Welcome to the Cadillac XLR Forums!

Help! Cadillac XLR Headlights

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
I know this topic has been covered in depth over the last few years but I would like to get some fresh XLR owner feedback on the subject of HEADLIGHTS.

I own a 2005 Cadillac XLR with melted DRL lights inside rapidly deteriorating headlight housings.
As we know 2004 and SOME 2005 Cadillac XLR's have a KNOWN DEFECT in the headlight assemblies causing the interior DRL's to melt.

Unfortunately I am the second owner of this vehicle and have been told (several times) by Cadillac that I do not qualify for replacement of these lamp assemblies.

Now I am in a position where I am willing to pay the ridicules cost of replacing these lamp assemblies and I cannot get one of them. I have been searching for part #20779745 for over a year.

GM Part number: 20779744 (Right Side) Is available from several online GM parts houses for around 750.00 which is actually a good price.

GM Part number: 20779745 (Left Side) is NOT AVAILABLE and has been on national backorder for over a year.

Cadillacs Only Company in Ventura California just told me today that Left XLR headlight is impossible to find NEW and they have had numerous requests.

My local Cadillac dealers and a BUNCH of online GM parts suppliers confirm 20779745 is NOT AVAILABLE and there is no indication IF or WHEN GM may have a batch of these headlights produced. In this particular situation Cadillac customer service (answered in Detroit) was worthless.

The few of these headlights that appear on Ebay have been in as bad or worse condition than the headlights I have now.

Question: So what are other XLR owners doing when these lamps need to be replaced?

Right now if someone crashes into the front of my car and knocks out those light housings it's going to get interesting.

Interestingly I have contacted several "aftermarket" manufacturers of headlight assemblies. The aftermarket headlight people are aware of a demand for Cadillac XLR headlights however they tell me GM will not release the patent.

Any feedback is welcome.
 
Last edited:

XLRATING

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
1,821
Location
Virginia
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Infrared XLR (Beauty); 2008 GT500 (Beast); 2007 Black XLR-V (Victor)
I've often wondered if the DTS lights would work. I assume not or someone would have tried that by now, but they look similar.

Wondering if you could switch the "guts" out of a right side light & put it in the left? I've always heard you can't just replace the melted part but wonder if there's a way to replace all the innards.

Sorry I don't have any better specific (or more useful) help.
 

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
I've often wondered if the DTS lights would work. I assume not or someone would have tried that by now, but they look similar.

Wondering if you could switch the "guts" out of a right side light & put it in the left? I've always heard you can't just replace the melted part but wonder if there's a way to replace all the innards.

Sorry I don't have any better specific (or more useful) help.

Thank you for the reply and YES the DTS light housings are very similar in design and contour to the vehicle.

I like your idea... buy 2 new right side assemblies and take one apart to replace the melted DRL / reflector in the left side... good thinking

In addition to the DRL's inside the light housings my outer lens covers are in poor condition so I really need the whole light assembly.

I have talked to at least 20 Dealers and many GM part locating services over the last few months and there is definitely a demand for that left XLR headlight.

I know is possible to disassemble these light housings by placing them in the oven for a while to soften the glue holding the outer lens to the reflector assembly. For my situation that's way to risky given there are no replacement assemblies available with the exception of the occasional Ebay item that's usually in worse shape than what I have.

Since there is was a limited number of these vehicles built the aftermarket headlight suppliers are not sure it's worth tooling up for. I spoke with the largest supplier of aftermarket headlights who has researched the XLR and told me (about 6 months ago) GM has a patent on the XLR headlight and will not release it.

Thank you again for responding to my post.
 

David_B

Seasoned Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
446
Location
SE Michigan
My XLR/V(s)
N/Z
Hopefully the same thing will happen to the headlights that happened to the third brake light, and we will get some new headlights that cost 1/3rd the cost of the originals.
 
Last edited:

GizmoQ

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
1,079
Location
Traveling the Country
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Black Raven XLR-V; 1996 Eldorado ESC-V
I've often wondered if the DTS lights would work. I assume not or someone would have tried that by now, but they look similar.

Wondering if you could switch the "guts" out of a right side light & put it in the left? I've always heard you can't just replace the melted part but wonder if there's a way to replace all the innards.

Sorry I don't have any better specific (or more useful) help.

I have two of these destroyed in my basement. One I didn't heat enough in the oven and cracked the outer lens; the other, I dismantled OK, but the chrome-looking surface would never cleanup to its original luster after I got fingerprints on it and resealing the outer lens did not go well.

I understand why Cadillac will not release the patent, these things were made with FM ( F*^$@ Magic). I have no idea what process they could have used to keep them clean and run a bead of glue so straight to sealing the outer lens.




Hopefully the same thing will happen to the headlights that happened to the third break light, and we will get some new headlights that cost 1/3rd the cost of the originals.

I HOPE NOT!!! The third break light they are selling now is made in China using inferior materials, poor molds, and worse assembly process. I purchased one in the Spring and by August I had gone through three and the one currently on my car was reinforced at all the attachment points by the seller, not the manufacturer. The plastic at the attachment points is super brittle and tend to break with anything more than finger tightening the bolts to them. The alignment of the assembly on the car is not square and caused leaking in the rain. Without cushioning the assembly all the way around it, the jarring of it against the car body causes hairline fractures in the assembly.

Bottom line its a cheap Chinese knock-off piece of junk.
 
Last edited:

David_B

Seasoned Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
446
Location
SE Michigan
My XLR/V(s)
N/Z
The tail light info would be good in it's own thread so people could add some JB weld or something to the bolts before they install these.

I have two of these destroyed in my basement. One I didn't heat enough in the oven and cracked the outer lens; the other, I dismantled OK, but the chrome-looking surface would never cleanup to its original luster after I got fingerprints on it and resealing the outer lens did not go well.

I understand why Cadillac will not release the patent, these things were made with FM ( F*^$@ Magic). I have no idea what process they could have used to keep them clean and run a bead of glue so straight to sealing the outer lens.






I HOPE NOT!!! The third break light they are selling now is made in China using inferior materials, poor molds, and worse assembly process. I purchased one in the Spring and by August I had gone through three and the one currently on my car was reinforced at all the attachment points by the seller, not the manufacturer. The plastic at the attachment points is super brittle and tend to break with anything more than finger tightening the bolts to them. The alignment of the assembly on the car is not square and caused leaking in the rain. Without cushioning the assembly all the way around it, the jarring of it against the car body causes hairline fractures in the assembly.

Bottom line its a cheap Chinese knock-off piece of junk.
 

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
Hi, my question is would headlights from a 2007 fit and work in a 2004 XLR .
Thanks Rick.

Yes they fit, some people have mentioned a "shim kit" may be needed to get the proper allignment with the fender. The 2004-2005 headlights were totally discontinued in 2006 I believe.

The 2006 - 2009 XLR headlight assemblies (part numbers in my previous post) have a different connector requiring an adapter pigtail cable that's another 80.00

It's possible to use the later model headlights without buying the adapter cable, just cut the plugs off your old lights and splice them into the correct wiring on the new ones. This probably leaves a couple unused wires since the earlier XLR's did not have adaptive headlights.
 

rexster314

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
1,426
Location
West Columbia, Texas
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Base Infrared
Hi, my question is would headlights from a 2007 fit and work in a 2004 XLR .
Thanks Rick.

They are all the same part numbers 04-09

Shows in stock: https://www.parts.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=store.PartInfo&PartNumber=20779745&VehicleID=187117&diagram=BL04010&Title%3DCadillac-HEADLAMP-ASSY

<strike></strike>http://www.crateenginedepot.com/HEADLAMP-ASM-W-FRT-SI-MKR-PARK-TSI-20779745-P48801.aspx


 
Last edited:

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
They are all the same part numbers 04-09

That may be but the part itself changed in 2006 when the big design deficiency (melting DRL housings) was corrected and the housing redesigned. Adaptive (moving) headlights were added and the connector has been changed. You will see several part numbers out there for both left and right XLR headlights, according to the dealer some are European versions which should not be used in the USA.

These are the part numbers:
GM Part number: 20779744 RIGHT
GM Part number: 20779745 LEFT (Not Available)

I have the adapter part numbers here somewhere.
 
Last edited:

onalaska

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
533
Location
Coldspring, Tx
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Infared XLR-V
My 2006 with with adaptive headlights suffered from the melting DRL lenses. Cadillac did replace one under warranty a few years ago. Now the other one is turning yellow so the problem did not stop with the newer adaptive headlights (at least not in 2006).

I find it amazing that GM and Cadillac would build their most expensive halo car selling for as much as $100,000 (my 2006 XLRV) and then in less than 10 years not properly support the car with spare parts, only 6 years after production ended in 2009. I'm sure some of the 2009's sat on the lot and were sold as little as 5 years ago. I guess they are not interested in repeat business or maybe their marketing department believes that all of their customers have the money to buy a new Cadillac every 2 or 3 years and will never experience having their car sit in the garage waiting on parts.
 

ccclarke

Seasoned Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
Uncanny Valley, New England
My XLR/V(s)
2013 Graphite Metallic XTS Platinum
The headlight adapter (pig tail) harness P/N is: 19120977. One I required for each headlight.

As for spares availability, with such a low rate production, discontinued vehicle, GM doesn't make any money on stocking parts in the long term. Every year, there will be less and less of a model year on the road.

GM is required to stock parts for the duration of any warranty periods, which for the XLR are expired. This probably explains why you're starting to see rather common replacement items like headlights and seat covers disappear for the shelves.

Some things (like emissions-related parts) have a longer required stocking period under federal law.

CC :wave:
 

David_B

Seasoned Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
446
Location
SE Michigan
My XLR/V(s)
N/Z
Next person with a broken V headlight should take it out, put a sign on the car and park in front of the new NYC Cadillac headquarters. LOL

I'm sure that would make the internet rounds and get some attention.

Let's have some suggestions for what to put on the sign!

"$100,000 and I didn't even get a t-shirt! (plus no replacement part for the headlight)"
 

onalaska

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
533
Location
Coldspring, Tx
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Infared XLR-V
The headlight adapter (pig tail) harness P/N is: 19120977. One I required for each headlight.

As for spares availability, with such a low rate production, discontinued vehicle, GM doesn't make any money on stocking parts in the long term. Every year, there will be less and less of a model year on the road.

GM is required to stock parts for the duration of any warranty periods, which for the XLR are expired. This probably explains why you're starting to see rather common replacement items like headlights and seat covers disappear for the shelves.

Some things (like emissions-related parts) have a longer required stocking period under federal law.

CC :wave:

CC, I get your point, but GM may not be making any money selling new cars to existing customers with that attitude. I hate to say it, but you probably made the right decision selling your XLR at the right time before the problem gets even worse. I have already had the experience of being without my XLR for over a month while waiting on parts while the XLR was still in warranty. Still, I'm really not ready to part with mine anytime soon. It sits in the garage most of the time anyway, I would not recommend keeping one as a daily driver as was your situation.
 
Last edited:

ccclarke

Seasoned Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
Uncanny Valley, New England
My XLR/V(s)
2013 Graphite Metallic XTS Platinum
I couldn't agree with you more. I think we'll start to see a lot more XLR owners move on in the next two or three years as the cars age. For the die-hard owners, (and you know who you are!) it's going to become an increasingly rare, "niche" car that will always turn heads and generate conversations.

I really, really like the new integrated features of my XTS, including CUE (which a lot of people seem to hate.) The XLR has a beautiful exterior, but the interior was pretty bland for the price point, and compared to what Cadillac is offering now, it's antiquated. I love the XLR, but a lot has changed technology-wise in the eleven years since it came out, and unfortunately, modifying the XLR is a lot of work for some of the simplest things that are common to even base models now. This is just progress.

Being a tech geek, I like the new features Cadillac is coming out with. The blind spot warning system built into the vibrating safety seat is one feature I really appreciate. The new HUD with better navigation graphics (counting down in 100 foot increments) is cool -especially at night, when it can be harder to see where a turn onto a side street is located in heavily wooded areas. The Natural Voice Recognition is very good as well. Being able to ask for a particular song or artist to play from my iPod is great. But a lot of the new features, were pioneered in the XLR.

I'm already interested in a fully-loaded CT6, once I can find one that's heavily depreciated in four or five years. The Surround Vision technology, updated CUE, Apple CarPlay incorporation, Night Vision, and other enhancements are making driving safer and more enjoyable. --Just not cheaper. . . Maybe someday, Cadillac will bring out another convertible, who knows!


In the meantime, car forums like this will become even more invaluable to the owners who drive this wonderful vehicle.

CC :wave:
 

Crimson Pearl

Seasoned Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
1,151
Location
Tarheel State
My XLR/V(s)
2005 Crimson Pearl XLR
Picking up on your thoughts here.

I had Crimson Pearl in for her annual service last week. My dealer provided me with a 2015 SRX for a service loaner. It was very nice. The time before, they gave me a 2014 XTS for a loaner. I loved the CUE system and the safety features like lane departure warning, blind spot detection and the backup camera. Very nice vehicles.

When I went back to pickup Crimson Pearl, it was an adjustment going back to a car designed at least 10 years earlier. It would be great to have those features in the XLR, but the character of the XLR is so unique, within a few miles the new features in the XTS and SRX were forgotten.

I have a 2005 XLR, a 1989 Chevrolet S-10 Cameo, a 1976 El Camino and a 1966 Pontiac GTO. Each one of them is a generation ahead of the vehicle that preceded it, but each one has its own unique personality and charm. I drive a 2008 Tahoe everyday and it might be replaced in a year or two with another Tahoe.

I'm happy to drive newer technology as a daily driver, but it's a lot of fun driving vehicles with unique personalities! Each of my older vehicles have their own particular charm. I don't see Crimson Pearl leaving the stable any time soon.
 
Last edited:

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
My 2006 with with adaptive headlights suffered from the melting DRL lenses. Cadillac did replace one under warranty a few years ago. Now the other one is turning yellow so the problem did not stop with the newer adaptive headlights (at least not in 2006).

I find it amazing that GM and Cadillac would build their most expensive halo car selling for as much as $100,000 (my 2006 XLRV) and then in less than 10 years not properly support the car with spare parts, only 6 years after production ended in 2009. I'm sure some of the 2009's sat on the lot and were sold as little as 5 years ago. I guess they are not interested in repeat business or maybe their marketing department believes that all of their customers have the money to buy a new Cadillac every 2 or 3 years and will never experience having their car sit in the garage waiting on parts.

WOW... that's really good to know.

GM is really dropping the ball on not supporting the XLR ... looks like that "old School" corporate thinking that pushed them into bankruptcy may still be alive and well at GM.

I recently experienced a BAD customer service event when I made some inquiries with Cadillac's Michigan office regarding IF and WHEN these headlights may be produced. Some idiot named Charlene who claimed to be a CS supervisor but refused to give me her last name just kept telling me they would contact my local Cadillac dealerships and the dealer would let me know what to do. Ummmm the dealers are WELL AWARE XLR headlights along with many other XLR parts are not available.

Just FYI the air cleaner housings are no longer available either.
 

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
Next person with a broken V headlight should take it out, put a sign on the car and park in front of the new NYC Cadillac headquarters. LOL

I'm sure that would make the internet rounds and get some attention.

Let's have some suggestions for what to put on the sign!

"$100,000 and I didn't even get a t-shirt! (plus no replacement part for the headlight)"

Prior to buying my XLR I owned a Mercedes SL500. My opinion (for what it worth) is that although the SL is an amazing well built vehicle I prefer the XLR. My XLR is without a doubt my favorite vehicle and I have owned it longer than any car.

I find it interesting that GM has not contacted the suppliers who build headlights, tail lights, air intakes ... whatever and release the patents or whatever needs to be done so these parts can be produced. I doubt if ANY if the parts we are in need of are produced in GM factories.
 

johnchasxlr

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
38
Location
Texas
The headlight adapter (pig tail) harness P/N is: 19120977. One I required for each headlight.

As for spares availability, with such a low rate production, discontinued vehicle, GM doesn't make any money on stocking parts in the long term. Every year, there will be less and less of a model year on the road.

GM is required to stock parts for the duration of any warranty periods, which for the XLR are expired. This probably explains why you're starting to see rather common replacement items like headlights and seat covers disappear for the shelves.

Some things (like emissions-related parts) have a longer required stocking period under federal law.

CC :wave:


I totally agree.

With the limited production of these vehicles it is easy to understand why GM does not want to produce and stock parts. Somewhere, in some factory (most likely not a GM plant) the dies and tooling exist to produce some of these parts and my understanding is that GM will not release the patents.

Take the headlights for example. Two of the big aftermarket headlight manufacturers (or suppliers) knew exactly what I was looking for when I called looking for XLR lights and they both told me they could not produce those parts because GM held a patent. Now..... that may not be true the REAL story is that it's not worth tooling up for a headlight design when only 12K of these vehicles were produced but that's what they told me.
 

Cadillac XLR Forums

Not a member?  Join now!  It's Free!

Learn more about Supporting Membership

Win a Cadillac CTS-V!

Cadillac CTS-V Dream Giveaway

Supporting Vendors

East Coast Used XLR Parts

Top Hydraulics

Cadillac XLR Registry

Click here to enter the official Cadillac XLR and XLR-V Registry
Top Bottom