How to Replace the Tail Light of Lexus Es300

by Jule Pamplin

Maintaining the tail lights of your Lexus ES300 is important for more than one reason. Besides being a critical part of safe motoring, it is illegal to operate a vehicle without properly working signals and lights. When you realize that your tail lights need replacement, have the task performed at your Lexus dealership, or do it yourself.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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

Step 7

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

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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

Step 10

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.

Step 11

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.

Step 12

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.

Step 13

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.

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