Fitting Philips X-Treme Bulbs Into A Ford Focus

The dark nights are upon us and one of my headlight bulbs had blown, so I thought it was time to upgrade to some Philips Xtreme Power bulbs.

Fitting Philips Xtreme Bulbs

So I went to Powerbulbs.com and ordered a set of H7 bulbs for my Ford Focus. They cost £27 and included free delivery and a set of Philips Blue Vision sidelights and arrived the next day (I’ve bought from Powerbulbs before and know they offer great service).

Some people find the thought of fitting their own headlight bulbs rather daunting, but it really is quite easy. On my current Ford Focus, which is a 2008 model, it’s even easier than on my old Mk1. All you need is a large flat-bladed screwdriver and a set of rubber gloves. The screwdriver is for the one and only screw that holds in the headlight unit, the gloves are to protect the bulbs from any greasy fingerprints.

Undo The Headlight Unit

[singlepic id=842 w=240 h=160 float=left]Because the engine bay is crammed full of stuff you need to remove the entire headlight unit to get at the bulbs, but on the Mk4 Focus this is really easy. Pop open the bonnet and undo the screw (pictured) and then pull the headlight towards you. You might need to give it a wiggle, but it should come free quite easily. Then maneuver the unit out from the wing.

The next thing you need to do is to remove the power cable, which is a large plug that fits into the rear of the headlight. There’s a little tab on the plug that holds it in place and this needs to be pushed upwards (away from the headlight). You should hear a little click and then you can pull the plug out.

Remove The Old Bulb

[singlepic id=845 w=240 h=160 float=right]With the headlight free of the car you can get at the back of the unit. The dipped beam is the innermost bulb of the three (outermost is the sidelight, middle bulb is the full beam). Remove the rubber cover and you will see the connector for the bulb. There is a clip on here that needs to be squeezed before you can remove it. With the connector free you can get at the old bulb and remove it. Now PUT ON YOUR GLOVES – any greasy fingermarks on the surface of the new bulb will buy phentermine 37.5mg pills cause it to heat up and blow.

Fit The New Philips Xtreme Power Bulb

[singlepic id=847 w=240 h=160 float=left]Carefully insert the new bulb into the slot and then position the connector over it, taking care not to bend the pins on the bulb. Push the connector until it clips back into place. Don’t forget to replace the rubber cover and then re-attach the power cable.

Now slide the headlight unit back into the gap until it slots back into place. The screw hole on the headlight should line up with the hole in the bodywork, allowing you to fit the screw. Make sure the screw is nice and tight and that should be it … job done. Now go and switch on your lights to make sure the new bulb is working. If it isn’t you’ll have to remove the headlight again to check the electrical connections are in secure.

Now Get Out And Test Your New Bulbs

[singlepic id=848 w=240 h=160 float=right]Make sure you double check the fitting of your bulbs by taking your car out for a quick drive in the dark. This will highlight any problems with bulb fitment, something I spotted on one of my headlights because the bulb wasn’t sitting properly in the slot. It was easily fixed by checking the fitment but you don’t want to get caught on a long night-time drive with one of your headlights lighting up just a few feet in front of you.

You’ll also get a chance to enjoy the improved glow from the Xtreme bulbs. I found mine to be an improvement on the standard Ford bulbs, although the increase in range wasn’t quite as big as expected. However, they were definitely worth buying because the light is much whiter and easier to see with and the strength of the beam is better up to the maximum distance. The old bulbs were good closeup but the beam wasn’t very good at full distance.

Conclusion

The first thing to note is that it’s really easy to fit headlight bulbs yourself, so don’t go throwing money at dealers when they’ll only spend five minutes working on your car. The second thing is that Philips Xtreme Power bulbs make a decent upgrade on a Ford Focus and it’s a shame you can’t get them in an H1 fitting to upgrade the full beam.


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Author: Chris Auty

Voted the Breakthrough Blogger of 2013 by SEAT and the Guild of Motoring Writers , Chris has lived and breathed cars since he was old enough to say 'faster'. With a penchant for hot hatches and an allergy to public transport, he would much prefer to drive a bad car than never drive at all. Fortunately his family has learned to put up with this obsession and the internet has provided a channel for his ramblings.

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to post such a really helpfull tuition, have since upgraded mine too, but what I wanted to know was, did you also upgrade your sidelights as well and if so how did you go about it? Cheers, Paul.

  2. Hi Paul, I’m glad you found it useful.

    The sidelights are a bit of a pain. They’re fitted onto the end of a long plastic tube that’s held deep inside the light, meaning you can’t get at with your fingers.

    You need to remove the headlight and then stick a long, flat screwdriver down into a slot on the plastic bulb holder. Gently turn the screwdriver through 90 degrees to unlock the bulb holder, then slide it out to get at the bulb.

    Careful, because the bulb holder is fragile and you could split it if you’re too forceful with the screwdriver, and that could mean you’re unable to fit the bulb holder back in or remove it again.

  3. Chris,

    Thanks for your post; I too have been looking around trying to find a good alternative to the stock headlights in my Ford Focus. From what I have read online the Sylvania Ultra lights don’t last long, which is less attractive, however, when I search these Phillips lights it appears that they are not the correct size for the Focus. I’m rather ignorant when it comes to doing many repairs/mods to a vehicle. Your article was very informative, and I apologize for the question, but how do get around the issue of them not being the correct fitting, you mention that it is fairly easy but are there any drastic differences you would note during installation? I drive a US model 2008 Ford Focus SE, any additional info would be greatly appreciated. I’d hate to spend the money and not be able to install them successfully.

    Thanks

    Jordan

  4. Hi Jordan. Thanks for stopping by.

    I had no problem getting the Philips bulbs to fit my Focus as they’re available in all the common sizes – H1, H4 and H7. My UK-spec Focus takes H7 bulbs for the dipped beam and H1 for main beam, but I don’t know how that compares with US spec. If you go to Powerbulbs.com, where I’ve bought both Philips Xtremes and Osram Nightbreakers, they’ve got a utility that allows you to check your car’s bulb fittings. It even includes US cars, and they ship worldwide.

    Assuming you do get the right size bulbs then fitting them should be a similar job to the one I described above. The placement of the screws might be different, but it shouldn’t be too hard.

    Good luck!

  5. Chris,

    Thanks for your reponse! I ended up getting the Philips H13 9008 X-treme Power Headlights, although I was unable to find the size I needed at Powerbulbs.com. I was able to pick them up for $35 on Amazon with a $10 mail in rebate, so only $25 for the lights, felt like that was a pretty good deal!

    Thanks

    Jordan

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