GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Headlights

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Sealed beam
  1. Remove the headlight bezel (trim) and/or the radiator grille, as necessary.
  2.  
  3. The sealed beam is held in place by a retainer and either 2 or 4 small screws. Identify these screws before applying any tools.
  4.  


WARNING
DO NOT confuse the small retaining screws with the larger aiming screws! There will be 2 aiming screws or adjustors for each lamp. (One adjustor controls the up/down motion and the other controls the left/right motion.) Identify the adjustors and avoid them during removal. If they are not disturbed, the new headlamp will be in identical aim to the old one.

  1. Using a small screwdriver (preferably magnetic) and a pair of taper-nose pliers if necessary, remove the small screws in the headlamp retainer. DON'T drop the screws; they vanish into unknown locations.
  2.  

REPAIR GUIDE TIP:

A good kitchen or household magnet placed on the shank of the screwdriver will provide enough grip to hold the screw during removal.

  1. Remove the retainer and the headlamp may be gently pulled free from its mounts. Detach the connector from the back of the sealed beam unit and remove the unit from the car.
  2.  


CAUTION
The retainers can have very sharp edges. Wear gloves.

To install:
  1. Place the new headlamp in position and connect the wiring harness. Remember to install the rubber boot on the back of the new lamp - its a water seal. Make sure the headlight is right-side up.
  2.  
  3. Have an assistant turn on the headlights and check the new lamp for proper function, checking both high and low beams before final assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the retainer and the small screws that hold it.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the headlight bezel and/or grille.
  8.  

Replaceable Bulb/Fixed Lens

See Figures 1 and 2

This type of light is replace from behind the unit. The lens is not removed or loosened.

  1. Open and support the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wiring connector from the back the lamp. Be careful to release the locking tab completely before removal.
  4.  
  5. Grasp the base of the bulb holder and collar, twist it counterclockwise (as viewed from the engine compartment) and carefully remove the bulb holder and bulb from the housing.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Headlamp bulb replacement - 1985-92

  1. Using gloves or a rag, hold the bulb and release the clip on the holder. Remove the bulb.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Install the new bulb in the holder and make sure the clip engages firmly.
  2.  


WARNING
Hold the new bulb with a clean cloth or a piece of paper. DO NOT touch or grasp the bulb with your fingers. The oils from your skin will produce a hot spot on the glass envelope, shortening bulb life by up to 50%. If the bulb is touched accidentally, clean it with alcohol and a clean rag before installation.

  1. Install the holder and bulb into the housing. Note that the holder has guides which must align with the housing. When the holder is correctly seated, turn the collar clockwise to lock the holder in place.
  2.  
  3. Connect the wiring harness. Turn on the headlights and check the function of the new bulb on both high and low beam.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Adjuster locations for replaceable bulb headlamp assemblies - 1985-92

HEADLIGHT AIMING



See Figures 2 and 3

The headlamps should be aimed with a special alignment tool, state regulations may vary this procedure, use this procedure below for temporary adjustments.

  1. Inspect and correct all components that could interfere with proper headlamp alignment.
  2.  
  3. Verify proper tire pressure. Clean headlamp lenses and make sure that there is no heavy loads in the trunk or hatch luggage area. The gas tank should be filled.
  4.  
  5. Position the vehicle on a level surface perpendicular to flat wall 25 feet away.
  6.  
  7. Rock the vehicle side to side and up and down a few times to allow the suspension to stabilize.
  8.  
  9. Turn lights On, adjust the horizontal direction of headlamps to achieve a straight and high intensity pattern. Adjust the vertical direction of headlamps to achieve a straight and high intensity pattern. Refer to the adjustment illustrations.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Composite headlamp aiming mount. Follow the instructions with the headlamp aiming tool - 1993

 
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