How Do I Change the Headlight Motor in a C4 Corvette?

by Keith Perry

The Chevrolet fourth generation Corvette, commonly referred to as the C4, was produced from 1984 through 1996. This generation of Corvette was designed to be a world-class sports car. Many features changed from the previous generation, but one exception was the hidden headlights. The headlights flip up with the aid of an electric motor in the C4 model. This motor will wear and eventually fail from frequent use. This is a costly repair to have performed by the dealer, but you can that can do it at home.


Open the hood and secure it in the fully upright position. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery, using the battery terminal wrench.

Disconnect the headlight electrical connector by pressing the securing tab away from the connector and gently pulling the connector to separate it from the wiring harness. Disconnect the electrical connector for the headlight motor in the same way.

Remove the six bolts holding the headlight assembly to the hood, with a ratchet, extension and metric socket.

Remove the carriage bolt located on the inside of the headlight assembly, with the ratchet, extension and metric socket. Lift the headlight assembly from the hood and set it on a soft surface to avoid damaging the paint.

Remove three small bolts holding the electrical motor to the headlight assembly. Separate the electric motor from the headlight assembly by pulling on the edges of the motor unit.

Replacement and Installation

Place the new electrical motor onto the headlight assembly. Insert the three small bolts into the motor assembly and tighten them.

Install the headlight assembly into the the hood and replace the carriage bolt through the headlight assembly. Tighten the carriage bolt.

Reattach the headlight assembly to the hood using the six bolts. Tighten all six bolts by hand, and then align the headlight assembly to the hood as it was before removal. Tighten the six bolts using the ratchet, extension and socket.

Reattach the electrical connectors for the motor and headlight assembly.

Attach the battery cable to the negative battery terminal. Close the hood and turn the headlight switch to the on position to confirm that the replacement motor works correctly.


  • check Before removing the headlight motor, inspect the motor's wiring harness. If it is chafed, you may have just a short circuit.
  • check Rebuilt motors are available from many parts stores.

Items you will need


About the Author

Keith Perry has been an employee and contractor for several large companies in various information-technology jobs. He holds an executive Master of Business Administration from Jacksonville University with an undergraduate degree in computer science from University of North Florida. He began writing for Lotus Notes Advisor and Mobile Advisor publications in 1998.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera corvettes image by michael langley from