Replace your Taillights Yourself
A broken tail light doesn't necessarily mean you have to go to the body shop. Replacing a tail light is actually something you can do with ordinary tools and the internet. Here is how to do it.
1. Find a Replacement Light:
Finding a replacement tail light is easy.
- Most auto parts companies sell low-cost “knock-offs” of Original Equipment (OEM) parts.
- Many car dealerships have also set up websites that sell genuine parts at reduced prices.
- Or, if you prefer an “aftermarket” version, make sure the seller sells CAPA certified parts. A CAPA certified part is guaranteed to fit and work like the original.
2. Determine How Your Tail Light is Attached:
Automakers use two different techniques to attach tail lights to the car body.
- One method is to drive threaded rods into the tail light. These rods are inserted into holes in the sheet metal and fixed with nuts.
- The second method uses screws to secure one end of the lumen and studs on the other side.
3. Remove and Replace the Old Tail Light:
If your tail light is attached with threaded nails, here's how to remove them:
- Locate the nuts and remove them from the threaded rods using a socket wrench and ratchet.
If your vehicle is equipped with the stud method, here is how to remove the tail light:
- Remove the screws on the side of the trunk or tail light tailgate. They are usually hidden under blankets.
- Then use a wooden or plastic tool to pry the stud out of the socket.
- Do not use a metal screwdriver, as it will likely scratch your car's paint.
Once you've cleared the taillight assembly, release the tethering mechanism and twist it to remove the bulb sockets.
- If you haven't replaced the bulbs in the past two years, you should do it now since you've already taken everything apart.
- Once you've replaced the bulbs, follow these three steps in reverse order to install the new taillights.