Tutorial Tuesday ~ How to Replace your Tail light

Okay, so this tutorial is WAY off the beaten path, but it’s all I’ve got this week.  And who knows, you never know when you might just have to replace your tail light in your vehicle.  Heck, I sure didn’t know I was going to have to until a few weeks ago when I accidentally backed up in to my husband’s truck.  Yep, I did.  I haven’t a clue of what’s been going on in my brain, but I definitely have not had good mojo in the vehicle department lately and it sucks!

Oh, a little disclaimer … this is for my GMC vehicle.  I do not have the knowledge of where all the screws might be located for other vehicles to remove your tail light.  But I figure it can’t be that hard to find … I did this one on my own … no men were hurt during this tutorial.

Well, with all that aside, here we go….

First you have to unscrew the 2 screws that secure your light to your vehicle.

See the smooshed light … total bummer, dude …

Then you have to use a bit of force to pull the light away from the vehicle.  You may feel like you’re going to break it {but who cares, the damage is already done, can’t break it anymore than it already is}.  So, you might have to tug a bit, but it will come out…

On this vehicle, there are 2 little ‘plugs’ that secure the light to the body.  Here’s a pic of one of them.

The pic below shows the tail light completely separated from the body.

Then, you have to do some looking to see where the power source is plugged in to.  I thought I had found it right away just looking down through an opening to inside the bumper … but, it wasn’t it.

So, I had to go under the vehicle and look to see where the cord led to.  I then had to fiddle with it quite a bit to separate the cord from it’s insertion point on the vehicle.  The pic below shows the plug that you see in the above picture from underneath the vehicle.

So, this plug is NOT the right one.  It’s located further under the vehicle.

So, here you see it.   This one is the correct one.  Again, it’ll be different for other vehicles.

NOTE:  There is a locking mechanism that you will figure out when you look at the plug.  Try to find it first before messing with it for 20 minutes and cussing under your breath {because there are kids around}.

Boys playing with their ant farm in between getting under the vehicle with me.  They’re such great helpers….

So, jumping right ahead.  You’ll get your shiny NEW tail light and put the power source card down through the opening {in your bumper} to under the vehicle.   Then, you’ll attach your shiny NEW tail light to the body by lining up the holes in the body to the plugs on the tail light.  Again, you’ll use some force to get it in to position.

Then you take the two screws you originally removed and screw them right back where they belong.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  LOL!  I’m laughing because it’s so not what my blog is about, but, this is what I did this week {and what needed to be done}.

Even though my blog is not about automotive content, I do want to share that just because you’re a woman, doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to fix your own vehicle.  This was pretty simple really, but, it can be intimidating to some.  So I do hope that this will empower you to not wait for your husband/boyfriend to do something that you might just be able to do on your own.  {I’m not saying that you should try to do any body work or anything crazy, but little things can be done}.  I’m trying to be so careful in what I say as I do not want to offend ANYONE, but I hope you get my drift.  I’ll stop typing now….

Hope you’re having a great week!!!!

xo Tara


  1. HA! So funny but you know we need to know how to how to do this. Great post

  2. I had to do it on our Ford Taurus station wagon when our kids were about the same age yours are now. (In other words, a LONG time ago.) It was mostly held in by a weatherstripping type material as I recall. Every car is definitely different.

  3. {but who cares, the damage is already done, can’t break it anymore than it already is}

    LOL Tara you crack me up. I love reading your blog.

  4. My husband backed right into his truck with my vehicle. We got that fixed and then my son backed his SUV right into the same spot on my husband’s truck that we had just gotten fixed. We have a weird driveway and that must me the problem for all our “accidents”, but they are kinda embarrassing and funny at the same time :).

    • taradara says:

      Hehe … I wish I had the same reason for backing in to his truck … but I don’t … we have a very normal driveway … darn!

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