LeSabre bulb replacement

The rear passenger side brake/turn signal bulb has burned out in my wife's 1997 Buick LeSabre Custom (3.8 V6). The manual says to pull the carpet away
from the area of the tail lamp assembly, then turn the bulb holder assembly to remove it. However, it seems that the design is different from that described in the manual. If I pull back the carpet it looks as iff the only way to get at the bulb holder is to remove two nuts and pull the whole lamp assembly off the rear of the vehicle. Is this the way to change a simple bulb? Am I missing something here?
Cal.
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Just did one on my wife's 2000 LeSabre. Same deal. It's what happens when things are designed by engineers that can't/don't replace their own lightbulbs.

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Maybe, but in years past, when bulbs were easier to get to, the lenses often had water in them and the sockets corroded easily. They are infinitely better today.

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Correct. And... it's not that hard to get the tail light assembly out. It's really quite obvious with a quick look.
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What do you mean "give me a break", Al? My only point was that the assemblies today *are* better than what they used to use and it's not a huge job to replace a bulb. Sure - they could have put a cut out in there so you could just reach in and twist out or pull out the offending bulb, but come on - it's not that big of a deal to take off a nut. 15 minutes would be quite on the long side of that job. I supposed if you stopped for a cigaretter or maybe a little... well, we won't go there.
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wrote:

I wonder what my BUICK dealer'd charge to replace the bulb... ???
<rj>
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Hi...
Just the next step on the greed driven throwaway world path of big business.
Next, someone somewhere will raise a stink about the crazing/fogging of the interior, and before we know it we'll be fixing a burned out bulb by replacing a 300 dollar headlamp "module".
It goes without saying that replacing this module will require special tools :)
Take care.
Ken
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Which raises a good point Ken. The other day I had to change a parking light in my 98 Regal. I didn't know the bulb was gone until I was driving down the road and the flasher was running at double speed. So - I pulled into the local Advance Auto and picked up an 1147.
In the old days I would either have had to get down on my knees in the parking lot to reach up under the fender (never a clean job), or grab a phillips or a torex driver to take the lens off. Neither approach are terribly difficult but one is dirty and the other requires that I have the right tool with me. Instead, now all I had to do was slide two plastic retainer slides down about 1/2 inch and pull out the headlamp module which gave me clear and easy access to replace the bulb. Put it back in place, slide the plastic slides back in that lock it down and head down the highway. Every bulb for the front end of the car is contained within the headlamp module, and access could not be easier.
To the OP's point, if the rear module was secured in a similar manner to what the headlamp module is, then it too could be a completely tool-less maintenance point. It does require a socket to remove the nut that secures it. I just don't consider that to be such a big deal. For those to whom the use of a socket is a major affront, I would suggest getting a wingnut and replacing the factory nut with the wing nut. That'll take care of that socket wrench issue. My daughter's old '94 Sunbird used finger nuts to secure the tail lamp modules. One could get ahold of a couple of those and use them in place of the Buick factory hex nut too.
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The 2000 LeSabre is definitely different than either my earlier Park Ave (92) or my Regal (98) then. Though - a 1.5 inch stud should have posed no problem for your deep socket. That's not much of a stud length. On my Regal, most of the fasteners are finger nuts with one hex nut for each tail light module. I admit to wondering why they didn't just use finger nuts all the way. Maybe they ran out...
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The job was quite easy, but my point was that the actual procedure used to change the bulb differed greatly from the procedure outlined in the original owner's manual. Nothing in the owner's manual indicated that three nuts had to be removed and the whole assembly removed before accessing the bulb holder. The manual just said to pull back the carpet and turn the bulb holder a 1/4 turn.
Thank you all for your responses.
Cal.

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