A couple of years ago, I bought a used 2005 Chevy Malibu. Then, just last summer, I had to replace the front turn signal bulbs on both sides twice within a month because they kept burning out. I noticed that the orange lens above the bulbs was actually melted and dripping molten plastic onto the bulbs.

I've inspected other similar make/model cars and haven't seen melted lenses on them. I always look up the proper bulb in the manual at the store, so I don't know if the bulbs are burning so hot they melt the lens or what. I haven't had any burn out lately, but I suspect it may only be due to the colder weather.

Assuming I am using the correct bulbs, any suggestions on preventing them from burning out so quickly?

  • have same problem with my 2005 malibu. went to several parts stores but no one had the 3157 lcp bulb. the local chevy dealer didn't have it either,saying they only carried the recommended bulb by compamy. when i told him of the problem he said he wasn't aware of it,andhad never heard of that particular type of bulb.
    – user2631
    Jan 17, 2013 at 16:54
  • I have the same problem with my 2005 Chevrolet Corvette. The front turn signal bulb melted the internal socket and the harness system now needs replaced. We need to file vehicle safety complaints to get them to take action. www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq
    – user2836
    Mar 5, 2013 at 21:19
  • Consider replacing the lamps with LEDs in the same packaging/form factor. They'll last many years.
    – Criggie
    Dec 7, 2016 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


These 2005 Chevy Malibu Complaints are extremely common in this make and model vehicle.

According to Car Complaints, this was a design flaw in the vehicle that caused the bulbs to burn so hot that they burned out the lights and melted the turn signal covers. The gaps introduced by the warped light covers have led to electrical system horror stories about failed electrical systems due to shorts.

Some people have been in car crashes because their lights were out while others ended up in legal trouble with repair orders.

The quick fix is to replace the standard 3157 bulbs with the 3157 LCP bulbs, which don't melt the covers.

  • 1
    This information obtained from the manufacturer, Osram Sylvania: "LCP" standard for "Liquid Crystal Polymer". The "LCP" product is made using a special high heat resistant base making it a good solution for small lamp reflectors that may generate high temperatures. The plastic base on the regular 3157 can withstand temperatures of up to 120 C. The "LCP" base can withstand temperatures of up to 230C.
    – JYelton
    Mar 15, 2011 at 15:41
  • Another alternative are fault free LEDs. They can be tough to find. May require a little Googling, but many people think they look nicer.
    – justinm410
    Sep 6, 2016 at 17:30

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