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Ford Explorer 2003 Puddle Light Replacement

Discussion in 'Performance Lighting' started by Watanasookchai, March 2, 2004.

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    1. Watanasookchai

      Watanasookchai New Member

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      Guys, I know I post this again and again, but Im hoping new/different members will see this. For 2003 Explorers. The Puddle Lights under the Side view mirrors! How do I replace the bulbs? ARGGHH!!! I've tried goin to the dealer, but they havent been much help. (Funny right?) There are no visible Torx Screws like the old explorers. Do i have to take my friggin door apart? HALP!!!!
       
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    3. jimbo74

      jimbo74 Elite Exploder Elite Explorer

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      not 100 sure, but i beleive the cover just pops off.... be careful and use common sense and not try to superman anything, but use a pocket screwdriver under the edges
       
    4. karsme

      karsme New Member

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      Puddle light bulb replacement

      Puddle light bulb under the driver door mirror failed (=courtsey light).
      Ford dealer sold me the bulb but could not tell me HOW to replace it..!!
      Anyone can help??
       
    5. Donner

      Donner Explorer Addict

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      Of course!

      But I have to ask, why did you buy the bulb if they said they didn't know how to replace it? Did you ask the service dept or the parts dept?
       
    6. dennis67

      dennis67 New Member

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      How to replace a puddle light:

      a) get the thinnest, cheapest, crappiest butter or steak knife you can find. The thinner the blade, the better. (note: i used a 'regular' steak knife and couldn't get it to work because it was too thick)

      b) The puddle light lens on the 2003 is rectangular - stick the thin blade up in the narrow end of the rectangle, closest to you (furthest from the car). Stick it in a roughly over 1/8th of an inch. Be sure to be cenetered. If the blade isn't deep enough, prying motion will chip the lens.

      c) Use a light prying motion, point of knife toward car, butt of knife away from car and the lens should start to easily come down on then end.. when it does, use your finger to assist it out.. with a nice thin blade it shouldn't require any additional tool other than your own digits.

      d) if everything above went well, you have the thing dangling, twist the plastic plug like most of your other external bulbs and it should come out of the housing.

      e) pull out the bulb, replace with new bulb, reverse process, go have some candy.

      Hope it helps :)
       
      Last edited: January 5, 2008
    7. Donner

      Donner Explorer Addict

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      So no story now?

      Okay, now we don't get to hear what happened?? The background is half the fun... Oh well, if you have time, it would be nice to hear. Thanks!:cool:
       
    8. karsme

      karsme New Member

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      Donner (Rudolph's buddy?): Bought the bulb with the confidence that some friendly expert would show me how to replace the old one...... and Dennis67 is the "friendly expert"..!! Thanks Dennis67 !
      The trick is to insert the narrow /thin blade far enough (1/4") to squeeze a plastic tab towards the door and wiggle the housing down at the same time.
      THANKS AGAIN - Dennis67.
      (Donner - some people are confident, uh?!)
       
    9. Donner

      Donner Explorer Addict

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      Ha! Thank you...

      That is funny... a service dept said there were screws under there (and we know there are none). It was nice of you to fill us in on the results (there is someone else here asking about the same thing, and now I know too, thanks!)

      Excellent post, excellent response from dennis67! :thumbsup:

      oh, that Rudolf, talking my business again! :D:D
       
    10. dennis67

      dennis67 New Member

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      Glad to be of help. There is a link going external with the info.. but this board is great enough to have a description of it's own..

      I've done this no less than 5 times in the last 2 weeks.. and the learning about being deep enough or you'll chip the lens is one I learned first-hand :eek: ...thankfully it's a tiny chip :)

      As a side note.. the 168 bulb that is the recommended replacement is not the bulb that came stock in my car (a 2003 limited x).. turns out it's a 906 which is pretty much twice as bright. and hasn't burned my car up.. yet :D

      Disclaimer: In the previous paragraph I am simply stating a truth as it stands for my personal vehicle, not a recommendation that anyone follow it as advice or a suggestion and claim no responsibility for personal injury, property damage, loss of sleep, cooties or anything unpleasant in any way, shape or form. Thank you for your support.
      :bounce:
       
    11. jeffescortlx

      jeffescortlx New Member

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      I had to bump this thread to say thanks. The puddle light was the last straw, I broke down and bought the Haynes manual for the truck and guess what, it show's how to replace every light bulb, but the puddle light. But thanks to this forum, I found how to take it apart.

      But for me, the bulb was'nt burned out. Some how the puddle light and the power door lock switch lost it's ground inside the door.
      The door lock button would only work when the puddle light was supose to be off. So when the key was on, and puddle light off, the door lock button would work. The light bulb control ECU thinka mabob would send a ground through the bulb when off, so then the door lock switch would have a gound signal and work.

      Instead of removing the entire door panel to fix the ground, I jumperd the power window ground to the door lock ground. So far every thing works the way it should, puddle light and door lock switch.
       
    12. rangerbee

      rangerbee New Member

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      I'm having the same problem. Both my doors were open with the key on accessory (Mistake) when I disconnected the battery. Upon putting the positive side back on the lights no longer worked. I'm hoping that it's the fuse but don't have a diagram. The power mirrors still work, but not the puddle lights. Can anyone give me what fuse inside the car it would be under? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. 2003 Ford Explorer Sport.
       
    13. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Watanasookchai, thay actually made one of your threads about the puddle lights a sticky in the Performance Lighting Forum. Check at the top. Here is the link to your thread:

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88559

      Start reading from post#58. I think you will find the answer to your question. Hope this helps!:salute:
       
    14. Bill Kemp

      Bill Kemp Elite Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      After 6 years(orig post 3-2004) W-whatever has either figured it out or doesnt care.:D

      Easy to get caught in the "old post trap".;)
       
    15. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Bill, You're right!! Too funny. It was late and I thought he had started a new thread! I though that it was strange that he didn't see the sticky. LMAO!! :rolleyes:
       
    16. Fixer upper 04

      Fixer upper 04 New Member

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      Puddle light replacement

      Just want to say thanks to the many posts on replacing the puddle light. I have an '04 XLT and the driver's side mirror light light has been out for several months now. After pulling the mirror off and learning that wasn't the path to fixing this part :rolleyes:, I took a few minutes to investigate on this site (where I have found solutions to every other problem I have with this vehicle). Once again, the answer was waiting for me. I found instead of a really cheap knife that a spark plug gap gauge works well (.012 in/ .305 mm). The bulb took all of about 30 seconds to replace. Thanks all on this thread. :salute:
       
    17. stick66

      stick66 New Member

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      Puddle light replacement

      Well...very late to the game, but my light just went out (1998 Explorer Sport). There actually are two screws under the mirror. Too dark to do it now but I'm guessing that's the way in. They may be hex screws.

      NAD
       
    18. oldertech

      oldertech New Member

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      dennis I want to thank you for posting these instructions. In my old age I have gotten cautious. I should have been able to see how to gain access to the bulb but did not, in part to prevent breaking the lense.
      I have taken pictures of changing the bulb in my 2002 Explorer Limited, added them to your instructions on a Word document and have attached it to this post. btw where did the term "puddle" light come from?

      How do I attach a document?
       
    19. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Welcome aboard!! :salute:

      They are called "puddle lights" because they light up the puddles beside your truck.

      Sorry, I don't know how to add a document.
       
    20. spikestinson

      spikestinson New Member

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      i found ground broke in the boot between door and car body...quick splice and i am back up.
       
    21. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Welcome aboard!! :salute:

      Nice job on the fix. :thumbsup:
       
    22. Dutch56

      Dutch56 New Member

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      Thanks for the Info

      I just bought an "05 Explorer and the puddle light on the passenger side mirror is out. Used Goolge to find out how to change the bulb and the search led me here.

      I'm finding lots of great info so I decided to sign-up.
       
    23. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Welcome aboard!! :salute:

      You are going to love this place. :biggthump

      Here's how I do it on my '02 Explorer:

      You do not need to remove the mirror to do this.

      This picture is from the Signal Mirror How To. That's why the mirror has been removed.

      Keep the mirror on the Ex and insert the blade as shown, then push up and away from door and the lens will pop out. Then twist the socket out of the lens to remove the bulb.

      Be very careful with the razor blade so you don't cut yourself! If you are having trouble with the razor blade then using a very thin, small screwdriver might be the way to go! Mine popped out very easily with the razor blade. That's why I suggest using it. Better to be safe than sorry.

      Hope this helps out. :D

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: August 31, 2012
    24. Dutch56

      Dutch56 New Member

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      Thanks for the help

      BigRondo,

      Thanks for posting the picture. I went to my local O'Reilly's and picked up a pair of 168's. Out of curiosity the manager asked me what lights I was replacing, when I told him the puddle lights he asked if he could watch.

      I borrowed a utility knife blade from him and changed both lights right there in the parking lot. He said that he had no clue that it could be done so easily. I smiled and reminded him that the blade needed to extend far enough into the light housing to order to push back the catch.
       
    25. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      You're welcome. Glad I could help out.
       
    26. Toucan

      Toucan Active Member

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      1998 Explorer puddle lights

      Came here to seek help guys! I just replaced the bulbs on my mirros. However, I noted that the whole lens houseing has been cracked by the heat from the bulbs. Also the Rubber socket inserted into the side of the housing is falling apart due to heat. Now, my question is this. Can these two parts be bought as replacement parts. If so any one knows the "correct" name for them and where they are available. Need your help buddies please.... Sockets I got from the junk yard are in mint shape but do not have the physical shape for me to insert and as I said the housing has become "brittle" burnt.

      Thanks
       

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