My sister called me to change a blown light that a local auto
service chain couldn't do anything with. So I examine everything.
According to manual, changing the light doesn't involve much more than
popping the bulb socket out of the rear light's housing, pulling the old
bulb, popping a new one in, then re-inserting the socket into the light
be easy," I thought to myself, minding the fact
that a paid professional couldn't do the job.
And, over the next 20 minutes, I find out why: The bulb won't budge. Not
with average office-Joe strength. Not with a strategically-placed
screwdriver that, I hoped, could leverage the bulb without breaking the
bulb's glass or the socket. It was dark and getting colder by the minute,
so (with some struggle!) I unplugged the socket from the car's power
supply, and worked on the socket in the house.
After fiddling with the socket a little more with a screwdriver, I became
tempted to use a industrial-strength pair of pliers I have to remove the
bulb. Right then I realized that I'd only put myself in the hospital,
something that the paid professional probably realized.
Given that the bulb seemed determined to stay where it was, I
semi-resolved to break the bulb away from the socket without, hopefully,
damaging anything permanently. I begin to chip away and pry up at the
plastic surrounding the base of the bulb glass. A few minutes later, the
bulb pops out. I didn't damage the socket, but I realized why the
professional had so much trouble.
There was _epoxy_
gluing the bulb to the socket. And there were enough
chunks of it left in the slot to doubt that a new bulb would make a good
enough connection to light up. And there's no way to test the connection
(right now) because the new bulb fell further into the rear light housing
upon replacing the socket, and I can't reach it.
This is the first time that I've changed a bulb on any car, so I can't say
whether this "method" of securing bulbs is typical for the car industry,
GM, or the Cavalier. I _can_
say that I would have designed a socket that
can secure a bulb properly without chemical additives, and make it
possible to change a bulb in less than 40-45 minutes.
The car is out-of-warranty. Is there a proper fix for the situation?