Introduction: How to Remove the Front of a Smart Car to Replace Headlights Headlamps Bulbs

The simple task of changing a headlamp bulb in a normal car has been made into a complicated misery for Smart Car owners.   To get to the headlamp or headlight it is necessary to remove the entire front of the smart car.   Changing a lightbulb in a smart car is now a matter of getting to the headlamp cluster via a number of hex bolts of differing sizes.  How will a novice get on changing the headlight bulb in a smart car...


bowdie (author)2011-02-06

I've got a 03 Plate fortwo, and it's possible to replace the bulb through the "service grill" (but only if you've got small hands).

It's the one you undo with a small flat blade screwdriver to to at the coolant and front wipe water container.

Don't stop it being a massive pain mind. ;)

hazellr (author)bowdie2011-02-06

Yes this method is quoted by a number of people as being the preferred option to replace the bulb.

In fact the reason you see me holding the actual blown lightbulb right at the start of the video is because I followed this method and managed to get the bulb OUT of the headlamp.

The problem was then that I could not for the life of me get the new one in.

There were a number of problems.
1) I just couldnt manage to get the clip to fix to the back of the bulb.
2) I kept brushing the bulb onto grease and dirt at the back of the headlamp cluster.
3) I couldnt rotate the bulb to seat it into the headlamp cluster.

In the end I gave up on the arm through access panel method and opted for the complete exposure of the headlamp unit.

In fact with the headlamp unit dangling off I was able to clean the bulb with alcohol to get off all the dirt and grease and to pop it straight into the holder.

At least I know its got the best chance of a long life.

But thanks for your comment - It does offer people a second option

MRedmon (author)2011-02-05

While I'm at it, two wonderful resources for me (as a new 2009 Smart Fortwo owner) have been: Evilution and SCOA Forums.

MRedmon (author)2011-02-05

This Instructable is for the older model, the 450, of the Smart Fortwo. The newer model, the 451, available 2008-2011 in the US (I'm not sure about the rest of the world), is MUCH easier to change. There are two small pieces on either side of the grill that you rotate 90 degrees and then the front "hood" pulls off. The bulbs can be easily changed from there.

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