Is one of your tail lights on your Toyota Camry getting dim?
Has it completely died? If either is the case, it is time to replace your
lights. These play an essential safety role, helping other motorists see you
from behind. Furthermore, it is illegal to drive with non-functioning tail
lights. You may get a ticket if you don’t address the issue. The good news is
that the job is so easy, anyone can do it.
Replacing the Parts
If you’ve ever wondered how to
change tail light bulb parts or the assembly, it is time to learn. It is a
very simple process, and anyone can do it. There is no need to pay a mechanic
for this easy task. Replacing the bulb or the assembly is more or less the same
process. So, you can follow these steps for either. Keep in mind that the
specifics may be different depending on your model year and trim. Consult your
owner’s manual or repair manual for more information.
- Safety First: Start by disconnecting your car battery. First, shut off the engine. Then, disconnect the negative terminal (-) and secure the cable away from the battery. After that, disconnect the positive terminal (+) and secure that cable also. Also, get some work gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges. (Side note: you should always have work gloves, such as Unigloves, stored in your car for occasions such as this.)
- Access the Tail Lights: All the tail light parts are in your trunk or cargo area. So, open it up and move away any carpeting that may be covering the lights. In some cases, there is a panel covering the tail lights. Simply unscrew and remove this panel.
- Remove the Bulb Holder: There is a cable leading to the center of the tail light. It is connected to the back of the bulb holder. Turn the holder clockwise and lift it out. To replace the bulb, disconnect the holder from the cable and connect the new bulb.
- Remove the Assembly: If you also want to replace the assembly, loosen the nuts that hold it in place. Some may require oil or grease to get them loose. Then, lift the assembly out.
- Place the New Assembly: Put the new assembly in place and tighten the nuts. Do not overtighten them. They should hold it firmly in place. However, if you tighten them too much, it may crack the assembly. Finally, replace the bulb holder by turning it counterclockwise.
- Test Everything: Reconnect the battery and turn the car on. Check that the lights are working properly. Consider also checking the turn signals and brake lights with the help of a friend. Finally, replace the carpeting and panel over the tail lights.
Get the Right Parts
You can find the correct parts for your year and trim by
using a free VIN lookup tool at your
favorite auto parts store. Just enter the VIN, which you can find at the bottom
of the windshield on the driver’s side. It is also likely in your paperwork.
This process is so easy even a novice can do it. Get started today and experience the joy of fixing your own vehicle.