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How to change headlight - VW Polo?
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# 1
travel_freak
Old 16-03-2009, 1:12 PM
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Default How to change headlight - VW Polo?

Hi,

I wondered whether anyone has/had a VW Polo and could explain how to change the headlight bulb? Mine has gone. I've looked at the manual and there is no info. at all - it just says to take it to a dealer!! I rang VW and they want to charge 55 to change the bulb!!

If anyone could help with any steps that would be great. I am reasonably handy but don't have any specialist tools, beyond screwdrivers.

Also, is it an automatic fine if you are stopped by the police? I'm working late shifts this week and not sure when I'll get a chance to try and fix this myself.

Thanks in advance.
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# 2
hewhoisnotintheknow
Old 16-03-2009, 2:17 PM
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not sure on a polo, but open the bonnet and see if you can work it out

sounds like a bad design really
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# 3
davetrousers
Old 16-03-2009, 2:38 PM
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What Model/year?

There is likely to be a black plastic cover that will need removing first.
.....

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# 4
kitchpoo
Old 16-03-2009, 3:48 PM
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more than likely at those charge rates it is going to be the bumper off to fit.

Look inside the inner wheel arch lining to see if there is an inspection cover to take off - that may help.
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Last edited by kitchpoo; 16-03-2009 at 3:51 PM.
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# 5
travel_freak
Old 17-03-2009, 7:31 AM
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Hi,

The year is a 2004. I've just googled and seen plenty of other people asking similar questions about Polos and Golfs - but haven't yet found any sort of guide. If anyone knows of any guides or instructions I'd be very grateful.

I'm prepared to have a go but don't want to break something in the process....

I guess I could try Halfords but am a bit worried they're all youngsters and might also break something....

I'll pop into a bookshop to see if I can find a Haynes manual and take a nosy at that but if anyone has ever done this themselves and can offer any tips I'd be very grateful - can't spend 55 to have a lightbulb changed, that's just madness!!
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# 6
Hintza
Old 17-03-2009, 8:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travel_freak View Post
I'll pop into a bookshop to see if I can find a Haynes manual and take a nosy at that but if anyone has ever done this themselves and can offer any tips I'd be very grateful - can't spend 55 to have a lightbulb changed, that's just madness!!
Are they not all sealed nowdays? Why not try EBay/Amazon? The manual will be a good investment anyway will probably save you money on other small jobs (eg changing brake pads).
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# 7
mrdunkleysexy
Old 17-03-2009, 8:50 AM
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Morning

The best thing to do is join a enthusiasts Polo Forum like http://www.clubpolo.co.uk/ etc

too be honest, any car Ive brought I always join a couple enthusiasts forums as they always have people on there with the help you need and youll save you a lot of time and money in the long run

If it is a bumper job a lot of small garages will do it for roughly £20 - £25 pounds so it may make sense to get all them changed at the same time

Just to add my old vectra needed the front fogs changing, it required the front of the car to be jacked up! I took it to my local garage and he changed both foglights for £10 labour

Good luck
"One Man Can Make A difference" Michael Knight KNIGHTRIDER

Last edited by mrdunkleysexy; 17-03-2009 at 8:56 AM.
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# 8
TonyMMM
Old 17-03-2009, 9:23 AM
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It isn't a bumper off job, at least it wasn't on my wife's 2002 model. But it was very awkward to get your hand into where you need to be on the back of the light from under the bonnet ....Haynes manual will show you
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# 9
fatboyonadiet
Old 17-03-2009, 10:44 AM
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You can do it yourself, I did BUT there is 2 clips that hold the bulbs in place, I lost mine while taking the bulbs out and subsequently it failed it's MOT and I had to get 2 new headlights because I couldn't buy the clips!

I just went to the local garage after that and they charged 15 for the bulbs and fitting, Halfords was about 15 for one but they wouldn't fit them.
2p off is still 2p off!
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# 10
travel_freak
Old 18-03-2009, 12:38 AM
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Hi

Many thanks everyone. I found a manual in the library! Have read it and looked under the bonnet and it is deceptively simple...it doesn't require any parts to be removed. I just remove a black rubber cap and then can see the bulb. Manual tells me to "pull off" the wires which attach on to the bulb ends and then to release a spring that holds the bulb in place.

For the life of me I can't get the wire parts to come away from the bulb - no idea why! I don't want to overly force it and risk breaking it. It is awkward to get at but I can see it well enough, just cannot free the bulb.

So maddening! I just can't believe manufacturers can get away with this sort of thing - or the stories above about removing a bumper - how crazy!!

I'll just have to get a few quotes from smaller garages I guess...thanks anyway for the helpful advice.
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# 11
goldspanners
Old 18-03-2009, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travel_freak View Post
Hi

Many thanks everyone. I found a manual in the library! Have read it and looked under the bonnet and it is deceptively simple...it doesn't require any parts to be removed. I just remove a black rubber cap and then can see the bulb. Manual tells me to "pull off" the wires which attach on to the bulb ends and then to release a spring that holds the bulb in place.

For the life of me I can't get the wire parts to come away from the bulb - no idea why! I don't want to overly force it and risk breaking it. It is awkward to get at but I can see it well enough, just cannot free the bulb.

So maddening! I just can't believe manufacturers can get away with this sort of thing - or the stories above about removing a bumper - how crazy!!

I'll just have to get a few quotes from smaller garages I guess...thanks anyway for the helpful advice.
pull the plug that connects on to the bulb, they will be tight, they need to be.
...work permit granted!
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# 12
travel_freak
Old 18-03-2009, 12:59 AM
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Hi goldspanners,

Just worried I'm going to break it!! I can see the bulb itself moving inside the lamp as I tug on it from inside - will give it one more try. Would I need to get a whole new headlight if I bust it.....could be a false economy methinks - just makes me mad!!
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# 13
hewhoisnotintheknow
Old 18-03-2009, 4:40 AM
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ask a friend to do it
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# 14
mrdunkleysexy
Old 18-03-2009, 12:36 PM
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Had the same problem changing my Ford Mondeo side light bulbs

You have to be patient though and take your time. As someone suggested get a friend to help you, in the long run youll save yourself a few quid and youll know how to do it if it occurs again on your wifes car
"One Man Can Make A difference" Michael Knight KNIGHTRIDER
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# 15
rockthebus
Old 10-10-2010, 5:01 PM
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Default Its not too bad once to know what to do!!

I removed the bumper as a last resort, but there is a much simpler way.......

Refers to a 2003 polo 1.2

Remove the rubber cover from the back of the bulb.
Pull off the connector (may need a wiggle as you pull as they are quite tight)
Looking inside (may need to use a mirror) there is a black plastic ring, which has 2 torq screws diametrically opposite. These screws must be loosened, but not removed so that the black plastic locking ring can be turned. Turn the locking ring anti-clockwise only a little, there will be a little click.
The bulb is then free to come out.
Refitting is simply the reverse, but do not touch the glass on the bulb.
Make sure the lug which sticks out on the backplate of the bulb goes to the top
Turn the locking ring clockwise and nip up the 2 torq screws, but dont go mad!
Refit the connector and the rubber plug
Done!
Should take 5 mins rather than the 1 1/2 hours to remove the bumper and light assembly!
Best of luck
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# 16
alnsv1000s
Old 29-12-2010, 3:30 PM
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I noticed the Headlight bulb on my wifes 02 plate Polo had gone yesterday. Tried looking at doing it myself but thought Id consult the manuel first. It just says to take it to a VW dealer.

This morning she took it to local Independant mechanics in Wickford and they only charged her 5 to supply and fit Result
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# 17
Kilty
Old 29-12-2010, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnsv1000s View Post
I noticed the Headlight bulb on my wifes 02 plate Polo had gone yesterday. Tried looking at doing it myself but thought Id consult the manuel first. It just says to take it to a VW dealer.
IMO this should be illegal - changing bulbs is a basic emergency repair to make to a vehicle
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# 18
Stigy
Old 30-12-2010, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnsv1000s View Post
I noticed the Headlight bulb on my wifes 02 plate Polo had gone yesterday. Tried looking at doing it myself but thought Id consult the manuel first. It just says to take it to a VW dealer.

This morning she took it to local Independant mechanics in Wickford and they only charged her 5 to supply and fit Result
5 supply and fit? Most Headlight bulbs cost more than 5! Bargain!

Headlight bulbs can be a nightmare to fit. I have quite small hands and even I have difficulty working in such confib=ned spaces sometimes! I've heard horror stories of having to remove bumpers and certain standard hologen bulbs being contained within sealed units before (MX-5 for example). Something as rountine as a headlight bulb should be reletively easy to get at in my opinion, and anything other than that is mere marketing by manufacturers. I can understand them being tight to reach etc, but it takes the biscuit having to replace a whole headlight unit or remove a bumper!
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# 19
reeac
Old 30-12-2010, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnsv1000s View Post
I noticed the Headlight bulb on my wifes 02 plate Polo had gone yesterday. Tried looking at doing it myself but thought Id consult the manuel first. It just says to take it to a VW dealer.

This morning she took it to local Independant mechanics in Wickford and they only charged her 5 to supply and fit Result
There's a good general point here - look for a good small garage. Manufacturers' agents employ too many "suits" who liaise with customers etc. You need a place where the mechanics rule. I have such a garage locally - 3 mechanics including the owner plus someone who sells stuff, takes bookings etc. I can tap into their experience e.g how long do coolant hoses last nowadays? [answer: pretty well forever].
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# 20
wba31
Old 30-12-2010, 11:02 PM
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dont be afraid of breaking it, my dad is a mechanic and he is insanely strong. he always changes the bulbs on my cars, no matter how awkward they have been (307, Bora, Accord, Civic) and he puls pushes and prods things that i think will break but they never do... the socket on the bulb will be tight as it may have been originally connected by a robot... (i have no idea how cars are put together...)
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