License Plate Bulb Change - Jeep Compass Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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License Plate Bulb Change

OK I give up, how do you change the little bulb in the license plate lights. I took off the lens easy enough but how do you get the bulb out? Does it pull out the socket or unscrew?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 02:15 AM
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Does this help?

One of mine is gone too, so this is what it says in the manual (2009 Compass). First use a screwdriver to undo the clips, then...
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 02:42 AM
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I guess you have to pull out the whole socket, then follow the above steps to remove the bulb. I'll give it a try today see what happens...

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's well and good but on my 08 the socket is twist turn mounted to the housing which is the whole lift gate handle. I don't see how you could take the socket out through that tiny little hole. If the bulb just pulls out it must take some strong pull cause my fingers can't grasp it with enough pressure to get the bulb to come out of the socket.

I will try with a padded pair of needle nose pliers tomorrow morning. LoChin, If you find out how to do it prior to 8AM US Central time, post it here.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 04:30 AM
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Hey Skyeye, I just tried to get it out... I wouldn't try to take out the bulb only as I'm sure you will crush it before you get it out... and while that is no biggie since the bulb is blown, you will still be stuck with the same problem...

I can see from the socket that it is meant to turn until those little tabs are aligned with the slots (one either side of the socket piece), but I cant get enough grip on the thing to turn it much. I'm gonna go to a mechanic in a bit to see if he has some tools for turning the socket. Again, I highly doubt you can change the bulb without getting the socket out, as its designed to come out, Just doesnt want to...The problem is that with the limited tools I have I can only put pressure on one of the tabs, and it looks like you have to twist it from both sides at the same time. Sounded so simple in the manual. Will let you know how it goes.

btw what time is 8am US CT in GMT +8 ?
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 05:04 AM
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AHA! Went down to the mechanic, he got a pair of needle nose pliers, twisted the black socket casing until the tabs were aligned, and the bulb just pulls right out. Not sure if its the same on yours Skyeye, but the bulb comes out easily once you turn the socket to the right place. And here's the tricky part: It doesnt come out of the housing, it will actually go back into the housing, so you will need a screwdriver in the other hole to put pressure on the socket while you put the bulb in and twist the socket back into the lock position.

Seems that once you twist it, the bulb will come out, but otherwise the bulb is locked in. Ahh modern technology huh? Really should get me a pair of needle nosed pliers...

Give it a try let me know how it goes.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Gee LoChin, thanks for the report! I have a needle nose plier and will attempt the same this morning. Will let you know what happens. I presume the bulb locking thingy is to keep the bulb in place under vibration. Who knows?
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-24-2010, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I went to Wal-Mart and got a pair of W5W bulbs and went about the task of changing the blown one. First I did what LoChin said to do and twisted the socket out of it's mount. Sure enough, it did go back inside the other little "room" where you have to insert a screwdriver to push it back to the former "room" so you can insert the new bulb. Next I tried to pull out the bulb but it was stubborn and didn't budge! I padded the blades of my needle nose pliers with some soft aquarium tubing and grabbed the bulb with the covered pincers. After a little pushing and pulling, it came out. Yea! I pushed the new bulb into the socket and after several attempts, got the socket twisted back to it's original position. The bulb lit up fine. I got to thinking that the twisting and removal of the socket was unnecessary and to prove it I reached back in with my fingers and the bulb pulled right out! I did this twice to make sure all was well. Why was the original bulb so hard to remove? Well, another glance at the blown bulb told me the answer. The original bulb has been in the socket for almost 3 years and as such it was corroded with white deposits. What I assume from this is that the corrosion made it stick to the contacts inside the socket ergo the difficulty in pulling it out. So in summary, I believe that you do not have to twist out the socket to change these bulbs if there is no corrosion present I sprayed the socket with a little WD to possibly cut down on corrosion till next failure. I would imagine the dealer would charge at least $35-50 to change both the bulbs.

My total cost with the finger breaking exercise, $1.98 (TWO BULBS!)

PS, I think next time I will try to get a pair of the LED type bulbs.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-25-2010, 02:11 AM
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LOL I guess the manual sometimes makes things harder huh? I guess you really dont have to twist the socket. I tried to get the bulb out first but It wouldnt budge... And no corrosion on mine either. I was just using fingers tho, and just assumed there was a locking mechanism...

LED bulbs? Does that mean you can have blue license plate lights? That would be kinda cool...
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-25-2010, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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The blue lights on cars for whatever reason is against the law in a lot of US states. I don't know how China feels about that.

You can get both white and the blue LED's. It looks like the only place to get them is big chain auto stores like PepBoys or on line via E-Bay.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-25-2010, 05:20 AM
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i noticed mine was out went to the store to go buy new bulbs got to the store went to see which one it was and it was working again... tonight it was out i smacked my trunklid where the jeep logo is and the light came on.... gotta love it
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-25-2010, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Zack, what happens is that the little wires that are bent over the glass lose their springiness and don't make contact with the copper tabs inside the housing. You have to take the bulb out and gently bent these tabs out a little bit. Then they will make contact and not flicker with vibration. I found that out too from changing my bulb. Overall, the design is OK. To me, the choice of bulbs could have been better. Bayonet bulbs are positive and usually not affected by vibration. Screw in bulbs are out cause they corrode themselves in and can't be unscrewed.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-19-2016, 06:21 PM
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Just changed mine to white LED's. Tried to pull out just the bulb first and wouldn't budge so then I twisted the socket bulb was still stuck. After some pulling it finally popped out then I could get the socket back in place! In the end I got it back in place and replaced the second with some good pulling without removing socket. Should be easier from here on!
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