Front right turn signal socket

A few months ago my right turn signal lightbulb burned out. I removed the front right turn signal assembly and pulled out the bulb, which seemed like it was a bit corroded. I put the new bulb in, which seemed a little loose and put the assembly back in place correctly. Turn signal worked fine for a day, then the right signal started blinking fast (like when the bulb is dead) again. I took it apart and noticed the bulb was very loose and could not be inserted w/o some movement. I tried a do-it-yourself fix with electrician’s tape to try to keep the bulb tightly in place, but it keeps working free. The rear bulb and front right bulb still work, it’s just that the bulb facing front isn’t firing.

Stopped by the Chevy parts desk and found out a replacement socket is about $75 and you have to cut the wires and splice the new wires together, something I’m not too happy about. I could take it in and have it worked on, but that’s a big bill w/labor to replace just an electric bulb socket. Anyone have a better fix? I thought about wiring it in place. Would thread lock work? Or is that not a good idea.

Don’t thread lock it. You’ll regret the decision.

Are you certain you have the right bulb and have it installed correctly?

I’m pretty sure. I’ve taken the assembly apart maybe 3x, and each time I pushed the bulb in as far as it will go, then I test it by turning the signal lever (3rd time I tried the electricians tape). Everything works well before I re-assemble it. It usually works just after re-assembling, too, but tends to die after driving down the road a bit (probably road vibration loosens the bulb from the socket). If I have to, I’ll buy the new socket and wire for $75. I just wish it was some type of plug in socket where you pop out the old one and pop in the new one with some kind of connector. I just figured that if the socket is toast and will have to be replaced anyway, why not go w/thread lock to hold this bulb in place for a while and give myself maybe a year or two with a cheap fix?

Double check the part number. I’ve bought an incorrect bulb before. It’s easy to do.

Turret style bulbs go into a spring loaded hole and get held by two “nipples” (sorry ladies, no disrespect meant) on the sides that hold the bulb in. Bulbs cane be exactly the same except for slight variations in the location of the nipples. If the nipples do not hold the bulb properly, it’ll repeatedly come loose.

Have You Cleaned The Socket As Well As Possible ? I’d Do That First. Sometimes rolling Sandpaper Into A Little Tube And Carefully Twisting It Inside Of The Socket Works.

Spray electronic cleaner helps, too. You have not given the model-year of this van, but this must be an older bayonet socket type bulb that goes in and turns 10 or 20 degrees to lock the bulb into the socket. Is that correct ? The reason it’s loose is because the contact(s) at the bottom that makes contact with the terminal on the bulb’s bottom no longer puts tension against the bulb.

Using pliers fashion a little hook (actually a little “L”) on the end of some mechanic’s wire or a paper clip and with the lights off, try to reach into the socket with the wire and gently lift the lazy contact in the bottom. Try the bulb until it is tighter.

It’s a good idea to purchase a small tube of dielectric grease from an auto parts store and slather that on the bulb’s base before its final installation. It will keep the moisture from corroding the socket.

If this bulb has a different arrangement for its contacts the same strategy for gently rejuvenation contact tension could work.

Does this sound like an idea ?

What style bulb (bayonet, push-in . . . ? ) or bulb #number are we working with here ? We might have other ideas.


2002 Chevy Venture van. I’m pretty sure it’s a push in, not push and twist. The actual socket twists out of the larger housing (with the other bulbs). I had to pull the old bulb out with pliers as it was stuck in there (corroded a little).

I’ll give the sandpaper a try and grease. I’ll also give the paper clip tool a try.

If It’s A Push-In Style, Like 168/194 Bulb Then Maybe A Fingernail Emory Paper File Could Be Inserted Gently To Clean The Contacts (If There’s Anything Left Of Them).

I have even gently double-backed (brnding the loose end back over itself) the wires on this type of bulb with pliers to make the bulb contacts ( the little wires on the bulb itself . . . I think there’s one on each side.) “thicker” so the bulb is tightened up a bit when pushed into the socket.

I still don’t have the number or exact style of your bulb.


My bad. The problem you describe is so common with turret style bulbs that without the year I assumed it was a turret style.

Changing the unit may not be as hard as you envision. I’d give that some consideration. But I’d stop at VIP and ask them how much a replacement would cost from their “crash catalog”. I’ve bought power mirrors and other parts there for a fraction of the dealer prices and they were exact replacements for the originals.

I’m in Colorado. Never heard of VIP. Do they ship? Or should I just check my local auto parts store (NAPA)?

Sorry. It’s a 4157NAK

You can very likely get a replacement socket at a salvage yard for a lot less than $75. It’ll probably have a bulb in it. More likely than not, the bulb will work.

Rockauto has them listed for $27 2-way or $47 3-way.

I took the assembly apart again. I took a small flat bladed screw driver and gently pushed out all four wires at the base of the bulb, making it a little more springy. Pushed it back in and it stuck much better. Double checked it, and it works. But in the process, I found the side bulb was burned out, so had to make a trip to the parts store for a new bulb for that side. Then I found a rear brake light bulb was out…

But the bulb seems to be working well after several trips. Time will tell, but it’s working longer than before.

Check your local stores. TwinTurbos $27 sounds good, but we have no Rockautos where I am. Chain parts stores seem to often be only in certain regions.