Broken Headlight Retaining Bracket

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Discussion Starter · #1 · Nov 27, 2012

So I took my 04 Touareg into the VW dealership to replace a headlight bulb. They called me and said my headlight retaining bracket was broken and that I would now have to pay 450 to replace the bracket on top of replacing the light bulb.

1st question is there anyway to prove that they broke the crank as I have never changed the light before and I doubt it breaks by itself.

2nd question is how hard is it to replace the headlight retaining bracket myself? They were going to charge me for 3 hours of labor. Does it really take 3 hours to replace the bracket that the lighting housing goes in?

When they called me I went in and saw that the crank was sheared off and told them not to touch it. They told me they would have to break the bracket to get to the light housing to replace the bulb and I told them to hold off.

Please help as I have no passenger side headlight.

*** The Dealership I am dealing with is in Alexandria, VA ***

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You can hammer a socket over the crank to release the headlight as many have done here. I think it is a 19mm if I’m not mistaken. To replace the headlight bracket, you’ll need to remove the entire front clip. :/

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Discussion Starter · #3 · Nov 27, 2012

@otsb708,

Your saying I just hit the broken crank on the top of it with 19mm socket to release the headlight bracket? Is the front clip the entire front of the car? I dont know what a front clip is.

Once i hit the crank to get the housing out… is there a way for me to lock it back in without fixing the headlight bracket?

Thanks for your help so far

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As OTSB708 pointed out, all is not lost. Save yourself the money on the bracket and look at some DIYs on here. It is really easy to do yourself and if you get a knew bracket, odds are it will break on you down the road and you’ll be back to square one.

A good place to start is reading up on how to change out the bulb if you don’t have a broken bracket. Perform that carefully and you’ll be able to see the inner workings of the housing and then you can attack the other side with a good bit of understanding. It’s pretty easy once you get a grasp of what the mechanism is doing.

http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/f…out-hex-bolt-very-hard-to-twist-+61404532026.html

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Discussion Starter · #5 · Nov 27, 2012

@denker,

I think that is a great idea and I will work on getting the driver’s side light housing out to see how everything works.

One, I apologize for not know how to search the site very well. two, I was not able to find any DIY guides on how to take out the light assembly for a 2004 Touareg on this forum, but was on another site (VWVortex.com – Changing Halogen Bulbs)

I am still looking for this answer and maybe you can help me out. I see that there is a way to get the light housing out, but how can I lock it back into place after I get it out if the crank is broken?

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BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING spray it with easing oil and leave for 24 hours.

Use needle nose grips to grab hold of what’s left. Some people have used a dremel first to clear a bit of space.

Here’s another thread on changing headlights with pics.

Removing headlight unit + changing bulbs – myTreg forums

And a video

The actual lock will not be broken. Use the same needle nose grips to lock it up again.

To replace the “bucket” the headlight unit sits in requires the removal of the front bumper. This is easy to do with two people and nice large blanket to lower the painted bumper onto to avoid scratching it.

Done carefully should not take more than 90 minutes tops.

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Discussion Starter · #7 · Nov 27, 2012

@Noobytoogy,

I was just reading the post you gave 2 weeks ago and had just watch the video you posted. Thank you for chiming in on my thread.

couple of quick questions…

Is WD 40 Easing oil?

When I really stuck my head in there I saw some gear teeth that I thought that I might be able to use to my advantage and was wondering someones opinion.

Taking a closer look at the pictures to see what I am talking about…

Broken Headlight Retaining Bracket

should I use the needle nose pliers on the part circled or the broken shaft?

Thanks again for everyone’s help thus far

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Yes, WD40 is what I use.

Sorry, I cannot see the photo you posted.

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Discussion Starter · #9 · Nov 27, 2012

Here is the image I tried to attach before

Broken Headlight Retaining Bracket

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If you are referring to the gear on the shaft that sticks horizontally out of the bracket then yes. The gear that is supposed to mesh with that should be removed and out of the way. I removed the plastic around it as well so that I could get a pair of vise-grips in there.

One thing to note, that gear is not permanently attached to the shaft that you are trying to rotate. Mine fell off at some point so the last time I changed out the bulbs I had to use some really long needle nose to get into the narrow space around shaft. That shaft is oval shaped which gives you just enough of a surface to grab onto. It was quite the pain though so make sure you grab that gear before it dissappears on you.

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I scoured this site for solutions to this and the best I found was the needle nose plier tip. I BARELY got that to work in my car and only after chiseling away at it and using a hack saw to cut away a chunk of the bottom of the tub (under where the release pin/ gears would pop out). Finally, I fished the securing rod out and hammered on a 1/4′ deep socket on the end. I fished the rod back through the hole (from the engine bay side into the headlight tub) and now the little socket just sticks out there, ready to go. Now I can easily use a small socket wrench to pop out the headlight without any worry about broken gears or spraying any lube on it the day before. Apparently I can’t add any photos.

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Yeah… that didn’t work. It rattles itself loose because the latch system has no resistance now. I might add a rubber liner to create resistance but for now a zip tie is holding the light in.

Luckily the tubs are on sale right now for like $60 so that will happen as soon as I have time.

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Taking the bumper off to access the bucket is easy enough. There are about 24 fixings and a few are hidden, plus any connectors for parking sensors, etc.

It’s a two man job to land the bumperdue to its size, but before you start spread out a large sheet or blanket to land it on so you don’t mark the paintwork!

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