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ORAC
6th Nov 2018, 07:07
Used to take about a minute and cost about 1 for a new bulb down at Halfords......

800 to change a bulb
Motorists are being forced to pay up to 846 to change a headlight on the latest cars. The task used to be simple but can now involve removing sealed units. What Car? magazine said that costs were driven by the use of high-intensity discharge and LED headlights, adding that it might become cheaper to write off a car after a minor accident than fix its lights.

sitigeltfel
6th Nov 2018, 07:23
Makes a mockery of the laws in the countries where you are required to carry spare bulbs. On many vehicles you have to be a double jointed midget with two right arms to manage to change a bulb.

Old 'Un
6th Nov 2018, 07:33
Have a mate who worked for a NZ Gummint department and drove a " company" car. He came over one day, complaining that the glass and the reflector of one headlight had parted company with each other (semi-sealed beam I think they are called). Kiwi ingenuity came to the fore, headlight removed, inspected and stuck back together with 2-pot epoxy. Reinstalled the next day and returned to service. Mate's boss was impressed and offered to pay for the repair, which was refused, just in case it "came apart". It didn't. Cost of repair: about $NZ1.00. Cost of genuine replacement: around $NZ950.00 if memory serves. Daylight robbery - and things haven' t improved since this happened in the 1980s.

Le Vieux

Pontius Navigator
6th Nov 2018, 08:13
Had to repair a couple of headlights on my SAAB 99. First time glass lens holed. Got new glass from garage, simple job to replace - better than the old round sealed beam lights. Next time, after a minor shunt, glass intact but the plastic back case cracked so bulb not pointing straight. Sorry Sir, only sell the complete unit - like - and that before fitting.

Took it apart, rebuilt the body with Isopon, refitted, used a G-clamp where a plastic bracket had broken off. Sold car some years later with G-clamp in place. Even replaced Speedo cable and rebuilt wiper motor. Also fitted factory parts like rear fogs, cruise control etc. No I didn't tell the insurance company. I don't think you did in those days. It was only after the craze for rally seat, wide wheels, boom exhausts, lowered suspension, air dams and spoilers that affected handling that insurers got interested.

Fliegenmong
6th Nov 2018, 08:55
adding that it might become cheaper to write off a car after a minor accident than fix its lights.

Makes a mockery of the whole 'Sustainability' thing doesn't it?

My old convertible BMW E36 328i (Fun car!!) blew a headlight last month, I was preparing for several hours of pain to replace it....about 5 mins! all done! Gotta love that!

cattletruck
6th Nov 2018, 09:38
I would have thought that cheap Chinese stereo look of modern car headlights (and taillights) would be reflected in their price, apparently not.

VP959
6th Nov 2018, 10:05
Last time I changed a headlight bulb was on my wife's old car. Took me around half a day, as the front wheel had to come off, the wing had to be unbolted, along with the front bumper, various items of plastic trim etc, just to get at the rear of the headlamp unit. The bulb itself was a fairly standard one, cost two or three pounds in Halfords IIRC. I hate to think what a garage would have charged to replace it, a couple of hundred pounds or so I'd have thought. That was a French car, too, where the law says you have to carry a set of spare bulbs, which is farcical given that a roadside replacement would be near-impossible.

Carry0nLuggage
6th Nov 2018, 10:47
It takes me less than 10 minutes, including taking the headlamp unit into the warm, dry indoors, and no tools required. The only tricky bit is remembering which bit of the connector to pinch to release it.

If like most JBers you are of a bolshie or mischievous mind, next time you're in a car showroom string the sales rep along and them get them to demonstrate a bulb change:E

Pontius Navigator
6th Nov 2018, 10:51
Not a bulb change but a headlight repolish. First car was out of commission for a week, front end dismantled then I had to ship the lights to a polishing firm. The polish was over 100 I forget the dismantle an rebuild cost. Next car, similar model, 20 at our local car wash while we had a wander round the garden centre and 11's in the coffee shop.

charliegolf
6th Nov 2018, 10:53
Used to take about a minute and cost about 1 for a new bulb down at Halfords......

800 to change a bulb
... What Car? magazine said that costs were driven by the use of high-intensity discharge and LED headlights, adding that it might become cheaper to write off a car after a minor accident than fix its lights.


Or accidentally put a pick through the light fitting as you pass by. Then call the insurer. I'm a very honest person, but there is a limit.

CG

Pontius Navigator
6th Nov 2018, 11:57
Charlie, once cleared an icy windscreen on a hire car with a metal comb. It left metal marks over the windscreen. It was a hire car. The garage said most people would have used a brick and thanked me for my honesty.

gemma10
6th Nov 2018, 12:46
Thik I mentioned once before I replaced the headlamp bulbs and all the others at the front on the wife`s Clio. Renault wanted around 250, thought at the time it was a joke. Took me all day to separate the front bonnet, wheel arches and wheels. It had obviously been done before as well as most of the rubber fasteners and clips were missing.

I think the next car we ever buy there will be scrupulous questioning about maintenance.

VP959
6th Nov 2018, 13:03
Thik I mentioned once before I replaced the headlamp bulbs and all the others at the front on the wife`s Clio. Renault wanted around 250, thought at the time it was a joke. Took me all day to separate the front bonnet, wheel arches and wheels. It had obviously been done before as well as most of the rubber fasteners and clips were missing.

I think the next car we ever buy there will be scrupulous questioning about maintenance.

The car I mentioned above as being a nightmare was my wife's Renault Clio...

racedo
6th Nov 2018, 13:18
Citroen C5 was a nightmare to replace a front bulb, even Halfords guy gave up.
Eventually Citroen garage did it for 10.

EU I believe had brought law in that required being able to replace consumeable units like bulbs easily......... least that was what Citroen guys told me.

Ancient Mariner
6th Nov 2018, 13:24
The car I mentioned above as being a nightmare was my wife's Renault Clio...
Happened to my wife's Clio too, 09/10 model. Couldn't get my realtive workmanlike hands deep enough, car, bulb and one mightily peed Per off to dealer.
No problem they said, car and bulb disappeared to reappear two cups of coffee later complete with working headlights and a technicians with blooded knuckles on his right hand.
Proof that bulb could be fitted without any dismantling, as per manual.
Salesperson and techie not well pleased with me laughing and promising to return as required.
Per

Fareastdriver
6th Nov 2018, 15:21
The polish was over 100 I forget the dismantle an rebuild cost.

Should've gone to fleabay.

I did when my I got a cautionary with my wagon's MOT. Next year was a breeze. Girl next door had a small 03 Mercedes and she was in tears because it had failed on it's headlights and they wanted over 800 to replace them. I had some stuff left over so I polished them up for her and it passed.

The dealer knew that they just needed polishing but they had already presented her with a trade in deal.

RedhillPhil
6th Nov 2018, 15:28
Should've gone to fleabay.

I did when my I got a cautionary with my wagon's MOT. Next year was a breeze. Girl next door had a small 03 Mercedes and she was in tears because it had failed on it's headlights and they wanted over 800 to replace them. I had some stuff left over so I polished them up for her and it passed.

The dealer knew that they just needed polishing but they had already presented her with a trade in deal.
If it's the headlamp glass that's dull, toothpaste or Brasso polishes the glass/plastic up a treat. Headlight bulb change on a "classic" SaaB 900 takes about a minute.

VP959
6th Nov 2018, 15:29
Should've gone to fleabay.

I did when my I got a cautionary with my wagon's MOT. Next year was a breeze. Girl next door had a small 03 Mercedes and she was in tears because it had failed on it's headlights and they wanted over 800 to replace them. I had some stuff left over so I polished them up for her and it passed.

The dealer knew that they just needed polishing but they had already presented her with a trade in deal.

I did mine a few months ago with an old bottle of Greygate Perspex Polish, the stuff used to polish aircraft canopies. Worked a treat and only took about ten minutes or so per light. I can remember using Brasso in the past to polish Perspex, so suspect it might work as well on headlights, although I've not tried it.

ethicalconundrum
6th Nov 2018, 15:48
Y'all need a 12 year old girl.

Now here, get your head out of the gutter. Most EU cars have a tight fit to the back of the lamp lens. Sometimes a VERY tight fit. However, there's usually a youtube video of the task, showing it being done by someone with micro-hands. Like those found on most 12 year old girls. It also is helpful to have a very small penlight. Most large garage shops have one worker with very small hands just for these jobs. I had to do the job on a 2016 Audi(forgot the model) and my neighbor friend has a young woman who came over and I gave clear instructions. The most difficult part was fitting the lamp clamp housing back in the rear of the lens and making it snap tight. We got it after 25 minutes. I offered to buy her a beer for her trouble, but I think her parents put a stop to that. (J/K)

Fareastdriver
6th Nov 2018, 20:09
The dealer knew that they just needed polishing but they had already presented her with a trade in deal.

The point I was making that [email protected]@@@@ds at the Manufacturers agency knew that that was all that was necessary but were trying to trouser the profit on another car.

Pontius Navigator
6th Nov 2018, 20:15
It was a Merc and I had had an MOT warning. Tried various self-help methods including toothpaste. Too nervous to go the abrasive route. The next car had some crazing but then our car wash offered 20 - 4 lenses and of course took the risk.

There is great satisfaction doing something well and saving money but at the right price point it is no contest. For instance I could have had a shed erected for about 200 in a day. Instead I had it waterproof in two. I then spent a further week improving, painting and outfitting. Putting it up was a minor part of the whole.