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How to Replace a Reverse Light

Before you kick your car into reverse, make sure your reverse lights are working properly. Replacing them is easy and takes only a few minutes.


  • Step 1: Determine access Determine how to access the lens assembly. Most cars have screws hidden on the inside, and the trunk or hatch of the car has to be opened to access them. If the reverse lamp is on the trunk, pop the lid halfway open – the screws will be on the inside of the trunk lid.
  • 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, and store them safely – they’re easily lost.
  • Step 3: Pop out assembly Pop out the lens assembly.
  • Step 4: Remove socket Identify and remove the reverse light socket. Twist and pull the socket gently to get 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 straight 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. Reattach the assembly, and screw it into the body.
  • Step 7: Test reverse lights Test the lights by having a friend watch as you back up the car.
  • FACT: Steve McQueen's reverse burnout during the chase in the film Bullitt was unscripted, and was a result of McQueen missing his turn.

You Will Need

  • A screwdriver
  • A replacement bulb
  • A friendu2019s help

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