How to Replace the Tail Light of Cars

by Contributing Writer

Bulbs burn out over time. There's no way around this fact. And if that bulb is part of the tail light of your Jeep car you'd better replace it---and pronto! Driving around with a burned-out tail light could make you eligible for an expensive ticket, plus the time involved in proving that you have made the repair. When replacing a tail light in a Jeep car make sure that you have the proper bulb that was designed to replace the tail light in your particular model and year of Jeep car.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Tail Light of Lexus Es300

Disconnect the negative battery cable (or grounding cable) from the battery. The grounding cable is the black battery cable that connects from the negative battery lead to the frame or chassis of the vehicle. Using a 10 mm wrench, loosen the bolt that holds the battery cable clamp around the battery lead. Remove the clamp.

Open the trunk to gain access to the tail light housing group.

Remove the trunk lining trim at the top rear of the trunk interior. The trim is a plastic strip that runs the full width of the trunk. You can remove this by hand with a moderate amount of force.

Remove the trunk liner to access the tail light. The liner is held in place by four clips that require loosening with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Once the clips are loosened, peel the liner away from the rear wall of the trunk interior.

Remove the four nuts holding the cover of the tail light housing panel in place. The nuts can be removed using an 8mm deep socket and ratchet. The two bottom nuts are found at the corners; the top nuts are 1/4 of the way inward from the corners of the tail light housing.

Pull the tail light group panel away from the tail lights to reveal the light bulbs.

Identify which light needs replacement. Twist and pull the light from its dock. The light will hang freely by the connecting wires.

Unscrew the bulb from the socket. Replace the bulb with an appropriate new bulb. Replacement bulbs should be consistent with the type identified in the Lexus repair manual. If you do not have a manual, consult a Lexus dealership for the right bulb.

Replace the light to its dock by pushing and twisting it back into place.

Reattach the tail light housing panel to the tail light housing. Align the panel and use an 8mm socket and ratchet to tighten the four nuts on to the bolts.

Replace the trunk liner and tighten down using the liner clips. Once the liner is in place, tighten the clips with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Replace the trunk lining trim to the upper, rearmost lip of the trunk interior. The trim will fasten into place using a moderate amount of force by hand.

Reattach the grounding cable to the battery. Fit the clamp around the negative lead and tighten the bolt using a 10mm wrench. The bolt should be tightened just enough so that the clamp is not able to be moved by hand.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Ratchet

  • 8mm deep socket

  • 10mm wrench

 How to Change a Tail Light on a Jeep Liberty

Inspect the tail light and determine which bulb(s) need to be replaced. There are three bulbs in the tail light and in all probability, only one of them needs to be replaced. Determine which one.

Open the tailgate. This will reveal two screws set in the side of the tail light assembly. In most cases, these screws will have a star-shaped head that requires a T-15 island wrench. Remove both screws.

Wiggle the plastic tail light cover. It should come off easily. You will see wires leading to the back-side of three light bulb sockets.

Determine which of the bulbs is the bad bulb (from Step1). Grab the base of the bad bulb and twist counter-clockwise until the bulb assembly lifts straight out.

Turn the bulb assembly so the bulb faces you. Gently push the bulb down into the socket and give it a 1/4 counter clockwise turn and then release the pressure on the bulb. The bulb will pop out.

Push the new bulb down into the socket and turn it a quarter turn in a clockwise direction. It will now be locked in place. Turn the assembly over and insert the bulb and the assembly back into the bulb holder and turn clockwise until the bulb is locked in place. Replace the plastic cover and its two mounting screws.

Items you will need

  • T-15 island wrench

  • Replacement bulb

 How to Replace the Tail Light in a Buick LeSabre

Open the trunk of the Buick LeSabre.

Locate 7 nuts underneath the trunk lid (3 on each end of the trunk lid and 1 in the middle). Remove each one using a nut driver.

Manipulate the trunk lid at chest level and gently pull the rear taillight assembly slightly away from the trunk lid.

Locate the burned out bulb sockets and then remove the bulbs. Insert the new bulbs into the socket and test by turning on the lights before reassembling.

Replace the tail light assembly by aligning the studs inside the predrilled holes in the trunk lid. Refasten the 7 nuts.

Remove the cargo net if applicable to replace the brake and/or turn signal light.

Unscrew the plastic wingnut that the cargo net is attached to. Pull back the trunk liner.

Remove the 2 plastic wingnuts under the trunk liner.

Pull the brake light assembly outward from the back of the LeSabre.

Locate the socket of the burned out bulb and then turn counter clockwise 1/4-inch to release it from the assembly.

Remove the old bulb from the socket and replace with a new one. Test the light before reassembling.

Items you will need

  • 10 millimeter nut driver

  • Replacement bulb(s)

 How to Replace Tail Lights on a Chrysler Sebring

Open the trunk and carefully peel back the trunk liner from the corner of the trunk to reveal the tail light casing. Avoid pulling too hard on the liner as it rips easily.

Remove the two plastic wing nuts from the casing that covers the tail light bulb. Make sure to put the wing nuts in a safe place to avoid losing them.

Grab the tail light casing and pull it firmly outward while pushing on the studs from inside the trunk. This will remove the casing from the corner of the trunk.

Twist the bulb's connector a quarter turn counterclockwise and remove the connector from the tail light casing.

Carefully remove the bulb from the bulb electrical connector.

Gently insert the new bulb into the bulb electrical connector.

Lock the bulb connector into the casing by placing the bulb connector into the tail light casing and rotating the connector a quarter turn clockwise. Be careful to not touch the tip of the bulb with your hand as this may damage the bulb.

Set the tail light casing back into the corner of the trunk.

Screw the two wing nuts onto the tail light casing with your fingers to lock it into place.

Unfold the trunk liner and situate it back into place.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulbs for your specific model and year

 How to Change a Tail Light on a Jeep Grand Cherokee

How to Change a Tail Light on a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Lift the tailgate to the Grand Cherokee.

Locate and remove the two Torx head screws using the Torx head screwdriver. They are located on the tailgate doorframe in the side of the tail light assembly.

Remove the tail light assembly.

Squeeze the socket assembly panel release tabs to separate it from the from the tail light assembly.

Pull out the tail light from the socket that needs to be replaced. The top bulb is the brake lamp. The middle is the tail light and turn signal lamp. The bottom light is the back-up lamp.

Replace the bulb by pressing it into the socket. Turn the lights on to check the lamp before putting everything together.

Reinstall the socket assembly into the tail light assembly until the release tabs click to lock.

Reattach the light assembly and tighten the Torx head screws. Remove the screwdriver, old light bulb and close the tailgate.

Items you will need

  • Torx head screwdriver

  • Replacement tail light

 How to Replace a Tail Light of a Volkswagen Jetta

Figure out which tail light bulb has burnt out and needs to be replaced. Make a trip to your local auto parts store and buy a new bulb. The clerk will be able to help you figure out which bulb you need. You will have to give him the year and the model of your Jetta.

Open the trunk. Locate the little door on either side of the trunk that houses the tail lights. Turn the two latches to open the door.

Squeeze the tabs that house the light bulbs to release the tail light tray. Pull the tray out of the light compartment.

Remove the light that needs to be replaced by turning it counter-clockwise. Pull the tail light out of its socket.

Replace the burnt out bulb by inserting the new bulb and turning it clockwise to lock it in place. Snap the light tray back into place and make sure that the tabs click to hold the tray in place.

Check that the tail light is working properly and then close the door to the lighting compartment and turn the knobs to lock it closed. You are done.

 How Do I Replace a Tail Light on a 2008 Sebring Convertible?

Step to the rear of the Sebring and open the trunk. Look against the trunk wall on the appropriate side to find two plastic nuts. These nuts keep the tail light secure.

Twist the nuts counterclockwise to unscrew them then firmly grasp the exterior part of the tail light. Pull it towards the rear to release it.

Turn the tail light bulb connection counterclockwise and pull it straight back. The tail light bulb is the outer bulb. The inner bulb is the turn signal.

Push the plastic tab on the bulb socket to release the bulb from the electrical harness. Discard the bulb. Insert the new bulb into the harness. Push it in firmly to snap into place.

Insert the bulb into the tail light housing. Twist it clockwise to attach it. Reinsert the tail light housing into the cavity.

Reattach the two nuts. Turn them clockwise to secure the tail light housing.

Items you will need

  • Bulb 3057

 How to Change the Tail Lights on a 2007 Buick Lucerne

Open the trunk and look to the back wall, directly in front of the tail lamp with the burned out bulb.

Loosen the three trim knobs located in that area by turning them counter clockwise. They are nothing more than a knob threaded onto a stud.

Pull the trim panel away from the back of the tail lamp assembly by hand so that you can reach the light socket protruding from the back of the lamp.

Turn the socket one-quarter turn counterclockwise until the socket retaining clips are free of the socket retaining ring in the lamp and then pull the socket out of the lamp assembly.

Pull the old bulb out and install the new one by pushing it into place in the socket. Reinsert the socket and turn it back one-quarter turn clockwise. Push the trim back in place and reinstall the three trim knobs by screwing them back down onto the studs.

Items you will need

  • Replacement bulb(s)

 How to Change the Tail Light on a Corvette

Kneel down behind your taillight to find the mounting screw(s). Remove the screw(s) with a Phillips screwdriver. C5 models have two screws; one on each side. C6 models have one screw, located at the top portion of the taillight.

Turn the taillight carefully and pull it out to access the bulb. Squeeze the side tabs and turn the socket counterclockwise to remove it.

Detach the old bulb from the socket and insert the new bulb. Insert the socket back into the taillight; squeeze the side tabs and turn it clockwise.

Line up the taillight tabs (bottom and top on C5, sides on C6) and reinsert the taillight. Tighten the screw(s) to finish.

Items you will need

  • Gloves

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Bulb type 3057 (C5)

  • Bulb type 3057KK (C6)

 How to Replace Tail Lights on a Toyota Sienna

Turn on your Sienna’s tail lights and proceed to the rear of the vehicle. Identify which of the tail light bulbs have burned out and then turn the power back off. Pull the hood release lever located on the driver’s side interior, beneath the dashboard.

Raise the hood and remove the black cable from the battery with a socket wrench. The black cable is the negative cable. There should also be a negative sign (-) next to it, on top of the battery.

Lift and properly support the lift-gate at the rear. On the inner side of the tail light assembly, you should see two small bolts. Remove both of them with the socket wrench.

Grasp the tail light assembly with both hands and slowly pull it toward you, away from the frame. Use care, because there are wires connected to the assembly.

Remove the taillight socket by rotating it a quarter turn counterclockwise to unlock it from the assembly. Pull the socket away from the tail light assembly slowly.

Remove the defective bulb by grasping it gently between three fingers. Pull the bulb straight out of the socket. Put on a pair of latex glove and open the new bulb’s packaging.

Apply a small hair line bead of dielectric grease on the metal contacts at the bottom of the bulb. If the grease gets on the glass, discard the bulb and start again with a new bulb. Insert the new bulb back into the socket and gently push it down into place.

Return the socket back to its original position in the tail light assembly. Lock the socket in place by rotating it clockwise a quarter turn. Remount the tail light assembly in the opposite manner of its removal. Return and tighten the two tail light assembly bolts with your socket wrench. Shut the lift-gate.

Reconnect and secure the black cable to the battery with your socket wrench. Shut the hood and turn on the power to the tail lights once more to check the repair.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Latex gloves

  • Dielectric grease

 How to Change a Tail Light on a Toyota Camry

Open the trunk of your Camry and locate the tail light assembly covers to the right and left of the trunk lid. The cover is plastic and rectangular shaped. It snaps open on the inner edge and hinges to the outside edge.

Open the tail light assembly cover and locate the light bulb sockets inside. Pull out the socket that corresponds to the burned-out light, turning it counterclockwise to unlock it from the assembly. The top bulb is the turn signal, second is the stop light, third is the running light and the last bulb is the backup light.

Pull the socket straight back and out of the assembly. Remove the bulb from the socket. The bulb pulls straight out of the socket and can be discarded. Insert a new bulb and push it in until it is fully seated in the socket.

Insert the socket and bulb into the tail light assembly and turn the socket clockwise until it stops, locking it in place. Close the cover, making sure it snaps closed so that it is secure. This will help keep moisture and dirt out of the tail light assembly.

Close the trunk and test the lights to be sure they are working. If you have lights out on both sides, you will need to repeat the process on the opposite tail light before testing the lights.

 How to Change a Tail Light on a Mazda MVP

Unscrew the two bolts holding the tail light assembly with a Philips screwdriver. The bolts are located on the assembly on the outside of the vehicle.

Pull the assembly out of the car. If you are replacing bulbs in the driver's side assembly, pull the assembly out to the left. For the other side, pull it out to the right.

Twist the socket with the burnt-out bulb counterclockwise and pull it out of the assembly.

Pull the bulb out of the socket.

Push the new bulb into the socket.

Reinsert the socket into the assembly and turn clockwise to secure.

Reinstall the tail light assembly and screw in the two bolts.

Items you will need

  • Owner's manual

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • New tail light bulb