Xenon Headlights - £7 fix for a £680 headlight!
A couple of months back I was involved in a very minor front end impact where I ran up the arse of a guy who stopped in the middle of a cross roads while turning to his right on seeing the red lights stopping the traffic from his left and right (Aye like they are supposed to so we can cross the road) I wasn't paying attention to him figuring he had gone. Instead I was waiting for my break cut right across the oncoming traffic
Anyway, the resulting damage was two cracked headlight top mounting brackets (the ones you see when you open the bonnet) and a 50mm long puncture in my front bumper of my 98 S4. Gutted but minor.
So I final got round to pricing the headlight and bumper last week. You can imagine my horror to discover Audi UK want £680 for a headlight (the bumper is only 206+VAT).
Now the real bummer in all of this is that the headlight is fine if you don't look at the two mounting lugs underneath the bonnet you wouldn't know the headlight was damaged.
so I talked to my local parts dept. He priced the headlight. I was disgusted and started winging…. "The entire lamp is plastic, the lenses, mirrors, mountings etc. the lugs are the poorest weakest designed thing I've come across in a long time, there are so many parts to the headlight you should be able to buy them separately it costs that much for one unit... To which point the parts guy says, "Hmm you say the mountings...let me think now I'm sure there is a repair kit for those. Some time back we ordered headlights and they came in damaged with said lugs snapped off. In fact 50% of the lights received are damaged from packaging alone! I'm sure the kit costs £7 and consists of two new lugs that are simply self tapped into the old housing.
I finally got them on Sat. I was chatting to the other two parts guys about these lugs and how they have saved me hundreds. They were both surprised to hear about these lugs as neither knew they existed.
On fitting these lugs I discovered my kit has turned up with 2 left lugs no right lug! I hope this is a packaging mistake.
I'm well pissed off with Audi Uk's pricing policy on parts that are clearly poorly designed in the first place and destined to fail at which they cream the profit from us - the owners.
Xenon bulbs and power unit aside there is no bloody way a mass-produced lump of plastic costs anything close to half this price! But this is only one component in many.
Take the DIS - they are notorious for fading. One lad last week on this forum was quoted £800 to replace his one. Mine had started fading at 30K. The new one I got through pure luck owing to an incompatibility with a recalled ECU kit failed within 3 weeks.
I can buy a flat screen TV and video for £500!
Most turbo charged performance Audis over the years have had manifold problems the old 5 cylinder and S4 B5. Audi deliberately exclude these from their warranty and charge £900 for the 5 cylinder replacement part alone, never mind labour!
Sorry - Rant over