H7 Headlight bulbs - stuart bruce
I know it is a minor gripe, but having had a dip beam bulb blow the other week on my Vectra, I had a problem as I had used my spare about 3 weeks before and, being a lazy pink fluffy dice , had not got round to replacing it.

At the time I was on holiday in the sticks, no Halfords nearby and local motor factors sold mainly tractor spares :-) only single filament bulbs around were H1/H3. I was forced to go to the friendly GM dealer. After being charged £12.16 for the bulb plus I had to fit it myself, I looked twice to ensure the dealers name was not Dick Turpin.

I understand Vauxhall have used H7 bulbs since the introduction of the Astra 4.
What is so special about this bulb apart from allowing a dealer ripoff? Do any other makes use it? Was I just unlucky in that nobody locally stocked it?
Re: H7 Headlight bulbs additional - stuart bruce
Actually I meant to add that Xenon bulbs were £70 and take an hour to fit as you have to discharge them prior to removing the old bulb.
Re: H7 Headlight bulbs additional - John Slaughter
The H7 bulbs are now quite common - apparently because they give greater light output than the 'older' bulbs. the new Corsa uses them and my 3 series uses them for both main and dip. I guess Halfords were out of stocks as everyone else objects to main dealer prices for such consumables! And, if I recall correctly, the Vectra has H7's only in the dip beam and H1's in the main beam!

I think the Xenon bulbs refered to are the gas discharge headlamps which I don't think are a just a bulb swap - I believe the headlight units are different. They've been a Vectra option for a while. The '30% brighter' xenon replacements from Halfords etc. are straightforward replacements which need no 'discharging', and actually work well - we've been using a pair of H4's in a Corsa for a year now - at a tenner each they are a good buy.


Re: Xenon gas lights - Guy Lacey
Gas discharge lamps are basically a form of fluorescent tube so are not strictly bulbs but I don't see why they need discharging?
Re: Xenon gas lights - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd.)
These bulbs require an incredible amount of electricity to "fire" them. In fact akin to ignition voltage voltage so don't mess about with them and RTFM!!
Re: Vectra lights - Gwyn Parry
I had a main beam bulb blow on my Vectra a couple of months ago ...visited Halford's opted for their own brand "all weather" replacemets. These give a rather yellowish glow but seemed less heavy on the eye. Anyway after much umming and ahhing went back to Halford's bought a pair of their own brand "laser blue" (for the dip beam) - now these give a much whiter light and the cut off is much sharper than the original. Got the whole plot re-aligned at the last service and noe have a much better light spread than before and certainly a less wearing (eye-wise) light. In retrospect I now wish I'd bought the laser blue for both sets.

I fail to see that the (no pun intended) that the set up I now have give off a "cowboy" glare to oncoming cars as they appear quite as per original from a distance.
Re: Vectra lights - stuart bruce
I accept that having had your lights aligned they do not give off stray dazzle, yet I have resisted going for blue lights as I understand the science of it is that the light is shorter wavelength so is more prone to scattering. The bulbs may give off more light in absolute terms but the increase in quantity of useful light is, as I have been told, somewhat debatable.

John is also correct in when I was talking about Xenon I meant gas discharge lights. The statement about discharging them for an hour came from the dealer.

I suppose this is another "improvement" which when the cars get 10 years old are a liability, eg air bags. I read on Saturday that after 10 years the manufacturers say the air bags have to be tested and probably replaced because they cannot guarantee the propellant will fire in the proper way, or even at all. For most makes a figure close to a grand was mentioned for sorting the airbags. Will bangernomics be a thing of the past.
Re: Vectra lights - Gwyn Parry
I drive mainly rural - it actually advises on the box for the blues that they shouldn't be used by high milage drivers..........
I was under the impression that Xenon required High Volts.... and Audi ask for £500.00 as options on the A3 but they are guarateed for the life of the car.....

HJ's column last Sat has an interesting write up on Airbags and their life expectancy hmmmm sobering thoughts. Get rid of Vectra when its 6 yrs old whilst its still worth more than its airbags !
Re: Vectra lights - richard turpin
Dick Turpin indeed. Bloody cheek! And as for "discharging"....I can do that for free, slight pong though.
Go for 80/100 Watt, that's what I say, and forget the rest. (or 100 each if separate bulbs. Change the fuses.) 100/130 are too much as they blacken the reflector.
Re: Vectra lights - John Slaughter

I don't advise it - these bulbs overload the wiring and overheat the lamps plus the larger filaments reduce the focussing accuracy of the lenses - I'd suggest using the standard wattage, but brighter, xenon bulbs everytime. Plus, as has been suggested, make sure the lights ae properly aligned - seems a lost art at the factory these days!


Re: Vectra lights - stuart bruce
richard turpin wrote:
> Dick Turpin indeed. Bloody cheek! And as for
> "discharging"....I can do that for free, slight pong though.

Sorry Richard, I meant the guy from York rode a black horse, OK I will change the reference to another highway bandit...............................................
Gordon Brown of No 11 Downing Street, just so we know who we are libelling.
Now there you ARE talking about a F**T!
Re: Vectra lights - richard turpin
Just had a curry. Got to go for a Gordon now!

I've used the 80/100 for ages. No overloading problems yet, and no reflector damage neither.....as "you're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off" would say.
Re: Vectra lights - David Lacey
Rover have used these H7 bulbs since 1995 and they are bloody expensive, abour £15+VAT!! Quite why, is a mystery to me, as they are not that different than H1 or H3 bulbs, just a little more compact with a different base.

I have used these 'laser blue' bulbs in various cars and have suffered from nearly every bulb I've fitted blowing after about a month or two's use! I spoke to the local motor factor who confirmed that they have a problem with these bulbs blowing. Incidentally, they were of a well respected German make beginning with 'B'. So, I have given up and refitted the original H7's!

Gas discharge lighting fitted to executive cars (and Police cars - makes them easy to spot!) is a completely different ball game. It utilises high voltage to stike an arc within the bulb element producing this loverrrlly bright white/blue light. The bulbs, as stated before are in the region of £75+VAT!!! Ouch. Suddenly, that nice 2000MY Audi A4 is not so tempting.......
Re: Vectra lights - stuart bruce
Thanks to everyone for the constructive comments, as usual I might add.

Just as an update, I finally got round today to replacing the one missing from the spare bulb box, so I investigated all the options.

My car appears to have 4 x H7, not H7 & H1 which is what the book in Halfords also alleges.

The blue and all weather upgrades are definitely not for high mileage so that eliminates them, which left the last option ( called brilliant?) to upgrade @ £22.99 per bulb! Hellfire!

So I got a standard Bosch H7 @ £9.40. Considering that is not too far away from the agent price maybe I owe Mr GM dealer an apology?

Value my car