How To: Replace a brake light

Replace a brake light

You can get an expensive ticket for driving with a busted tail light. But that's not all. Driving with a faulty brake light can be dangerous. Replacing the bulb is a simple task that takes only a few minutes.

You Will Need

*A screwdriver
*A replacement bulb
*A friend's help

Step 1: Determine access

Determine how to access the lens assembly. Most cars have the screws hidden on the inside, and the trunk or hatch of the car has to be opened to access them. Older cars have the screws for the assembly on the outside.

Tip: Some vehicles have the screws hidden under the edge of the carpet in the trunk. Pull this back gently to get to the screws.

Step 2: Remove screws

Remove the screws with the screwdriver. They're easily lost, so store them safely.

Step 3: Pop out assembly

Tip: Pop out the lens assembly.

Step 4: Remove socket

Identify and remove the brake light socket. Twist and pull the socket to pop it out.

Step 5: Remove bulb

Remove the bulb. On some vehicles, you have to twist and pull to get the bulb out, but in most vehicles the bulb can just be pulled out.

Tip: Check to make sure the electrical contact where the bulb fits in the socket is not burned.

Step 6: Replace bulb

Insert the new bulb into the socket, and twist the socket back into the assembly. Pop the assembly back in, and screw it into the body.

Step 7: Test brake lights

Test the lights by having a friend watch as you turn on the car and apply pressure to the brakes.

Fact: Nicolas Cage did most of his stunt driving in the film Gone in 60 Seconds.

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