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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How do you change a tail light in a Pontiac Solstice Coupe? Well, first you take off the rear tire… WHAT?! :willy:

Yes, it’s true. It seems that newer cars ( is a 2009 car newer these days ? ) are getting more complicated each year. Simple maintenance items, like changing a small light bulb, that anyone previously could do in five minutes is now an adventure.

In order to assist other coupe owners with this task in the future, I am going to document my adventure. There have been others before me that have tried to document the procedure. ( These links:
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f11/how-remove-tail-lights-54840/
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f11/how-replace-rear-tail-light-69072/
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f114/brake-light-replacement-68739/
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f114/coupe-tail-light-bulb-replacement-79697/ )

However, it seems like all of the good photographs of the procedure no longer exist. :banghead:

In the case of the coupe, the single rear light bulb has three uses: brake light, turning light, & driving light. In my situation, the left rear turning light and brake light were no longer working. When making a left turn using the turning signal, the tell-tale sound of a fast “click-click-click” was present.

To begin the procedure of changing the light bulb, we take off the rear tire, and we remove the associated mud flap.







 

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Next we have to remove the fasteners to the wheel liners so that we can reach our hand up beyond the liner to get to fasteners that are holding the tail light assembly in place. There are three fasteners for the liner: one “Christmas tree” at the lower edge of the mud flap ( not shown in any photo ), a “Christmas tree” in the middle of the liner, and a 10mm bolt.



 

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Once the fasteners are removed, the wheel liner is easily moved out of the way.





 

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When you look up toward the tail light, you will see two thumb screws. BE CAREFUL when you unscrew these. They seem to be made of flimsy plastic.



 

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Once the flimsy fasteners are in your hands, you will now be able to slide the tail light lens out. Push the lens to the rear of the car, and slightly away from spoiler. Notice in the third photo below how the connector grabs a post under the spoiler.





 

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Once the tail light lens becomes free of the car, you can change the bulb. (The bulb is listed as a 3157K in the owner’s manual. NAPA Auto Parts tells me that any 3157 bulb will do. NAPA had a 3157L in stock. )



 

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Once the bulb is replaced, you can test it to make sure it works. Clean up the dirt on the painted surfaces, then reassemble the car by reversing the order of these steps.





Some people say that this procedure could be performed in 20 minutes. I am not one of those people. On the bright side, at least this was not a Cadillac. I’m told the bumper has to be removed to change a light bulb. :rofl:
 

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yes , I did replace the old XPEL tape/skin under the mud flap before putting the flap back on...

:cool:
 

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William: Good report. We have changed a few coupe bulbs at our annual mod meet with MKC. I put the so called sequencial bulbs in mine and did the same process. As you know it's a little bit of a pain but luckily we seldom have to change the bulb.
 

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No convertibles are simple. Just open trunk and undo a couple screws.
 

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Great guide that should help people in future.

No credit to GM for this crazy situation. Love my British cars - either a pair of screws or a chrome ring that seats in a rubber surround - all of 30 seconds to access the bulbs.

There is some argument for changing the bulb to LED - but the downside is that you would have to repeat the whole process again to change out the other side.
 

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This really makes me appreciate getting it done by a dealer - for free.
 

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Has anyone had luck with LED bulbs for the rear brake/marker/blinker bulbs for the Solstice... what brand... type... hyperflash issues?
 

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I would add some painters tape on the painted areas around the lense before you attemp to pull it. It can easily scratch the paint trying to get it out.
 
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