changing bulb in front turn signal
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Thread: changing bulb in front turn signal

  1. #1
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    Default changing bulb in front turn signal

    I was in a fender bender last week and my front right turn signal got smashed. The bumper itself is fine, just scratched really, so I'm thinking about eventually just getting it painted and moving on.

    But in the meantime, the front right turn signal doesn't work. The car detects this and runs the flasher at double speed, which is annoying. And of course not having a turn indicator on the front of the car is a safety issue, so I'm thinking about going ahead and replacing the bulb ASAP (myself) so I can get the proper signaling functionality back.

    I searched this forum and found a few posts that talk about replacing this bulb. Here they are quoted:

    Quote Originally Posted by MTN Ranger View Post
    I found a bunch of places online that sell this bulb (1.85/.44 AMP 13.5 volt T6 Maxi Wedge Base #7444NA Miniature Automotive Incandescent Eiko Light Bulb )

    http://www.elightbulbs.com/Eiko-0640...=GoogleBaseCSE

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA0BD0784983

    http://www.payless-4-lighting.com/7444na.html

    https://www.interlight.biz/light-bul...&ID=FROOGLE-US

    Attachment 4146
    Quote Originally Posted by Brittt1 View Post
    Changing the drivers side is fairly easy through the wheel well. The passenger side is way more difficult as the charger is located there. It's a tight squeeze that will take your arm a week to recover. Terrible access design.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-Volt View Post
    ... Access to the turn signal bulbs is no problem (Good News!). As I suspected going thru the wheel well liner is a breeze. Remove the four torx screws from the forward edge of the wheel well cover and two 7mm bolts on the bottom to allow some play. Obviously it helps having your wheels turned inward. Visibility and hand access is great.
    So, buying the bulb should be easy enough. But I'm wondering about the access, because the last two quotes above seem to conflict. Has anybody else done this, on either side, and what was your experience?

    turn-signal.jpg
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    Last edited by ChrisC; 09-19-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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  2. #2
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    It can be a rough go. The driver side is not too bad but the other requires some work.
    Either way you do have to undo a bunch of lower fasteners
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  3. #3
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    Thanks AZ, so it sounds like you agree that the right side was more difficult.

    (FYI, I can't figure out why the image I attached won't appear on the home page. Oh well, maybe an admin will fix it.)
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  6. #4
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    I did this today, and will post a proper how-to writeup tomorrow with pictures, but in the meantime ...

    Can someone with the service manual look up a part number for me? In the turn signal assembly, the wires go to a little assembly that holds the light bulb. This is mostly a dark orange color, but there is a white adapter part that the light bulb actually plugs into, and then the white part goes into the dark orange part. Can you see if that white part (again, directly under the light bulb, what the bulb actually touches) has a part number? It's broken on mine and I need to order it.

    It may very well only be available as part of the larger assembly (white and orange parts together) but the white part is what I really need.

    Thanks in advance!
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  7. #5
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    Bump ... Anybody got a service manual?

    EDIT: Hmmph. I took a chance with online parts stores and placed an order this morning. Hopefully it's correct.

    I'll still post that procedure here, later this week.
    Last edited by ChrisC; 09-25-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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  8. #6
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    I'm going to expand on Brittt1's and AZ-Volt's guidance (quoted above) and write a proper procedure on how to change the front turn signal bulb.

    Changing the drivers side is fairly easy through the wheel well. The passenger side is far more difficult as the charger is located there and in the way. Therefore it is strongly recommend to do the left side first, EVEN IF you really need to do the right side. Doing the left side (even just opening it up and looking) will show you what it looks like, so that you can then feel your way around on the right side.

    1. As stated above, this procedure is for getting to the front LEFT turn signal bulb. Even if you really need to get to the right side, do this left side procedure first.

    2. Park the car with the steering wheel turned hard right, so you can get to the wheel well liner easier.

    3. OPTIONAL: jack up that corner of the car. You'll need to borrow somebody else's jack, because the Volt doesn't come with one (it has the compressor+sealant kit instead of a spare). The jack point is marked in the frame with a little half-moon notch.

    4. Remove the four torx screws from the forward edge of the wheel well cover. You'll need a T-20 Torx bit for this.

    5. Remove the two plastic "rivet" things, one at top and one at bottom. Use your fingernails or a small screwdriver to pull the central rivet out, and then pull out the ring/anchor part.

    6. OPTIONAL: Remove two 9/32" (7mm) bolts on the bottom to allow some play in the wheel well liner. I've been able to get by without doing this.

    7. The attached picture shows the tools required and the parts removed so far.

    8. Now that you can SEE inside the car, reach in and untwist the bulb assembly to release it from the turn signal plastic lens. You may find that reaching up through the bottom of the car works best, so the opening you created in the wheel well liner is really just to be able to see what you're doing!

    9. With the bulb assembly loose, guide it down to the opening in the bottom of the car. The wiring is just barely long enough for you to get the bulb outside where you can see it better.

    10. Pull the old bulb out, and put the new one in. It's should be a 7444NA, available at most auto parts stores.

    11. Undo the above steps. Make sure the wheel well liner is pressed back into place before putting the rivets and screws back in.

    It is REALLY hard to undo step 8 above (twisting the bulb assembly back into the turn signal plastic lens) on the passenger side. I actually was unable to do it by hand. Some sort of special long grabby tool might do it. I wedged a piece of wood in to hold the bulb in, and will get it properly put in when my bumper gets repaired. On the driver's side it's trivial to do, because the charger isn't in the way.

    turnsignal2.jpg
    Last edited by ChrisC; 10-17-2012 at 04:47 PM.
    2011 Volt #284, ordered 30-Jul-2010, built 30-Nov-2010, shipped 15-Dec-2010, delivery 22-Dec-2010, lease return 22-Dec-2013, Hidden Content
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  9. #7
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    I changed the front passenger turn signal bulb on my 2011 Volt today. Thanks ChrisC for the instructions. I'm "mechanically inclined" but no mechanic ! Took me 1 hour and 15 minutes including breaks to regain my wits. Putting the bulb and socket back in the socket is a blind procedure on the passenger side and was difficult for me. The bulb cost $3.59 from elightbulbs. Just curious, does anybody know how much parts and labor go for at a Chevrolet dealership?
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    2011 Silver Volt
    Florida Panhandle

  10. #8
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    I have a 2013 volt and need to change out the complete passenger side turn signal assembly. Has anyone done this thru the wheel well cover, or well the bumper need to be removed?

  11. #9
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    Today I was able to change out the passenger turn signal assembly, it took about 2 hours to complete, the access was simple after removing the out star #20 outer screws on the fwd wheel well access panel and the 4 lower screws attached to the lower bumper. Then front bumper cover was easily pull out from the top below the headlight just enough to R & R the turn signal light assembly 4- 7mm screws. Access directly thru the wheel well panel would be impossible there is a large rectangle electric box blocking the only way was from the top.

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  13. #10
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    Thanks for noting your experience here!

    That "large rectangle electric box" is the charger, the block of electronics that converts the AC that you plug into the car into the DC that the battery chemistry runs at. That's what I was referring to in my original procedure. You can barely squeak past it to change the light bulb, but probably nothing bigger than that.
    2011 Volt #284, ordered 30-Jul-2010, built 30-Nov-2010, shipped 15-Dec-2010, delivery 22-Dec-2010, lease return 22-Dec-2013, Hidden Content
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