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#1 StAubyns

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:35 AM

Not sure if this is in the right place, but here goes. I'm a motorhomer but picked this info up from my niece who lives in France.

My son has a Megane and recently suffered a headlight bulb failure. He could not change the bulb! It went to Renault and they charge ?75 to change the bulb because they have to remove the bumper!

I know a lot of you tow in France and it is the law to carry spare bulbs whilst there. If you are stopped by the Police for a bulb out they expect you to change it at the side of the road.

Talking about this with my niece she says that the French Police call out a Renault dealer and make them change the bulb with no charge to the car owner because it is a safety related matter. In fact Renault are not allowed to charge for changing headlight bulbs in France. The bumper is designed to get the 5 star ENCAP rating, that is why the bulb changing is affected.

I took the information at face value and perhaps you know differently.

Hope this is of some use

regards

Geoff

#2 FishyDave

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:46 AM

QUOTE(StAubyns @ Oct 17 2007, 09:35 AM) View Post
Not sure if this is in the right place, but here goes. I'm a motorhomer but picked this info up from my niece who lives in France.

My son has a Megane and recently suffered a headlight bulb failure. He could not change the bulb! It went to Renault and they charge ?75 to change the bulb because they have to remove the bumper!

Very common on Renaults I'm afraid, and the Megane isn't the worst offender. I think a lot of cars are getting like this these days though - they're just cramming too much stuff under the bonnet.

The good news is that the bumper's generally pretty easy to remove if you want to DIY the job - just take care not to scratch it when you lift it onto the floor. It's hardly something you could do at the roadside though, and I'd like to see legislation that forces manufacturers to make a car's critical bulbs easily replaceable by someone with limited technical knowledge.

Still, dream on eh?




#3 iancjc

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:49 AM

Don't you get at the headlight bulbs through the hatch under the front wheel arch? (A 4" hole covered by a twist off plastic cover?)

I've not had to change a headlight but you can certainly change the indicator buldbs from this position and I'm sure the headlight bulb is next to it - sounds like a ?75 bill for something that takes about 10 minutes - easier to put the wheels on full lock and use a trolley jack to give extra clearance but after a few attempts it's not that hard.


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#4 iancjc

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:52 AM

from a renault forum site:

"On the other side of the coin, I had to return the car to the dealer within 3 months. I noticed that the clutch start had never worked, and the car had started to cut out when driving (not due to my driving I hasten to add). Changing the headlight bulbs can also be rather a challenge. I would strongly advise that you get some assistance from the dealer the first few times as they are quite a challange. The access panel is though the wheel arch (messy hand time). I would also suggest that one of the mechanics rather than a helpful sales person changes it for you. The first sales person that helped me ended up droping the bulb into no mans land in the bumper. The result was my car on the ramp with the mechanic pulling my bumper apart. Its actually one of the more frustrating elements of owning the car. Having to take the car to a dealer everytime one of the bulbs blows is not much fun."

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#5 FishyDave

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:57 AM

QUOTE(iancjc @ Oct 17 2007, 09:49 AM) View Post
Don't you get at the headlight bulbs through the hatch under the front wheel arch? (A 4" hole covered by a twist off plastic cover?)

I've not had to change a headlight but you can certainly change the indicator buldbs from this position and I'm sure the headlight bulb is next to it - sounds like a ?75 bill for something that takes about 10 minutes - easier to put the wheels on full lock and use a trolley jack to give extra clearance but after a few attempts it's not that hard.

Procedure on most of the Renaults seems to be that you either drop the bumper or lose the skin off your knuckles trying to wrestle with the bulb holder via limited access.

It may be worth asking the question here: http://www.renaultforums.co.uk (with apologies for being a forum-plugging tart - that's my other main haunt besides this one. For what it's worth, I've linked to T&T from there before now.) I recall they've had a number of discussions along these lines with regard to various models (the Laguna and Modus spring to mind) though I don't ever recall seeing one for the Megane. Their search function seems to be playing up right now and returning mostly irrelevant stuff sad.gif - I'll have a word with the boss.

#6 iancjc

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:20 AM

QUOTE(FishyDave @ Oct 17 2007, 09:57 AM) View Post
QUOTE(iancjc @ Oct 17 2007, 09:49 AM) View Post
Don't you get at the headlight bulbs through the hatch under the front wheel arch? (A 4" hole covered by a twist off plastic cover?)

I've not had to change a headlight but you can certainly change the indicator buldbs from this position and I'm sure the headlight bulb is next to it - sounds like a ?75 bill for something that takes about 10 minutes - easier to put the wheels on full lock and use a trolley jack to give extra clearance but after a few attempts it's not that hard.

Procedure on most of the Renaults seems to be that you either drop the bumper or lose the skin off your knuckles trying to wrestle with the bulb holder via limited access.

It may be worth asking the question here: http://www.renaultforums.co.uk (with apologies for being a forum-plugging tart - that's my other main haunt besides this one. For what it's worth, I've linked to T&T from there before now.) I recall they've had a number of discussions along these lines with regard to various models (the Laguna and Modus spring to mind) though I don't ever recall seeing one for the Megane. Their search function seems to be playing up right now and returning mostly irrelevant stuff sad.gif - I'll have a word with the boss.



I can agree with the skinning of knuckles but the renault dealer quoted me ?35 for changing the indicator bulb!!! It took me less than 10 minutes and lots of swearing about french car desgn.... Another reason for never owning another one - can't wait to be shot of our one.

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#7 FishyDave

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:33 AM

QUOTE(iancjc @ Oct 17 2007, 10:20 AM) View Post
I can agree with the skinning of knuckles but the renault dealer quoted me ?35 for changing the indicator bulb!!! It took me less than 10 minutes and lots of swearing about french car desgn.... Another reason for never owning another one - can't wait to be shot of our one.

I've got to admit that I like them. Then again, I don't have to work on them myself of pay the bill when they go wrong. Well that's the case with the Laguna - we've taken out the extended warranty on the wife's Clio so that's not our problem if it breaks either.

If I'm honest, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable owning one if I was liable for repairing it. Then again, by all accounts, the PSA group cars are worse.

(Ducks and runs away as another war starts tongue.gif)


#8 iancjc

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:44 AM

QUOTE(FishyDave @ Oct 17 2007, 10:33 AM) View Post
QUOTE(iancjc @ Oct 17 2007, 10:20 AM) View Post
I can agree with the skinning of knuckles but the renault dealer quoted me ?35 for changing the indicator bulb!!! It took me less than 10 minutes and lots of swearing about french car desgn.... Another reason for never owning another one - can't wait to be shot of our one.

I've got to admit that I like them. Then again, I don't have to work on them myself of pay the bill when they go wrong. Well that's the case with the Laguna - we've taken out the extended warranty on the wife's Clio so that's not our problem if it breaks either.

If I'm honest, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable owning one if I was liable for repairing it. Then again, by all accounts, the PSA group cars are worse.

(Ducks and runs away as another war starts tongue.gif)



Only problem - other than the bulbs - is the ignition coils - had them all replaced this year - other than that and various electrical gremlins when its VERY wet - the car has been mostly fine. We bought it purely for the 5* NCAP and I'm still gald we did having seen them drive one into another car on an old top gear the other night. Just have the nagging feeling when I drive it that we're not going to arrive without greenflag's help.....

Wouldn't have another PSA car if they gave them away - utter utter rubbish in my experience (Citroen) and my dads (peugeot).


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#9 StAubyns

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:03 AM

I think that the pertinent bits are

1 you are at the side of the motorway in France with the police who won't let you proceed without changing the bulb

2 If its free in France, why not the UK?

Geoff

#10 FishyDave

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:31 AM

QUOTE(iancjc @ Oct 17 2007, 10:44 AM) View Post
Only problem - other than the bulbs - is the ignition coils - had them all replaced this year - other than that and various electrical gremlins when its VERY wet - the car has been mostly fine. We bought it purely for the 5* NCAP and I'm still gald we did having seen them drive one into another car on an old top gear the other night. Just have the nagging feeling when I drive it that we're not going to arrive without greenflag's help.....

They had a problem with a duff batch of coils, though even the 'good' ones don't seem that robust. Spare a thought for the owners of the V6 models - one of the manifolds has to come off to replace the coils in the rear bank stars.gif
QUOTE
Wouldn't have another PSA car if they gave them away - utter utter rubbish in my experience (Citroen) and my dads (peugeot).

I've never had one other than as a hire car, though came close to having a 407 this time around. I know a couple of people who've had very troublesome experiences with their 407 diesels, which is surprising considering how popular the 406 was as a taxi - something it wouldn't have achieved if it had spent too much time in the workshop.

This Laguna's been great so far... well compared with the previous two which were both dogs. It's coming up to 60K miles, and apart from having to go in because it logged a fault on the ESP, I've had no major issues. On the minor front, I had a button stop working (it was the voice activation one for the sat-nav so it was annoying) and it leaks screenwash out of the front bumper if you park it on a sideways slope. All in all, not too bad for a car that's supposed to be dogged by reliability problems.
QUOTE(StAubyns @ Oct 17 2007, 12:03 PM) View Post
I think that the pertinent bits are

1 you are at the side of the motorway in France with the police who won't let you proceed without changing the bulb

Which makes the design even more ludicrous, considering that it's a French car. I really don't know why they've done this (I'm not convinced it's necessary to achieve 5 stars on the NCAP.) The later Laguna I's front fog lights had to be changed by the dealer, but then again they're not essential for regular driving. I don't know what possessed them to start designing cars where you needed an hour and a full toolkit to change a bulb.
QUOTE
2 If its free in France, why not the UK?

Traditionally, the French don't let anyone walk all over them. If there's something they're not happy about, then they make the perpetrator pay. We, on the other hand settle for moaning about it and, if we're feeling suitably indignant, writing letters to BBC Watchdog. That's not meant as a criticism, merely an observation.



#11 KeatB

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:56 PM

My Volvo dealer fits all bulbs it supplies free (except Xenons). Given that the brake light bulbs on my car need you to have 3 bends in your fingers rather than the standard 2 I find it's worth paying the extra ?1 for the bulb and getting them to fit it.
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#12 Maurice

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 08:33 AM

Never really have given this any thought till now -- Mary has a Megane car - which she loves (apart from being the wrong colour) it is going in for its first service on Monday (half term)..

Should we get them to check the lights -- or change the bulbs?

The point about the Volvo -- it is the same with mine -- they provide the bulb and fit at no extra cost if it is required during a service.

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#13 shipbroker

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 11:08 AM

My daughter has an Alfa-Romeo that started blowing bulbs and was charged for changing them...we bought some from Halfords and with 2 people and an invented long distance screwdriver managed to get round the problem........yes also skinned knuckles!

In France this year I met up with someone with an American saloon, not Chrysler, who had to take the front wheels off to change bulbs...somewhat extreme!

rgds
geoff

#14 StAubyns

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 12:31 PM

With regards as to whether the bumper is fastened as it is for the 5* Encap - my nieces husband used to work for Renault and he was in charge of parts of the design systems on the new Laguna/Vel Satis. He says the bumper is as it is to achieve the 5* rating.

But whatever the reason, its a ridiculous situation to be in when you cant easily change a light bulb

Geoff

#15 FishyDave

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 02:22 PM

QUOTE(StAubyns @ Oct 19 2007, 01:31 PM) View Post
With regards as to whether the bumper is fastened as it is for the 5* Encap - my nieces husband used to work for Renault and he was in charge of parts of the design systems on the new Laguna/Vel Satis. He says the bumper is as it is to achieve the 5* rating.

But whatever the reason, its a ridiculous situation to be in when you cant easily change a light bulb

Geoff


The rear lamps on most Renaults seem to lift out/off these days in order to facilitate changing the bulbs. Well that's certainly the case with the Laguna II's that I've had and the Clio II's that the wife's had. So why can't they do the same with the fronts? If the design locates positively enough, then it shouldn't affect the headlamp alignment, it'd make life a whole lot easier, and it wouldn't affect the bumper design at all.

Looking at my Laguna II Phase II (the Megane style 2005 facelift) I've a feeling that you can do exactly that. I don't plan to investigate further until I need to though. At least the Xenons should be good for 100K miles (well in theory at least.)