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Old 24th November 2005, 23:50   #1
Need4Spd
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Tip for Making it Easier to Replace Front Turn Signal Bulbs

I don't know about you, but I've had to change far too many front turn signal bulbs. They seem to go out once a year while the rest of the bulbs are original and still working! Go figure, since the side and rear bulbs blink at the same time as the fronts.

The space for reaching in and unplugging the bulb holder is very tight, and to make matters worse, the holder is often stuck because of the passage of time, elements, etc. This often means, as discussed in other threads, removing the entire headlamp assembly or at least the air cleaner to get at the bulb.

Well, that's just too much work for a simple bulb change. While I can just barely reach the bulb holder, I don't have enough space or leverage to un-do the holder from its socket. So the thought occurred to me, why not grease them a bit?

But not just with just any grease. It has to be silicone based or else it might eat the rubber O ring, and many ordinary greases also conduct electricity. Not a good idea for a bulb holder!

So, I used Permatex silicone dielectric grease, which is often used on spark plug wire ends to keep them from getting frozen to the spark plugs (yes, on older cars, not e39 M5s). As you will remember from basic electronics, a dielectric is basically an insulator (that may also hold a charge, but won't pass DC current). I smeared just a very thin film on the O ring seal and presto! Easy on, easy off with just light finger pressure.

If I've avoided one more headlamp R&R to get at this bulb, I've more than made up for the cost of the grease.
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