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Aveo Headlamp Replacement GRRRRRR!

I tried to replace the headlamp in my parents’ Chevy Aveo. I read the owners manual and looked under the hood and thought I could do this. I did what it said to do in the manual but there was one thing the manual left out. There is a little white plastic piece holding the headlamp assembly in place that the manual doesn’t mention. What do I do with it? If any of you Aveo owners or mechanics out there that can help my with this I would be very grateful.

I have no direct experience replacing the headlamp assembly on an Aveo, but I’d say the white plastic piece has to go back where it came from when you removed the assembly from the car.

I’m surprised the owner’s manual has such detail. Usually it just covers bulb replacement.

Have a look here: http://www.autozone.com/shopping/vehicleSelect1.htm

Autozone rarely has repair information for cars made after 2005.

Have you looked at the opposite side to see how that one looks?

Perhaps, but the poster didn’t say what year the vehicle was either.

When did the Aveo come on the market?

(Cars.com car research says 2004)

I too was frustrated by these white plastic “tabs” until realizing (with the help of a neighbour) that they were “receptors” for a tapered metal stud that is part of the headlamp enclosure. The combination of white plastic tab and tapered stud (similar to the means of securing the removable grilles of stereo speakers) works by “friction”. By getting a good grasp on the headlight assembly with both hands (which is difficult to do because there is not much “play”) and sharply pulling out (and a bit towards the center) this last hold on the headlamp assembly should let go.

Your challenges are not quite over yet. There is not much slack in the electric cable, so you can’t turn the headlamp assembly around to see the back of it, which would make it easier to disconnect the wiring harness connector. Using a large screwdriver (with a flat blade for slot-head screws) pry on one side of the plastic connector until it pops out. The headlamp module will now be free of the wiring.

After removing the black rubber headlamp cap (gasket) be sure to take a good look at the position of the retaining spring before loosening the screw that holds the spring in place. Be sure to place one finger firmly on the spring while loosening the screw to prevent the spring from flying across the garage or into some dark corner.

The old bulb should now pull out easily. After inserting the new bulb, putting everything back together is quite straight forward. A firm rap with the palm of your hand on the outside edge of the headlamp lens will coax the tapered metal stud back into the white plastic tab.

It was the passenger side bulb that required replacement in this instance, which may be a bit easier than changing the driver side bulb. However, once you realize how the white plastic tab and tapered metal stud “work”, the driver side replacement should be straight forward too.

One question; do halogen headlamp bulbs burn out more frequently than the old “incandescent” type? Almost every time I drive at night (even on short trips in my small city - population 50,000) I see at least one “new” car with a burned out headlamp bulb.