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Old 11-03-2009, 04:05 PM   #1
Melissa_M
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1999 SL2
Default tail lamp/bulbs

Had 2 lamps burn out in the tail light assy. The tail lamp bulb and the connector have a viscous yellow substance on them. When I pulled the connector out, and shook it, the bulb actually relit.
The first bulb I replaced, the reverse light, did not have any of this yellow stuff on it.
I already bought a replacement tail light bulb, so I figure I'll put it in.
I'm debating what to do about the yellow stuff.

I'm thinking I will try to clean it out, since it seems to be contributing to intermittent functionality of the light. The problem is that it is quite thick and a bit crusty looking. I have CRC QD electrical cleaner, but I don't know if it will be effective. I would first try to scrape it out with something non-metallic, then use the CRC...which I assume you can just spray in there, but don't know how long you can leave it in a connector (i.e. to soften up the material for removal).

Second/third question: I assume the yellow stuff if a dielectric grease and should be replaced. How much are you supposed to use? Why did the other lamp connector not have this stuff? I am the orig. owner and nobody has done work on these parts previously.

And while we're on the subject -
I replaced a front bulb a while back. Now it occasionally falls out of the connector if the hood slams shut. (Funny story - it fell out right after Saturn did my state safety inspection. I'm guessing they slammed my hood Serious hassle to retrieve the bulb from the assy, tho.)

What can I do to secure this replacement bulb in the connector so it is less likely to fall out? I was thinking dielectric grease...I've never actually used this stuff, so I don't know how sticky it is. Well...I have regular dielectric grease, which I haven't used, and Super Lube (synthetic hydrocarbon) which says it can be used as a dielectric, as well.

My apologies for my probable inaccurate usage of the terms lamp&bulb.

Melissa_M
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:34 PM   #2
mattelderca
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1996 SL
Default Re: tail lamp/bulbs

The grease is probably just white lithium grease, nothing special. You can clean it or leave it, your desicion. It does not hinder the connectivity of the socket, it is supposed to keep it from corroding. It can get cruddy over time but even in my Chrysler, after 32 years it's not a problem.
The bulb should not fall out of the socket! If installed properly, it will lock into it. If you hold the bulb upright and look at the brass base, you will see two studs sticking out, like Franenstiens neck. They hook into the socket, you push the bulb down and turn it about an eight of a turn then release it. Should not pull out! One thing here to notice, a dual filement 1157 bulb, when viewed as above, will show the studs in different positions! One will be higher up the base. That determins which filement gets what power. It ensures the brighter filement is connected to the brake light circuit and the dimmer one to the park lights. It is important to notice this. If you try to install the bulb backwards it will be difficult to turn the bulb into place. Not impossible, just difficult. Many people ham fist them in and then cannot figure why they don't work right.
The single filement bulbs, 1156, will also not fit easily into the dual socket because, again the studs are in different positions. It can be done but leads to different electrical issues.
If installed properly the bulb should slide into the socket easily and just turn slightly into place. One way to ensure your sockets stay in good order is when removing a bulb you push in a bit before turning it.
Take the time to look, as you have done and ask about it.

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Old 11-07-2009, 08:29 PM   #3
Melissa_M
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Default Re: tail lamp/bulbs

Oh dear, now I'm slightly more confused. I did the 1156 bulb and when I looked at it I did not see anything that had to go one way or the other. I guess I put it in right because it works. Right?

The bulb that falls out is a 3357A, which is the turn signal in the front. It just went straight in, no turning (it has a flat, not round base). I suppose there is something inside that connector that keeps the bulb in place, maybe I can bend it back to make it tight again.

As far as the grease, it does seem to affect that connection, so I will try to clean some of it out and see if that improves things.

Melissa_M

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Old 11-07-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: tail lamp/bulbs

1156's can go in any way. They're a single filament bulb, so its doesnt matter. 1157's have to go in a certian way to lock into position correctly.

1156. Two tiny tabs near the bottom of the bulb are the same distance from the bottom.


1157. There are two tiny tabs at the bottom as well, but one is slightly highr than the other on the opposite side

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