CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Headlight Problem

I have 2003 Kia Optima, passenger light needs a retrainer clip to hold bulb in place. Cannot not find one, the dealer says I need to buy a whole new headlight assembly for around $300. Can you help? Maybe a fix or suggestion of where I can get this small piece.

I Would Try Some Large Auto Recyclers (Salvage Yards).

Here’s the thing. Usually a yard won’t sell just a piece of a whole headlight assembly. However, if you can find one with a broken assembly I’d bet they would let you get the retainer from it as the headlight is of no value.

I don’t know how many of these Kia Optimas there are in your area. I have never seen one anywhere near where I live. A salvage yard can possibly do a search for you and see if there are any around. Also, this clip may have been used on other models of Kia cars and you could have a look at those, too.

CSA

Use clear silicone as the retaining agent. Tape or block the bulb in position until the silicone sets up…Later on, the bulb can still be removed…Clean the bulb glass with alcohol and don’t touch it during the installation…

The retainer clip is probably the same across much of the Kia brand line. If the bulbs are the same the clip is the same. I would search for this at my local junk yard. Not by phone, but in person with a few tools.