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Phil V
12-01-2015, 11:59 AM
A lady friend of mine called me and asked if was interested in changing the parking light bulb which is in the left headlight housing. She told me the dealer quoted her $150 labor plus the bulb. I checked and the OEM bulb in question was a simple peanut bulb that's been in use for at least 40 years. I thought " hell, how difficult could it be, just remove the headlight housing and replace the bulb " right ? Those GM designers should have their asses kicked for this one. In order to get the front headlight housing out of the Escalade you have to remove the whole front section of the car (grill assy, front bumper cover. Remove the left fender wheel splash shield. There are two 10mm head bolts that connect the bumper cover with the fender (front of the wheel well and back from the headlight). Those two bolts were rusty (keep in mind it's a 2011 model) and the two bolts break off. No way to re-attach the bumper cover to the fender. There is one hidden 10mm head bolt holding the headlight housing to the fender apron, accessible only with the wheel line out. But in order to have enough space to get the headlight housing out of the bumper cover/grill area the bumper has to slide forward several inches (to make sure the paint isn't damaged on the bumper/grill). I had to drill new holes in the fender where the bumper cover attaches as well as the plastic piece that attaches to the bumper cover. Ended up taking me about three hours to do the job which started out as a favor to a friend. There is very little doubt in my mind that when the dealer broke off the same two bolts that I broke off the would have told her that since the bolts broke off there is no way to re-attach the bumper so the only answer is to replace the fender with associated body labor, paint labor and paint materials. It would have probably cost her $1500 by the time she got her Escalade back. She insisted I take $130 for my work which I told her was too much money (being a friend) but she stuck the check in my shirt pocket. I could do the next one considerably faster because now I know exactly where all the nuts and bolts are and how everything comes apart. Even with the two bolts breaking off.

What a pain in the ass to change a frigging parking light peanut bulb.

Henry
12-02-2015, 12:20 AM
Back over 10 to 20 years ago, because of the theft of so many headlights, the manufacturers built the cars around the headlights. Too many Jap cars with very expensive headlights being stolen. Guess the insurance companies got the manufacturers to do things to prevent easy access to the lights. So now, you've got what we all know as overriding labor.

What was the 'peanut' bulb, the old #194?

Your story reminds me of my '63 Riviera when the heater core went. Step #1, remove right front fender. Oh, but FIRST, remove bumper. I took it to a radiator shop. Best money spent back then.

I'm sure you feel good though, doing something for someone.....YES?

Henry

easymoney
12-02-2015, 09:51 AM
newer cars are not meant to last as long as the older cars. with so many plastic gadgets the manufacturers know that after a few years the plastic will get brittle and hard to replace parts will fail and the cars will have to be scrapped which will mean more sales for them. the new cars are not designed to be easy to repai or last for years.