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Old 06-13-2008, 18:29   #1 (permalink)
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frown How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

Howdy.

I have a 2005 Focus ZX5 SES. The right rear tail light stopped working, so I got the appropriate replacement bulb. In attempting to follow the instructions of my "05 Focus Owner's Guide" (July 2004, Second Printing), on page 35, I'm not having an easy time getting the bulb socket to come out. I'm hoping someone here knows the trick and can help me out.

I'm stuck on step #4, which reads, "Turn the bulb socket counterclockwise as far as possible and pull it out." I've turned the bulb socket counter-clockwise, and it makes a click, which makes me think it is free. So, then I try to pull on it, and it won't budge. I've tried to get a flat-head screwdriver in there to get it free, but no luck. After it clicks when I've turned it counter-clockwise, I can turn it no farther, because there are wires attached to the bulb socket assembly and they are stretched taut. There's nothing in the instructions about freeing up the wires to take the bulb socket out. Seems like this should be a lot easier.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
Mark
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Old 06-13-2008, 20:11   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

Maybe you've turned it to far. When you turn it counter-clockwise, it will turn sort of stiff and then feel free or loose. Then pull straight out. (maybe a slight "wiggle")
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:49   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

Thanks for the input, Fonz.

I've turned it to the point where it seems to click, but then there's no give when I try to pull it out, and I can't turn it any farther.

Thanks.
Mark
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:53   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

I discovered after being forceful that the bulb assembly would have cooperated if the wires were held taut. The wires are in wire ties and I could find no way to loosen them without destroying the mount for the wire ties. I took a couple of flat-head screwdrivers and forced the bulb assembly out. In the process, I discovered a couple of other useful things:

1. When I forced the bulb assembly out of the hole it was held into, it pulled away some sort of socket, and I thought for sure it was irreparably broken (well, without getting a mechanic involved anyway). Then, I discovered that it snapped back into place easily enough, and -- voila! -- after inserting the new bulb and reattaching the wires, everything was good as new, except that I still had to fit the thing back into the hole I'd forced it out of.

2. Since I couldn't line up the bulb socket assembly with the slots in the hole I'd yanked it out of, that was when I figured out that there's a clip that holds the wires into a little terminal that attaches to the bulb assembly. (I should have thought to take some pictures rather than have you deal with my poor terminology. Sorry! I have repaired the bulb now and reassembled the tail light already.) Undo the clip and then the bulb assembly would probably turn just enough further to have allowed for it to come out. You undo the clip by pushing down on this little tab on one side and then pulling the bulb socket assembly away from it. Wish I'd thought of that sooner!

Hope this helps anyone in a similar predicament caused by someone at Ford who strove to make those wires as short and tight as possible. Just another half an inch give on those wires would have saved me a lot of grief.
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:41   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

Glad you got it fixed and thanks for posting your solution.
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Old 10-18-2011, 14:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

Found this site and thread after experiencing same thing with '07 Focus 3-door hatchback. Right tail light bulb socket would not come out of assembly after turning counterclockwise. Left tail light is not a problem because the counterclockwise turn on this side is in opposite direction which does not seem to pull the socket wires so tautly. On right side, wires are too taut after counterclockwise turn. By detaching wire clip as described above, there's more room to be able to easily pop the socket out of the assembly. I was ready to take my car to the dealer after struggling with this over and over, pulling and pulling, thinking there was some kind of defect or that it was just stuck. Fortunately I knew that there had to be something wrong and stopped to do some more research before I did any damage. The added step of detaching the wires before the counterclockwise turn is definitely not in the manual or any other online forum I've seen. Everyone makes it sound so easy, and it is--on one side. The added step for the right side has somehow been overlooked. Thanks for this site--my total cost was $3 for one bulb.
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Old 10-18-2011, 18:13   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How to remove tail light bulb socket?, 2005 ZX5 SES

Good deal brad00!!
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