Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS
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  • 1 Post By MCDelaware
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  • 3 Post By MCDelaware
Cadillac XTS Forum Discussion, Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS in Current Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; My 2014 gave me a new warning on the cluster console today. It appears my driver side left front turn ...
  1. #1
    MCDelaware is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2014 xts4
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    Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    My 2014 gave me a new warning on the cluster console today.

    It appears my driver side left front turn signal is malfunctioning.

    I went to a local auto supply store and purchased replacement bulb.

    I looked under the hood and couldn't visually locate the bulb socket.

    I searched these forums but it appears no one else has posted about replacing their front XTS turn signal bulbs.

    I went online and could not find a helpful "how to" video for the XTS.
    The only one I could locate was a guy magically making one appear after reaching in blindly with his very slender arm up to his elbow.
    I tried reaching in and feeling around a few times on the driver side but couldn't discern anything that felt like a bulb harness for the small turn signal bulbs

    My Cadilac dealer is 50 miles away. I would hate to make the 2 hour round trip drive and also pay for a bulb installation that just requires a little advice for this slightly challenged DIY guy.

    Any experience and advice?

    I may be the first to make this request but expect there will be others who will eventually also appreciate the help you provide here.

    THANK YOU!
    caddy30 likes this.

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  3. #2
    ccclarke's Avatar
    ccclarke is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    You're correct. Replacing the turn signal is as easy as turning the lamp bulb assembly CCW 90 degrees. However comma. . . .


    Replacing the bulb requires removal of the headlight assembly. (4 screws) Apparently, during the headlight assembly design phase, the engineer leading the effort caught a dealer technician having an affair with his wife. Therefore, he decided to punish every dealership technician in the world, which unfortunately trickles down to the rest of us who (used to) like working on vehicles. So a simple, two-minute bulb replacement becomes a two-hour, three beer, four Band-Aid exercise in madness. Throw in some shop labor time to accomplish this and it becomes expensive enough to justify replacing both bulbs with compatible, longer-lasting LEDs since the front fascia is off anyway. But I'm getting ahead of myself. . .

    Headlight removal involves:

    1) Removing or repositioning the Front (and side) Compartment Sight Shields. (The front is the plastic panel on the top/front of the hood that goes from side to side, (1 fastener) the Side Sight Shields (clip-ons) are on the side of the front compartment behind the headlights) to gain access so you can:

    2) Remove the Front Bumper Fascia, (9 screws on top, one on each side of the forward wheel wells, and four on the bottom.

    3) Removing the Front Wheelhouse Liner screws. (11 screws and 9 push-pin retainers.)


    If you're uncomfortable doing this, a 100-mile round trip might be worth eliminating (most of) the aggravation.


    Nothing is easy anymore. If you can enlist the help of someone with a long skinny arm and nimble fingers, it might be accessible with the wheelhouse liner/ applicable front tire removed. I just looked in there and it's awfully tight.

    While the hood was up, I took a look at the other parts that need to be removed. I noticed both Front Side Sight Shields are loose - as in flopping around loose. Replacement is $37 each (and $26 for shipping!) In this case, it's probably cheaper to order them though my dealer.

  4. #3
    MCDelaware is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    ccclarke - Thank you for the info.

    That is absolutely insane!!!!!!

    I know I'm not prepared to do all that.
    I may be good at taking things apart but much less at getting them back together without rattles or extra parts laying around.

    I pray, literally, there is a very simple alternative approach that some extremely brilliant innovative person will share very soon.

  5. #4
    MCDelaware is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thread Starter

    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    I would think there are others here who have had one of these little turn signal bulbs burn out in the front of their XTS.

    Did you perform the same process ccclarke outlines?

    Did you perform a different procedure? If so, please share it.

    Did you uncover a shortcut? If so, please share it.

    Did you have a dealer replace it?

    If you had a dealer replace it, may I ask what they charged?

  6. #5
    1969byrdman's Avatar
    1969byrdman is offline US Coast Guard: Semper Paratus
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    if there was an easier way, I can pretty much guarantee ccclarke would know it. Even cheaper cars aren't immune--my neighbor has a 2 year old Ford Fusion and he had to do pretty much the procedure above to replace a headlight bulb.

  7. #6
    MCDelaware is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    I DID IT!

    If I had to repeat, it could take 15 minutes or less.

    First time it took me about an hour. That was only because I fat fingered and dropped the bulb and socket far beyond reach, not once but twice. I lost time searching for the right size socket and then laying down to partially remove a small splash panel underneath to retrieve the part.

    I knew I was not capable of doing all the stuff previously mentioned so I thought I had nothing to lose by at least trying something else before driving an hour to the dealership.

    Here are my steps after pulling the XTS in the garage, opening the hood, and getting a utility light:

    1. I popped off the long black plastic shroud above the front grill, radiator, etc. It is just pressed on and pulls off easily moving from each edge toward the middle.
    2. I rolled up both sleeves and took turns with each hand to blindly reach in nearly to my elbow (and I have long arms) and feel around for anything that felt like it was in the right place and might have a perpendicular edge to try to turn.
    3. Alternating disappearing arms, I was slowly able to turn the socket a few degrees counterclockwise with a thumb and occasionally a finger (it is VERY tight).
    4. Once I had no resistance, I was able to pinch the socket end between two fingers or a finger and a thumb and gently remove my arm into daylight with socket still in hand.
    5. I didn't expect to see it without some tethered electric wire connection but I guess Cadillac integrates the wiring harness into the threads of the socket and the headlight assembly.
    6. Knowing what a challenge this was to do blindly, I thought I should try to get it back into place without inserting a new bulb and getting it dirty. I put on disposable incredibly thin plastic gloves to get the full impact.
    7. As noted above, I dropped this twice before getting the confidence that I was ready to insert a good bulb into the socket and go for it.
    8. I got it in place by persistence and watching through the hole where the new inserted bulb finally appeared.
    9. Again alternating hands, I was able to blindly twist the perpendicular plastic edge to lock the new socket into the headlight assembly.
    10. I went underneath and reattached the loosened splash panel.
    11. I reattached the shroud by lining it up and pressing it back into place.
    12. While the hood was open, I added half a gallon of windshield fluid with deicer as it is getting colder in Delaware.

    I took it for a brief test drive and then later that evening, after dinner, I took my wife to see Christmas lights and showed off my success

    I'm 6'4" with fat hands and a bit on the clumsy side.
    I ended up with a few small surface scrapes on one wrist but no blood, no foul!

    I THINK YOU TOO CAN DO THIS!

    Just give yourself plenty of time and breathe deeply.
    I also recommend doing this in a garage or somewhere you can get under the vehicle in case you inadvertently duplicate my dropping episode.

    I try to be a good steward of my hard earned money so any time I can do something myself to save time and money, I will give it my best effort.
    Sometimes it doesn't work out but this time, it paid off!
    caddy30, rockit and tokuboi69 like this.

  8. #7
    jcgriff2's Avatar
    jcgriff2 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    Congratulations on a job very well done!

    To be honest, I never would have attempted it myself.

  9. #8
    rockit's Avatar
    rockit is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    Just to add to MCDelaware's good info, mine just went out and it is a burned out socket, not bulb. 1/4 turn to remove and I will put a tether through a hole I drilled in the tab in case I drop it on install, (see photo of burned one). It is awkward, but doable. The problem was intermittent and temporarily remedied by a fist bump on the lens. One of the metal bulb retaining strips had failed and is dangling inside the housing,with no continuity. Waiting now on delivery of new socket, GM p/n 22791377.
    Attached Images

  10. #9
    rockit's Avatar
    rockit is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    Here is a photo of a couple aids I used to remove and install the new socket and bulb. All tethered, which turned out to be an absolute necessity.
    Attached Images

  11. #10
    rockit's Avatar
    rockit is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Replace front turn signal bulbs on XTS

    Just to add, I thought to do the passenger side also and when I looked, no dice. There is a piece of molded insulation and a hose in the way making it impossible to get my knuckles through to access the socket.

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