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Headlights---What Ford got wrong

Headlight replacement

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11 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   salmonri

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:54 AM

Up until yesterday, when people asked me if i liked my Fusion, I would reply that i liked it very much...not any more.  Yesterday I paid my Ford dealer $400 to replace a head light in my 2013 Fusion.   that's a car payment folks!   When they told me that they had to remove the entire front bumper to get to the headlight i wanted to scream.   It was $350 just to replace one lamp and they told me i should replace the other one while the bumper was off.  This is insane and some of the worst engineering i have witnessed in years. Now when i buy my next car (which won't be a Fusion) I have to ask the salesman if the bumper has to be removed in order to change the headlights.  I hope that others raise these issues with Ford so they change this design...they are not wining good customers this way

 









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#2 OFFLINE   eGuru

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:15 AM

 

If it was only a bulb replacement. Then the labour portion sounds a bit high.

 

Many vehicles require similar work to access the headlight bulbs.


Edited by eGuru, 12 August 2017 - 09:17 AM.

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#3 OFFLINE   drolds1

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:52 PM

This post has been moved to the appropriate forum by a moderator.  Per the header in the Welcome forum:

 

Here's the place the introduce yourself, post photos of your Fusion, Milan, MKZ, Zephyr and say hello!

 

 

As eGuru has pointed out, many modern cars require that the front bumper be removed for access to the head lamps.  The focus for manufacturers is on ease of assembly at the factory.  Unfortunately, for owners and the service industry, ease of service after sale is not always a priority.  If I want to access the transmission dipstick in my MKZ, I'd have to move the intake out of the way, which requires tools to accomplish.

 

If you think that Ford is alone in this, here's a video of how to access the headlights on a 2012-2014 Toyota Camry.  The procedure is quite similar to that of your Fusion.  The Camry has been the best-selling sedan in the U.S. for several years now so there are, literally, millions of these cars on the road and they all will require front bumper cover removal for access to headlamps.

 

If you're going to avoid Ford for this reason when choosing your next car, you may be in for extensive research before purchase.  Choose wisely.

 

I agree with eGuru.  If all you had done was a bulb change, this seems excessive.  Did you get a new headlight assembly?  The service manual for my MKZ allows 1 hour of labor for headlamp bulb replacement, which also requires front bumper cover removal, and MKZs have adaptive headlamps, so it's a little more complicated than your Fusion.   Even at $100/hr for labor (for argument's sake), it seems way out of line.  What does it say on your service ticket?



#4 OFFLINE   salmonri

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

If is common in the auto industry...then shame on the industry.  It's hard to go from replacing my own headlights on my Hyundai for less than $30 to $400 to have them replaced on a Ford.  I think the dealer has some blame in this situation.... they charged me $50/each for a lamp that i can buy on the web for $25.  They estimate that it is a 2 hour repair...which i believe.  their rate for this service is $319.  I think they felt so guilty about charging that much that they gave me a $70 discount....the cost ended up being $355... so my simple state inspection cost me $479.   At the very least I will not take my car back to that dealer. 



#5 OFFLINE   IWRBB

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:16 AM

Mechanics/dealers ALWAYS double the price on parts, that's just one of the ways they make money.  If they didn't, their labor rate would be even more.

 

You could always buy the lamps yourself, then twist a few wrenches and screwdrivers if you don't want to pay someone else to do it.  It's not difficult to do, but you probably want an assistant to help take the bumper off and put it back on without scratching the paint though.



#6 OFFLINE   salmonri

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:19 AM

Thanks for the replies....however, i still feel that people are missing the point...and that is that the car manufactures have taken what used to be an easy and inexpensive fix and made it a overly costly and burdensome fix.  May i remind everyone that i went to a Ford dealer and paid $400 to replace two headlights...that's a 400% increase over the cost we have historically paid for headlight replacement.   Sure some of us have the equipment and physical ability to remove the bumper and install the lights ourselves...but the majority of car owners do not. 

 

the reason that i push this issue is encourage people to put pressure on the automobile manufacturers to design and build cars in a sensible, responsible, and user-friendly manner.  We shouldn't accept their bad designs.



#7 OFFLINE   eGuru

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:20 AM

Car manufacturers have finally introduced LED headlights into the US.

This will greatly improve the reliability and reduce the need to perform this type of service.



#8 OFFLINE   akirby

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:31 AM

Thanks for the replies....however, i still feel that people are missing the point...and that is that the car manufactures have taken what used to be an easy and inexpensive fix and made it a overly costly and burdensome fix.  May i remind everyone that i went to a Ford dealer and paid $400 to replace two headlights...that's a 400% increase over the cost we have historically paid for headlight replacement.   Sure some of us have the equipment and physical ability to remove the bumper and install the lights ourselves...but the majority of car owners do not. 

 

the reason that i push this issue is encourage people to put pressure on the automobile manufacturers to design and build cars in a sensible, responsible, and user-friendly manner.  We shouldn't accept their bad designs.

 

They don't design it this way on purpose.   There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of trade-offs when you design and engineer a vehicle.  That's the price we pay for all the new modern designs, safety equipment and crash protection requirements.   Something that you should only have to do once every few years simply doesn't get priority over other requirements.

 

It's not a Ford issue and it's not something the automakers are going to change just because of a few complaints.  But if venting makes you feel better, good for you.



#9 OFFLINE   drolds1

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for the replies....however, i still feel that people are missing the point...and that is that the car manufactures have taken what used to be an easy and inexpensive fix and made it a overly costly and burdensome fix.  May i remind everyone that i went to a Ford dealer and paid $400 to replace two headlights...that's a 400% increase over the cost we have historically paid for headlight replacement.   Sure some of us have the equipment and physical ability to remove the bumper and install the lights ourselves...but the majority of car owners do not. 

 

the reason that i push this issue is encourage people to put pressure on the automobile manufacturers to design and build cars in a sensible, responsible, and user-friendly manner.  We shouldn't accept their bad designs.

I don't think anyone's missing the point. I'll bet everybody reading this agrees with you. I think it's safe to say that no one here is happy about having to pull the bumper cover to change a headlamp bulb instead of sticking their hand behind the grille and doing it in 5 minutes. 

 

In days gone by, if your turn signals stopped working, you went to the auto parts store, bought a new flasher for $3, unplugged the old one from the fuse box and plugged the new one in.  Now, you have to replace the SJB/BCM for $600.  No doubt, nobody's thrilled with that either.  

 

We're just trying to point out today's reality in the automotive world.  I also don't think that any amount  of pressure from consumers is going to alter that reality. Automakers aren't going to go back to the way cars were built a generation ago.  Why don't you write to Ford corporate and see what the response is?



#10 OFFLINE   IWRBB

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 08:55 AM

Thanks for the replies....however, i still feel that people are missing the point...and that is that the car manufactures have taken what used to be an easy and inexpensive fix and made it a overly costly and burdensome fix.  May i remind everyone that i went to a Ford dealer and paid $400 to replace two headlights...that's a 400% increase over the cost we have historically paid for headlight replacement.   Sure some of us have the equipment and physical ability to remove the bumper and install the lights ourselves...but the majority of car owners do not. 

 

the reason that i push this issue is encourage people to put pressure on the automobile manufacturers to design and build cars in a sensible, responsible, and user-friendly manner.  We shouldn't accept their bad designs.

 

Nobody is missing your point.  Look at it this way- at what point is it OK for something to be hard to replace?  Should everything be a 5 minute job that requires no disassembly?  How much more are you willing to pay for a vehicle that is super easy to service?  Everything is a compromise in the design of a new vehicle.  it has to meet all the safety regulations, look attractive, function correctly, and not be so expensive that everyone buys the competing product instead.  99% of people people buying new cars don't give a crap about how easy or hard it is to service.   They will buy a new car and leave the headlight replacement to the next owner.



#11 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted Yesterday, 07:48 AM

If you want your car to look like a 1980 Chevy Malibu, then you can have headlights that are easy to replace.

 

Sure it might cost 10x more to replace a headlight bulb now than in the past, but it is also a far more rare occurrence.  I actually can't remember the last time I changed a headlight bulb, maybe it was 1998.  I had my 2002 Focus for 11 years and never had to change a single bulb on it.  So if you only have to change a bulb 1/10th as often, the net difference is really zero. 

 

BTW Ford does have an internal requirement that bulbs can be changed with one hour's labor, so if your dealer can't do it in one hour they need some more training.


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#12 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted Today, 02:43 AM

Design and quality of lighting is leaps and bounds better today regardless of source, when compared to decades past, that is certain.






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