Today's the second day of Independence Week, which is the series that I'm writing to prove that us women are just as capable as our men. If you missed yesterday's tutorial on how to keep your husband / wallet happy by washing and waxing your own car, then you can read it here. To keep in line with the car theme, today I'm going to teach you how to replace a taillight (or headlight) bulb!
The first indication that one of your light bulbs has burnt out is when your left or right turn signal starts to "click" abnormally fast. After that happens, switch on the turn signal(s) sometime when you're at home or in a parking lot, and then get out of the car to see which one of your headlights or taillights is out.
In my case, my middle taillight on the left side of my car was the culprit. I went to our nearest auto parts store, looked up what size bulbs were needed for the particular make and model of my car, and bought a pack of two bulbs.
Back at home, I triple checked my turn signal to make sure that I was going to replace the right bulb.
I then opened the trunk and cleared the area of all dog toys so I had room to work.
There are numerous black plugs on the sidewalls of every trunk, which hold the carpet in place. Sometimes these plugs can just be pulled out while others require a screwdriver to remove them.
Using a flat head screwdriver, I removed the plug and pulled back the carpet to expose the car's interior wall.
Once the wall was exposed, I saw that there were a total of three gold bolts that fastened the taillight to the car.
Using a socket wrench, I tested each socket to see what size I needed for those particular bolts.
And then I removed each nut / washer from the bolts.
Once done, I tried taking off the taillight, but it was still stuck. Lo and behold, there was another sneaky bolt hiding behind the other carpet panel. Well played, sir, well played.
With that final bolt loose, the taillight was easy to remove.
Turning the taillight on its side, you can see the plugs for each light bulb on the back.
I turned the middle one a quarter of the way counter-clockwise, and it popped out.
Then I pulled out the old light bulb.
When handling the new light bulb, be sure not to touch the glass with your fingers; the oils from your hand can cause the bulb to overheat and prematurely break. Use a tissue or a cloth if you have to, but I was able to handle it with just the base at all times.
Then pop the new light bulb into the plug until you hear it click.
Not trusting myself, I switched on the turn signal to make sure it worked. Success!
Then I just placed the plug back into the taillight; tightened the nuts, washers, and bolts; returned the carpet to its original position, and... that's it!
There you go! No reason to ask for help when it's a simple DIY task. See, girls can do car stuff, too. :)
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