Changing Headlight Bulb on Volvo S40

Today I helped a family member change the headlight bulb in their 2008 Volvo S40.  At first I thought this was going to be an easy job, like replacing most headlight bulbs, but as with everything on Volvos you need to know the special tricks to do anything basic.

First I had to search around for the hood latch, which is a red lever but has no hood or car marking on it.  Most cars have this so I was thrown already just trying to open the hood.  Thankfully I figured it out but I am sure a lot of people get frustrated by the fact this isn't straightforward.  I certainly did and I have been working on cars for awhile.

After that I got the hood opened and started looking at the headlight housing I wasn't sure how to get at the bulb.  It was clear there was a door but there wasn't enough clearance to release the springs to open it.  I started looking around the headlight housing and thought, “Ok… how do I remove this thing?”  That was clearly the only way to get at the headlight bulb but there weren't any screws.  This is where your best friend comes in when you don't know how to do something on a car comes in, Google.

Yes, I Googled it!  There is a metal piece and bracket mechanism that holds the Volvo S40 headlight housing in.  No screws!  Very smart and very Swedish in it's design.  I thought it was quite cool actually and removed the headlight no problem once I knew how to do it.  Then I undid the electrical connection when I had the headlight off.  I removed the housing, got out the old headlight bulb, and then made a quick trip to the local auto parts store to get a new H11 and put it back everything back in.

Now I know how to replace headlight bulbs on these Volvo S40's and it will be hella easy next time.  It was sort of annoying though having to figure it out, but that is how it is working on cars sometimes.  You got to figure things out as you go since some cars are completely different than what you are used to.

Most likely I will post a guide with some pictures in a couple of days.  I am sure there are a lot of Volvo owners who would like to know how to do this right.  I might even shoot a video if I have time as I think a lot of Volvo S40 owners would appreciate this.