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 Post subject: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:16 
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Maybe its just me?? but I think I have noticed a marked increase in the number of vehicles I see on the road with defective lights over the last few years. If that is true ..... why?

One reason is perhaps the lack of trafpol and folks are just getting away with it more often, very likely methinks :(

Another reason I can think of is, on a some modern cars the bulbs are a real pain in the @ss to change. I was in the works car park with a colleague the other day trying to figure out how to change a headlight bulb on his car, it took 3 of us about half an hour to figure it out and it was a skinned knuckles and sweary words job to get it done, the washer bottle had to be lossened which required tools, even then it wasn't easy. Looking at my own car, it is not possible to change any of the front bulbs without having tools to get access, and even having acccess it looks like a real pain with limited room to see what to do and do it.

IMO it really ought to be a simple job to change any outside bulb, doable by the average motorist, at the side of the road, without any tools at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:46 
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I think that often their lights have been broken for ages, but it is only when the clocks go back that you start to notice (although for some reason they don't notice!).

I believe that the Renault Migraine (and possibly Lar-goon-ah) actually need a visit to a dealer to replace headlamp bulbs (plus the associated costs) as you need to remove the bumper first!

As you say, it should be a legal requirement to be able to replace bulbs without resorting to special tools, otherwise what is the point in carrying around spare bulbs (which should also be a legal requirement!).

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 14:02 
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There was one that needed a garage visit (as you have suggested) but it was £350 to get a bulb replace - utter madness and never a car that I'd buy if it takes that much !

I agree entirely that there are many more cases of bad headlights. Why people are not aware that their lights are pointing up or blinding people I can only assume because they are not looking and checking so simply not 'noticing'.
More campaigns to alert and remind people would help.
I agree entirely to that all lights on a car must be easy to replace with simple no tools and EASY access should be a minimum requirement. One car I had years back if you didn't put Vaseline around the two metal parts (which could be accessed without tools but a bit tight so good grip was hard) then in winter especially the tow metals corroded together and even removing the entire light assembly still made separating the two an impossible job. what an appalling design ! that designer needed to be fired ! Although the concept was good it just needed the right metals/plastic etc.

My current car had a light go the other day. Went to check it and do in daylight but then it was all working again ! So check the wires and they all looked OK ! So now I am left with a possible problem !
I think that I will replace the bulb anyway in case it is only just working and would rather do when the weather and light source is good !

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 15:11 
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Zippo wrote:
...the washer bottle had to be lossened which required tools, even then it wasn't easy. Looking at my own car, it is not possible to change any of the front bulbs without having tools to get access, and even having acccess it looks like a real pain with limited room to see what to do and do it.

Was it a Peugeot 307 by any chance?

To do the drivers side, I have to remove the washer bottle filler and bracket, and lots of skin off the knuckles of my right hand!

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 00:18 
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It's a fair cop! Speaking as one who tends to defend the motor industry (or at least tries to explain some of the things it does), I am at a loss on this one! I too have suffered trying to change a bulb, and I also think there should be a legal requirement for it to be capable of being done without the use of tools, referring only to the handbook, and by a non-trained mechanic! To be honest, I've no idea why such a simple regulation shouldn't be passed.

As to the number of cars dazzling, that could be poor adjustment, but many will probably also be retro-fitted "aftermarket" HID lights that were never designed (or approved) for use in that particular reflector.


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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:25 
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Mole. Isn't just a consequence of the industry's need to squeeze more and more kit into smaler and smaller engine compartments that leads to so many things, including bulbs, being difficult to access. In my wife's little Honda the car would have to be several inches longer to make it easy to change headlamp bulbs. As it is I just paid my local garage a fiver to change one.

But I think that this is a problem that will be solved by the introduction of LED illumination in the fairly near future

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:00 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
Was it a Peugeot 307 by any chance?

It was .... and presumable still is :lol: a Peugeot, but not sure which model, I lost track of the Peuguot model numbering system a while ago, I'd have to go round the back and look at the badge these days.

dcbwhaley wrote:
As it is I just paid my local garage a fiver to change one.

Being Scottish that's a fiver I'd rather spend on :drink2: :lol: :whome: And not much help If a bulb pops mid journey at night/low visability conditions, I've had two dipped headlamp bulbs fail within 30 minutes of one another on a long journey late at night :x .... funnily enough on a Peugeot! I had one spare bulb with me and managed to buy another at an all night filling station. If I hadn't been able to change them myself it would have been a right PITA.

A few weeks ago I came across a car being driven on permanant main beam, I was a few cars behind for many miles, lots of oncoming drivers flashed lights at it, wonder if failed bulbs was the problem?

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:43 
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Zippo wrote:
A few weeks ago I came across a car being driven on permanant main beam, I was a few cars behind for many miles, lots of oncoming drivers flashed lights at it, wonder if failed bulbs was the problem?

No, probably just an arse. I encountered one of these on the M56 yesterday in broad daylight. IMV if you do that deliberately you deserve to have your eyes bored out with lasers :x

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 13:49 
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PeterE wrote:
No, probably just an arse. I encountered one of these on the M56 yesterday in broad daylight. IMV if you do that deliberately you deserve to have your eyes bored out with lasers :x


Maybe not. Few years ago I met a car on one of these humped side streets with main beam on .Flashed it to make the point .He stoped opposite me ,for me to discover it was a Panda. :shock:
"What's up " said PC ."Sorry ,thought it was some young plonker who couldn't find his dip switch",says I
"No ,It's some old plonker who can't see the main beam light " ,said PC,laughing .You can't see the main beam light on these Peugots( 306 from memory ) .

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 16:45 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
My current car had a light go the other day. Went to check it and do in daylight but then it was all working again ! So check the wires and they all looked OK ! So now I am left with a possible problem !
I think that I will replace the bulb anyway in case it is only just working and would rather do when the weather and light source is good !


my sidelights are particularly dodgy in that respect... my dash would tell me one was out and id go and check and it'd be on..... or off until i wacked it and then work fine :)
this time around it warned me a couple of times and then gave up, when i checked it was on but yellow & dim... so chances are the bulb is on the way out anyway.
(and pleased to say all mine are easily changed, aside from the alarming method of pulling on the wires for the sidelights to get them out !)

i habitually check reflections in the backs of cars/vans in front at lgihts etc anyway... there was one time they seemed dim.. and then i wiped the lenses and they went bright again.. doh :D


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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 20:11 
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PeterE wrote:
No, probably just an arse.

Most of the arses I come across are on permanemt dipped beam at night and I want to overtake :x Last year the driver in front of me was doing that, she ran into deer, would most likely have seen it in time to stop had she been using her main beam ..... and a right bloody shame a deer got hurt because of her stupidity :x :x The deer ran off so no way of knowing if it was badly injured, judging by the mess of her car quite likely was badly hurt :x :(

The biggest arse I've seen recently was a van driver, van showing only the nearside dipped headlight, who decided it would be a good idea to overtake on a short straight at night, a maneuver relying on not seeing any lights at the next coner and assume there is nothing coming (or just a complete nutter). There was something coming, a car with only the nearside dipped beam showing, and very dimly at that (dirty?) ..... hadn't considered meeting himself/herself coming the other way :loco:

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 23:28 
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Zippo wrote:

The biggest arse I've seen recently was a van driver, van showing only the nearside dipped headlight, who decided it would be a good idea to overtake on a short straight at night, a maneuver relying on not seeing any lights at the next coner and assume there is nothing coming (or just a complete nutter). There was something coming, a car with only the nearside dipped beam showing, and very dimly at that (dirty?) ..... hadn't considered meeting himself/herself coming the other way :loco:

Meeting of members of the Darwin family ,perhaps .

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 00:36 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Mole. Isn't just a consequence of the industry's need to squeeze more and more kit into smaler and smaller engine compartments that leads to so many things, including bulbs, being difficult to access. In my wife's little Honda the car would have to be several inches longer to make it easy to change headlamp bulbs. As it is I just paid my local garage a fiver to change one.

But I think that this is a problem that will be solved by the introduction of LED illumination in the fairly near future


I think only partly that. As almost all cars are now designed and packaged on 3D CAD, the people doing the designs have little appreciation of the space needed around things. On the computer screen, everythign fits together nicely - perhaps with (in theory!) enough space to change sparts. By the time the first prototypes are built, and someone finds how difficult it is, it's too late to move anything because evrything is so tigtly packed that it becomes a nightmare without making some other bit worse!


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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 01:53 
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I would think that this has been a problem long before the intruction of CAD etc .

Case 1 -in the 70's I had a "H" reg minivan(as in ABC123H) .Now on the car ,the grille coul be removed to get to the oil filter .Not so on the van - it was in a metal case ,unbolted from under the front ,and (for DIY) had to be removed downwards whilst keeping the case upright ( or you got a sleeve full of oil).Replacement was a simlar problem .
Case 2 -same vehicle - the fanbelt -very little room .
Case 3 -Austin Maxi clutch - needed the battery( and housing) out to get anywhere near the hyrdrolic system /get to the plates .
Case4 -Vauxhall cavalierMK2 -to get the head off, require removal of exhaust manifold -best way I found was to take radiator& gril out .
Case 5 Cavalier mk ?(last one made) - head removal ,same problem ,but with injection system ,it was easier to take off alternator .
Case 6 -same model cavelier -Water pump replacement --all securing bolts are Allen keys - after the time to replacement ,the inners are corroded and need to be chisseled out .
etc
etc
etc

Thers seems to be little relationship between ease of doing the simple jobs as time goes by -could this be a ploy to have all jobs referred to dealer ( and force cars not worth the cost off road)

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Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 08:59 
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Zippo wrote:
Being Scottish that's a fiver I'd rather spend on :drink2:


I'm a Yorkshireman - like a Scot but without the inherent genrosity - but I would rather spend my time in the pub :drink: than with me head in the engine compartment of a car. And my wife paid anyway :D

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:55 
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[quote="botach"Meeting of members of the Darwin family ,perhaps .[/quote]
Yup quite possibly ... my post should really have started ... "The biggest two arses!" ... trouble with them is they tend to take non paid up Darwin family members to the pearly gates with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 09:10 
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botach wrote:
I would think that this has been a problem long before the intruction of CAD etc .

Case 1 -in the 70's I had a "H" reg minivan(as in ABC123H) .Now on the car ,the grille coul be removed to get to the oil filter .Not so on the van - it was in a metal case ,unbolted from under the front ,and (for DIY) had to be removed downwards whilst keeping the case upright ( or you got a sleeve full of oil).Replacement was a simlar problem .
Case 2 -same vehicle - the fanbelt -very little room .
Case 3 -Austin Maxi clutch - needed the battery( and housing) out to get anywhere near the hyrdrolic system /get to the plates .
Case4 -Vauxhall cavalierMK2 -to get the head off, require removal of exhaust manifold -best way I found was to take radiator& gril out .
Case 5 Cavalier mk ?(last one made) - head removal ,same problem ,but with injection system ,it was easier to take off alternator .
Case 6 -same model cavelier -Water pump replacement --all securing bolts are Allen keys - after the time to replacement ,the inners are corroded and need to be chisseled out .
etc
etc
etc

Thers seems to be little relationship between ease of doing the simple jobs as time goes by -could this be a ploy to have all jobs referred to dealer ( and force cars not worth the cost off road)


My dad works as a mechanic and is constantly bending my ear about how such-and-such a job would have taken half an hour less "if only they'd moved XXX half an inch"! I've been there myself, to be honest. I still pale at the thought of doing a starter motor on my car, and it's just ONE bolt that's nigh impossible to get to! The truth is, there are all sorts of reasons for this. In the case of my car, it's because they already had the engine and they used to fit it on a rear wheel drive car. When putting it transversely in my car, that was one of the bits that didn't quite fit, but wasn't worth re-tooling and having two different blocks. On other occasions, they design somthing just fine and then for some reason, something else gets changed (unacceptable warranty claim levels, introduction of another feature that wasn't originally planned for, cost reduction, new regulatory requirements...the list is a long one) and they can't be bothered re-engineering the whole thing, so the first bit gets obscured. Other times, the car was designed as a left hand drive and the right hand drive was made in numbers too small to justify mirroring the whole lot, so some parts get in the way of others. One of the big problems on a CAD screen is that you can see there's plenty enough room to get the bulb out...

...but not when someone's hand is in there!

They don't really design cars to be "worked on" - not even by the main dealers. They always aim for "fit-and-forget" for the life of the car. Besides, by the time the cars are maintained by the owners themselves, there's no money in them for the manufacturers (hell, most owner-maintainers doing even buy genuine parts!) so they just don't care!


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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:29 
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I swapped out all my rear light, sidelight bulbs, and the number plate bulbs for stacked LEDs - and also the boot space lamp which is on one side of the space and immediately blocked by anything you put in the boot!

Huge improvement on reliability, and quality of light. Some of your problems may be with those "wedge" fitments, which are easily loosened due to the type and placement of the bulb!

As for headlight bulbs, all manner of ills could be rectified by simply making the entire lamp fitment removable from the front - perhaps after unclipping some trim!

My fathers Peugeot 405 was converted to right hand drive units when he moved to France, and the entire front of the vehicle had to be removed to facilitate this!

Our local garage in Staveley charges £40 and hour working time - in Kendal it was £60 some years ago. My brother in Law just had a crankshaft detector switch replaced - car was dead without it.
Switch = £30
Wiring kit = £32
1 Hours time = £40

So over £100 for a bit of kit that cost about £1 to manufacture! Bulbs too are fast becoming a money spinner!

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 Post subject: Re: Defective Lights
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 22:08 
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The first two photos in this guide for a smart fortwo never fail to amuse me:
http://www.evilution.co.uk/295
Certainly a knack to it but you soon get used to it.


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