Shopping for headlight bulbs

Beni

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The problem with using more wattage bulbs is overloading your existing wiring. You could easily build a relay harness, or buy one even. You will get brighter lights that way and save from burning up your wires.

Probably not a problem on your relatively new Volvo, but on older cars where the whole electricity for the lights has to run via the light switch the voltage might suffer, not to say the light switch itself. I installed a relay on my Fiat, my brother on his Ford, light has improved dramatically.

Your car might already have a relay in the circuit, but it's almost no work at all to measure the voltage at the headlamp plug.
 
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_HighVoltage_

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I have gotten myself into a really dumb situation. I bought the Hella bulbs and attempted to change the old ones. I've changed the passenger side once before, so I didn't think I would have any problems. Boy, was I wrong...

The driver side has been giving me a lot of trouble. First, it is somewhat of a tight fit, and second - the previous owner has "modified" that light bulb.

I can see the bulb (stupid US standard in the L-shape), the socket, and at the end of the socket - a blue socket extension. As a result the assembly becomes too long and I can't pull it out of the opening.

I can probably remove the battery and the hood latch to get a little bit more access...but should it really be this hard to remove a simple light bulb?

I need my hammers...
 

Spectre

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That L-shape is an international standard, not just a US one. See the H11 bulb.

Also, removing the battery is a fairly common requirement when changing bulbs. I have to remove mine to change out the passenger side bulb in the Pathfinder (when that is necessary), for example. It can be worse, too - I have to remove the entire lighting assembly to change bulbs on the Series III.
 
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_HighVoltage_

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That L-shape is an international standard, not just a US one. See the H11 bulb.

Also, removing the battery is a fairly common requirement when changing bulbs. I have to remove mine to change out the passenger side bulb in the Pathfinder (when that is necessary), for example. It can be worse, too - I have to remove the entire lighting assembly to change bulbs on the Series III.

Yeah, but why don't they use a form such as the 9007:
articblue9007.jpg



My father's Euro spec VW Polo uses 9003 bulbs and they are also straight. It seems that 9005 and 9006 are the only oddballs.

I get the feeling that I will also have to take the whole assembly out. The passenger side is a doddle, but not the driver side.
 

Spectre

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Because if they used that, the wiring plug would run into the battery, duh! :p (Yes, yes, stupid engineers. The right angle ones are used, or were used originally, when there was insufficient room behind the lighting assembly for a straight plug.)

Technically you have to remove the headlight assembly on the Crown Vic to change the bulbs as well, same flat-plate-clip system as the Taurus has holding them in, but the police version doesn't have all the crap on the radiator support as some of the civvie versions do so it's actually possible to reach in and change them without removing them.

If anyone's wondering why I'm on sporadically at the moment, it's because I'm rewiring much of a building with Cat6 because the prior tenants' Cat5 wiring was terrible, undocumented and mostly useless. It is surprisingly time consuming work and I've been at it since midday Friday.
 
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_HighVoltage_

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Now that we got 4 inches of snow, I doubt that I will tackle the job tomorrow.

(I also found out that the Euro spec Volvo 850 uses the 9003 bulb which is straight. It doesn't help me a bit, it just makes me even angrier)
 

Komeuppance

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Haha, some cars require removing the front bumper. You shouldn't complain!!

-Robert
 

GRtak

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That is just fucking stupid. What do you do when it is time to change the oil and filter? Remove the engine?
 

Spectre

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Later versions of the iconic Chrysler minivan require you to partially dismount the engine and place the vehicle on a lift, then lower it over the mechanic in order to change the rear three spark plugs on the V6. The LT1 4th gen Camaros are similarly awful.

The first-gen Infiniti Q45 requires you to actually remove the engine to get to the rearmost spark plugs on the V8. One of the reasons I don't have one, though supposedly there are some non-factory-approved tricks you can pull to avoid it; reportedly changing the rearmost spark plugs on a 94-01 Dodge Ram with the V10 is almost as bad. You also must completely remove the engine from a Testarossa or 512TR if you want to change the spark plugs. Some of the big block Mustangs had the same problem - had to remove the engine (if only partially) to get to the plugs.

The worst Jaguar ever got (surprisingly) is on the V12s, where in order to get access to the front four spark plugs you must remove (but not disconnect the hoses from) the air conditioning compressor and move it aside.

The Jeep Liberty is notorious for having to dismantle part of the suspension to get the oil filter off. The Toyota Previa is also terrible to change the oil on. The early Ford Escort had the filter wedged between the engine and the firewall with little to no room for tools so if you had a round filter with no flats for a cap wrench (which used to be common) or if you rounded it off and it got stuck - yup, out comes the engine. The Fiat Spider was (I say was because most of them have thankfully died) infamous for actually having to unbolt the engine from the mounts and raise it to get the filter out.

Boneheaded engineering knows no brand loyalty or nationality, it's just everywhere. If swapping the headlight bulbs is the hardest thing on your car, give thanks and keep going.
 
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GRtak

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I have changed plugs on a big block mustang. All I had to do was remove the tires and go through the wheel wells. Still quite a pain, much like the F bodies.
 

_HighVoltage_

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I finally got a chance to fiddle with them and install the new lights. My father had to help me, one of the bulbs required 3 hands for changing it...

The end result is exactly what I wanted - a much whiter light output. Although they are still not as white/blue as I would have liked.
 

nsx_23

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I use these:

ZhapalangPhilipsCrystalVision4300K.jpg


Changing the bulbs on my car was a massive PITA.
 
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Quiky

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The V8 Chevy Monza required loosening the engine mounts and lifting the engine to change the spark plugs.

The GM 3.8 in FWD form requires you to remove the dogbone/motormounts on the top of the engine, place the car in park, PUSH the car forward to rotate the engine, then lock the parking brake in place to reach the rear of the motor to change the spark plugs.
 

Tygur

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Had to remove the whole front bumper and grille on the Escape to change em. At least for the turn signals. Also the best bulbs I ever had were Sylvania's "Cool Blue". They weren't really blue but came off as a nice brilliant white that you could see with more clearly than their more expensive xtra vision and silverstar/ultra. I was running a parts store and all the customers said the same thing. I don't think they make them anymore though.
 

Okaen

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I have the Silverstars. They don't have the life of the dimmer bulbs, but they are a lot brighter. They also don't reflect off of the pavement as well as other colors. My Honda just requires a little bit of hand gymnastics to change the bulbs, nothing too interesting.
 

Matt2000

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The previous owner of the SIII used Candle? bulbs which sat behind Jamjar? lenses. I mean they were shit.

I now have what I think are 55W H4 bulbs (only going by a similar kit on a Land Rover site). They're like proper headlights now. :)
 
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