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Author: Subject: Why..........................................FFS
NigeEss

posted on 21/12/15 at 01:11 AM Reply With Quote
Why..........................................FFS

Can anyone explain why a country that by law says you have to carry bulbs in order to change on the roadside
manufactures cars that are almost impossible to do so ????





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LBMEFM

posted on 21/12/15 at 04:48 AM Reply With Quote
Totally agree, it used to be easy to twist off a bulb holder, change the bulb, twist back, job done. Last week, two in the morning on a wet garage forecourt heading from Devon to Kent the head light bulb went. Had to remove the washer bottle cowling, bulb cover, then fiddle with the head light bulb itself which is inset so far that you need foot long fingers to reach it. The clip is not fixed so when released it falls into engine bay. Fifteen minutes of cursing and swearing.

[Edited on 21/12/15 by LBMEFM]

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iank

posted on 21/12/15 at 07:21 AM Reply With Quote
Think you already know the answer, but it's because it gives the main-dealers some additional revenue when you give up.

The law just says you need the bulbs, but doesn't require the manufacturers to make it possible to change them at the roadside.





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Anonymous

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olimarler

posted on 21/12/15 at 08:05 AM Reply With Quote
Let alone new cars are coming with LED Headlights and tail lights!
You still have to carry spare bulb kits for them!!

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Slimy38

posted on 21/12/15 at 08:12 AM Reply With Quote
It's actually a legal requirement? In my 20+ years of driving, the only time I've ever had a spare bulb in my car is when I've been returning from the shop with a new one freshly purchased to replace one that had blown.
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Brook_lands

posted on 21/12/15 at 08:41 AM Reply With Quote
Could be an urban myth, but my understanding is that in UK is not a requirement to carry a spare set of bulb but if you do you have a defence when/if stopped with a bulb out.
In some European countries bulbs must be carried.
As said, on my Jaguar under certain circumstances you need a computer to reactivate the HID self levelling system.

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David Jenkins

posted on 21/12/15 at 08:51 AM Reply With Quote
5th Gear did a feature on this a few years ago - they asked an AA man to change a headlight bulb on a Renault Megane. This involved taking the front wheel off and reaching blind inside a hatch in the wheel arch, and took him over 30 minutes (IIRC).

Then the 5th Gear presenters were seen sitting on the front of a Golf with its bonnet open. As they were talking one presenter reached down behind him (without looking) and removed the Golf's headlight bulb... obviously replacement was just as easy.





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russbost

posted on 21/12/15 at 09:13 AM Reply With Quote
I used to own a VW Phaeton - wonderful car! - until I came to replace the front sidelight bulbs that is, around an hour & a half later, with large areas of the engine bay dismantled & re-assembled, skinned knuckles & wrists & my throat hoarse from swearing at it, it was done. You may rest assured I used LED bulbs from a top manufacturer that should last 50,000 hours - certainly still working when i sold it last year!

It is, quite obviously, at least partially driven by manufacturers wanting you to take stuff to the main dealer, but some of it is simply the ridiculously tight packaging forced on us by trying to achieve NCAP 5 star ratings & having the required "throw pedestrian over bonnet" areas! Plus how much more complex modern engines & wiring have become with sensors, control valves & wiring in places we'd never have dreamt of 30 years ago





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MikeRJ

posted on 21/12/15 at 09:27 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by iank
Think you already know the answer, but it's because it gives the main-dealers some additional revenue when you give up.


Car dealers have no say in the design of the manufacturers cars. It's really down the the design constraints imposed by styling, aerodynamics, and crash safety and, to a lesser extent cost.

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nick205

posted on 21/12/15 at 09:42 AM Reply With Quote
Cost IMHO has a big part to play here.

IIRC the Mk3 Golf platform cost VW nearly 1b to develop and I'd imagine there were bean counters watching the pennies very closely.

That said, the only bulb I've had fail in 10+ years was a rear number plate bulb. This resulted in me re-wiring SWMBO's Alhambra tailgate to effect a repair and gain an MoT pass. Annoying, but such is life.






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Smoking Frog

posted on 21/12/15 at 10:09 AM Reply With Quote
I never knew it was against the law! Have to agree it's stupid if they can't be changed at the side of the road.

My daughter's Mini headlight bulb blew last week. Luckily for my daughter, they were easy to change, as I merely instructed and held the torch. Access was a big improvement over the KA she used to have.

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coyoteboy

posted on 21/12/15 at 10:19 AM Reply With Quote
It's not against the law in the UK afaik





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iank

posted on 21/12/15 at 10:25 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeRJ
quote:
Originally posted by iank
Think you already know the answer, but it's because it gives the main-dealers some additional revenue when you give up.


Car dealers have no say in the design of the manufacturers cars. It's really down the the design constraints imposed by styling, aerodynamics, and crash safety and, to a lesser extent cost.


True enough, but the car manufacturers do decide if ease of maintenance is a design constraint. It really isn't that hard to package things so access is possible - 3d CAD is advanced enough that if there was any benefit they'd move the battery/air filter/washer bottle the half an inch needed. I know for a fact they throw the dealers a bone occasionally, and not going out of their way to make bulbs easy to change is certainly something the dealers find benefit in.





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Anonymous

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iank

posted on 21/12/15 at 10:26 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
It's not against the law in the UK afaik


Indeed not, but presumably the country that manufactured the OP's car does have the law. I'm guessing French.





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Dingz

posted on 21/12/15 at 11:16 AM Reply With Quote
Yes the French require it, but it a couple of years ago a friend with a Renault Modus told me he had to remove the front bumper to change the bulb as said so much for a simple roadside fix.





Phoned the local ramblers club today, but the bloke who answered just
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coozer

posted on 21/12/15 at 11:21 AM Reply With Quote
Its not an offence in the UK to carry any spares. Although it is an offence to drive with a bulb out...

Every day I see hundreds of cars with lights out driving past cops who aint bothered.

If I get pulled by vosa its a pg9 fixed penalty in my truck. For a headlight bulb its classed as a breakdown. Some company's tell you to pull over and call out the mobile fitter! To get a spare bulb on my current contract I need to fill in a defect sheet to prise one out of the garage Foreman's hands..

Thing is the current trend to LEDs is wording as the ones you see on the back of trucks are a big moulded unit with no access. Does that mean we need to carry spare light units??





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prawnabie

posted on 21/12/15 at 11:29 AM Reply With Quote
I think most manufacturers put more thought into the hefty crash structure at the front of the car, maintenance in that area probably comes a lot further down the line.
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prawnabie

posted on 21/12/15 at 11:30 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coozer
Its not an offence in the UK to carry any spares. Although it is an offence to drive with a bulb out...

Every day I see hundreds of cars with lights out driving past cops who aint bothered.

If I get pulled by vosa its a pg9 fixed penalty in my truck. For a headlight bulb its classed as a breakdown. Some company's tell you to pull over and call out the mobile fitter! To get a spare bulb on my current contract I need to fill in a defect sheet to prise one out of the garage Foreman's hands..

Thing is the current trend to LEDs is wording as the ones you see on the back of trucks are a big moulded unit with no access. Does that mean we need to carry spare light units??


I got stopped for the same thing a couple of years back and the officer said there was a old law that people quote that you do not have to use headlights on a lit road!

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nick205

posted on 21/12/15 at 11:32 AM Reply With Quote
Could well be wrong, but second thoughts make me wonder if it is law in the UK to carry bulbs - I never have!






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coyoteboy

posted on 21/12/15 at 11:47 AM Reply With Quote
I've been pulled for defective lights before, and it's not an offence in the UK on a car. They'll warn you it's out (it could have blown while you were driving, they can't penalise you for that). They alert you, ask you to fix it and maybe, if they think there's other issues, ask you to visit an MOT station to get it OK'd. In most cases they've just pulled me and said "you've got a light out, do you know?" and you reply "yep, I spotted it in the reflection in a car before" and they let you on your way.





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David Jenkins

posted on 21/12/15 at 01:03 PM Reply With Quote
At a push the police can ask you to turn up at a police station of your choice within a certain number of days to prove that you've fixed it (or any other minor defects) - known locally as a "seven-day wonder".

I know it makes me sound old - but when I were a puppy I could expect to get pulled over if I was driving a car with a faulty light for more than a few days. Nowadays I see the same cars with one working headlight for weeks on end, often in the narrow unlit lanes around where I live. Apart from the legal aspect - don't these people want to see where they're going?! Of course, some take the unthinking pillock solution, and drive around with full beam on, or foglights.. or both.





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ravingfool

posted on 21/12/15 at 02:55 PM Reply With Quote
Is it genuinely French law to carry bulbs? If so, can anyone point me in the direction of something confirming?

I had understood previously that it was an offence to drive without your lights working - as it is here - and therefore you need to carry spares to effect a repair? Ferry services then take that information and make it sound more serious than it is and together with our general fear of being pulled over in a foreign country, use this to sell us worriers some overpriced bulbs on the boat - like the breathalisers which are for a law which has not been passed but not implemented in France! (last time I checked at least).

I've done a lot of driving on the continent in the last few years and have never bothered taking any spares; see plenty of idiots driving around over there with their lights out (just like the UK) so I'm happy to simply buy and replace as and when I need to which is what I do in this country. Most lights seem to last pretty well these days and it's pretty rare to have to change a bulb.

I seem to go through the main beams in my mx5 every couple of years but that's about it.

Following the other bit in this thread about the difficulty of changing some bulbs, I recently changed all my other sidelights to LED type having lost one in my MGZT which is an absolute PITA to change the bulbs for. I tend to flick through forums before doing anything I've not done before and, aware that some bulbs are a pain, I googled the ZT for access. I was a bit confused because there were lots of vocal opinions that it involved lots of scraped knuckles and some other people who couldn't fathom why anyone would find it difficult. When I took a look myself I saw the reason - different engines.

If you had a 1.8 petrol/turbo or a diesel then there's loads of access room. If like me you've got the 2.5 v6 then it seems lots of people start by removing the bumper entirely as the access on one side is almost completely impossible. Being pig headed I decided just to make use of some needle nose pliers and rip my hand to shreds!


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chillis

posted on 21/12/15 at 03:18 PM Reply With Quote
In French France it is a requirement to carry a full set of bulbs as spares and you are supposed to replace a defective bulb if you are stopped and must do so before continuing your journey or have the vehicle recovered to a garage for such a repair if you cannot do so by the side of the road, and when changing the bulb by the side of the road you must wear your high vis yellow jacket
I doubt the designers design this in they just don't think about that sort of thing.





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matt_claydon

posted on 21/12/15 at 03:41 PM Reply With Quote
Type approval regulations were updated to attempt to address this after one or two high-profile issues. I recall Watchdog covering it at some point many years ago. The regulation used to say:

quote:
Lamps shall be fitted in a vehicle in such a way that the light source can be correctly replaced according to the instructions of the vehicle manufacturer without the use of special tools, other than those provided with the vehicle by the manufacturer.


But was amended in around 2008/2009 to read:

quote:
Lamps [...] shall be fitted in a vehicle in such a way that the light source can be correctly replaced without the need for expert assistance and without the need for special tools, other than those provided with the vehicle by the manufacturer. The vehicle manufacturer shall provide with the vehicle a detailed description of the procedure for replacement.


Essentially they added the term 'expert assistance', which of course is still open to interpretation..

The requirement only applied to new vehicle models so it will have taken many years after the regulation was changed before the majority of new cars would have been assessed to the new text.


It is not required for non-replaceable light sources (i.e. HID or LED) to be easily replaced.

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Dingz

posted on 21/12/15 at 05:24 PM Reply With Quote
Sounds like some of the manufacturers should supply a socket set with the car then.





Phoned the local ramblers club today, but the bloke who answered just
went on and on.

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