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How to Change Jeep Cherokee Headlight: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Change Jeep Cherokee Headlight: Step-by-Step Guide

Changing a headlight in a Jeep Cherokee is a job most Jeep owners should know how to do themselves. However, it requires a few tools, and it should take an hour to change them. So how do you change the headlight on a Jeep Cherokee?

Undertaking a job like replacing a headlight can be technical with newer cars. They have several parts under the hood that can be layered atop one another, and knowing which ones to remove and which you can work around could be a pain in the neck. So read on and learn how to change a Jeep Cherokee headlight.

How do you Change a Low-Beam Headlight on a Jeep Cherokee?

In recent years the Cherokee has undergone a body redesign that takes it farther from its square-bodied roots to a sleek aerodynamic vehicle.

When the headlight changed from the old square shape to the new replaceable bulb mode, the job became a bit more involved, and if you are unsure, it is always best to hire a professional.

Here’s a video showing how to replace the bulb, with a lot more info below:

Rounding up the Tools and Safety Equipment is the First Step

When working with cars and any mechanical issues, you should strive to work in a clean and dry environment with adequate lighting. You should also have the tools you need and a place to catch any bolts or metal bits that might need catching.

A few things you should do to prepare for installing the headlight in your Jeep Cherokee are:

  • Tools – One of the first things you should do is ensure you have all the tools you need to do the job. There could be many intricate boxes to remove or recessed bolts. An 8MM socket is required to remove the bolts around the air filter and
  • Lighting – Another important thing to consider when removing the headlight is adequate lighting. There are times when you might need more than perfect lighting but a spotlight shined in the direction of the headlight you are working on is all you will need.

Once the safety equipment is in place, you can get to work. Remember that the Jeep ignition must be turned off, and the keys are outside the car. Once the ignition is flipped, the battery will get power and could shock you into next week.

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Removing the Battery is the Next Step

Replacing the headlight is an involved process in the model years 2015 to the present. There are other ways to replace them with the fender wells, but that could cause undue rattling or damage to the plastic covering. Taking the battery out from under the hood gives you a few more steps to follow but a better position on the bulb.

The steps to remove the battery from the Jeep Cherokee are as follows:

  • Using a flat-head screwdriver, loosen the tension on the negative terminal connection, which will allow you to remove the connection. Then, repeat on the Positive side. Keep these terminals away from the battery as best as possible.
  • Housing – The battery will have a metal housing that keeps it snug in its frame. This metal bar will run across the top of the battery and have one attachment on each side that must be released. As soon as the housing is slipped away, you should be able to lift the battery out.
  • Bulb Swap – When the battery is out of the way, you should see a round access cap. Give it a few twists, and it will fall out. Once free, slide in the new bulb without the lens smudging.
  • Repeat in Reverse – Check the bulb by turning it until it clicks. Once you hear the click, you can return the access cap and work on replacing the battery. Remember to place the bolts in a location you can remember so you can find them when working.

Now that you have the driver-side low-beam headlight in the Jeep Cherokee, you can move on the passenger side. It is an involved process that requires a magnetic socket or a long extension for your driver.

The Passenger Side Replacement is More Involved

The thing about the passenger-side headlight that is such a headache is the air filter. The filter and box cover the access cap for the bulb, and they must be removed entirely before the bulb can be replaced.

The steps to replace the passenger-side headlight on the Jeep Cherokee are as follows:

  • Remove Air Filter – The air filter is a large black box with hoses attached to it. The hoses have tension clamps that must be opened with pliers. Once disconnected, you should remove the mounting screws around the base.
  • Air Duct Housing – Once the screws are removed, you should be able to disconnect the air duct housing and get in a position to grab the access cap. Unscrew and snag the connector, remembering to thumb the tabs when removing the bulb. Place the new bulb inside the connector and place it in the opening. Rotate clockwise until it clicks.
  • Put the Guts Back – As soon as the bulb is in, you can put the access cap back in place and return all the innards of the air filtration system where they belong. Please make sure there aren’t any leftover bolts and the clamps are back in place before calling it a day.

The passenger side replacement is a breeze once the air filtration system and its bulky parts are out of the way. The bulbs on both sides go in quickly, and once they are rotated into place will be there until you replace them again.

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Replacing the headlights on your Jeep Cherokee is a breeze once you remove all the engine bay obstructions. The battery and air filter box are easy to remove, and as long as you keep up with the bolts, there should be no problems.

Doing the passenger-side headlight replacement is a necessary evil that isn’t so bad once you get the hang of it. Removing the battery box can also be a pain, but the job is a breeze once it is lifted out. Changing the headlight on your Jeep Cherokee is an easy job that shouldn’t give you too much stress.

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