Looking for instructions on how to change your head, parking, turn signal or daytime running lights on a 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 Chevy? You’ve come to the right place. In fact, this tutorial works for changing any of the front lights. I tinkered around and made the mistakes first so you don’t have to.
First off, I’m a proud Toyota Tundra owner. I’ve owned Toyota’s since my very first car (a 1993 Camry) and I don’t think I personally will ever drive anything else. After changing this lightbulb on my wife’s 2013 Tahoe, I’m even more comfortable with that principle.
One of the DRL’s (daytime running lights) burned out sometime this past year. These lights are incredibly unimportant, but they run everytime you turn the car on during the day, and when one is burned out it just looks bad going down the road. I’ve had the car in the shop for other things (again…Chevy…), and I went ahead and got 2 quotes for changing the lightbulb, expecting to hear something like $50. Ha. Instead i was quoted $250-400, and each place told me that Chevy DRL’s were notoriously tedious and annoying to repair.
So, let’s do it ourselves and save some money.
As always with a repair like this, I highly recommend you grab some Orange Goop if you don’t already have some. You’ll get greasy changing out this light and Goop is clutch. Smells great, too.
Next up you’ll want to pickup a 3157 bulb – here’s a link to the Sylvania bulbs I purchased. You’ll also need a metric socket set for a few of the bolts – here’s an inexpensive set similar to what I’ve got. These are very helpful to have around for light car repairs.
To begin, turn your wheel all the way to the opposite side of the side you’ll be repairing. For me, the drivers side DRL was out, so I turned the wheel all the way to the right in order to give myself extra room to loosen the wheel panel later.
It should go without saying, but…car off, keys out of ignition. Give the car a minute to turn off the automatic lights.
Next up, pop the hood and take a look at the headlight panel. This panel houses 4 lights, so there’s a lot going on here. There are 3 bolts you need to remove to provide enough room to change the lightbulb. Two are located under the hood at the top of the light, one is under the wheel panel. To start, you want to remove the 2 bolts circle in green below on top of the light (I already removed them in this pic).
Next up, loosen the panel by the front wheel. It’s held in by 3 plastic push pins and 2 bolts. The push pins have a center pin that should be removed first, which then allows you to easily remove the entire pin.
Once this panel is loose, you should be able to access the final bolt that needs to be removed. This one is pretty annoying as there’s not a ton of space to get to it and it may take a little while to get it off. Flashlight is also super helpful during this step.
With that off, you’re ready to get thoroughly frustrated. Having these 3 bolts removed will allow you to pull the headlight out a few inches. If you have normal, human sized hands, this still won’t be enough to comfortably access the headlights. It’s almost as if Chevrolet designers did not expect any of the EIGHT front lights to ever burn out.
Anyhoo, gently pull the headlight assembly out from the hood. You should be able to look down inside and see generally where each light socket is located at this point.
The DRL light is located at the very base of this assembly, closest to the center. Make sure you go after the correct socket – you can see I accidentally pulled my turn signal bulb first. Pro-tip: if it’s relatively easy to remove, it’s not the DRL. If you are starting to get scratched up and testing your vocabulary, chances are you’re on the right track.
To give yourself a bit more room and attack it from another angle, it may be helpful to loosen the grill. I didn’t completely remove mine, but I was able to loosen it enough to get my hand in there and help things out a bit. You can do that by loosening these bolts:
Unfortunately that’s as far as pictures will help, as everything else is pretty much done by feel. You need to fit your hand in there and rotate the light socket out of its holder. Taking it out was much easier than putting it back in, and taking it out was no walk in the park.
I spent a good 20 minutes trying to get the bulb seated firmly in place – you’ll need to rotate it around and once you find the correct groove, it may take a bit of force to pop it back in. I recommend a nice short walk down the block (or a cold beer) to relieve your frustration during this step.
Once it’s back in place, just work backwards and you’re all done. Frustrating, yes, but in my opinion well worth saving $250-400. And further ammunition for my future Toyota-buying habits!