Renault Scenic Headlight Bulb change

The left hand dip bulb in the Renault Scenic had blown, so I thought I’d quickly go and change it. I took a quick look, thinking I’d get the blown bulb out to find out what type it was, so that I could get a replacement to fit.

Looking under the bonnet for the rear if the headlights I decided that I’d need very slimm arms with about 3 elbows just to get to the back of the light, so decided to google around about how this is done.

I found lots of posts from people who have tried this and either given up, or struggled, and some contradictory information about what bulb the car actually uses. I also found out that getting a Renault dealer to do it would set me back the best part of 90 quid!!

After some messing round I have found out how to replace both left and right hand side bulb without spending a fortune at a dealer, and thought I’d share it.

Apparently there are inspection flaps within the front wheel arches that will allow access to the rear of the lights, however several posts I read had problems getting these back in place after they had been removed, also there was some 3 inches of snow round he car, and loads of frozen mucky slush stuck to the inside of the wheel arches, so I decided to see if I could get to the bulbs from above instead.

This is a Renault Scenic 2004, 1.9 DCi, details may well be different on other models!

For this car the main and dip use separate bulbs, H1 for the high beam, and H7 for the low beam. The high beam is on the outside of the light cluster, and the low beam to the inside of the cluster.

The right hand side bulb is the easier of the two to change. Looking towards the rear of the light cluster you can see the washer fluid refill, and a black tube linked together with a simple clip.

Pulling the tube away from the filler neck, then the filler neck away from the body work provides enough space for even quite a big hand to get to the back of the light. I found the best approach was to use my right hand.

Once you have your hand behind the light you will find a soft black rubber cap, this simply pulls off, put it to one side for a minute. Underneath the rubber cap you will feel the back of the bulb with the cable and connector attached to it. You need to get a good grip and as you look at the front of the light (IE looking through the front of the headlight) your need to turn the bulb clockwise about 15 degrees, then you can just pull it out from the back of the unit.

The cable is not that long, but there is enough so that you can pull the connector into sight and get your other hand to it. Pull the old bulb out, and replace with a shiny new H7.

To replace it again use your right hand, present the bulb back into the back of the unit (it helps to look through the front of the lens to see what you are doing), and turn it back to lock it into place. Replace the rubber cap to keep the back of the bulb clean.

Put the washer fluid refill back into it’s clip, then clip the other black tube onto the filler neck, and the right hand side is done.

The left hand side needs to batter cover to be removed, for this there are three 10mm bolts holding it back, one at the front left, the other two at the back of the battery tucked underneath for bodywork under the windscreen.

Remove the bolts, and pull the battery cover off.

This time it’s easier to use your left hand, stand towards the middle of the car, and slide your hand through the gap in front of the battery, and you can reach in far enough to reach the cap, then the bulb on the right hand side.

The removal is otherwise the same as the left side, rubber cap first, then twist the back of the bulb slightly to remove it.

Again the wires are short but you can use two hands to swap the bulb in the connector, then single hand again to replace it.

I replaced the stock bulbs with a pair of Philips x-treme bulbs, these cost £20 for a pair, but give a much better light than the stock bulbs, especially useful this time of year!

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54 Responses to Renault Scenic Headlight Bulb change

  1. Miriam says:

    Just tried it. What a terrible design. Of course first changed the WRONG bulb (H1) but that was easy. When went to change the H7, discovered I didnt have one!!! So had to put it all back together ready to go out to buy one. Doh. And am covered in cuts and blood from trying to get the rubber cap back on!

  2. Miriam says:

    Now done both. Me 2 – 0 Appalling french design.

  3. Donger says:

    Just fitted some HID dipped beam lights replacing the original bulbs.Many thanks for the advice on getting access. Brilliantly written, saving me a lot of head scratching.

  4. Neil says:

    Very many thanks for sound clear advice. Swapped out the drivers side light in about 10mins.

  5. Leigh says:

    Thanks it took 5 mins with your instructions and it saved me a fortune, thanks again I just hope the left one doesn’t go as that looks more complicated.

  6. Al says:

    Following these instructions I headed out with a sense of hope. 15 minutes later both driver and passenger dipped lights have been replaced – the only casualty being a few scratches on my hand from changing the passenger side bulb and my Renaults pride in finally being defeated.

    • Excellent, after my more recent run in with the local dealer, I am committed to not letting them rip me off with stupid charges for little jobs.

      I don’t mind paying a decent price for a decent service, but £90 for something you can do you self in 15 minutes, or £250 for a £5 piece of plastic is just out of order!

      Cheers

      Greg.

      • Al says:

        It got revenge. Water ingress into the UCP which corroded and shorted out which then in turn shorted out the UCH = £420 just for parts incl. VAT… *sigh*

      • Ouch, the price on these parts really does not reflect the equipment in them, or the R&D required to create them, but it is a captive market :-(

  7. Chris says:

    My 2008 Scenic and 2 earlier Lagunas regularly have side lights fail. Any ideas why they only last weeks before dying?

    Cheers

    • Don’t really know, but I’d guess at either a loose connection somewhere causing some arcing, or perhaps the bulbs themselves? Have you replaced with the same brand each time, perhaps try a differnet brand, I put phillips in mine and they have been fine since I posted the article.

  8. Ivan says:

    A great and useful post! A total ignorant of car maintenace like me have just succeeded to replace the right bulb of my Scenic 2008 (well, the easier one… :) according to this article. You saved me trouble and money, thanks a lot!

  9. gwynh11 says:

    Was’nt looking forward to changing the bulb having heard about so many stories, then read your version and changed the LH dip bulb with ease in about 10 minutes. Absolutely brillant !!

  10. Jeff Munn says:

    I have replaced the main beam light on the nearside, after pulling the whole front of the car off; wish I had visited you before. However, the beam is pointing too low and too left. Is there a simple adjustment to lift the beam? Out here in Western Auistralia it is $350 aus to replace a bulb, Shocking car design in this day and age. I have had the car from new, and apart from replacing all the window motoers the car has gone well. The car s very expensive to service, because only Renault dealers will service it

    Jeff Australia

    • Hi Jeff

      I know that there is an adjustment for vertical alignment, all you need is an allen key, the adjuster is towards the top of the light unit. Don’t know about horizontal adjustment tho, sorry.

      Greg.

  11. Linley says:

    Brilliant instructions…. thanks very much.
    Linley

  12. steve murly says:

    great advise had to change both headlight bulbs scratched hands but saved a fortune from the renualt bandits

  13. Observer One says:

    I got the driver bulb out, but getting the wire clip back on was a nightmare, in fact it fell down in the car gubbins never to be seen again. ive improvised with a spring on the inside of the rubber cap pressing on the back of the bulb, but ive no idea where to get just another clip from, i certainly dont want to buy a whole headlamp assembly just for the damn clip. Bloody appalling design.

    • Hi Steve,

      On mine there was not a metal clip to hold the bulb in place, it just twisted to lock it in, then the rubber cap went on afterwards.

      May well be different on a different model of course.

      Cheers

      Greg.

  14. I’ll never buy another Renault car. After having one repair after another on my Scenic I wrote to Reault and sent them a listed account of all the repairs I had experienced and included all the receipts believing I would be offered some financial assistance for all my inconveniences. The answer I received was a definite big NO.
    I have always taken my car for all the necessary inspections to a Renault dealer and would have thought loyalty would play a part. This is my second Renault car.
    I will be looking for another car next spring, but it will definitely not be a Renault

  15. Mike says:

    Thanks for the instructions, without which the job would have required significantly more swearing.

  16. Could you do me a favour, I need to change the passenger side light on a 07 Scenic can you post the instructions. I can get the cap off but how dose the bulb come out !?

    • Hi Graham

      Sorry, but I no longer have the Scenic, so I can’t really take a look.

      If it is the same as the headlight bulbs then it just twists in the holder to release, it does not have anything else holding it in. The headlights bulbs only twist about a 1.4 of a turn to release them.

      Hope that helps

      Cheers

  17. Mart says:

    Thanks for the info. Suceeded eventually with left hand dipped,Seem to have fatter , shorter arms that most. Found that a 22mm o/e spanner would give necessary purchase while lightly supporting bulbholder with extended index finger. There ought to be a Euro-law against such awkward, safety critical items that you might reasonably expect to replace mid-journey. Grrrh!

  18. Just done my sister’s dipped and side, cost nearly the same. Loosened battery clamp and removed cover from “electronics bit”. Can get you hand in then, about 25 to 30 mins to do job.

  19. patrick says:

    thanks for the advice, what a load of cobblers from renault, have my grand scenic 2 weeks, its 2005 model, dreading any major repairs coming down the line, thanks again, you ever had any trouble with putting the spare wheel back under the car, mine wont wind down, stuck with spare in boot.

  20. Tapio says:

    Super, firstly I tought it would be a peace of cake.. after dismantling half of the car without finding a short cut to the headlamp I decided to turn to google. Finding this nice good instructions of the job saved me a lot of painkillers (for the headache). I wish to send my sincere thanks for Greg of this very helpfull instruction. One slight addition, a handmirror is helpfull tool doing the job and it is advisable to push all the wires in the box so they do not prevent putting back the rubber sealing.

    -tapio

  21. andy says:

    my headlamps are pointing down after fitting new bulbs and will not move up or down.

  22. Very fiddly trying to get the new bulb back in afterwards, but job done in under an hour (50 minutes trying to fit bulb assembly back)!

    Cheers
    Mike

  23. Miles says:

    after following the book almost gave up. Using your advice literally did the job in 5 mins – thanks very much

  24. John.G says:

    How do I disconnect the wires from bulb holder? As don’t wanna break it……

  25. Kev Greer says:

    You sir are a star, been drivin with 1 head lamp for a few days because I was dreading this job. Was getting ready 2 pull the front off the car until my wife suggested I look on interweb for hints (thanks love) an I found you. Job done (both bulbs) in 30mins, I have hands like shovels so it was a bit tight but doable. Thank you. Right, where’s the box of plasters………..

  26. Graham Swan says:

    As usual the first cold snap of the year and a head light bulb goes, had a spare from last year…went out to replace the drivers side light and noticed the passanger side was also gone….replaced the driver side in about 5 mins….now will have to go for a bulb for the passanger side (the problem side)……
    This is the last renault that I will have….07 plate Grande scenic….which has a problematic automatic parking brake, but at around £350 for the part and another £150 to fit…yet another rip off, that you cannot simply replace the frayed cable….:-(

    Graham

    • same issue here, 2007 Grand Scenic with problematic hand brake – been told close to £1000 to fix. Both bulbs have gone and the air con corroded and never really worked. I had to get Renault to investigate the dealer who charged me two years in a row for the same part for the air con, managing to lose my receipt from the car and wipe the repair from their system – the charge was still there but not what they did. I have to admire the dealer for draining, fitting and refilling the air con in 45 minutes, or maybe they just cleared the known software fault that stopped it working…

      Anyway, off out to try the bulbs

  27. johnalcock@ntlworld.com says:

    Thanks very much for the advice given on the bulb replacement……
    They do not make it easy for people do they…..it’s all about robbing the public..
    Many Thanks……..John

  28. Matt says:

    Halfords’ say they will replace the bulb for £3.99 plus the cost of the bulb. Though I haven’t tried them yet.

  29. Steve. says:

    Halfords wont touch it with a barge pole,return to dealer they say

  30. jimmy says:

    hi i have recently tried to change a headlight in a renault senic 06 but when i tried the new bulb in it didnt work any idea what else it could be

  31. Kate says:

    Thanks for your instructions, bulb changed in about 10 minutes with reasonable ease. Luckily reasonably small hands.

    • Pleased to hear you had no problems :-)

      Small hands are definitely an advantage for this job !

      Cheers

      Greg

      • john hunt says:

        I meant to post about my experience. I bought the brighter bulbs and decided to pay Halfords £14 to fit them. The bulbs were stuck and the left hand one reventually involved removing the battery. 2 members of staff and me couldn’t shift them or get them back in easily. It took almost 2 hours to change the bulbs. I have an imported 2007 grand scenic and this was just the latest in a set of disasters with the car.

  32. Kyle says:

    Thanks Greg for the clear instructions, It was actually far less painful than I thought ..and I did not stuff it up ..unbelievable

  33. P Southam says:

    Took my 07 Scenic to Halfords (blown n/s dip beam), paid £16 for bulb and fitting, all done in fifteen minutes. They swore a lot though.

  34. Nick Spivey says:

    Wish i’d come across this sooner, would have saved a lot of head scratching. thanks

  35. Neil says:

    Manny thanks for the best help on this I’ve found. Two things I learnt along the way:

    1. The wires going to the bulb can get caught in the bulb locking mechanism, unseen to you. Best to make sure the wires are well clear before attempting to lock the bulb in.

    2. Rather than remove the battery cover, just to the right (looking from the front of the car) of the battery there is a cover over some electrical thing that can be removed with a star screwdriver. I had a pretty standard set of screwdriver bits and one of them worked. It created a bit of space, without the fear factor of laying with the battery.

    Again, many thanks.

  36. Colin P says:

    Hi
    Thanks for info on fitting headlamp bulbs on Grand Scenic – knew before I started today it was a pain- anyway fitted nearside dipped beam , have long thin fingers so found it better to go horizontally in front of battery and push left hand hand along , gave a better purchase rotating bulb holder than trying to come in from the top even with the cover thing removed .

    Oh and don’t mention wiper arms, just replaced drivers side , bearing in it fell apart £118 plus Vat for the part grrrrrrrr

    Thanks

  37. billy says:

    Parking break problem, just changed headlight bulbs and the parking break wont go on !. is there any connection or just coincidence

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