble of the vertical aim indicator.

  1. Detach the electrical connector from the assembly.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the two screws from the headlamp retaining ring.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the retaining ring away from the headlamp.
  6.  
  7. Remove the headlamp from the vehicle.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. This Oldsmobile Cutlass may be equipped with sealed beam headlamps

To install:

  1. Position the headlamp and retaining ring and secure with the two retaining screws. Tighten the screws to 18 inch lbs. (2 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Attach the electrical connector to the assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the spring to the bottom of the headlamp assembly.
  6.  
  7. Install the headlamp bezel and retainers.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery and test the lights for proper operation.
  10.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo