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Discussion Starter #1
Is there any other options to replace the headlights on a 2011 Buick enclave. Is there a cheaper alternative to the factory ones? I cant justify paying over $100 per bulb.
 

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I can't believe that GM designers would create and approve a headlight bulb that costs consumers $300US and $125US labor to install that only lasts 4 years. In the past month, I have replaced both front headlights in my 2014 Enclave Premium (Cost over $850 for 2 headlight bulb replacements). What were they thinking or NOT thinking?
More bad news, my wife also drives a 2014 Enclave. I now can look forward to having to replace her headlight bulbs in the near future.
Thanks muchly,


Riley O'Connor :sad::sad:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree. That reason alone, I would probably not buy another Enclave. There has to be a cheaper alternative to replace them.
 

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HID's aren't cheap and they're becoming standard across the board. Even the base 2019 Traverse has HIDs now. So pounding your fists and saying, "I'm not buying another Enclave because the headlights are expensive" isn't going to get you very far unless you want to buy classic cars from now on. $850 seems ridiculous but if you're going to get all your service at the dealer you're gonna get ripped off a lot.

The good news is as they become more mainstream the price will go down and better aftermarket options become available. I see Rockauto has a Wagner DS3 HID replacement bulb for $73 for my 2013 Enclave. That's not terrible compared to the cost of higher end halogens I was using on my prior vehicles. The downside is you don't know for sure if it's the bulb or the ballast that's bad without some troubleshooting. It's not as simple as the old halogen days when if a headlight was out it was the bulb 99.9% of the time.
 

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If you want to DIY it next time:

I know it's possible to do it without going in through the wheel well but if you don't know how the bulb socket and wiring harnesses release I wouldn't suggest trying to do it blind. It's not a big deal to remove the wheel and wheel well.
 

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I got seven + years out of mine and I drive aprox 20K miles a year, the bulbs are about $100 a piece, I changed them myself. AC delco they are made by OSRAM , one and the same, my E has one of the best headlights I've ever had in a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, thank you all for your answers. Now I have another problem.
After spending $225 for 2 new headlights and a little knuckle busting and a lot of swearing to install, my passenger side high beam still does not work (original reason for replacement)
Anyone have any idea why this could be happening?

I have a 2011 CXL AWD
 

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I dont have the HIDs on my Traverse.
But the bulb replacement is the same.
I swapped them out in a hurry about a month ago.
took me about 12 min to do both sides... as the kids had to go to soccer practice.
But yeah, turn wheel inward. undo 4 screws, pull back liner and get access to the bulbs.


But this is the regular type bulb
 

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OK, thank you all for your answers. Now I have another problem.
After spending $225 for 2 new headlights and a little knuckle busting and a lot of swearing to install, my passenger side high beam still does not work (original reason for replacement)
Anyone have any idea why this could be happening?

I have a 2011 CXL AWD
Probably a bad ballast. You can swap the left and right ballasts and if the problem follows the ballast you've found your problem.
 

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Can't justify spending $100?
Your options are few,

  • Drive without a working headlamp
  • Sell the car and buy another,
I have a 2009 Enclave. Peb Boys did the headlamp replacement for me parts and labor $300. You can find the bulbs on-line for around $100 but the replacement procedure requires you to remove the front end of the car! There is a back door through the wheel well but you still have to remove the tire and the inner fender skirt.

Enclaves are the kind of car you should not own past 100k miles unless you have your own mechanics shop.
 

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...but the replacement procedure requires you to remove the front end of the car! There is a back door through the wheel well but you still have to remove the tire and the inner fender skirt.

Enclaves are the kind of car you should not own past 100k miles unless you have your own mechanics shop.
You can just turn the wheel all the way to the left or the right, depending on which side you're doing. It takes 15 minutes tops to remove the screws for the wheel well and pull it back enough to get easy access to the bulb.

As for your "unless you own your own shop comment" that's true of ANY vehicle over 100k if you're not willing to spend a few minutes seeing if a shop is ripping you off for something you could easily do in 15 minutes with nothing more than a philips screwdriver. All cars require service, regardless of make/model, and shops will overcharge if they think they can get away with it.
 

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I found with the articulating headlamps even with the wheel turned all the way you cannot reach the headlight itself which is out of reach unless you take off the tire, raise the car up and reach way up in there.

Yes, over 100k expect to make repairs, but Enclave repairs are far more extensive and expensive than any other car I've owned. There are things like the headlamp procedure discussed here, coils and wires that go around 120K that take out the catalytic converter, the springs, and on and on. Oh and I left out the AC evaporator that goes around 100k that requires 2 full days of labor and complete interior disassembly of the front end to replace.
This car is in line with some Euro models that costs thousands in repairs to keep them running.

Yep if you don't mind disassembling the top of the engine or pulling out your wheel well every once and a while sure have at it. If you just want to enjoy ownership without a line of credit at the bank this is not a car to keep past 100k miles.
 

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Do you know what bulbs Pep Boys used? I tried to call and service has already closed. Dealer wanted $300 per bulb + labor and told me I needed both bulbs so I'm looking elsewhere.....
 

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Do you know what bulbs Pep Boys used? I tried to call and service has already closed. Dealer wanted $300 per bulb + labor and told me I needed both bulbs so I'm looking elsewhere.....



dealers $300 cost- is the book time to 'remove the front bumper'.


But in reality- if you have thin arms, you can do it via the wheel well with vehicle on ground and wheel turned in.



or raise car, remove wheel, and pull back the wheel well liner....

some people remove the wheel well liner to have more space to work with the bulbs- with wheel in place. But in reality Ive remove the liner- and it took about 5 min to remove it. (working on something else).



My Traverse has regular bulbs. so I can pull back the liner and swap out bulbs in 12 min- (and this is both sides).
 

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Thanks Rbarrios you always do our legwork for us. How many years should I expect to get out of a HID, average nighttime driving?
I had my plastic cover off the in the engine compartment last weekend, the one covering the radiator. I was able to remove the plastic headlight cap, reaching into it to remove the lamp would be a challenge but probably doable from the topside as well. As far as having to "Remove The Bumper" as the dealers tell you what has to be done, is pure profit for them and the mechanics.
 

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The $300 was for one bulb only. I needed two and with labor it would have been over $1,000. We got them changed but now they need adjusting (horizontal) so we're searching how to do that. Someone told me bulb might not be in properly. They were NOT fun to change so not going to be fun to try and adjust either.

By the way, the bulb we took out was made by Philips. I can buy the bulb they wanted $300 for online for $120. We found AC Delco/Osram bulb for around $60.
 

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:surprise:
 

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