I mentioned that, like Ladybird, Pearl had light issues in the past week, too. As I did some months back when the driver’s side daytime running light (or DRL, which doubles as the turn signal) went out, I changed it on my own. When the passenger side light failed, as I knew it would, I dreaded repeating the experience.
Thankfully, that didn't happen. Unlike earlier this year, on Sunday, I was armed with a powerful new tool: Performance Tool Clip Removal Pliers.
When I did this before, I had only a putty knife and a set of needle-nose pliers to get the job done. It took forever. Really. I was so incredibly frustrated. I mean I have never owned a car where at some point I personally didn’t change a turn signal, a taillight, even a headlamp. It’s basic, routine maintenance. It’s one of those things that gets used nearly every time we drive a car. It’s bound to wear out. You really should not have to go to a dealership to have it done. And I’m still p*ssed at GM for making something so simple so d*mned difficult.
After my prior ordeal, I learned that GM had designed my car so that a panel under the wheel well had to be loosened, if not removed, to gain access to the turn signal/DRL bulb. But thanks to the guys on the Cadillac owners’ forum , I also knew that there was supposedly a tool that could make this job go oh so much easier.
So it was with some degree of confidence that I marched into Advance Auto Parts on Friday morning. I explained what I wanted. The guy behind the counter looked at me knowingly and led me right to this tool. And $19.29+tax later, it was mine.
The clip puller has a notched edge that gets beneath the pin. Squeeze the handles and the pin pulls free.
The first three were a piece of cake. It worked like a charm. The fourth was a little more difficult because it was positioned high and in the back. But once I found a good spot to get the tool to where I could gain some leverage, BAM! Number four pin was out.
The fifth and final pin was the worst. It was actually located beneath the car, nearest the bulb itself. It was hard only because I couldn’t see what I was doing. I’m sure this is something that isn’t the slightest challenge to someone whose auto mechanic skills are infinitely more perfected than mine. For that reason alone, I will not fault this tool for that problem.
Pros: Easy to grip, easy to squeeze and something that makes very quick work of a job that can be difficult and time-consuming.
Cons: My singular complaint is that this tool could be just a little shorter. It would make it infinitely easier to maneuver in tight spaces. Other than that, I give it an A- overall.
Conclusion: If you own a car where you need to regularly remove pesky pushpins to do anything, this will be 20 of the best dollars that you ever spend. (Or much less. Found them cheaper online, but ... I needed them immediately.)