Thomas (boggyb) wrote,

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Alfa maintenance!

Time taken to change both dipped beam bulbs on an Alfa MiTo: 15 minutes or so.

The other morning while trundling to work I discovered that one of the headlamps was out (by wondering "why is one reflection dimmer than the other?" while paused at some lights). So, off to Halfords at lunchtime to track down a suitable replacement... not helped by Halfords, Bosch, and Alfa all disagreeing as to which bulb I need (for reference it's an H7 - the Bosch listing is wrong). Later on in a gap between downpours I had a go at fitting them.

Now, the manual is wonderfully vague when it comes to replacing bulbs, and merely instructs one to remove a cover, remove another cover, remove the bulb, and replace everything. What it doesn't tell you is the cover is a rubber cap that just pulls off (with a handy tab not-so-handily tucked behind part of the wiring loom), the bulb holder needs to be pushed towards the front of the car and rotated before it'll come out, and the bulb itself is a very tight push-fit into the holder with almost no way of getting any leverage on it. Especially on the passenger side where the proximity of the battery doesn't leave much space to work in, though that's partially my fault for fitting an oversized battery.

Still, could be worse - I could be trying this in a 159 which has no space at all to work in. And I managed it without losing any blood which is always an achievement when working on an Alfa. Hopefully the bulbs are still aligned correctly, though the upcoming service and MOT will take care of that if they're not.

While I was at it I also finally picked up a set of wiper blades - yes, I know, they're much cheaper online, but Halfords had them in stock and they really needed sorting. Unusually for anything involving an Alfa they were a piece of cake to fit, just unclip the old one and clip the new one in. And now my wipers no longer judder across the windscreen but just quietly swish across. It's one of those things where you don't realise quite how bad they are until you replace them.

The bodywork repair still needs sorting (consensus is the door can be de-dented, but the rear quarter panel needs replacing) - I got a few quotes by email, but they're so wildly different (low quote of £700, high of £2300!) that I think I need to actually pop round a few places with the car and see if that results in less insane numbers.
Tags: driving

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