OK call me a dummy. I can't figure out how to change the bulb in my '04
I've got a burn out and I want to replace the bulb. There is the bulb
holder and a wire that holds the bulb in place. The problem is, I can't
figure out how to make the g$^$#&dam retaining wire to move out of the way.
Wouldn't you know it but the retaining wire looks nothing like it does in
the manual. Is there a technique to this - do I need to have really small
hands to get in there to move or what????
Ok, I just changed it again and I think the best approach is to feel for the
rounded ended of the retaining clip towards the top of the bulb. Push it
towards the front of the car and then up. It should release from the
retainer and then pull it back.
It is actually an easy setup if only you could see in there.
I hope I can remember this 2 or 3 years from now.
On Tue, 7 Mar 2006 11:15:18 -0500, "EOO" <whereeverforever.com> wrote:
umm, DOH! It's so easy when you figure it out. Push the wire in, don't
pull. I was using everything short of a tackle and pulley to pull out that
stupid little retaining clip and it wouldn't budge. Once I read your clue
I changed the bulb in a matter of seconds....
Definitely easy, even for a blind man.
For those who wish to give a go try replacing your ordinary dim yellowish
bulbs with new xenon ultra-white bulbs on EBAY. They are relatively cheap
compared to auto stores. And the bluish-white colour sets you apart from
All Foci use the H4 bulbs (except perhaps the HID equipped headlights?)
Get the ones that are legal (4500*K not > 4850*K) and don't use a bluish
coating on the bulb that actually filters out some of the light.
agreed I have the HID units in my 2003 Ghia but I replaced the high
beam units (which are normal halogen bulbs) with the ultra brites and
it made a big difference to the lighting even with the HID units which
My next Focus will be the new ST3 which claims to have bi xenon units,
which kind of hints that the high beam is also HID but the pictures I
have seen seem to not back this up. If I am correct then the first
thing I will be doing is another high beam bulb upgrade.
Just so happens I had recently purchased a set of Nighthawks and was waiting
for a warm enough day to put them in, which turned out to be yesterday. This
advice was therefore timely and worked great, so thanks. I also found that
a) I had to get in there with my big fat fingers and untangle the wires from
the clip (which took the bulk of the time) and then b) installing the new
ones was tricky, since I had to first make sure that the wires didn't foul
the clip and then make sure that the clip was completely in. This took a
couple of tries, and it would have been easy to leave the bulbs loose by
At the same time I replaced the lamps on my Chrysler van and I must say that
Chrysler's design was more logical and less fiddly, but both were by no
means fool-proof. So the lesson for the owner is, if you're not confident
of your home mechanic skills maybe better leave lamp replacement to the
Incidentally, I like the Nighthawks, definitely an improvement over the
6-year old original Focus lamps.
I just had this nightmare of a job and eventually used pliers to pull
the wire out enough to slip the bulb past. Re-setting was a case of
bending the wire back into some reasonable shape and hoping the whole
lot stays in there! So far so good but it may need a more permanent fix
at a later date.
One from the ministry of crap design.
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When I first had my Focus, I fitted uprated bulbs. When one blew recently I
swapped back to the originals. Total time in each case was less than five
minutes. I can't see a problem with the design.
Now if you were to try doing it on a '03 Corolla I would understand the
In fact many cars now need some dismantling to change headlamp bulbs,
including things like bumper removal!
I suppose I would have had the same nightmare if I had let myself become
frustrated (which believe me I have done). Fortunately I was able to stay
calm and look carefully at what I was doing, so I didn't need violence.
Looking at the clip one would assume it just folds back after applying
pressure from both sides however on my focus the left edge of the clip
is fixed solid to the edge of the headlamp fixing. Therefore a certain
degree of force rather than violence as you put it was needed.
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I've got a RHD Focus TDCI.
Only sensible way to remove the nearside bulb is to remove the battery
first. I'm becoming quite proficient at doing this now, having done it 3
The offside bulb is no problem.
I've changed both bulbs twice on my RHD LX, and never found the need to
remove anything other than the cover over the bulbs. I have got fairly
small hands though!
There are many modern cars that need a lot more dismantling for headlight
bulb replacement than the Focus.....
I'll second that! It's a nuisance, but it's impossible to manouver the lamp
unit cover off with the battery holder in place. It took me four hours the
first time I changed the bulbs, because it doesn't say in the manual that
you need to remove this, and it was dark and raining, etc. I can do both
sides in about 25 mins now thankfully!
Nope! UK. The pre face lift model had a screw off cover, the 2002 or so
onwards model you have to unclip a clip, and hinge the cover upwards like a
door. The problem is that the battery holder gets in the way and won't let
you hinge it open far enough to remove it from its retaining slots. It may
well be easier on petrol models, but on the diesel there's hardly any room
in the engine bay to get at anything. Even the nearside one requires a fair
bit of dexterity!
I have a 2001 zx3 - US model built in Mexico and the bulb I changed was on
the battery side.
Absolutely no need to remove the battery unless you want to see what you are
Now that I can visualize how the clip works, it is 3 minute job tops.
Actually, I could now do
it in less than 60 seconds.
I just hope I remember this the next time I need to change bulbs.
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