Headlight Replacement Expensive?

mkunzemkunze Member Posts: 29
edited November 2015 in Chrysler
I have a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country with 144,000 miles on it. The headlight recently burned out. The dealiship told me it is expensive to replace since the bulb is about $100 and they have to replace the ballister (sp?) as well when they do it. He said it would be about $250.00 just to essentially change a burnt out headlight bulb. Am I getting ripped off, do I have any alternatives who could do it less expensively and lastly why would Chrysler build a van that has a headlight that costs $250 to replace? What advantages could there possibly be to any headlight that costs this much if a bulb in it burn out?


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Haven't checked prices on my '09 Grand Caravan, but you may want to check locally at the parts stores or at some online place like Rock Auto.

    Some of the headlight prices out there make yours seem almost reasonably priced. I miss the days of $8 bulbs, but if I drove much at night, I'd be unhappy with them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You may not need a ballast. You can test this by swapping the bulbs out side to side. If the "good" bulb won't work on the "bad" side, then chances are the ballast is bad. If the "good" bulb works on the "bad" side, then all you need is a bulb, which you can order quite cheaply at www.rockauto.com. Be sure to follow these SAFETY TIPS when working on HID systems.

    Never work on a "hot" bulb. Wait at least 30 minutes
    Never touch an HID bulb with your bare hands. Always wear gloves or use a rag.

    Also I'd recommend replacing both bulbs at the same time. You can get two Hella bulbs, + grease + gloves for $36 bucks at rockauto.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    That was a smart reccomendation since both bulbs were installed at the same time. When one go's the other can't be far behind!
  • mkunzemkunze Member Posts: 29
    Well I did it myself, saved money, but I don't know if I'd do it again. Got a bulb from Amazon for $58 and followed directions from auto guys on Youtube but things never go as well as they do on TV (or youtube). Had a problem when I removed the bad bulb unit from a plastic ring that fits around the bulb unit. The plastic tab catch that keeps the unit closed had become brittle and snapped off. When I went to install the new bulb it seemed like a strong fit without the need for the plastic tab catch. However after being super careful and threading the bulb through wires and components that give you no room to work, the ring kept falling off deep into the headlight housing. It required me to remove it and try again in difficult work conditions while trying not to damage or touch the fragile HID bulb. The ring was also hard to extract from the housing, once again, due to having no room to work in. Eventually I had to super glue to tab back onto the plastic ring unit to keep it from opening and falling off when I tried to screw the bulb unit into the headlight housing, It worked, the tab held. I was able to get the bulb unit mounted in the headlight and it works. But it stressed me out to the point that I think I'm going to pay $250 when the other side burns out.
  • carboy21carboy21 Member Posts: 760
    edited November 2015
    Go online at Amazon and search under headlight bulbs and then they have a car finder and will match it for you. My 2010 Odyssey minivan bulbs are 9005 and they come in pairs costing about $35. Any auto shop will replace it while you have an oil change. Dealerships are a rip off. You always replace it in pairs. Best bulbs are Sylvania silverlinght high performance halogen bulbs.

  • mikephillips81mikephillips81 Member Posts: 3
    I just replaced both bulbs on my Ford Flex. Ordered them online for around $50 (pair) and installed them myself in less than 10 minutes and I'm not an experienced mechanic of any sort. Check out all available options before you make a decision, you may just save some money.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    It's funny how some jobs that used to be so easy to do can be so nasty on today's complex cars!

    Heck, when I was growing up, nobody charged labor to replace a headlight!
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