Noticed on Sunday the offside dipped beam not working on my 04 Megane Hatchback. Handbook says 'Restricted access. Use Main Dealer.' Phoned my usual Main Dealer in Oldham and was quoted £50 including labour and parts for replacing both bulbs.
Phoned an independent Renault specialist in Stockport (as HJ advises). Told one side takes 2 hours and the other 1 hour, labour charge is £40/hour and bulbs are £7.50 each. Total £135.
Going to France next week. Don't have the time or (apparently) small enough hands, and definitely not enough patience or big enough swear box according to SWMBO so Main Dealer gets £50. Job done in 35 minutes.
Three comments. Firstly independents are supposed to be cheaper, aren't they? It just shows always shop around. Secondly what do I do if an anti rosbeouf Gendarme stops me on a dark, wet and windy night, tells me I have a headlamp bulb not working and, a propos, I cannot drive the vehicle at night until it is fixed. Thirdly who on earth designed the system.
I am told other manufacturers, including Rover, require this under-the-wheelarch contortionist, small handed but long fingered, working blind technique. Come to think of it I do seem to remember one of the Renault technicians didn't half remind me of ET.
SWMBO recently bought a new Corsa and access to the headlight units was in fact one of the things I checked before purchase! It's relatively straightforward to change a bulb but like the Megane story, I've heard other tales of expensive woe on some new models of popular cars such as the Golf. I can't help but suspect that it's a ruse by the manufacturers to restore some of the margins for dealers who lost up to 20% mark-up on the sale of new cars in recent years when prices had to fall more into line with the rest of the EU.
It's still a big worry that bulbs can't be changed by the roadside in countries where it's mandatory to carry a spare set. Plus, driving without a headlight in the UK could attract a fine. Will the breakdown recovery companies change a headlight bulb or charge extra?
Natty thats a shame. Ihad a Scenic and it was a similar situation.
If you do a forum search here you will find previous threads where I explained how to change the bulb on the Scenic, and Xileno offered the same advice for the Megane.
Might be useful next time!
2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS
Yes,acces to change the headlamp bulbs on the new Corsa/Grande Punto is easy,particularily the offside one. You have to turn the nearside wheel out to change the nearside one though,but seems quite easy. I certanly hope so,as I will be upgrading the bulbs on mine as soon the nights really draw in.
I have heard of other ways involving removing panels from underneath the bonnet and a French Renault mechanic once told me to remove the windscreen water container to improve matters. However, these are not necessary. They may make the job a bit easier but also make it longer.
This is how I do it:
Turn steering wheel full lock to the other side to get access.
Unscrew the cap in the wheel arch.
Insert arm up through the wheel arch access hole and unscrew the cap over the headlight.
Gently pull the plug off the bulb. If necessary apply a bit of side-to-side movement.
The bulb is actually held in by a traditional wire bracket, with a protruding bit above the bulb and is hinged below it. Pull the protruding bit downwards to unclip it and allow it to drop down (it won't fall as it's hinged)
You can now extract the bulb, there is nothing more holding it in place.
Insert the new bulb. Rotate it while gently pushing it in so as to get it to slot in place correctly. Like most headlight bulbs, it will only fit one way. You will know when it's in correctly as it will feel 'right'
Re-attach the holding bracket by pulling it up and clipping the bulb in place.
Push on the plug assembly again.
Important - at this point check the light works.
Re-attach the various covers you removed.
As always, refrain from touching the glass of the bulb.
It's really quite easy once you know what you're doing. I can do these in 10 mins but allow longer for your first attempt.
You will get dirty and you will probably end up with a cut and graze. Keep your mind on the money you?re saving.
I usually recommend changing both sides while you?re in the mood.
This situation is only going to get worse as more and more manufacturers shift owner-maintenance items such as bulbs (and oil filters, spark plugs,...) further and further out of our reach, making trips to the dealer as frequent as to the hairdresser's.
Come 2010 when EU proposed daytime running lights come in and it'll be bulb changes all the time and most cars running on one or none, or else foglights all round.