Replacing a Tail Light

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2010)

  • Before replacing the tail light, you need to gather a few things. They are available at any auto repair shop if you don't already have them.
  • Soft cleaning cloths or washcloths.
  • Rubber gloves (you are going to be working with electricity, so safety is important).
  • A complete screwdriver set and automotive light bulbs. If you don't know what kind of light bulbs to get for your car, just ask the clerk of any auto parts store. As long as you know the year, make and model of your car you can get any part you need.

Once you have all these parts, you are ready to begin.

  1. Remove cover. The cover of your tail light could be either the rear light assembly or as simple as a covered hatch in the trunk of your car. For the entire assembly types, remove the screws that are holding it in. If it is a hatch in the trunk, look for a plastic cover near where the light assembly is located. It is probably secured with knobs, tabs, or screws. Remove them and open the cover. Set aside the screws in one location so you don't lose them.
  2. Remove bulb. Remove the bulb by pushing in and twisting. It should pop right out.
  3. Clean connection. Use the cloths to clean the socket and the metal area around it. You don't often get a chance to clean this part of the car, most people simply forget about it. Cleaning it out like this is going to help ensure that you have a good connection as well as ensuring that the bulb puts out a nice, bright light.
  4. Replace bulb. Insert the new bulb by pushing in and twisting at the same time. Be gentle so that you don't break the bulb and hurt yourself.
  5. Replace cover. Replace the cover by reversing the process outlined in step 1. Use the screws that you set aside then.
  6. Test. Have a friend stand behind the car to be your testing partner. Step on the brakes a few times, and while your foot is on the brake, place the car into reverse. This will test all the various lights on the assembly to make sure that they are all working.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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