I have a 2007 Prius. One of its HID headlights no longer works. I asked the dealership about getting a new one and they said that HID headlights cost over $100 each. They also said that the only way to change the headlight on my Prius was to take off the bumper. For this reason they recommend buying 2 headlights so I won’t have to pay labor twice even though the other one still works. That makes it about $350 to change a light bulb. I think I’m being ripped off. Has anyone else had experience with this? It seems like a real design flaw to have to take off the bumper to change a headlight bulb.
The price for the HID bulb is about right, and I agree that it’s an idiotic design if it requires you to remove the bumper to change a headlight, HID or not. It’s up to you whether to replace the other one though.
One question buyers don’t ask is how much to replace a headlight - perhaps we should? This is ridiculous!!!
While I can’t give you a list, I do recall that there are other models–from various manufacturers–that also require removal of some body parts in order to replace headlight bulbs.
Major design problem? Yup!
Many newer cars have the same issue. My wife’s 2004 Maxima requires removing the bumper cover to replace the non-HID bulb. No car actually requires the bumper be removed, only the bumper cover as far as I know.
Mazda Cx-7 requires turning the wheel all the way left or right, then removing the inner fender to be able to reach the headlight and turn signal bulbs to replace them.
To replace the HIDs on some cars, they might be replacing the whole unit rather than just the bulb, so that’s probably why it requires the bumper to be removed.
You’re not replacing a bulb, Kimmybird. HID headlights don’t have bulbs.
I would replace only the light that’s failed. The other one may last a long time.
Another case in the automobile world ( Form over function )
The head light bulb replacement instructions in the owners manual does not involve removing the bumper cover or headlamp assembly. There are access covers in the engine compartment.
The captions however show halogen bulbs in the illustration, so it is unclear if HID bulbs can be replaced the same way.
If the ballast was being replaced, it would be a couple hundred more. It’s likely just the lamps that are being quoted. HID headlights may not technically use ‘bulbs’, but it’s all the same—the xenon lamp needs replacement. Personally I don’t see the point in replacing the one that still works, as it may last for years more, but that’s up to you.
I vote to mandate the old style sealed beam headlamps again.
nevada: the headlight instructions are probably for the normal halogen bulbs, not the HIDs
@Joesph: I like being able to see further than 20 feet in front of me with my low beams. I have dealt with those sealed beams on the Chevelle I had, not very good at night. The brights(using all 4 headlights) lit up the road like a normal setup, but the low beams weren’t very good
Rockauto sells Wagner OE type HIDs for $114.79 each. You aren’t getting torched on the price of parts.
I would like Consumer Reports or some other publication to give an idea of the labor involved in doing certain automotive repairs such as replacing a headlight, replacing a heater core, changing the spark plugs (even if it is only done at 100,000 mile intervals) changing a timing belt, and even replacing a battery since some cars don’t make this easy. This would be helpful to those of us who keep cars for a long time.
Unfortunately, the price you’ve been quoted is not unreasonable for what needs doing. I agree that it’s a pathetic design.
The owner’s manual and repair manuals for my '89 Toyota also guided the owner to remove the front bumper to replace the headlamps, and these were old fashioned sealed beams. Yet my 2005 Toyota, my Scion, are super easy turret style lamp sockets with plenty of room around them to change the bulbs.
My daughter’s Civics were terrible to replace the bulbs on.
Designs seem to be “all over the map” in terms of changing headlight bulbs. I’ll never understand why.
Having said all this, let me suggest that you Google how to remove the front bumper. If you’re at all handy with tools it may be a lot easier than you think.
Replacing the sealed beam units on my 1990 Ford Aerostar wasn’t all that easy. I don’t remember what I had to do, but Mrs. Triedaq remembers that I would turn the air blue every time I had to replace a bulb. It seems to me that it would take me the better part of an hour.
One more thing—In these hard economic times, it would be great to have a manufacturer produce a vehicle that could be easily maintained and serviced by the owner with a few simple tools. Changing oil and filter comes to mind. My 1971 Maverick had the drain plug on the side of the block. I could slide a pan under the engine, then reach down and remove the drain plug. The oil filter was also easy to remove from above. Changing headlights and other bulbs was a snap.
These bulbs are avalable for less than $70 from a reliable ebay seller. Bumper does not need removal.
“-In these hard economic times, it would be great to have a manufacturer produce a vehicle that could be easily maintained and serviced by the owner with a few simple tools. Changing oil and filter comes to mind. My 1971 Maverick had the drain plug on the side of the block. I could slide a pan under the engine, then reach down and remove the drain plug. The oil filter was also easy to remove from above. Changing headlights and other bulbs was a snap.”
I totally agree. However the average car buyer is not interested in it. They are just going to take there car to the local fast lube place where they will be lucky to have the drain plug properly re-installed. They only care about how it looks.
When I Shop For A Car I Do My Homework First.
I check many resources, including TSBs and talking to mechanics, as to the reliability of a particular drivetrain on a car I’m interested in buying.
I am basically done buying cars that have timing belts. My entire fleet uses chains, except one remaining older vehicle on which I recently replaced the belt.
I won’t buy a vehicle that has to have the fascia removed to change a headlight (Malibu vs. Impala). Our Impala has easy access to bulb replacements as do our other cars.
I do check the ease/convenience of oil drain / oil fill / filter change and would pass on buying a car that’s a PITA.
I check for locations and ease of checking (I do this weekly) of underhood fluids. Except for engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks, all other fluids (P/S, w/washers, coolant, brake fluid) on our cars can easily be visually inspected and easily topped off if needed.
We have too many cars and drive too many miles to deal with the nonsense of cars that are not DIY friendly. This plays an important role in my selection of a car.