How to Change the Brake Lights on Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer

Ensuring that your Honda car brake lights are in working condition at all times is important to your safety, as well as the safety of others. These simple bulbs signal that you are intending to decelerate or stop, allowing other motorists to react and slow down in response. If the brake-light bulb burns out, nothing is left to alert other drivers of your intentions, a situation that can quickly become dangerous. Luckily, replacing damaged brake-light bulbs is as simple as opening your Honda car trunk or hatch.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Brake Lights on a Honda Civic

Have an assistant turn the car's ignition on and press down on the brake pedal. Stand behind the car and observe the brake lights to identify which brake light is not working. Turn the ignition switch off once you have identified that faulty bulb.

Open the car's trunk or hatch. Locate the affected tail-light assembly on the inside of the trunk. Grasp the rubber dust boot on the rear of the tail-light assembly and twist counterclockwise half of a turn. Pull the tail light's wiring harness away from the tail light. Locate the faulty brake-light bulb in the center of the harness and pull it out.

Press the wedge-shaped base of the new brake-light bulb into the wiring harness. Insert the harness into the tail-light assembly and twist the rubber dust boot clockwise half of a turn to lock it in place.

Have an assistant turn the car's ignition on, pressing down on the brake pedal again to activate the brake lights. Stand behind the car and observe the brake lights to confirm that the brake lights are working properly. If the brake light does not activate, check that the bulb is inserted completely into the wiring harness.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb

 How to Replace the Brake Lights on a Honda Passport

Locate the brake light cover. It is in the trunk or cargo area of the Passport and can be found behind the brake light that you are changing.

Remove the brake light cover with the screwdriver. There will be three screws to remove. The first two are visible, the third may be harder to find as it is closer to the bumper. Once the screws are removed, the cover will come off.

Pull the burnt-out or damaged bulb straight out from its socket. Use care when handling so as not to break the bulb.

Push the new bulb into the socket and put socket back into place. Put the brake light cover back on and replace all three screws. Have an assistant start the car and press on brakes so that you can see they are working properly.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Replacement brake light

 How to Change the Brake Light on a 2002 Honda Civic

Open the Honda Civic's trunk and remove the plastic cover over the brake light housing. Unscrew the plastic tab with your hands and pull the cover off of the frame. The plastic tab has raised edges to grip with your fingers.

Pull the brake light housing out of the fitting and locate the burned out brake light. The brake light will be above the reverse light.

Pull the burned out brake light out of the light fixture. Replace the burned-out brake light with the new brake light.

Pump the brake pedal to ensure that the new brake light is working properly.

Replace the brake light fixture to the brake light housing. Replace the cover to the frame of the trunk. Replace the plastic screw tab to the cover.

Items you will need

  • New brake light light bulb

 How to Replace a Brake Light on a Honda Accord

Open the trunk and pull up the luggage compartment carpet.

Pry off the trim cover that is covering the brake lights.

Unplug the electrical connector running to the brake light ballast.

Turn the brake light counterclockwise and pull it straight out of the brake light housing assembly to remove it.

Insert the new brake light and turn it clockwise to lock it into the housing.

Reconnect the electrical connector to the brake light ballast.

Snap the trim back into place.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace a Brake Light on a Honda Pilot

Purchase a new taillight from an auto parts store. Tell the salesperson your make and model if you are unsure of the style bulb you should buy. A Honda Pilot has three bulbs per brake light. It makes sense to change all three while you have the taillight assembly opened.

Open the back hatch of your Honda Pilot and look for two small screws. They will be right behind the tail light. Remove the two screws, using a standard screw driver. You should now be able to pull the tail light box away from the car a few inches to allow access to the sides of the tail light box.

Remove the two ball sockets found on both sides of the tail light box. At this point you should be able to move the entire assembly enough to get at the tail light. Inside the tail light you will find three bulb sockets. Remove all three bulbs by turning the sockets to the left.

Check the empty socket for corrosion. If you see any, just take a small brush, such as a toothbrush, and gently scrub it out. Then replace each brake light bulb on your Honda Pilot by screwing them clockwise into the sockets. Then, reassemble the tail light box in reverse order.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Small brush