Let me tell you a story about turn signal replacement on a Civic (I
have a 98). It seems that in Honda's infinite wisdom, they made
changing the front turn signal bulbs as difficult as possible. Even
more so than trying to get at the oil filter.
Oh sure, it sounds easy at first but when you actually go to do it,
you find you're up a creek. Here is what you are SUPPOSED to do (from
If you're replacing your passenger side bulb, turn your front wheels
so they are pointing all the way to the left. If the driver side, do
Get a flat-edge screwdriver and look for the plug that attaches the
wheelwell cover to the car. Insert your screwdriver into the slot
between the small part of the plug and the base and pull straight out.
If you do things correctly, you should now have what looks like one of
those pop-up timers in a turkey which tells you when things are
(supposedly) done. If you do things wrong, the top of the plug comes
out and you're now screwed.
If you are so lucky to get the plug to pull out, you should now be
able to pull back the wheelwell cover far enough to get access to the
turn signal bulb. Like all the other bulbs, it has that locking
mechanism you need to undo first.
Remove your old bulb, insert your new one then reverse everything
above and you're good to go.
For the record, my plug top broke off and I had to spend ~$40 to have
a $3 bulb replaced. Took it to a local place which only deals in
Hondas and the guy told me afterwards that over time these plugs get
filled with dirt and are very difficult to remove.
I did the following steps last weekend to replace the front passenger
side turn signal bulb in my daughter's 97 Civic EX:
1. raise the hood and secure it
2. stare at the headlight assembly looking at the turn signal bulb with
it's tail extending into the area between the outside fender and
inside fender whilest saying, "I cant believe it is this tough"
3. remove the top three screws holding the headlight assembly in
place, assembly will not move yet
4. discover another screw on the right side of assembly, remove it
by sticking arm up air slot in front fender, assembly now moves
a little bit
5. turn front tires to the left
6. remove all screws and pushdowns on front bumper cover left side
7. discover and remove another screw holding headlight assembly
above tire, assembly will now pull out with great difficulty
8. remove bulb from assembly and replace with new bulb
9. reverse steps for reassembly
This took 3 hours to figure out plus the trip to O'Reilly for the bulb.
LOL! Glad I'm not the only one who has had the fun.
When my dad and I first looked at replacing it, we both thought that
going through the headlight assembly made sense. I stopped undoing
more screws after the first two didn't have any effect on the
headlight assembly at which point I pulled out the manual and
attempted it myself.
When I take my car in for its 105K checkup, I'm having them replace
the front driver side bulb whether it needs it or not (assuming it
hasn't already burned out).
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