Cars with one headlight out

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  • Cars with one headlight out
  • Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I’d be firmly in favour of cars only getting their EU standards (or whatever it must be for cars) certificate required for sale if it was independently assessed that an average member of the public were able carry out basic maintenance and checks in a reasonable time period with a basic level of tools and competence.

    Our last car (fiat) required the removal of the wheel, wheel arch liner, battery and battery box to access the near side light cluster and replace the bulb. The workshop manual recommended it was easier if you took the bumper off too but I got away without. That is plain not reasonable. I’ve wised up now and make sure I know about this sort of thing before considering buying.

    jambourgie
    Member

    Out of interest, can headlights fail gradually? I’m sure mine aren’t supposed to be so dim. First car after a 7 year break so can’t recall how bright my previous car’s headlamps were.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    They might degrade, not sure.

    These might be worth a go:http://item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?itemId=261278146083

    £20 for two bulbs is a quarter of the price of the Halfords +100% ones, although they’re often on bogof.

    andyl
    Member

    I don’t think so. Probably more likely you are surrounded by cars with much brighter lighters or your lenses are old and yellowed/scratched/dirty.

    I thought modern cars had a set up so that when one bulb goes the other doesnt go brighter by running off them separate supplies with ballast/regulators? I also don’t understand why all cars don’t have light out warnings. My old G reg E30 BMW used to tell me when a bulb was out so why don’t all cars newer than the mid 90’s?

    Cars I really hate having behind me these days are Mercs and Audis with their stupidly bright dipped beam. Also cars with lights pointing upwards.

    CountZero
    Member

    I can’t say I’ve noticed Merc or Audi dipped lights being any brighter or more dazzling than any other car, I sometimes have to dip my rear-view mirror, and it’s usually an older car with badly adjusted lights.
    And it’s not just cars, I was looking out of our studio window at work yesterday, and there was a large artic and trailer driving past with the offside headlight out.

    cranberry
    Member

    Rather than having just one headlight out, driving along the other night I flicked off full beam and got … complete darkness. It was a bit pant-filling. 😯

    It seems that the switch degrades/dies with age before failing in strange ways, so I have just had to do this: clicky!

    ( note – not my pics )

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    My old car told me exactly which bulb had failed and it was a humble SEAT. New car has xenons which as far as I’m aware are a garage replacement job. Rear lights are nice and accessible though, its just a little panel hidden in the back of boot.

    I can understand why people don’t replace them if they have to take the wheel off mind you

    ell_tell
    Member

    Yep, having driven a fair few motorway miles recently I’ve also noticed this. It was particularly bad on a county road the other month when it was an artic coming towards me with the offside bulb completely out – scared the bejesus out of me when I realised at the last minute!

    This also reminds me of a friend who’s car had both main headlight bulbs out, leaving him with just sidelights. To compensate he drove around on full beam all the time until we pestered him enough to get new bulbs.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    My old car told me exactly which bulb had failed and it was a humble SEAT.

    My Vauxhall tells you it’s got a light out too. Although replacing the bulb is still a job for the garage as you have to remove various other bits to get to the light cluster.

    Cars these days are specifically designed NOT to be worked on by the home mechanic. Gone are the days when I could take a carburettor out using just a spanner and a screwdriver (which I did on an old Renault 5). On my car the only accessible bits are the windscreen wash bottle and the oil filler/dipstick. Everything else is under vented sheets bolted over the top of it.

    Still doesn’t excuse the total lack of care that most drivers seem to have over their cars.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Out of interest, can headlights fail gradually?

    Just like any other incandescent / halogen bulb, I guess so. Well not fail gradually, but degrade and then blow instantly. Don’t think they’d dim over time, if that’s what you mean?

    Mine have blown a few times. All but one has been while in the Alps in winter, on ski trips. So my guess is that temperature may affect them too. Pure speculation, though.

    Off skiing next weekend, so I better double check the bulb status again.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    Out of interest, can headlights fail gradually?

    Some cars have a plastic lens which can become opaque after a few years, you can either replace the entire unit, sometimes just the lens or apply a polishing compound and attempt to remove the scratches etc, VW’s and some Audis have this problem – i dunno bout other marques?.

    It should be stipulated in the driving test that you need to have a basic knowledge of essential maintenance before you can pass your test, the girls at my work drive about with blown lights, bald and/or deflated tyres, ripped windscreen wipers and have absolutely no knowledge of correct tyre pressures or where to fill the washer bottle, top up the oil etc. And they drive with the mindset that Bumpers are there to be used to bump stuff with.

    Mackem
    Member

    My Meriva’s front lights are just about accessible, remove a few screws, pull unit away a bit, a bit of scraped skin and swearing it’s done. BUT – the car actually failed the ITV (Spanish MOT) because on bulb was at a dodgy angle. Not easy to screw it in perfectly straight when your are holding it with your finger-tips and your arm is bent at strange angles and skin is being scraped from your hand by the bodywork. Had to get garage to do it properly.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I’d be firmly in favour of cars only getting their EU standards (or whatever it must be for cars) certificate required for sale if it was independently assessed that an average member of the public were able carry out basic maintenance and checks in a reasonable time period with a basic level of tools and competence.

    I totally agree. It makes a total mockery of the laws in France that you have to carry a spare bulb if said spare bulb is completely useless to most people. The irony being that most of the worst offenders are French – though to be fair my old 406 was dead easy and doable without tools in a couple of minutes (current Mondeo far more of a pain).

    CountZero
    Member

    A while back a friend of mine asked me to change a sidelight bulb on her Polo, she wasn’t entirely sure how to get at it.
    Not surprised, it was impossible for me to actually get my hand into the space and undo the bulb holder!
    I spent twenty minutes, and all I ended up with was a couple of bloody gouges and no replaced bulb. As above, it should be a requirement that all bulbs necessary for driving safely at night are easily replaced without tools, in the dark, at the roadside; not in a fully equipped garage workshop!

    gee
    Member

    Mine’s a nightmare to do the bulbs on… For £4 extra halfords can do it for me.

    I have to continually check the oil as it wants 1l every 7-800 miles.

    GB

    Premier Icon parkesie
    Subscriber

    Surprisingly my citroen c5 is a dodle to change bulbs on. My old alfa 155 was reasonably easy but a friends 155 was a nightmare. Same car same engine different panel above the lights. Got to love alfa for build consistency.

    ebygomm
    Member

    My mum took her car to Halfords to take advantage of their “We Fit” offer. They admitted defeat and returned the money.

    vickypea
    Member

    One of my headlamp bulbs failed recently and I was aware of it immediately, perhaps because I drive on unlit roads quite a lot. It was a pain to fit the new one, as someone mentioned earlier, with a smart ForFour it’s really difficult to access the bulb without jacking the car up.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Cars these days are specifically designed NOT to be worked on by the home mechanic

    This is not true.

    Modern cars often have more cramped engines, because there is more pressure on space and more stuff under the bonnet than there used to be. There is only an engine cover on some of the cars I’ve had, but this pops off without any tools.

    You could service your carb years ago. You can still service or replace your injectors. You might need an extra tool in the form of diagnostic software, but they aren’t expensive and they are really useful.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    pretty much.
    quite a few things need a reset or tweak in the ECU too, but even the AA bloke can do that in 2 mins by the side of the road (possibly partly due to EU legislation forcing mfrs to make ECU interfaces standard?).
    TCS (swiss version of AA) had to do that when I had a coil pack go belly up. Looks like quite an easy user change too, apart from the ECU bit.

    nwilko
    Member

    EU regs now require all new type approvals to be capable of bulb change in
    <5mins with no specialist tools. For once the EU do something useful.

    Premier Icon Brother_Will
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t let those halfords monkeys near my car but their offer is reasonable compared to main dealer and if they completely cock it up then you can be assured they will pay the bill for main dealer to put it right.

    konabunny
    Member

    (rally fan = bobblehatter)

    lol!

    ell_tell
    Member

    So… just me that jinxed themselves by replying on this thread? Got in the car last Weds night & noticed the OS front had blown 🙁

    Luckily its very easy to change at home (just) so I won’t incur the wrath of any STW’ites

Viewing 24 posts - 41 through 64 (of 64 total)

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