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17 January, 2011

New Headlight Bulb only £351

The day the car steering failed the headlight blew too, me being me and thinking that's a 5min job sorted through my box of car bulbs and found a new one.
Looking behind the headlight I saw a large rubber bung which to my mind had to come off, so off it came. But there was no way that I was going to remove the bulb so I resorted to the manual.

If you know what WTF means then you won't mind me using it, if you don't know then it means oh dear, "to replace the headlamp bulb first remove the front grill". That's not a good start. "remove the 3 three headlamp unit retaining bolts", looking even worse, "remove the headlight unit while pulling the bumper towards the centre to allow the unit to clear the edge of the bumper, do not pull the bumper more than 10mm" but it doesn't move it a cold day and cold plastic doesn't give at all.

It only took 20min to remove the headlight unit, but another 30 to replace it. I thought it was just me until I collected the car from the mechanic after the steering problem and mentioned the headlight. "that's nothing" he replied "the dealers manual for (and I forget the make) says changing the headlight bulb is an 80min job.
So hold on, the main agent here charges £95 an hour plus VAT, that's £151 without the bulb.

But that's not the worst of it, certain new gas headlamps are £200 for the actual bulb, but thankfully they are designed to last the life of the car, but unfortunately a lot don't or if the do the "bulb control unit" fails and its £220. Crikey!

So thanks to modern technology what used to be a 5 min job and cost about £1 could now be a £351 job taking 80minutes. No way, they can't be serious.

No wonder I see so many cars with only one headlight, no court in the land will ever fine that much for a duff headlight.

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