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Changing a Fiero Headlight

Coming home from my buddy's house in Grayslake Saturday night, a cop stopped me and told me my passengers' side headlight was burned out. (High beam, fine, low beam not working.) Fortunately, the Wal-Mart in Gurnee is open 24 hours a day, and I was able to buy one before I drove back to Chicago. I replaced the old one Sunday afternoon. All those sounds you hear are people leaving the 10:45am service at the church down the street and arriving for the 12:45 service. Noisy, aren't they? :D Changing a Fiero headlight is a little more difficult than changing the usual sealed-beam headlight unit, since the Fiero has retractable headlights, but only because the arm between the headlight motor and the headlight assembly can trap your hand if you don't follow the directions in the owner's manual. But it's no more difficult that changing one on Firebirds and Corvettes of that era, or any other car with hidden headlights, for that matter. You people who have cars made since about 1986 and only have to replace a halogen bulb can recuse yourselves. But you do have to worry about not getting oils from your fingers on the bulb; it shortens the life of it. And there is that little matter of water condensation inside the lens. And yellowing and dulling that can only be gotten rid of by buffing compound and elbow grease. The job on the Fiero takes about 20 minutes, during which time I found that the retaining spring that keeps the headlight unit from flopping around had rusted and fallen off. It can wait until I have another order from the Fiero Store;) Factoid: The first car sold in the U.S. since 1939 to have non-sealed-beam headlights was the 1984 Lincoln Mark VII, which was all-new that year. The law lifting the ban on non-sealed-beams was passed by Congress in 1984, but because of engineering lead-times, they did not start appearing on other cars sold here, (including other Lincolns), until 1986. It cost Lincoln a pile of money, but they had two Mark VII headlight systems ready to go for the '84 model year, depending on how Congress' vote went, simply because they wanted the publicity value of being first out the gate.


 


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1988 Pontiac Fiero Mera
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