Simon Huggins's blog

Wed, 06 Dec 2006


So today I finally managed to get my headlight bulb changed over in my car. They really don't want you to do maintenance yourself on modern cars it seems.

I bought the bulb on Sunday but didn't get around to trying to fit it til Monday. I read the manual which makes it sound easy and managed to get the cover off and then realised that the fusebox was right behind it so it was very tricky to access. It was dark so I gave up for another day.

On Tuesday then, I tried in the light. This was better but because of the way it's put together you can't see what you're doing. I managed to pull the cover off and out of the gap I needed to put my hand in. I even made my hand tiny enough to fit through the infintessimally small gap, and then to rotate it through a stupid angle to get my fingers close to touching the right bit. I got the connector off but then I had to "Disengage the retaining spring." as the manual puts it.

What the manual means is "Push hard on two of the bits of metal, which you can't see, one after the other at the top of the bulb until they release. Oh and for fun we won't tell you whether it's the top or bottom, or whether you're meant to pull or push and we'll situate it in front of the fuse box such that it's impossible to see what you're doing and so that your hand is bent at an almost impossible angle." I gave up on Tuesday.

That evening I bought a compact mirror from Boots ("Fits easily in your purse or handbag") to angle so I could even see the retaining spring. Once I could see it, and having prodded it a bit, it was more obvious what I was meant to do and I popped them off and then swapped the bulb over.

I checked it all worked and then had to manoeuvre everything back into position which took another good 5 minutes as the cover needed to be angled back (against the fusebox that I had come to hate) in order to fit.

An interesting learning experience at least. If you ever need to know which end of the retaining springs to push on a C3 drop me a line :)