Saturn Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1991-1998 Repair Guide

Headlights

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Except 1991-96 SC2

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and make sure the headlamp has cooled if it was operated in the past few minutes.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the headlamp bulb socket from the rear of the lens by rotating the socket 1 / 4 turn counterclockwise, then pulling the socket rearward until the bulb clears the housing. Lift the socket/harness for access.
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  5. Remove the bulb from the socket/harness.
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  7. Installation is the reverse of removal. Do not touch the glass of the bulb. Adjustment of the headlamp on these vehicles should not be necessary unless the housing assembly is removed or loosened. Nonetheless, headlight aim should always be checked and, if necessary, adjusted for safety.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Rotate the socket 1/4 turn, then pull it out of the opening until the bulb clears the housing



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Fig. Fig. 2: When removing the bulb from the socket/harness, be careful not to touch the glass

1991-96 SC2

See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

The 1991-96 SC2 model, originally known as the SC, is the only Saturn vehicle equipped with concealed headlights. The headlight doors can be opened automatically by turning the headlight switch to the headlamps ON position. Turning the switch back one click to the parking lights ON only position or 2 clicks to the lights OFF position will leave the doors open. To close the headlight doors, turn the switch a total of 3 clicks back to the headlight closed position.

A manual headlight control knob is located next to each headlight door and may be used to open the doors without the aid of the electric motor. To manually open the door, raise the vehicle' hood and turn the control knob until the door is fully opened. Although the knob is knurled, the top also contains a socket into which a hex key can be inserted to speed up manual headlight door operation.

  1. Prior to disrupting a properly aimed headlamp, check the headlight aiming procedure for suggestions to ease adjustment. Open the headlight doors and disconnect the negative battery cable. Make sure the headlamp has cooled if it was operated in the past few minutes.
  2.  
  3. Remove the headlamp trim bezel screws from the sides of the lamp housing, then manually rotate the lamp sufficiently downward to provide clearance between the bezel and the lower inside corner of the lamp.
  4.  
  5. Manually rotate the lamp door back upward and remove the trim bezel.
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  7. Disconnect the spring and disengage the adjusters from the retainer, then carefully pull the lamp from the housing and disconnect the electrical harness.
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  9. Pull the headlamp assembly from the housing. Remove the screws, then remove the retaining ring and backing from the headlamp.
  10.  

To install:


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Fig. Fig. 3: Turn the headlight knob in order to manually operate the lamp door-SC or SC2



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Fig. Fig. 4: The headlight knob can also be turned using a hex key-SC or SC2

  1. Insert the headlamp in the backing, then position the retaining ring on the assembly and secure using the screws.
  2.  
  3. Connect the wiring harness to the back of the lamp assembly, then position the assembly into the housing. Engage the retaining ring adjusters and install the spring.
  4.  
  5. Install the trim bezel to the lamp housing and secure using the screws. Raise or lower the housing door using the manual knob, as necessary, to provide clearance for the bezel.
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  7. Connect the negative battery cable, then check and adjust the headlight aim, as necessary, for safety.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the screws, then remove the trim bezel from the headlamp housing



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Fig. Fig. 6: Exploded view of the headlamp assembly-SC or SC2

AIMING THE HEADLIGHTS



See Figures 7, 8 and 9

The headlights 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 headlight aiming; these should be checked before adjustment is made.


CAUTION
Any time that front end work is performed on your vehicle, or if the headlight aiming screws have been turned, the headlights should be accurately aimed by a reputable repair shop using the proper equipment. Headlights 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.

Headlight adjustment can 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 headlight aiming tools. Improper adjustments may be both dangerous and illegal.

For most of the vehicles covered by this guide, horizontal and vertical aiming of each sealed beam unit is provided by two adjusting screws which move the retaining ring and adjusting plate against the tension of a coil spring. There is no adjustment for focus; this is done during headlight manufacturing.

Because the composite headlight assembly is bolted into position, no adjustment should be necessary or possible. Some applications, however, may be bolted to an adjuster plate or may be retained by adjusting screws. If so, follow this procedure when adjusting the lights, BUT always have the adjustment checked by a reputable shop.

Before removing the headlight bulb or disturbing the headlamp in any way, note the current settings in order to ease headlight 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 (7.7m) from the wall.
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Fig. Fig. 7: Example of the headlight adjustment screw location for composite headlamps

  1. If aiming is to be performed outdoors, it is advisable to wait until dusk in order to properly see the headlight beams on the wall. If done in a garage, darken the area around the wall as much as possible by closing shades or hanging cloth over the windows.
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  3. Turn the headlights ON and mark the wall at the center of each light' low beam, then switch on the brights and mark the center of each light' high beam. A short length of masking tape which is visible from the front of the vehicle may be used. Although marking all four positions is advisable, marking one position from each light should be sufficient.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Low beam headlight pattern alignment



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Fig. Fig. 9: High beam headlight pattern alignment

  1. 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.
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  3. 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 headlights ON and adjust the beams to match the marks on the wall.
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  5. Have the headlight adjustment checked as soon as possible by a reputable repair shop.
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