How To Replace A Rear Turn Signal On A Vehicle


If you have almost been rear ended or another driver shouts at you or points at your vehicle, check your rear turn signal. A burned turn signal needs replacing right away to avoid traffic tickets and accidents. You should be able to replace a rear turn signal bulb with no prior experience. Here are some tips to replace a rear turn signal bulb.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • flashlight
  • rags
  • wire brush
  • Phillips screwdriver or socket wrench set
  • replacement bulb

Determine which rear signal has burned out. Activate the emergency brake on the vehicle, move the gear to neutral or park, and start the engine. Flip the signal right, check the back of the vehicle to see if the light is working. Check the left turn signal.

Remove the Old Turn Signal Bulb

If you have an older vehicle, access the bulb through the light cover. The cover has screws or bolts holding it in place. Remove the bolts or screws with the screwdriver or wrench, and set the hardware aside.

On a newer vehicle, access the rear light through the trunk. Detach the panel over the rear light in an SUV, or move the trunk liner aside in a vehicle. On a pickup truck, access the taillight bulb by opening the tailgate.

Look for a bulb shaped like a barrel. You may want to take a picture of the wiring to help you recall how to reattach it later. Disconnect the wires. Grasp the bulb with a rag, push it in slightly, and rotate it.

After you remove the bulb, inspect the socket area for dirt or corrosion, which could interfere with the operation of new lights. Scrub the area with the wire brush, then use a clean, damp rag to wipe the light assembly.

Install the New Turn Signal Bulb

Use the old bulb as a guide to buy a replacement bulb. Screw the new bulb in place, and avoid touching the glass. Touching the glass leaves fingerprints that could weaken the bulb. Reconnect the wiring referring to the photo you took.

Test the bulb first before you reinstall the cover. Release the emergency brake, start the vehicle, and flip the turn signal. Check to see if the light is working.

If it works, reinstall the cover. If the light fails, check wiring connections, remove the bulb, and reinstall it.

Replacing a rear turn signal yourself saves you money. If you don't trust your skill, or the bulb still fails, visit an auto repair shop.

For auto repair services, contact a shop such as P & T Automotive Repair


11 July 2016

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