How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

If you notice that one of the rear signal lights on your Vehicles is burned out, it's important to change it as soon as possible. Not only is it dangerous to drive without properly functioning signal lights, but it can land you an expensive traffic ticket. Luckily, replacing a rear signal light on a Vehicles is a very easy fix and should take less than an hour.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in a Chevy Cobalt

Set the parking brake and pull the keys out of the ignition. Open the trunk using the driver's side trunk release latch, or by manually unlocking it.

Detach the fastener holding the trunk trim to the inside of the trunk.

Remove the outer screws holding the taillight assembly to the car's body.

Disconnect the wiring harness by lifting up on the tab and pulling it straight out of the assembly. Once the wires are clear, pull the assembly out of the quarter panel.

Turn the faulty bulb's socket counterclockwise to remove it from the assembly.

Pull the bulb directly out the socket, and then replace it with the new one. Reconnect the socket to the assembly and replace the wiring harness.

Test the signal light to make sure it works. If it lights up, screw the taillight assembly back onto the car, replace the trunk trim and close the trunk.

Items you will need

  • 3057KX replacement bulb

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in a Pontiac Grand Prix

Shift your Grand Prix into "Park," engage its emergency brake and pull the keys out of the ignition. Use the trunk release latch to open the trunk and then step out of the car.

Detach the cargo net from the trunk's interior and remove the plastic lip from the trunk trim. Peel the trunk trim away from the trunk's inner edge to expose the taillight assembly housings.

Unscrew the bottom bolt and two nuts to loosen the housing. Place the nuts and bolts in a small bag or your pocket for safekeeping.

Draw the tail light assembly away from the car.

Turn the signal bulb socket a quarter-turn counterclockwise and pull it out of the housing. Then, pull the bulb out of the socket and replace it with a new one.

Reinstall the bulb socket into the combination light assembly.

Activate the turn signal to make sure it works before bolting the assembly back into place and replacing the trunk trim.

Items you will need

  • 3057 replacement bulb

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in a Chevy Impala

Turn off your Impala's engine, engage its emergency break and remove the keys from the ignition. Pop the trunk using the driver's side trunk release latch or by manually unlocking it.

Slide your fingers beneath the carpeted trunk trim and peel it away from the trunk's interior.

Remove the two nuts that fasten the taillight assembly to the car. Keep the nuts in your pocket or a small bag so they're easy to find when you put the taillight back together.

Lift the taillight assembly away from your Impala's body.

Turn the combination light bulb socket counterclockwise to detach it from the taillight assembly. On models made before 2006, press the socket tab down before twisting it loose.

Pull the defective bulb directly out of its socket and replace it with the new bulb. Once it's in place, screw the bulb socket back onto the assembly.

Test the new light to make sure it's working. If the bulb lights up, replace the taillight cover and carpet and close the trunk.

Items you will need

  • 3057 replacement bulb

 How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in a Pontiac Grand Am

Take the keys out of the ignition and set the parking brake for safety. Also, make sure the headlamp control is in the "OFF" position.

Open the trunk using the driver's side trunk release latch or by manually unlocking it.

Peel the carpeted trunk trim away from the trunk's interior wall.

Remove the four wing nuts that fasten the taillight assembly to the car. Place the nuts in your pocket or a small bag for safekeeping.

Lift the rear combination light assembly away from your Grand Am's body. Press the five restraining tabs to release the assembly plate from the lens cover.

Pull the defective bulb directly out of its socket and replace it with the new bulb. Once it's secure, press the assembly plate back into place.

Activate the new turn signal to make sure it's working. If the bulb lights up, attach the lens cover, fasten the wing nuts and replace the trunk trim.

Items you will need

  • 3156 replacement bulb (1999 and later models)

  • 2057 replacement bulb (11992-1998 models)

 How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in a Ford Taurus

Turn off your Taurus' engine, engage its emergency break and remove the keys from the ignition. Make sure the headlamp switch is set to "OFF."

Open the trunk and carefully remove its carpeted trim to expose the backside of the tail lamp assembly.

Unscrew the nut and washer fixtures that hold the tail lamp assembly to the car's body. Then, pull the assembly away from the car until it comes free.

Find the bulb socket holding the broken bulb. Once you've found it, twist it counterclockwise and remove it from the assembly.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and replace it with the new bulb. Toss the old bulb into the garbage so it doesn't become a hazard.

Place the bulb socket into the tail lamp assembly and turn it clockwise to secure its position.

Test the new signal light to make sure it works before screwing the assembly back into place and replacing the carpeted trunk trim.

Items you will need

  • 3157K or #3057K (wagons) replacement bulb

  • Socket wrench

 How to Replace the Rear Signal Lights in a VW Jetta

Make a trip to your local auto parts store to purchase a replacement signal bulb. You'll need to know the model and year of your Jetta in order to get the correct bulb.

Put on a clean pair of gloves. Oil or dirt from your fingers can cause the new signal bulb to overheat and burn out faster.

Open the trunk of your Jetta and remove the access panel. This will be a small door on each side of the trunk. To remove the signal bulb, locate the fasteners that retain the bulb assembly and squeeze them outward, or if necessary, use a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the signal bulb assembly out of the trunk.

Push the signal bulb in and rotate it counter clockwise to remove the burnt out bulb from the holder.

Clean the signal bulb socket with a clean shop rag. If the socket shows corrosion, it should be replaced.

Replace the signal bulb by pushing the replacement bulb into the socket and rotating it clockwise. Make sure the tabs click into place.

Put the signal bulb assembly back into the trunk and replace the access panel.

Items you will need

  • Gloves

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Clean shop rag

  • Replacement signal light

About the Author

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