Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?
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  • 1 Post By clister1000
  • 1 Post By 76fordpinto
Cadillac DTS Forum - 2006 through 2012 Discussion, Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; We have a 2008 DTS that has been trouble free so far, only about 18k miles on it though. Now, ...
  1. #1
    BT5150 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    We have a 2008 DTS that has been trouble free so far, only about 18k miles on it though. Now, the driver's side turn signal bulb blew and I went to look at replacing it when I found that the whole headlamp module seems to be buried in there. I did a search here on the forum and it sounds like a trip to the dealer is needed to replace the damn bulb! Is that correct or is there a way to replace the bulb without taking apart the front of the car?

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  3. #2
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    You can do it yourself, but you need to at least partially remove the bumper cover, yes.
    It sucks, I know.
    I can usually get to them pretty quickly but I know how to get the cover off, without experience it will take you some time.

  4. #3
    SouthernCountry is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    A huge pain but fairly easy after the first time you do it.

    I took off the grill. Took some clips off the fender. Also had to remove a couple screws behind the fender. Then there are a couple screws for the headlamp assembly itself.

    I put in 2 8500K bulbs.

  5. #4
    BT5150 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    That sucks! Why on earth would they design a part of the car that would need to be accessed from time to time (either by the owner or by a tech) and make it so tough to get at. Now I'm wondering if that bulb is covered by the bumper-to-bumper warranty, which I believe I'm still covered by. I tried calling the dealer but apparently it was a busy day in the service dept because they had us on hold forever and I hung up. On the website it says something about normal maintenance items not being covered, I wonder if they consider a bulb to be normal maintenance.

  6. #5
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    Bulbs are covered under factory warranty or certified used.
    I don't know why they do it, but everything is like that now.

  7. #6
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    HartfordGuy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    UGH! I just noticed the left front parking lamp is out on my 07 DTS. Not the amber signal, but the little white lamp under the signal and above the headlamp. I only noticed it as I had the car remote-started to cool it down and saw it as I walked up to the car. After reading how much of a pain it is to get inside there I will probably not fix it until there is a more pressing reason to. ie: signal or headlamp burns out.

  8. #7
    ffrog is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    Not only are bulbs difficult. I went to check my transaxle fluid the other day and not being able to locate the dip stick I referred to the owner’s manual and below is step one of the process.

    "1 - After removing the engine air cleaner/filter assembly to reach the transaxle fluid cap, turn the cap counterclockwise to remove."

  9. #8
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    Be glad it isn't a CTS.

  10. #9
    clister1000 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    Good News!
    Changed the driver's side turn signal lamp without taking apart half the front end. I just could not accept my dealer's estimated cost of "$150 to $200 and more if the socket needed replacement".
    Only had to pop off the black cover at the front of the engine which makes it a little easier to access the back of the lamp assembly.
    Here is how it's done:
    1. Using a stout screwdriver push on the lamp holder and convince it to turn counter-clockwise to release itself.
    2. Work a small stiff wire (or string) around the rear area of the lamp holder and bring the ends out to a tie off point. This is a safety measure. You do NOT want to lose the socket down in the bowels of the car during the next steps! You probably would have to resort to taking apart the front end if this happened.
    3. Poke at the lamp socket with some sort of hemostat type pliers. I admit I am very lucky to have a very good assortment of these from where I work. I can add a picture of the one I used if it would be helpful.
    4. There is JUST enough room to pull the lamp out of the housing and get it facing you; this is the secret that no one seems to make clear on any website. This clearance makes all the difference in the world.
    5. Pull out the lamp. Make sure you don't lose the socket!
    6. Correct replacement lamp is 3157NA. Not sure why my local dealer used a 3457A three years ago when they changed it out the first time under warranty. Push the replacement lamp into the socket by manipulating something to hold the socket steady. I also used latex gloves as I didn't want any oil to get on the lamp and perhaps shorten it's life.
    7. Wiggle the lamp back into the lamp assembly. You can get rid of the safety wire now.
    8. Align the socket up with the tabs. Will help to have an assistant push on the socket to turn it clockwise while you hold the socket up tight against the lamp assembly. DONE! Less than an hour including the trip to the store.
    Caddilack likes this.

  11. #10
    76fordpinto is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Do you really need to take apart half of the front end to replace a turn signal?

    Just did the same job.
    I removed the radiator cover on a 06 DTS
    used a long screwdriver to push the lower part of the socket
    jiggled it out and replaced the bulb.
    Back in was reverse BUT
    I had to bend a piece of stiff wire to hook the lower part of the socket
    press and pull it locks back in
    It was about an hour all told , plus I got to clean under the cover and I cleaned and shined the radiator cover.

    My wife helped as well in the reinstall small hands were very helpful.

    Slugking
    Superjim likes this.

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