Corvette Specialist
Power User
2 You're 10
Feb 5, 2009
1998 C5 / 2015 Z06
Q: Why does the headlight motor of my 1997-2004 Vette keep running after I turn the lights off? What's that strange buzzing?

A: There is a little plastic gear that has probably stripped out inside the headlight mechanism. This gear is replaced with my Brass Replacement Headlight Gears. This is an easy repair most C5 owners can do themselves.

1. Manually crank malfunctioning headlamp to the full up position, or turn headlights on if they will raise on their own.
2. Remove black plastic shroud around headlamp to gain easier access to bolts for motor.
3. Remove motor assembly. It is held on by 3 bolts. .
4. Take the motor to the work bench and remove the screws holding the cover. Or, depending on year, carefully pry off the cover from the gear box.
5. Once the cover is off, you will see a nylon gear about 2 inches in diameter. There should be a spot on it where the teeth are damaged or ground off from the metal gear that meshes with it. This is where the problem resides. GM used a plastic gear, that can't stand up to the rigors of daily use.
6. With the side cover removed, simply pull the old gear and shaft out of the motor and pull the old gear and bumper off the shaft. Install the new brass gear and new rubber bumper on to the shaft and put it back in the motor housing. There are no tools required to do this step. All the parts slip together.
7. Screw cover back in place, or use some epoxy glue (included) to glue the cover back on. Re-install the motor in the reverse order.

LINK Corvette C5 Headlight Motor Gears by Rodney Dickman

[email protected]

Update!....from a old post...Big thank you to Manny and Rodney Dickman gears!!:D I bought a "pair" of gears... my right front was making noise, like a little tire compressor AFTER headlight closed... I removed and found the gear with a section squeshed down...I replaced!! NOTE MARK the part sticking out of motor, (bracket fastens onto push and pull assembly ) with "white out or paint" I had no problem changing gear... I spent 2 hours puttiing it back...:eek: I'm left handed lol :rofl: No noise, and my Gadget-man sentinal bypass NOW works great :canada: Thanks 427carl
you can also get a complete replacement motor from NAPA auto parts. one thing i found on the ones that are epoxied is that when you glue it back be sure to clamp it tight with some little "C" clamps and for shits sake let it set overnite. if you rush it like i did even with 5 min epoxy you'll be doing over. funny how its mostly the left motor.

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