How to Change the Tail Light Bulb in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Unless you check your the lights on your Vehicles there is no way of telling if one or both of your taillights is not working and needs to be replaced. It's a good idea to turn the lights on and do a walk-around light inspection Vehicles better visibility when driving Vehicles night. If one of your taillights is out, you can replace it yourself and save some money on labor charges that local repair stations will tack onto your bill.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Tail Light Bulb in a 2001 Audi A4

Make sure your A4's engine is off and the lights are in the "Off" position. Open the trunk of the vehicle.

Remove the circular cover located in the trunk behind the taillight with a small flat head screwdriver. Behind this cover is a screw.

Use the Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screw. Turn the screwdriver countclockwise to remove it.

Pull out the right side of the taillight assembly for the left taillight and the left side of the taillight assembly for the right taillight to remove the socket assembly of the taillights.

Loosen two clips located on the sides of the assembly. Remove the light bulb assembly from the socket assembly.

Pull the light bulb from its socket and replace it with a new light bulb.

Replace the light bulb assembly and re-fasten the two clips. Push the socket assembly back into place until it is secure.

Use the screwdriver to replace the screw removed in Step 3 by turning clockwise until secure. Replace the circular cover by pushing it into place. Close the trunk.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • New light bulbs number 7528

 How to Change the Tail Light Bulb on a Ford F-150

Turn off the engine and make sure the lights are turned off.

Open the tailgate and locate the two bolts holding the tail light assembly for the bulb you are replacing. The assembly is located on the tailgate door jamb.

Remove the bolts using a ratchet (the bolts are 8 mm). (Note that in some F-150 models, there might be screws instead of bolts. If that is the case, use a screwdriver to remove the screws.)

Grasp the light assembly and pull it from the light fixture. There are two two hidden plastic retainers on the outside edge that hold the fixture in place. If you cannot pull the light assembly out by hand, use a flat-head screwdriver and gently pry the outside edge of the fixture a little to pop it out.

Turn the bulb connectors counterclockwise, then pull it out of the fixture to expose the bulbs. The top bulb is the tail lamp and the smaller bulb at the bottom is the backup lamp.

Pull out the old tail lamp bulb and insert the new one.

Reconnect the light fixture, then bolt (or screw) it back into place. Turn the car on and check to ensure the new bulb works.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • New bulb

  • Flat-head screwdriver (if needed)

 How to Replace a Tail Light Bulb in a 2003-2006 Honda CRV

Determine which bulb is burned out. There are four bulbs in the rear taillight assembly. They are: (1) Turn Signal, (2) Brake Light, (3) Back Up Light, (4) Taillight.

Purchase a new bulb at any auto parts store. You will need to provide the counterperson with your make and model year. If you can, it is a good idea to bring the old bulb with you just to make sure that you are buying the correct one.

Open the tailgate.

If the burned out bulb is on the driver's side, locate the two (top and bottom) 1-inch-diameter plastic screw covers that conceal the screws that hold the taillight assembly to the body of the CRV.

If the burned out bulb is on the passenger side, locate one (top only) screw cover (the bottom screw does not have a cover).

Remove the screw covers carefully with the flat-head screwdriver.

Remove the mounting screws with the Phillips screwdriver. The bottom screw on the passenger side is fairly difficult to get to.

Carefully pull the taillight assembly from the rear pillar. Do not apply excessive side-to-side force, as this could damage the two clips that hold the assembly in place.

Remove the socket with the burned-out bulb by turning it a quarter turn counterclockwise.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push the new bulb straight into the socket until it is firmly seated.

Reinstall the socket into the taillight assembly by turning it clockwise until it locks.

Turn on the lights to make sure that the new bulb is working properly. It can save some time to perform this step now instead of waiting until you have reattached the taillight assembly.

Align the two clips that protrude from the taillight assembly with the holes in the rear pillar and push the assembly into place.

Reinstall the screws and screw covers.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Bulb (available at any auto parts store)

 How to Replace a Tail Light Bulb in a Hyundai Elantra

Open the trunk to the Hyundai Elantra.

Locate and remove the two Phillips head screws on the trim panel cover inside the trunk behind the taillight assembly.

Locate and remove the three 8 mm nuts (revealed once the trim panel is removed) holding the taillight assembly to the Elantra.

Pull the taillight assembly out toward the rear of the Elantra. There will be a guide pin still clinging onto the taillight assembly, and you'll have to apply a degree of tenacity to remove it, but it will come free.

Locate and remove the taillight bulb socket on the backside of the taillight assembly. Turn it counterclockwise to release the socket. Remove the bulb, and replace with the new one. Test the bulb by turning on the lights before replacing the assembly.

Align the guide pin up to its predetermined hole, as well as the studs on the back of the taillight assembly, and insert it into place. Replace the nuts and tighten them. Replace the trim panel and screws. Remove the tools and the old bulb, and close the trunk.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8-inch drive 8 mm deep well socket

 How to Replace the Tail Light Bulb on a 1998 Silverado

Ensure the headlight switch inside the passenger cab is in the off position.

Open the 1998 Chevy Silverado's tailgate.

Locate the two retaining screws on the taillight assembly (the screws were revealed after you lowered the tailgate) that has the faulty taillight bulb. Remove the two screws with the Phillips screwdriver.

Turn the assembly around and rest it on the bumper with the wire harness still connected to the underside of the headlight assembly.

Grasp the taillight socket and twist it counterclockwise 1/3 turn to remove the bulb and socket from the taillight assembly.

Pull the 3057 replacement bulb straight out of the socket and push the new replacement bulb into the socket. For the 1157 bulb, remove the old one by pushing down on the bulb slightly while twisting the bulb 1/4 turn counterclockwise, then pulling the bulb from the socket. Align the dual notches on the base of the replacement bulb to the grooves inside the socket. Push the bulb slightly downward while twisting it clockwise to lock the bulb in the socket.

Align the notches on the external section of the socket with the matching grooves in back of the taillight assembly.

Reinstall the taillight assembly and replace the retaining screws. Close the tailgate.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • 3057 or 1157 automotive replacement bulb(s)