I couldn't find anything about this online, so I did it the wrong way the first time. I am posting here, so no one has the same experience I did, before figuring it out.
First- It is not necessary to remove the entire bumper.
Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to the correct way. If you are a larger person-- like say have beefy arms or broad shoulders, you are going to need to take of the front wheels. Yikes.
If you are small. Like me-- 5'3" teeny hands, stick arms, then you can leave the wheels and tires on.
If you are a big person who does not have the tools or wherewithal to remove the wheels and tires from your Escape, then find the nearest pocket sized pal and sweet talk them into doing your dirty work. Note: this person must know at very least the rudiments of tool use and not tire easily. Make sure they aren't too attached to the appearance of their hands (grease, cuts, split nails all happened to these paws of mine). A known "quitter" or "whiner" is not going to be the one for the job, because it isn't the easiest job out there. It's not overly hard, but tedious is an accurate adjective. If you are replacing both of your fog lamps you will need to do the following to both sides. I only did one, so I will tell you what it's like to change the left one, assuming the right is similar.
Remove Tires OR Cut your steering wheel severely to the right (while in reverse), moving the tire out of the way as much as possible
Get two plastic bags. One for metal screws and one for the plastic stopper type screws. When you take out a screw put it in the corresponding bag. This will just help you not lose them all.
Remove all the bolts and screws holding the black molding thing behind your tire. There are a few bolts hidden around there. Make sure you get them all. If you don't know which piece I'm talking about it is the piece that, had you x-ray vision, you could look through and see the back of your existing fog lamp. It arches around the wheel.
Remove that piece.
Then there is this weird like tank-ish thing, the function of which is a complete mystery to me. I don't know if one will be present on the right side because, like I said I have no clue what it is. The good news is, it is only attached with one bolt and comes off easily. So, remove that!
Now you should see the fog lamp rigging and here is where your small stature continues to pay off, or your smallish friend earns a free meal-
Remove the bolts holding the lamp in place. This is difficult and completely awkward. I used needle-nose pliers and a liberal smattering of pirate vocabulary. It is possible, it's just frustrating. That's why the whiners and the quitters would be lousy at this. Knuckles might bleed, but the result will be worth it. Gloves are just going to make it harder. This is a case where you will just have to cowboy/girl up and go for it.
When the bolts are removed, the light will freely drop from the hole in the bumper.
To remove the lamp from the clip, slide a small flathead screwdriver into the fitting and it should pop right off. Replace lamp. Replace bolts. Replace weird tank thing (mine was empty, but yours might be filled with fluid? I can't possibly imagine. Washer fluid??) Replace black thing and all the bolts and screws.
If you are me doing it for the first time, this would be where you put back in EVERY OTHER BOLT in the entire bumper. But I have saved you that trouble hopefully.
I was quoted 150 dollars and fixed this on my own with a lamp I bought online that matched perfectly for 50 dollars. As a school teacher, I don't have tons of income to throw around for simpler repairs. It was a little awkward but had a beginner-level of difficulty and if you are small or know someone who is and would be willing to help- then it's even easier.
I started the same way as the above user. I was going to remove the bumper and try to access the lamp from wherever I was able. The above was very helpful, but I would advise changing the lamp according to the following. I would like to thank the above posting for saving me a big pile of touble.
Jack, lug wrench, blocking for supporting vehicle, Phillips #2 screwdriver, 10MM socket on a 2" extension, 7mm socket on a screwdriver type handle.
To start remove the tire according to the manufacturers recommendations. (This allows for easy access to all of the fastners and allows you to gently pull the plastic covers out of the way). Next, using the 10mm socket, remove the 3 bolts fastening the plastic wheel well cover to the bumper. There are 2 about 4" (100mm) apart directly under the fog light and 1 a little further back and closer to the tow hook.
Next, using the Phillips screwdriver, remove all of the screws holding the wheel well cover in place. start from the front end of the wheel well and take out all of them until you get to about the 12 oclock position of the wheel well. The metal screws will come out just like a regular screw. The plastic ones are a little different. loosen the screw until it pokes out of the base about 3/16"(4mm) then pop the screw and the base out with a finger nail or a regular screwdriver.
Gently free the wheel well cover from all of the places where it goes behind other parts and such (remember where it was so you can put it back. camera phones work wonders for this kind of thing). Pull the cover back so that the hub and disk brakes hold it back out of your way.
remove the ?radiator overflow tank? it is held in place with one 10mm bolt.
The fog light is now easily accessable. Unplug the wiring to the lamp. Remove the fog light assembly by removing the (4) 7mm mounting bolts. (remember which direction the electrical plug was pointing)
Mount replacement lamp assembly. replace ?radiator overflow tank? replace wheel well cover. (the plastic screws are replaced by removing them the flanged base that they go into, pushing the base in place, and then putting in the screw)
replace the tire and you are ready to go.
With all of my fumbling around trying to figure this all out, it took me about 45 minutes to do this replacement. I could probably do it again in about 20 now that I know what to do.
I had to replace the lens as well as the bulb, thanks to a flying rock.
Like the above user said, a dealer supplied fog light cost around $100. Got mine from eBay. Approx $40 with delivery. (as a quick note, the light is universal,ie no right/left)
This applies to a 2002 Escape:
If you just want to replace the bulb itself, you don't even have to remove that radiator overflow tank, and I didn't remove the tire. You WILL have to turn the wheel in the proper direction to get access.
I removed as many screws as necessary to pull the plastic wheel well cover back and get my hand under the radiator tank. At that point you can reach under the tank into the front and grab the bulb. You simply watch from the front, twist in the direction that makes it come loose, then pull the bulb and wire out where you stuck your hand in. Replace bulb, insert the bulb and wire back into the light holder, twist until it locks, replace wheel well cover. Done.
First of all I am a lousy mechanic and this took me less than 5 minutes.
1. You will be accessing the fog lamp from inside the wheel well, so turn the steering wheel to position the tire out of the way. This will give you more than enough room.
2. Remove three outer plastic screws connecting the plastic wheel well cover to the chassis.
3. Pull plastic wheel well cover away from chassis enough to insert your arm and reach the back of the fog light housing.
4. Turn fog light housing counter clockwise till it pops free of fog light bracket (approx. 1/3 turn).
5. Pull fog light housing out past plastic wheel well cover.
6. Unclip bulb and remove from fog light housing.
7. Replace bulb.
8. Align fog light housing in fog light bracket. Turn clockwise till it locks in place (approx 1/3 turn).
9. Replace three outer plastic screws to reconnect wheel well cover to chassis.
10. Return screw driver to tool box.
Total cost $8.13
I just finished replacing the left front fog light bulb on my 2005 Ford Escape. I agree with the above but would add a few things.
1. I found it easier to remove the wheel as the first step. I am a big guy and I needed the working room. Also being jacked up gave more working room.
2. As above, remove the outer edge 3 plastic Phillips screw/snap holders. They unscrew but can be pushed back in place when reinstalling.
3. Under the front edge of the wheel well liner are two bolts. Remove these. Now the wheel well liner can easily be pulled aside. Plenty of room to get your arm/hand to the fog light. This step in addition to above.
4. Take a look at the new bulb to see how it fits. Notice it is L shaped. Follow the wires to the fog light housing. Push the bulb housing in an turn counter clock wise about 1/3 turn. It easily comes out. Now you will have the bulb dangling on the wire. Plenty of wire to pull toward you to easily work on.
5. Remove the bulb from the connector. Notice the little clip you must push on while removing. Insert new bulb. Reverse above procedure. Do test the light before reassembling all.
Local Ford Dealer quoted me $75.00 to replace. Bulb about $9.00. The rest labor.
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