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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. Just bought a 2016 Mazda3 iTouring with MT, and this is my first-ever question. I thought the answer would be easy-peasy to find, but I've looked everywhere -- on this site and elsewhere -- and I can't find it. Maybe one of you fellow Madzites can help.

My request is deceptively simple. I'd like a walkthrough, written or video tutorial, or some other type of instructions on how to replace the halogen bulbs on the 2014-2016 Mazda3's with (wait for it!...) *different* halogen bulbs! That's right, folks. *No* HID conversion! *No* LED conversions! *No* conversions of any kind!

I simply want to know how to get my hands on the high-beam, low-beam, and foglight bulbs so I can' pop 'em out and put different ones in. The only how-to's I've found here and elsewhere are for 2013 or earlier models.

Here's what I've picked up so far from cruising around this site: (1) You *might* have to take off the bumper... or you might not! (2) There *might* be a way to reach the low-beam bulb by taking off the inside cover from the front wheel-wells to access the low-beam bulb... or there might not! No mention of how to get to high-beam and fog-light bulbs. That's about all I was able to find.

So... exactly what parts need to be removed to replace (a) low-beam bulb, (b) high-beam bulb, (c) fog-light bulb? Bumper? Front grill? Some other part that I don't even know about?

Can any of the bulbs be gotten to via the front wheel wells? If yes, which bulbs can be accessed and how much of a contortionist to do have to be, and how small do your hands have to be, to do it successfully? How hard is it to do whatever it is I need to do? Do I need special tools? Do I need special mechanical skills? Do I need psychic powers?

Or is it so incredibly hard that no one's figured out how to do it yet, and when Mazda owners notice that one of their bulbs has burned out, they simply buy a new car?

Maybe there's a detailed, step-by-step YouTube video or a carefully-written PDF file out there, but I haven't been able to find it. I must admit that I'm more than a little surprised about this, because my 2016 is the third year with this body style, and I figured that somebody would have posted it already.

Anyone who can help will receive my sincere gratitude and not-so-sincere promise to name my first-born child after you.

-- Don the Mazda3 Newbie
 

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i used a friend with thin arms, so they can get in the corners without any problems :laugh2:
But, if you remove the airfilter in the right site, there should be enough room to get the you're hand ind and rotate the bulb :)

I did a bulbe change without removing the front bumper, and for the fog lights, you just remove some of the screws that hold the engine cover, so you can get a arm to the fog light bulb :)

The fog lights is H11 bulbs, same for the low-beam bulbs :)
High beam is H15, and in denmark we have parking light all the way in the corner thats a W5W bulb.
For my swap it took about 10-15 minuts, but you're hand need to be in a awkward position when you need to unmount and mount the bulbs.

Here is a picture of the Fog light swap, the white/blueish is the led and the yellow is before :)
Just a proff you don't need to get the bumper off, to swap bulbs. :wink2:
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks, Somthinglocal, for your help. Based on my research, here in the U.S the low-beams and fog-lights are also H11, but I think that the high beams are 9005. It don't know how they different from the H15's that you guys use. I've also heard the you can replace the H11's with H9's, which are brighter (but shorter-lasting) bulbs. You need to trim one of the tabs on the H9's so it will fit in your car's H11 socket, but some people think it's worth the effort.

As for doing the replacement... is the air filter the only thing that needs to come off on the right side, and then you can get to both high and low beam bulbs? Does anything have to come off on the left side? (It's late here so I can't look at my engine right now and see for myself.)

As for the fog lights, may I assume that you're talking about some sort of engine cover that's *under* the car? As you can see, I just got the car and I really haven't had any hands-on experience doing anything yet (except driving the thing!)

Thanks.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can definitely see the color difference between the two fog lights on your car -- it's quite dramatic. Personally, I prefer the more yellow light, especially for fog lights, because I think they cut through the fog better -- as long as they're bright enough. I'd rather have a bright yellow-ish fog light than a bright whitish-bluish light, but of course I'd take a *bright* white light over a not-so-bright yellowish light. IMHO, lumens, not color temp, are what counts the most.
 

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Osram have a light guide on their website, with what bulb the car use: Vehicle Lamp Finder | Tools | OSRAM
And i diden't remove anything, except the air filter, it may be a tight fit for you're hand and arm, but you can get in there :)

And yes, it's the cover under the car, it's screwd on the front bumper, so you can just remove some of them.

About the Yellow light, you can also get LED with yellow lights, look it up on ebay just search Yellow LED H11 bulbs.
i'm more if a Xenon look kind of guy, white is so pretty on the car, but that's just my opinion :)

I'm glad to help :laugh2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I'm with you on the look of Xenon HID lights -- that incredibly bright, pure white look is amazing. And with real HID, the view is just as amazing from the driver's seat. If had the money, I would have bought the sGT with those wonderful HID peepers. But as I understand it, all those blue-tinted halogen bulbs out there create that "super white" look by blocking out the yellow light waves and actually decreasing output. Unfortunately, my tired old eyes need every last lumen they can get, and without the money to buy HIDS, I'd rather go with bulbs like the Silvania XtraVision (Oshram is Sylvania in the U.S, IIRC) or the Philips X-treme Vision, both of which are clear glass bulbs, with no blue tint, and are slightly but noticeably brighter than OEM. Now I just have to decide if it's worth messing with the tabs to replace the H11's with H9's.
 

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The DRL/high beam takes a 9005 bulb which you can reach right through the front of the engine bay. The Low beam and fog light takes H11. I've changed those by going through the wheel well (turn the steering wheel and take out 4 or 5 of the plastic clips, bend back the plastic wheel well cover and shove your hand in there.) The driver side has no obstacles, but with the passenger side, you have to squeeze your hand around the windshield washer fluid canister in order to reach the fog light). Good luck!
 

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@bye-bye-VW us sylvania bulbs are crap, the best h11 is the philips x-teme vision, but why not swap a h9. 18% more power for 60% more light with the exact same optics. While your at it swap the 9005 highs for 9011, same optics but much brighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Somthinglocal and @miket0429.... Thanks to both of you for the installation info. I've only changed bulbs in reflector housings, and from what I understand, on our Mazda3's only the high beam is a reflector -- the low beam and fog are projectors. Any special issues with changing bulbs in projector housings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@bye-bye-VW us sylvania bulbs are crap, the best h11 is the philips x-teme vision, but why not swap a h9. 18% more power for 60% more light with the exact same optics. While your at it swap the 9005 highs for 9011, same optics but much brighter.
I would qualify that by saying that only the the Sylvania bulbs with BLUE COATINGS to make the light "whiter" are crap -- which is the case with ANY blue-tinted bulb, including Philips. Actually, they are not "crap" -- they give you "whiteness" at the expense of "brightness" because those blue tints make the light output weaker.

I used Sylavnvia XtraVision bulbs -- which are NOT tinted -- in my Jetta for many years, and I got a small but very noticeable increase in brightness over OEM.

I would expect that the Philips X-Treme Vision bulbs you mentioned would be similar to the Sylvania XtraVision bulbs. The big question is: Which ones are brighter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
@bye-bye-VW us sylvania bulbs are crap, the best h11 is the philips x-teme vision, but why not swap a h9. 18% more power for 60% more light with the exact same optics. While your at it swap the 9005 highs for 9011, same optics but much brighter.
My three concerns about doing the swap you suggested:

SMALL CONCERN: You need to trim tabs on both bulbs (H9 and 9011) in order to get them to fit in the sockets. Not a big deal, but something to think about.

MEDIUM CONCERN: Does the extra brightness on the low beams blind oncoming drivers? Obviously, the light pattern was designed for a less-bright bulb.

BIG CONCERN: Same optics, yes. But higher wattage, which would generate more heat. Any risk of melting or in some other way damaging the wiring or plastic housing with the extra heat?
 

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i used a friend with thin arms, so they can get in the corners without any problems :laugh2:
But, if you remove the airfilter in the right site, there should be enough room to get the you're hand ind and rotate the bulb :)

I did a bulbe change without removing the front bumper, and for the fog lights, you just remove some of the screws that hold the engine cover, so you can get a arm to the fog light bulb :)

The fog lights is H11 bulbs, same for the low-beam bulbs :)
High beam is H15, and in denmark we have parking light all the way in the corner thats a W5W bulb.
For my swap it took about 10-15 minuts, but you're hand need to be in a awkward position when you need to unmount and mount the bulbs.

Here is a picture of the Fog light swap, the white/blueish is the led and the yellow is before :)
Just a proff you don't need to get the bumper off, to swap bulbs. :wink2:
Can you please tell me, which LED H11 bulb you use for fog light? Some link would be great! :)
 

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I would qualify that by saying that only the the Sylvania bulbs with BLUE COATINGS to make the light "whiter" are crap -- which is the case with ANY blue-tinted bulb, including Philips. Actually, they are not "crap" -- they give you "whiteness" at the expense of "brightness" because those blue tints make the light output weaker.

I used Sylavnvia XtraVision bulbs -- which are NOT tinted -- in my Jetta for many years, and I got a small but very noticeable increase in brightness over OEM.

I would expect that the Philips X-Treme Vision bulbs you mentioned would be similar to the Sylvania XtraVision bulbs. The big question is: Which ones are brighter?
Objectively X-Treme vision bulbs are the best of the best, your XtraVision are middle of the road in terms of brightness.

My three concerns about doing the swap you suggested:

SMALL CONCERN: You need to trim tabs on both bulbs (H9 and 9011) in order to get them to fit in the sockets. Not a big deal, but something to think about.

MEDIUM CONCERN: Does the extra brightness on the low beams blind oncoming drivers? Obviously, the light pattern was designed for a less-bright bulb.

BIG CONCERN: Same optics, yes. But higher wattage, which would generate more heat. Any risk of melting or in some other way damaging the wiring or plastic housing with the extra heat?
The extra brightness will not blind low beam drivers, but there will be some slight more glare. 10w is really not that significant, I start up ballasts that draw 100w on first fire with no issues on the stock wiring. Several different forums have tested the heat, it is a few degrees hotter but totally fine. Tab trimming can take under 30 seconds per bulb. I recommend these upgrades because they are wholeheartedly recommended by actual high level oem vehicle lighting engineers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Objectively X-Treme vision bulbs are the best of the best, your XtraVision are middle of the road in terms of brightness.
When I first started using the Sylvania XtraVision bulbs on my Jetta back in 2008 or so, I don't think that the Philips X-treme Vision were available in the US yet. Over the years, I simply stayed with the XtraVision out of habit.

But now that I have a shiny new Mazda3, if I decide to simply upgrade the H11's to another H11 and the 9005's to another 9005, I *definitely* will go with the X-treme Visions.

The extra brightness will not blind low beam drivers, but there will be some slight more glare. 10w is really not that significant, I start up ballasts that draw 100w on first fire with no issues on the stock wiring. Several different forums have tested the heat, it is a few degrees hotter but totally fine. Tab trimming can take under 30 seconds per bulb. I recommend these upgrades because they are wholeheartedly recommended by actual high level oem vehicle lighting engineers.
If I do decide to go with the H11-to-H9 and 9005-to-9011 upgrades...

According to the Philips USA website, none of their bulbs -- X-treme Vision, VisionPlus, and Vision -- are available in H9 or 9011 sizes.
(Headlights | Philips Automotive Lighting)

So what brand/model bulb do you recommend that I use?

And last but not least... thanks, rdriggett, for all your help!
 

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When I first started using the Sylvania XtraVision bulbs on my Jetta back in 2008 or so, I don't think that the Philips X-treme Vision were available in the US yet. Over the years, I simply stayed with the XtraVision out of habit.

But now that I have a shiny new Mazda3, if I decide to simply upgrade the H11's to another H11 and the 9005's to another 9005, I *definitely* will go with the X-treme Visions.



If I do decide to go with the H11-to-H9 and 9005-to-9011 upgrades...

According to the Philips USA website, none of their bulbs -- X-treme Vision, VisionPlus, and Vision -- are available in H9 or 9011 sizes.
(Headlights | Philips Automotive Lighting)

So what brand/model bulb do you recommend that I use?

And last but not least... thanks, rdriggett, for all your help!
h9 and 9011 don't really have tiers of bulb output unlike the common sizes. Stick to a reputable brand like philips or osram(NOT Sylvania) and you'll be set.
 
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