Whether you’ve got your summer holidays already booked or you’re planning to get away over the Whit weekend, if you’re taking the car anywhere you should think about your lights and remember to take spare lamps with you. There are several good reasons for this. Some countries, such as France, Canada, Croatia and the Czech Republic, actually require you to carry spare lamps with you by law. But even without the force of law, carrying spare lamps is a really good idea. After all, even the best automotive lamps occasionally fail. And it’s more difficult than ever before to find the right spare lamps.
Over the past few years car manufacturers have been producing a whole series of new lamps. There are now about ten different lamps just for headlights. And it’s not uncommon for the high-beam lamps to be different from the dipped-beam lamps. What’s more, H 8, H 9 and H 11 lamps look very similar from the outside and are even similar to ones labeled HB 3 and HB 4. Under no circumstances may these be replaced with the widely available H 3 and H 4 halogen lamps. In many countries you need to drive on dipped beam even during the day, so you should also think about your DRL lamps, particularly if your car is not already equipped with LED technology.
There are also far more versions for turn indicators than even a few years ago, including halogen lamps such as the H21W and the 24 W series with plastic bases. These types are often so exotic that they are omitted even from spare lamp kits. You are basically forced to buy them as a spare part from a workshop, ideally one in your own country. These special lamps are often really difficult to track down at filling stations and accessory shops, particularly abroad. And if you do happen to find one, the likelihood is that they will not be of the same high quality as you would expect from Osram products. Some people don’t bother to take spare lamps with them because they cannot change the lamps themselves or simply don’t want to. With spare lamps on board you can always find someone to help you, either a knight in shining armor or a regular workshop, and you don’t have to worry about finding the right lamp.
If you want to play it really safe, you can also carry a spare set of fuses. These also come in lots of different versions, and most cars have quite a few of them. The manual will tell you the ones you need. This OSRAM site will help you with the necessary lamps. The lamp types relate to Europe and countries that have similar regulations. Different designations and versions are used in North America. They have the same problem of a large number of different types, though.