How to Replace a Taillight on a 2003 Jetta

by Matt Scheer
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tail light image by Jorge Moro from

Like the Jetta, most cars are designed to allow you to replace a burnt-out light bulb without difficulty. Replacing a taillight can be done at home, so you don't have to pay a mechanic to do it for you. Check your Jetta's external lights twice a year to make sure you're not driving without a burnt-out bulb, which can cost you a traffic ticket if you're pulled over by a police officer.


Step 1

Bring your owner's manual to an auto store and tell them you need a new taillight. They'll take the model number from the owner's manual and find the right model light for you. Save the receipt of the new light in case it doesn't work.

Step 2

Remove the ignition key from the ignition to make sure the car is turned off.

Step 3

Open the trunk and remove the carpet covering the trim cover, which is screwed on over the taillights.

Step 4

Unscrew the trim cover and put the screws in a safe place so they don't roll away.

Step 5

Turn the taillight counterclockwise to remove it from the housing connectors. Your fingers will get dirty from grease so keep some paper towels handy.

Step 6

Place the new light in the housing assembly by turning it clockwise. Turn the car on and check whether the light works.

Step 7

If the light works, screw the trim cover back into a tight position and replace the carpet.

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