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It’s So Easy to Change a Car Bulb!””

Brian England, Mon, Oct 07, 2013

It’s so easy to change a bulb.  It’s so easy to change a bulb.
People say don’t be a fool, but, here I go, I’ll break this rule.
It seems so easy, oh so doggone easy.
It seems so easy…

Well, yes, there are bulbs that are “oh so doggone easy” but they are becoming few and far between. Making sure you have the right bulb for your automobile is complex.  Installing the wrong bulb can end up causing a whole new set of problems.

If you are really good at working on cars you might find it easy, but for the average person it is more trouble than it is worth. When a friend says “It’s so easy” consider the source.  Is this coming from someone that is good at working on his car?

The downside of installing a bulb incorrectly is that it can lead to hundreds of dollars in repairs. In the photo below you can see a hole where the bulb should be located.

Changing Automobile Bulbs and Headlights Isn%27t as Easy as You May Think

In this case, the car owner tried to replace the bulb, and in the process, damaged the plastic housing and locating clips.  This happened because instead of gently turning the locking ring, the bulb was forced.  The result was $1000 worth of damage!   It could have cost a lot more, but we were able to locate less expensive headlamp assemblies.

Typically, having a regular bulb changed costs around $35.  Inaccessible auto headlight bulbs cost about twice this amount to install.  Bulbs in more complex locations can cause the price to increase by three to four times this amount because of the labor involved in disassembly that’s necessary just to reach the bulb.

My guess is, if you had to choose, you would probably chose the $35 to $140 versus the $1000. For most people, it’s just not worth the risk of damaging your vehicle.

So, next time you start thinking “It seems so easy..”, just remember this little anecdote, and make an appointment instead.


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About Brian England


Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care) got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in the northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD, and a few years later, started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. A big believer in preventive auto maintenance, Brian's philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of adhering to a regular maintenance plan.