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HELP!!! Headlight bulb stuck in housing


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Hello all. As I was swapping out a headlight bulb, one of them (driver side) got stuck in the housing and cannot twist / unlock the bulb to get it out. Two of the three "teeth" are NOT in and one of them seems to be jammed. I was able to get a mirror back there to see how it was jammed up but cannot get this thing loose to save my life. Any ideas? I'm trying to avoid removing the bumper to get the whole headlight assemble out. Thanks!

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I had a simular problem inasmuch as there was so little clearance. I ended up using a crow's foot socket to apply enough force on the socket to get it to turn. I used a 7/8", fit just tight enough to get a grip on the socket. Made it "much" easier to remove and replace.

Edited by enigma-2
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  • 1 month later...

My socket must've been manufactured in the same production run. Had the same problem tonight.

When I twisted the socket it seemed to have rotated enough that it was hitting the backside of the tabs. There was a "bump" in the rather smooth and free rotation which would indicate that a tug straight rearward should slide it right out. No such luck. After much wiggling, prying with hook tools, and more wiggling it finally broke free. Being as how I was in full wiggle mode when it let loose, I broke the glass bulb right off the base just as it released. Now I'm concerned that the bulb will be rattling around in the housing cuz I can't find it for the life of me. Too bad they're not magnetic. Maybe I could try a small hose on the vacuum.

I'm fairly certain it cleared the socket flange and dropped into the housing. Took a small cable tie and swirled it around inside the socket hole and wasn't able to nudge anything that felt loose.


My question is for anyone who has had their headlight housing removed. Is there anything mechanical in there that a glass bulb could interfere with if I just abandon it? Any moving parts that could be jammed if that bulb finds its way into bad position? Is the housing totally sealed, ie: no opening in the bottom for debris to fall out? Thanks to anyone who has been there and seen what I can't see.

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endoscopic camera would help find it. Or small rubber hose duct taped to the end of the vacuum. Again to answer the main question about anything that could be damaged by doing this...I do not know that answer. I assume not, but these days with the way headlights are designed I am no longer sure. Best of luck and let us know the outcome so it can be passed along..

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