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TOPIC: The kind of sob story that will cheer up your day

The kind of sob story that will cheer up your day 1 month 1 day ago #38683

Hello. This isn't X1/9 related, but is guaranteed to make you feel better about your day.

I set about changing a dipped beam bulb on out Giulietta.

As always it’s amateur gynaecology. This one involves wiggling your hand under some sort of heater cable so that your forearm is pointing back at you, to access the back of the light down some long plastic tunnel. Obviously you can’t see anything once your hand is in there, and the wire clip thing is hard to compress to release it.

Got it undone to get the dead bulb out and was trying to clip the new one in when the wire clip came off at the other end and sprang down the plastic tunnel. I managed to get the very end of two fingertips on it, but it twanged off a wire and vanished – presumably into the depths of the headlight casing. A local garage took the headlight out (naturally this means taking the bumper off) but couldn’t see it in there (they didn’t charge for this, which was great of them).

You can't buy these as parts, so I’m potentially looking at an entirely new headlamp unit for want of a bit of bent wire, cheapest I saw was about £250, they were asking nearly £400 for second hand ones. I was envisaging travelling he country to find an example in a scrapyard that had been hit at the front (no problem to me if the headlamp is smashed to pieces, the clip would be OK).

By some miracle, following a number from an enthusiast site led me to hearing about a Fiat/Alfa specialist breaker in Leeds (Sherburn Motor Spares Ltd). So I called them.

“[sob story]”

“Oh yeah, we sell loads of those” (apparently not just me, then)

“Have you got any?”

“I’ve got one left”

“It’s mine”

“I haven’t told you how much it is yet”

“How much is it?”

“Twenty quid plus P&P”

“It’s mine”

And it arrived, and it was the right one, and the local Fiat dealer fitted it for about £43 (had to take the bumper off/light cluster out, as the clip was a bit bent at the "permanently" fixed end).

So, a new headlamp bulb cost me about £60 when everything gets counted up. And I got off lightly.

I think the moral of the story is that fitting headlight bulbs in some modern cars just is increasingly not a DIY job any more.

Anyway, bet that’s cheered you up.

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Cunnorum plena sunt omnia

The kind of sob story that will cheer up your day 1 month 6 hours ago #38690

Yes it did. Renault were on the news when you had to remove the front wheel and be a contortionist to change one of their bulbs as well.

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The kind of sob story that will cheer up your day 1 week 15 hours ago #38782

And they call this progress... I've heard similar tales regarding headlamps on modern cars. Or any bulbs really... the cost of the bulbs these days is insane. They're all too bloody bright anyway...
I only run old cars. I own nothing newer than 1992 and I never will. My thinking is- if the dashboard can beep at me, or make a decision, then I don't want it. There's too much technology crammed into cars these days and it's just getting ridiculous. My son's Golf GTI developed an engine fault recently and the local dealer wanted £140 purely to plug it into a laptop to diagnose the problem!! That's just f****** ridiculous. In the end my son tracked down an air leak himself and fixed it for free, which is of course what an old school mechanic would've done at one time...
Nope, Retro Rules! And the insurance is mega cheap too ;)

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