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8 Ways to deal with Subaru Headlight Problems

Subaru is the most popular car that was introduced by Subaru Corporation. In this guide, I will help you resolve any kind of headlight problem in Subaru. Because this guide is based on my expertise and knowledge.

Common Subaru headlight problems

1) Subaru one Headlight Not Working

During this problem, one of the headlights just won’t turn on or might flicker before shutting off completely. Not only is it annoying, but it can also be dangerous since it reduces your visibility on the road. Plus, it’s pretty embarrassing to roll up looking like you’re riding a motorcycle because you only have one headlight working! So, if you’ve got one headlight that’s not pulling its weight while the other one’s shining bright, you might have an issue with the fuse or wiring of your headlight. 

How to Fix it?

First things first, figure out which light is giving you trouble. If your Subaru headlight is out, but your tail and turn-signal lights are still working, it’s probably just a blown fuse. You can double-check by using a test light or a multimeter to see if the fuse is the root cause of the problem. But if your headlight’s flickering like a dying candle or only staying on for a second, it might be a bigger issue with the wiring. In that case, it’s time to visit a pro and let them do their thing. He would probably suggest a replacement. You can perform the replacement by yourself too. See how with this video:

Video showing How to replace the headlight on the 2015 Subaru Forester

2) Uneven Headlight Beam Problem

An Uneven Headlight Beam is a common Subaru headlight problem because a lot of Subaru headlight owners have complained about their headlight beams being uneven. During this problem, headlights appear to be shining in two different directions. One of the top causes of this problem is the misaligned headlights during the installation.

How to Fix it?

First, find a flat surface and park your car facing a wall. Then, measure the distance from the ground to the center of your headlights and mark that spot on the wall with tape or a sticky note.  Back your car up about 25 feet, turn on your headlights, and see where the beams land on the wall. Adjust the screws on the back of your headlights by turning them clockwise to adjust the headlight inwards and counterclockwise to adjust them outwards. Repeat the above step until the beams are centered on the marks you made earlier. Boom, your headlights are now properly aligned! However, before performing any of this self-tweaking or tinkering, consult your Subarus’s owner’s manual to get a more proper insight.

3) Subaru Dim Headlight Problem

Have you ever been cruising around in your Subaru and noticed one of your headlights is dimmer than the other? Well, my friend, that’s what we call a “Subaru dim headlight problem.” It’s when one of your headlights isn’t shining as bright as the other one. It’s usually caused by a few different things like you are using a bad bulb in your Subaru headlights, a dirty lens, or faulty wiring. Sometimes it can even be because your alternator isn’t putting out enough power. Because the alternator makes sure all your car’s electric components, including headlights, are working well.

How to fix it?

First, you have to make sure that your lens is clean and clear. If it’s not, use good cleaning soap and water to see if that helps with the dim light. If your Subara headlight is still dim, try swapping out the bulb with a new one and see if this fix works. And if that even doesn’t do the trick, get your alternator checked by a professional, and if it is at fault, have it replaced.

Headlight Problems in other Subaru Models:

4) Subaru Headlight Switch Problems

Well, sometimes the switch can cause some issues with your Subaru headlights and make your headlight flicker. Wear and tear over time, wiring or electrical issues, and even just an incompatible or faulty switch lead to these problems. For example, if your switch is designed for a different make and model of a Subaru and you install it in your car, it may not be able to work properly with your car system and can also damage other components of the car.

How to fix it?

Fixing it up is usually pretty easy if you have a little knowledge about wiring and the car’s electrical system. Start by checking the switch connections and wiring to make sure that all things are working fine. If that doesn’t work, you might have to replace the switch altogether. But if you’re not too comfortable doing it yourself, it’s always a good idea to take your car to a pro and let them handle it.

5) Subaru Headlights Stop Working Problem

One of the worst and most dangerous things that happen to any Subaru driver is the complete shutdown of the headlights in the middle of a night drive. Yes, you read it right; if you own a Subaru car, there is a chance that your headlights will stop working on their own and won’t turn on again.

This problem can be caused by several things like a blown-out fuse or bad electrical connections. A blown fuse is a common culprit, and it can happen due to different reasons, like a short circuit or electrical overload. Another cause could be a loose or corroded bulb or wiring, which can affect the headlight’s functionality. Sometimes the issue might be related to a bad relay, alternator, or battery.

How to Fix it?

To address this Subaru headlight problem, start by checking the fuse. If it’s working, move on to inspecting the bulb and wiring to see if there are any losses or corrosion in them. If you find a loose bulb or damaged bulb, here is a step-by-step guide to replacing it:

First things first, turn off your Subaru and pop the hood. Next up, locate the headlight assembly that needs a bulb switcheroo. Disconnect the wiring harness that connects the bulb to the electrical system. Unscrew the bulb housing from the assembly by turning it counterclockwise. Remove the old bulb by gently pulling it straight out. Grab your shiny new bulb and insert it into the socket by pushing it straight in until it clicks into place.

Screw the bulb housing back onto the headlight assembly by turning it clockwise. Reconnect the wiring harness to the new bulb. Last but not least, give your newly installed bulb a test run to make sure everything is cool. If you’re having trouble with corroded connections, don’t worry, it’s a common issue. All you have to do is give them a good cleaning to get them working again. If cleaning doesn’t fix the problem, then unfortunately you’ll need to replace the corroded components with new ones.

6) Subaru headlight assembly problems

These problems are mainly related to physical parts of the headlights like housing, lenses, reflectors, or mounting brackets. These problems can manifest in a lot of different ways and can cause your headlights to function poorly. Subaru headlight assembly problems can be caused by the rough use of vehicles or the cracking of the lens. Moreover, exposure to extreme weather like heavy rain, road debris, or accidents can also cause this problem.

How to fix it?

To fix a damaged headlight assembly, you may need to replace the entire unit of the Subaru headlight assembly. First, unplug all the electrical connectors situated at the back of the headlight assembly. Then unscrew the lightbulb (But in some cases, you might have to loosen or remove the headlight assembly to swap the bulb).

If necessary, transfer any bulbs or other components from the old assembly to the new one. Align the new assembly with the mounting points on the vehicle and secure it in place with screws or bolts. Reconnect any electrical connectors or wiring harnesses. Test the new headlight assembly to make sure it’s working properly. Close the hood, and you’re good to go! However, if you are not comfortable doing the above step by yourself, just get a professional to do it for you!

7) Subaru Low Beams Not Working

Low beams are lower-intensity lights that help drivers to reach shorter distances. There are a bunch of reasons why your low beams might not be working, but the two common ones are the Burnt-out bulb and the problematic wiring.

How to fix it

If you’re dealing with a case of burnt-out bulbs causing your low beams to fail, All you need to do is get those old bulbs replaced with new and high-quality ones. Just be sure to stick with the same brand as your other headlight to keep things consistent. 

8) Subaru headlight relay problem

The relay issue is another of the major Subaru headlight problems. The headlight relay plays a pretty crucial role in controlling the light. The long switch behind the steering wheel which you use to flip for turning on and off the headlights is not directly connected to the headlights. Instead, this long switch is activated by a relay. This relay sends all the necessary information to the headlights when you flip it.

Moreover, there are different relays for high and low beams, so it’s possible that one is working fine and the other is at fault. The most common cause of relay problems is the relay itself. They can wear due to aging, especially if they regularly come in contact with excessive heat and moisture. 

How to fix it?

You cannot fix the relay if it’s faulty. You simply have to replace it with a new one. But how to know the relay is at fault? Well, you can use a multimeter to check that. Remove the relay from the fuse box, set the multimeter to DC voltage, and connect it to the relay. Check if there is 12 V at 85 positions in the fuse box where the relay plug was. If it’s not, check the fuse. If the fuse is fine, then there is the possibility that the relay is at fault. For a general idea to fix relay issues, watch this video guide:

Headlight Problems in Dodge Ram Models:


How to choose the right replacement parts for Subaru headlights?

Just make sure that the parts you are buying are compatible with your Subaru’s make and model. You can search online for compatible parts, or you can also check the owner’s manual that comes with it.

Moreover, you can also ask a professional mechanic to help you out with this issue. However, if you are going for an online purchase, read the description carefully to ensure that it’s the right fit!

What are Subaru Outback Headlight Issues?

Subaru headlight problems also occur in the Outback and can be a real bummer. These issues are improper headlight aim (Hid auto-leveling pointing dangerously low), Headlight failing to turn on, or the low-beam being quite bright. To fix them, you might need to properly aim the headlight at a single point by yourself and replace any damaged parts if there are any.

How often should I replace my Subaru’s headlight bulbs?

There is no exact answer to this question because each person uses their headlights differently and at a different pace, but a good rule of thumb is to do it every couple of years. This schedule will save you from a lot of Subaru headlight problems. However, this can vary depending on how often you use your headlights and your driving conditions. 

Can I upgrade my Subaru’s headlights to be brighter?

If you’re looking to upgrade your Subaru’s headlights to be brighter, a few options are available. You could replace the bulbs with high-performance ones, install an aftermarket headlight assembly, or even add auxiliary lighting.

Can I Upgrade My Subaru’s Headlights To Be Brighter?

Yes, you can replace Subaru’s headlights yourself. However, the level of difficulty may vary depending on the specific Subaru model you have and the type of headlights it has (halogen, HID, or LED).

In general, here are the steps to replace Subaru’s headlights:

  1. Park your vehicle on a flat surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Open the hood and locate the back of the headlight assembly.
  3. Depending on the model, you may need to remove the headlight assembly cover or a rubber dust cover to access the bulb.
  4. Disconnect the electrical connector from the back of the bulb by pressing the release tab and gently pulling it off.
  5. Remove the old bulb by twisting it counterclockwise or pulling it straight out, depending on the type of bulb.
  6. Insert the new bulb into the socket and make sure it is properly seated.
  7. Reconnect the electrical connector to the new bulb.
  8. If you had to remove a cover, put it back in place securely.
  9. Test the new headlight to ensure it is working properly before closing the hood.

It’s important to note that some Subaru models may have more complex headlight systems or require specific tools for replacement. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult your vehicle’s owner manual or seek assistance from a professional if you are unsure or uncomfortable with the process.


  • Michael Alexander

    Hi, My name is Michael. I am an automotive lights enthusiast expert. I created Cooltechguide to provide authentic knowledge about car headlight problems. If you interested in knowing more about me. Feel free to contact me

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