How to Replace a Front Signal Light on a Cadillac CTS

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Cadillac's Catera Touring Sedan, known as the CTS, drove onto the showroom floors for the 2003 model year. The CTS's exterior styling is a continuation of Cadillac's "art and science" theory of auto modeling, combining aesthetics with function. Part of that functionality resides in the exterior light systems. The front turn signal lights, while stylishly integrated into the front headlamp array, serve the functional purpose of alerting other drivers of your intent to alter course. If one of the bulbs in the system burns out, you leave yourself open to an unwanted meeting with another vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Pocket screwdriver
  • Trim tool
  • 3157 bulb
  • Turn the front wheels on the CTS as far to the opposite side of the front end as possible. Note that if you're working on the right turn signal, turn the wheels to the left.

  • Reach into the wheel well, behind the head lamp assembly with the trim tool and pocket screwdriver. Remove the three inner trim rivets holding the inner fender guard in place behind the head lamp by turning the heads with the pocket screwdriver while prying upward on them with the trim tool.

  • Stretch behind the inner fender guard and grab the turn signal socket. Depress the socket retaining clip with your thumb and turn the socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise. Pull the socket out of the head lamp assembly.

  • Use your other hand and remove the dead bulb from the socket. Do not try to pull the socket to you past the inner fender guard, as the socket wiring is too short and you risk damaging the wiring.

  • Insert a new 3157 bulb into the socket. Push the socket into the rear of the head lamp assembly and turn it 1/4 turn clockwise until the retaining clip snaps into place.

  • Hold the inner fender guard back in position. Reinstall the trim rivets by pushing their shells back into place and then tightening the cores with the pocket screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Since turn signal bulbs are inexpensive and car accidents aren't, it's a good idea to carry a replacement bulb in the car at all times. Cadillac recommends inspecting the external lighting every two weeks and replacing any bulbs you note aren't working immediately.

References

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