How to repair/replace pillar post lamps? 1988 Olds Regency

Pillar lights do not work on either side of the car: 1988 Olds 98 Regency Brougham

I cannot tell if the pillar unit can be removed and a bulb/lamp replaced or if the entire unit must be replaced. Anyone know about these cars? Thanks in advance

Also, just for opinion … would you add a vinyl roof on one of these models? The car is white on white – looks pretty elegant for the model, but wonder if a full white vinyl roof might dress it up more

Thanks for your opinion … car fan here

This is JMHO but do not add a vinyl roof to any vehicle. Reason? Once they start to deteriorate, water finds its way under and rust starts and the only fix then is ripping the vinyl off and pray the roof hasn’t rusted through.

I had a vinyl roof on a '67 Pontiac Paresienne 2dr hrdtp and it rusted through. One h*** of a mess to repair.

I know what side marker lights you’re talking about, but I’m not certain as to how you get to the bulb.
Perhaps you have to prise the unit out or the lens pops off? I’m afraid to give you the wrong answer and you try it and damage the unit in the process.

I did look closely at the unit, and it does not seem to have a “top” that pops off. If it does, I think I would break the facing.
I did pry the unit away from the pillar slightly, and it seems as though the entire thing could be a “light bar.” In other words, maybe the entire unit would need to be replaced. I don’t know. I would not even know how to start a search for that part.
Thanks for the advice on the top. You are most definitely correct. I am also not sure it would add to the look of the car, either.

does the inside of the plastic trim come off to get at the buld from the inside?

it would make sense that the light was waterproof from the outside. so the bulb should go in from the inside.

I could not really tell. When I started to pry along the front of the panel, the clear plastic began to crack. I stopped immediately.
When I pried the unit away from the car pillar, I could not see any wires running to the back. That made me think the entire unit may snap into place and be powered/connected at the bottom of the unit – sort of like a light bar. I don’t know – just guessing. Thanks for your interest and help!

im trying to access gm parts Direct to see the actual part (hopefully in a schematic, but for some reason the age of the car… well you know the rest of the story don’t you!

Assuming your 88 car is built similar to my 91 Buick LeSabre, and according to my manual, the light assembly is probably a whole bunch of pieces. The lense (lenses?) pop off first, then the bulbs come out, then the trim piece comes out, and then the bracket is held on by stamped sheet metal nuts that apparently have to be pulled off with a tool of some sort. Only then can you get at the electrical connector.

Wow. That is entirely too much trouble just for me to look “elegant” in a 20-year old car. (-: Thanks for the information.
I guess I won’t be tackling that problem.

I believe this would be the same type that was on my 86 Buick Park Ave. If it is a white light, it is the same. They are a florescent type light and don’t use a bulb. You have to replace the whole light. Mine went out after warrenty and I didn’t want to pay the $150 to put a new light on. What I did was take the thing apart and using the lens and some auto bulb sockets, just put a bulb behind it instead. They looked just fine. On the Buick anyway, the metal trim piece holding the opera light snaps out for access. That’s where I hid my spare key. It really didn’t cost more than a few dollars to redo it and wasn’t hat much work once I figured out how to mount the socket. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they wanted to go with those bright white lights for $300 instead of a $1 bulb.

ok, finally.

the bottom of the light is a small cap which pops off. there is a screw or bolt inder it. remove cover, remove bolt and slide the light down until you get to the connector wire.

the wire is attached to a plug. unclip the plug. then you can swap out the light.

the other idea about rigging a replacement light has merit.

Thanks for all the advice. My car is not like the diagram above, however. It is a four-door, and the light is on the pillar between the front and rear windows. The pillar is covered with a black strip, and on top of this is a pillar-long plastic attachment with a light embedded in it. The facing of this long attachment appears to come off, though I would risk cracking the attachment. I pried the attachment away from the body, and there were no wires, though there is some type of compartment for the light. If it is plugged in, it must be at the bottom of the attachment or top. (I guess) I think I will look for these at an auto salvage yard so that I would have spares before I experiment further. (-: Thanks for your time!

I’ve got the factory body manual for the 86 and the four door model should be similar. Just look for a plug that will reveal a screw or something. The manual just has a similar picture and says “removal will be obvious upon inspection”. Like I said they were $150 each back in 1988 or so.