A little flavour of what's in store...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Headlamp bulb replacement on an 02 Ford Galaxy 2.3 Zetec.

I had to replace a dipped beam headlamp bulb on Mandy's Ford Galaxy (2.3 Zetec on 02 plate) last weekend for her.

Silly me, without removing the old one first, I headed for the local auto spares shop in Buxton. When I got there, I was informed by the very helpful man behind the counter, that they had 2 bulbs listed.

One was £7 odd whilst the other, a gas discharge type was around £60.

I chose the cheaper version (I'm a cheapskate and prayed it was the cheaper option fitted, plus that was the only one they had in stock!). They don't carry the more expensive gas discharge ones since most customers tended to find them cheaper on ebay, the nice man informed me.

So to fitting it. It was the Driver's side bulb that had gone. First thing I noticed when I lifted the bonnet was that there was no obvious 'rear of headlamp cluster' assembly - all was covered by a multitude of plastic panels. Looked like it was going to be a major job.

Fear not. A 'hidden' panel - hidden because a thin film of engine dirt had obscured the imprint within the plastic - slides upwards and removes to give you access to the rear of the headlamp cluster. A tight metal catch undoes from the top, to allow the protective cap to be removed, giving access to the rear of the bulbs. The plastic cover really needs to be removed completely and it's a bit tight for space so deep breath and patience - especially if you're not good at solving those 'which piece goes where' type of puzzles.

That plastic cap locates on two 'spikes' within the headlamp surround at the bottom - you'll need to check when re-fitting that it's located in these properly, otherwise the spring clip at the top won't hold and you'll loose the cover whilst driving.

Remove the wiring connector from the back of the bulb you're replacing and then release the spring clip holding the bulb in place. It pushes in and either up or down to un-locate from it's little metal retaining hook.

Fitting the new bulb is a reverse of the above. Make sure you get the initial bulb retainer clip secure - it's one of those jobs for small hands (which i don't have) and most of it will be done by feel as you can't really see anything - not on a grey, dull November day.

Apparently, the near-side bulb is trickier because of the proximity of the battery cover. Let's just hope that one lasts a bit longer then shall we?

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