January 7, 2013
Today I had a rude awakening and just more evidence of the rip off that occurs with dealer or specialty car parts.
My wife drives a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS (a great car requiring little maintenance in my opinion). If you have any savvy at all, you can just look under the portion of the bumper that holds the license plate and see how to remove the illuminator unit. But that really isn’t the problem in my estimation. The problem is the COST!!
The original socket was plastic and welded to the plastic lamp covering the bulb. I suspect there was a short circuit caused by water. I tried to remove the socket from the lamp to replace the bulb and everything just crumbled. There is an arrow on the bottom of the socket indicating which direction to lock and unlock the socket. Ok, it is two pieces of cheap plastic worth no more than a few cents with two leads coming from it? Think again.
At the Chevy dealership parts department I was quoted:
$41.53 (Includes the socket, bulb, and lamp). Screws are $0.49 a piece. It isn’t easy to get a part number here.
On the Internet at Advance Auto Parts I was quoted: $37.99 for Chevrolet Cobalt LS REAR License Plate Lamp Socket Part # LS44
Made by AC Delco
Advance Auto Parts Part#: 15730217
$0.98 for the little incandescent bulb
Total about $40.00
The whole unit is about as big as an adult male’s little finger with a couple leads coming off it. Give me a break! Here is the answer Tightwads!
Go to AutoZone and purchase a generic Utility Light by Blazer. Part number B461. You get a nice metal housing with an incandescent bulb and a lamp and two leads. You are also provided two screws along with a rubber seal for the bottom of the lamp. You will find that the space between screws on the utility light is about 1/4 – 1/2 inch short of the dimension on the original part. Simply put a screw in one of the original holes in the bumper, drill a small pilot hole in the plastic bumper to accommodate the other screw, and tie it all up. I also took a little caulk and ran it around the unit wiping it with a sponge so it was not visible. I don’t think you have to, but I did.
This unit illuminates the license better than the original part and is very inconspicuous. The job looks professional and it cost $4.99 before tax. Skew
0 2884521034 7.
This is just another suggestion from a guy like you who can no longer afford the cost of service in this world, nor retail prices.
Hope this helps.