Whether driving at night or motoring in the rain, fog or snow, one of a car’s most important safety features is its lights. The headlights in particular are a vital component for keeping drivers secure on the road. They dictate the view of the road ahead and surrounding environment, and help other road users see the approaching vehicle.
But as cars age, so do their bulbs. And nobody can have failed to notice that lighting technology has raced on over the past decade. The latest cars have ultra-bright LED lights. These can often make traditional halogen bulbs seem no more effective than a candle in a lantern.
If you’ve found yourself cursing your car’s lighting performance, or felt a pang of envy as you’ve shielded your eyes from other cars’ dazzling headlights, there is, ahem, light at the end of the tunnel.
Upgrading a car’s headlights is one of the simplest maintenance jobs drivers can tackle. It’s also highly affordable. And when you consider the safety benefits of changing a car’s bulbs for brighter items, it’s little wonder that sales of aftermarket bulbs are booming. Here’s how to do it.
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Ford’s new Glare-Free Highbeam system costs from £900 (Picture © Ford)
Glare-free headlamps which prevent drivers being dazzled by on-coming lights could be on a car near you in the very near future. In the 70s, the Manfred Mann hit Blinded by the Light could be heard coming from cars all over Britain. More recently, the song’s chorus has been adopted as a protest against super bright car lights.
Ever since the introduction of Xenon or High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights in the early ’90s on the BMW 7 Series, and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights in cars such as the 2006 Audi R8, the brightness and intensity of headlamps has increased. Continue reading →
It may cost nothing for a dealer to change the headlight bulb in this Renault Captur. Or it may cost you £40. (Picture © Renault)
Changing car light bulbs used to be something anyone with the scantest mechanical know-how could manage. But as cars become ever more complicated, so replacing a broken bulb has become increasingly expensive – for some drivers at least.
A new investigation has revealed a shocking variation in the price charged by motor makers for this simple repair. Some dealers offer free bulbs, some do the actual fitting for free, and some provide both at no cost. However, others can charge upwards of £70. And there’s no uniformity across manufacturers. Continue reading →