A bit of effort goes a long way: a DIY job made simple

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The modern car today is a moving computer on wheels, but that doesn’t mean you need a service center to fix everything. When a car is sent to a service center, working efficiently sits high on their list. Getting an issue rectified and sent back to you as soon as they can is their utmost priority, because working on cars quicker means better customer satisfaction and also means more money is made.

With that said – when it comes to design, engineers generally take simplicity and repair-ability well into consideration; just so technicians can quickly get those simple repairs out the door. This also translates to the fact that you can save some time and money just by doing it yourself. Plus learn a thing or two about your machine along the way without getting duped into buying blinker fluid and/or changing brake pads when you don’t need to.

Let’s try putting this into practice – recently one of the headlamp bulbs in my car got blown out and needed a replacement. So first things first: you need to know the type of bulb to buy, and how to do it. This is as easy as taking a look in your owner’s manual, or doing a search online – YouTube is a fantastic resource which gives you a chunk of information on what tools are necessary, if any – with detailed instructions on how to replace them.

Next up is to go shopping for replacement bulbs. If you want the simplest way out, a quick search on your favorite shopping sites for OEMs will suffice. OEMs are cheap, widely available and last the longest before it burns out again; so long they you procure reputable brands such as OSRAM, Bosch, Philips, GE, PIAA or Sylvania. If your budget allows for more than that, these manufacturers also offer ‘performance bulbs’ – bulbs with a far brighter output and can light up in many different colors.

Of course, being #MTHRFKNWIN┬áthere’s no alternative than the best bulb you can buy today.

I went with the GE Megalight Ultra +130 which promises an extra 130% output over OEMs, which projects a brighter and more prominent light beam over standard halogens. They are also a hybrid in design where xenon and halogen technology are combined to provide the best possible performance which still being road-legal and within specifications. Extremely tight tolerances means you get the most out of night time driving, with the light beams on where you need them the most.

Replacing the bulbs is no feat whatsoever. Most bulbs are already accessible with the bonnet open, without special tools to get them out of their receptacles. Of course, to get the exact procedure the internet is your best friend for this, so I went one step further and removed the headlamps entirely for easier access and to do some cleaning while at it. For my car, a Volkswagen Polo, we had to remove only two screws, unplug the connector and the entire assembly pops out – how’s that for easy?

With the entire assembly on a bench, it was even easier performing the replacements. Simply reach into the receptacle and turn the holders counter clockwise, and pull out the bulb out of the socket by gripping onto the base. Then in goes the new bulbs by simply doing the reverse. And before you start the job – wear gloves! There’s a reason why gloves are necessary unless you are very careful – if your fingers or dirt gets in contact with the glass housing, it WILL ruin the bulb.

When you have all bulbs replaced, run the procedure back and ensure all connections are snug and are in place before testing them – with all that done, start the engine right up and watch the light show. Small achievement, but hey we’re happy with our little do-it-yourself gig! So the next time something minor goes wrong, do a quick check and find out how it’s done; because it might very well be a simple solution, with maximum fun and satisfaction that comes along with accomplishing the task.

Have fun DIY-ing!

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Having a penchant for cars since youth, he firmly believes that speed and stature go hand-in-hand. He enjoys the occasional spirited drive and can be found personally grooming his cars from time to time.

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