I have an 05/55 plate Skoda Superb. Yesterday the offside bi-xenon headlight dipped bam bulb failed. The failure come up on the display to warn of this.
The headlight units contain all the vehicle lights including spot and fog lights. The local Skoda dealer asks for £98 plus fitting charge of approx £45 all plus VAT which seems a bit expensive to me. The headlight unit must be accessible, so if I can source a correct bulb, my neighbour, who is a keen motorbike restorer says he should be able to fit correctly. Any suggestions would be welcome as to procedure and sourcing spares, also what information do I need about the car to ensure the correct spares are sourced? Many Thanks.
£98 is quite a good price for a OE xenon bulb. You can find cheaper; but they may be of doubtful quality.
Don't assume that the headlight bulb is necessarily going to be easily accessible; many newer cars need the whole bumper removing to get the light out. [Can't be more specific as, obviously, I've not done one on a 55-plate Superb - yet!] Also; it may not be the bulb that's failed, the xenon system has a driver unit and a ballast that are far more common failures than the discharge tube itself.
If it's anything like the '04 TT one that I did last week; you have to buy the complete light unit [£900 and 2 hours taking the bumper off!] just to get the - built in - ballast. If they'd supplied it as a separate part, they're usually only £35-60.
Osram make the VAG Xenon discharge tubes; £98 isn't bad - one customer once paid £237 to a BMW dealer for a HID tube. Please tell me where I can get a [genuine] Osram HID tube for £15.... [Not some blue-painted H4 "Fake Xenon" bulb, from China, on e-bay!]
That book time would suggest it's bumper-off to get the light out.
I have changed the dipped beam headlamp bulbs in a Superb without removing the light units. It's a pig, but it's possible. The RH one is marginally the more difficult and you have to remove some of the intake trunking (this one was a 4 cyl diesel) in order to access the cover on the back of the light unit.
Other than having very slim fingers, the trick is to use a screwdriver on the bulb flange lugs to help turn the bulb onto its bayonet retainer when replacing it - you just don't have enough strength unaided as you will be working with your fingertips. If you push too hard, the light unit pops off the ball end for the adjuster motor and becomes loose. No problem - just pop it back on again when you have fitted the bulb.
Screwloose, thanks for your reply. Apparantly the skoda/vag xenon bulbs are a d2s fitting, which is not common and really steers people to main dealers and their inflated prices. Also you are supposed to remove the front bumper to access the light unit correctly, which again at main dealer labour prices will be a hefty charge.Osram make the bulbs for vag but I don't know where to source them independently. Does the ballast unit drive all the cars bulbs or does each bulb have one, I want to check this out? Thanks again.Concrete.
Note previous caveat about my not yet having to change one on a Superb. Given that VAG tend use similar suppliers and ways of working; I'd say that the ballast is probably in the light unit and that there's one per "bulb."
I wouldn't buy a bulb [they're supposed to last the life of the car!] until the whole system is properly diagnosed; these things work nothing like a old-style headlamp. [They're 10,000 volts for a start!] There's an ECU built into each light unit that can be interrogated and set-up with a scantool. Maybe that can help pinpoint the exact failure. [Usually useless; but....]
If you don't fancy the dealer's prices; try an auto-electrical place like LSUK or a Bosch agent.
Screwloose, thanks for your latest comments. I have located a bulb at Autobulbs Direct . It is £69.50 for a Xenon D2S made by Phillips and they assure me that it is a direct replacement for the one in my car. A local body repair shop who have worked on my wifes car will do the fitting and are aware of the procedures and high voltage etc. The job should be achieved with proper parts and professional labour at half the price of a main dealer.Thanks to all concerned and I hope now there will be nothing to report but success. Regards Concrete.
Hi folks, the story continues. The xenon bulb that 'failed' suddenly came to life this evening on a short journey and remained operational after a an hour layover.What a turn up! I think I will take screwlooses advice and have the electronics checked, which will be a warranty job. Watch this space. Could not understand comments from Milkeyjoe.Concrete.
That's not unusual; if you've got access to reasonably cheap labour, get them to swap the "bulbs" side to side. Then if the same side plays-up, it's the driver/ballast/circuit and if the bulb goes out on the other side, it's the bulb.
Don't know if it's likely on a 55-plate; but all these VAG Xenons are prone to corrosion/melting of the light unit multi-plug.
These HID's are totally crazy IMHO. Who wants the best part of £2k's worth of lighting units at the front of the car? Imagine how much that is pushing up the cost of insurance repairs, for what IMHO is a relatively modest gain in performance.