GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide




Sealed beam
  1. Remove the headlight bezel (trim) and/or the radiator grille, as necessary.
  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.

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.


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.

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.
  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.
  5. Install the retainer and the small screws that hold it.
  7. Reinstall the headlight bezel and/or grille.

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.
  3. Remove the wiring connector from the back the lamp. Be careful to release the locking tab completely before removal.
  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.

Click image to see an enlarged view

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

  1. Using gloves or a r