caryp logo   


How to Change the Interior Light Bulbs on a Cavalier

Get a Replacement Bulb


Before finding any small light bulb, consult your owner's manual first. At the back of the manual, search for ""Interior Lamps"" and go to the specified page.


Before proceeding, take the non-working bulb to your local auto parts store. Find an interior light bulb, also called a map light bulb, to replace it. Then follow the steps listed under ""Replace the Interior Bulb.""


If you can't find the right bulb, ask an employee at the auto parts store. He will ask you the year of your Cavalier and help you from there. Remember, you're looking for an interior (map) light bulb.

Replace the Interior Bulb


After entering the car, close the door behind you. If the door is open while you replace the bulb, you risk electrocution.


While sitting in the driver's seat, carefully remove the plastic protector panel from the ceiling. It should come off with a little work from your hands, but be sure not to break any of the three anchor points. Shift the panel toward the front windshield, loosening the sharper end, and shifting it back again to completely remove the panel.


The bulb is exposed and attached to a metal clip, which is mounted to the interior ceiling. Carefully remove the metal clip from the ceiling while the bulb is attached.


Before removing the old bulb, place a section of paper towel on the passenger seat for mess. Next remove the bulb from its black plastic holder. If the bulb is intact, you should easily pull the bulb out with a light pinch of your thumb and index finger. If the bulb is broken, lightly pinch the narrow end of the bulb with needle-nose pliers and remove. Place all loose parts on the paper towel.


Next, carefully insert the replacement bulb with your fingers. Arrange it like the old bulb. The new one should fit snugly. Tug the bulb lightly to ensure that it is in place.


Completely remount the the metal clip on the ceiling. Next, replace the protective panel by inserting the sharper anchor point first (pointed to the rear). Clip the last two points in place. Make sure the panel is secure by trying to move it around on the ceiling. If it shifts at all, you need a new protective panel.

Tips and Warnings

  • To turn the map light on after it has automatically turned off, just use the dimmer switch. This should be on the dashboard to the immediate left of the steering wheel. Adjust it completely up until it clicks. Crank it down slightly to turn it off.
  • This tutorial is for a 2002 Cavalier. Steps may vary for other year models.