I'm in sticker shock... over a light bulb!

Went to dealer today (I know, I know – bad move, but it was convenient) to have them fix a very dim headlight.

They wanted $405!!! Plus I would like to get the light on the analog clock working – that would be $100.

It’s an '02 Infiniti i35 – I am the 3rd owner, only had the car a few months – it has the wood grain, sunroof, etc. Seems loaded. Does that mean I am stuck spending hundreds of $$$ on light bulbs? Thanks.

'02 Infiniti i35 – 112k miles – I am 3rd owner

Dang… I just looked at the price of that bulb on the website of a regular old auto parts store and even there it’s over 300 bucks! For what it’s worth, these are special light bulbs that don’t have filaments that should supposedly last about three times as long as a regular halogen bulb.

I’d suggest you get prowling the internet and try to find a cheaper one. Replacing the bulb its self should be relatively easy-- usually it’s just a matter of opening the hood and twisting the socket from behind and then inserting the bulb, being extremely careful not to touch the bulb itself.

Yes, apparently it’s a xenon bulb, not halogen.

And now I am thinking maybe that price is for the whole headlight assembly, not just the bulb. Maybe I need to research more. The owners manual recommends only a dealer change it so that they can aim it properly. But of course the manual would say that. Or is it true? Thanks.

The low beam on that car is an HID (high intensity discharge) if it was manufactured after July of 2001. They don’t fail very often.

The replacement bulb lists for $230, but you can find it on line for $110. I am wondering if the problem is really the bulb. You said that it lights up but it is dim? The problem is that I have seen only one HID bulb fail (on a Lexus), and it went dark.

You definitely want to do some more diagnosis before simply paying for a new bulb. Have someone swap the bulb from the other side to make sure that it is, in fact, the bulb at fault. I say this because HID headlights use a ballast assembly, and this hardware may be what’s faulty. If you swap the headlight bulbs left and right and the problem stays on the same side, it’s a ballast issue or wiring issue, not the bulb (though it’s not cheap to replace the ballast modules, either…)

And yes, you are stuck spending big money on light bulbs. “Gotta pay to play” scenario in full-effect.

Yea and those lamps seem to be falling out of favor, and IMO with good cause. Expensive and can be troublesome.

The clock is par for the course.

Infiniti service of course is high, you typically get a nicer experience and waiting area therefore a high labor rate on items. Try an independent shop, you won’t get that nice waiting room typically but other ways it makes up.

It actually was NOT a nice experience at the dealer – I was in the waiting room 1-1/2 hours (lousy coffee, btw) before they came back with their estimate. All they had done was the oil change and an inspection which they didn’t tell me about. No charge for the ‘inspection’ but I might have passed because I had to get to work. They should have come right out 20 minutes later to give me the estimate re: the headlight. But instead, after wasting my time, they finally came out and recommended $2800 in ‘immediate needs’ such as a new radiator, rear brakes, lower control arm bushing and motor mount.

After I passed on all those suggestions, I was peeved because if I had been willing to go for the new $405 headlight, I would have to wait (another hour?) for them to repair the headlight which was the main reason I went in!

To top it off, their complimentary car wash was broken. It was just a frustrating way to start the week at 7am and then be late for work just for an oil change (which wasn’t quite due yet anyway – I just tossed that in cuz I had to go in for the headlight!)

Thanks for letting me vent.

I think that you feel like YOU just had a “high intensity discharge”.

Usually everytime I see a very dim headlight, it is usually a bad ground somewhere. But with HID bulbs, I’m not sure. I would try to run a redundant ground from the bulb or socket to a good ground and try that. Can’t hurt.

Here’s a place to start:


FYI http://members.misty.com/don/dschlamp.html

Please someone, bring back round and rectangular sealed beams.

And now I am thinking maybe that price is for the whole headlight assembly, not just the bulb.

If they did install a new assembly then the headlamp needed to be loaded into the vehicle computer. Like loading a new printer onto a computer. That may be part of the reason for high intensity discharge of the wallet.

is this lunacy???guess it is-just cant believe that manufacturers would stick it to us to this extent