How to Replace License Plate Bulbs on a 2003 Impala

by Justin Cupler

The Impala emerged from its roots as the top trim level of the Bel Air to its own model in 1959. In 1985, Chevrolet dropped the Impala. Later, the Impala name returned for a few years (from 1994 through 1996), as the Impala SS. These were basically high-performance Caprices. In 2000, Chevrolet reintroduced the Impala as a V-6 sedan. The 2003 Impala came standard with a 3.4-liter V-6 that produced 180 horsepower. The Impala's rear end had a long light bar with four circular lights positioned within the bar. The placement of the bar meant that the license plate and its light bulbs had to be positioned in the bumper cover. Replacing these bulbs is a relatively easy task.

Remove the two screws securing the license plate light assembly to the bumper, located directly above the license plate, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Pull the license plate light assembly down from the bumper.

Grab the bulb socket on the rear of the license plate light assembly and turn it counterclockwise to unlock it. Pull the socket and bulb out of the assembly.

Pull the old 194 light from the license plate light socket with a slight wiggling motion.

Press the new 194 bulb into the license plate socket. Make certain to use a clean, lint-free cloth when touching the bulbs, as the oils from your hands can cause the bulb to burn out prematurely.

Insert the bulb and socket back into the license plate assembly and turn it clockwise to lock the socket in place.

Push the license plate light assembly back up and into the bumper. Tighten the screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

Repeat Steps 1 through 7 for the bulb on the other side of the license plate.

Items you will need

About the Author

Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Autos.com. Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.

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