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Changing Light Bulbs In Rear Housing Seville SLS 1


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When I peeled away the trunk carpeting around the rear tail lamp housing I found that the housings have been sealed with some kind of a mastic compound. Is this a factory remedy to keep moisture out of the combination lamps housings? This makes the replacement of the bulbs a difficult job if the compound has to be removed and replaced. The three wing nut are easy to reach, but getting inside the lamp housing looks like a lot of work just to change a bulb. Any suggestions as to make this job easier would be most appreciated. Thank you. Ed

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Ed, it's a pain in the butt, no doubt about it. I don't know if I've ever had to replace one of my tail lamps, but I had to replace the license plate bulbs once, so I had everything apart. I don't remember any type of sealer on the housings. This may be a jury-rigged job to seal moisture, as you surmised.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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To replace bulbs, in the rear of the car, you have to remove the light assembly. Pull back the carpet, unbolt the light, pull light away from car, remove/replace bulb, put everything back together. The Seville is not like every other car, where you open the truck, twist out the bulbs, and close the truck. You need a wrench to change the bulbs. I hope this helps.


"Modern warriors saddle iron horses of chrome."

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Hi Don,

Thanks for the information. I can remember when bulb replacements were done with a flat blade screw driver by just unscrewing the outside lens and just replacing the bulb without accessing the trunk. :) Thank you, Ed

Yeah, and if you broke a lense it cost about $5 to replace it. Now it is probably $205 for a "tail light assembly". Don't get me going.

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:D It appears that we have resolved the fogging of the right rear tail lamp lens in as much this condition can be corrected by drilling three 1/8 holes between the red

and clear lens of the lamp assembly to allow the passage of fresh air to be


A copy of the GM service bulletin, 01-08-42-001A November 2003, Subject Exterior Lamp Condensation & Replacement Guidelines, Models: 1993-2004 Passenger Cars, 1993-2004 Light & Medium Duty Trucks, and 2003-2004 HUMMER H2, acknowledges this problem, but does not have a definitive answer other than the condensation should abate in a few hours while normally driving the vehicle with the lights on . A lot depends on the outside ambient temperatures that have precluded the evaporation of H2O. If you wish a copy of this above mentioned bulletin send me an e-mail at: <oldereels@tahoe.com>

Thank you all for all your help in this matter.

Best regards,

Ed of the Delta

PS: The lamp assembly was not sealed in with mastic as stated before. What looked like a sealant is a body filler applied where the panels fit together when the car is assembled. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mr. Rich O'Neill, the Service Manager of ABEL, showed me the correct way of removing the tail lamp assembly after I unscrewed the three retainer wing nuts.

Simply grab the tail lamp housing from the outside and pull it straight out after unfasting the nuts. This will expose the wiring, connectors, sockets, lens, and bulbs. (One of the replies suggested that I do this and it is easy, but not from inside the trunk.)

I mistakenly attempted to access this tail lamp assembly from inside the trunk after I removed the retainer wing nuts.

I hope this clears up the subject of accessing this part.

I have been advised that drilling three small (1/8" approx.) holes between the bottom of the red inside and clear outside lens will help in evacuate the moisture that sometimes collects on the in side the clear lens.

Ed Of The Delta

PS: I better keep my full time job rather than trying to be a Cad Tech.


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