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Wagon Third Brake Light Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Wagon Third Brake Light Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$2 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, 17mm wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

New Bulb or housing

Hot Tip:

Always lever off gently

Performance Gain:

Freshen up interior appearance

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear windshield wiper motor

The third brake light on the W124 wagons is attached to the rear hatch. Beside the bulb burning out the housing can see a lot of wear and tear and get damaged from piling things in the wagon. While you can change the bulb without removing the rear hatch panel or wiper motor but if you need to replace the brake light section of the housing you will need to remove the panel and wiper. Please see our articles on rear hatch panel and rear wiper removal.

The third brake light is mounted on the center of the interior of the rear hatch.
Figure 1

The third brake light is mounted on the center of the interior of the rear hatch. The bulb can be replaced by removing the rear section of the housing (red arrow).

The plastic rear section of the housing clips into the forward section.
Figure 2

The plastic rear section of the housing clips into the forward section. Use a trim removal tool and separate the clips (red arrows) on the rear section from the front. The front section is mounted to the hatch but if you handle it too aggressively you can break it completely off. Some of these can be a real pain to remove without damaging the plastic.

This photo illustrates the rear section off so you can better see how it connects to the front.
Figure 3

This photo illustrates the rear section off so you can better see how it connects to the front.

You can now remove and replace the bulb.
Figure 4

You can now remove and replace the bulb. The bulb is a simple push turn to remove or install. The sockets can get corroded over time so make sure to clean it with a little Emory paper before installing a new bulb.

If you are replacing the unit begin by disconnecting the wiring to the plug by pulling it straight off (red arrow).
Figure 5

If you are replacing the unit begin by disconnecting the wiring to the plug by pulling it straight off (red arrow).

You will need to remove the rear hatch panel as well as the rear wiper to replace the brake light housing.
Figure 6

You will need to remove the rear hatch panel as well as the rear wiper to replace the brake light housing. Please see our articles on these procedures for additional assistance. The wiper motor uses the mounting bolts for the brake light as its upper mounting points (red arrows).

With the wiper removed use a 17mm wrench and remove the blots for the brake light assembly (red arrows).
Figure 7

With the wiper removed use a 17mm wrench and remove the blots for the brake light assembly (red arrows).

This photo illustrates how the mounting hardware for the brake light housing is a multi-use piece (red arrow).
Figure 8

This photo illustrates how the mounting hardware for the brake light housing is a multi-use piece (red arrow). Make sure the rubber grommet between the brake light and wiper motor is in good shape otherwise replace it with a new one.

You can now remove the housing from the hatch.
Figure 9

You can now remove the housing from the hatch. Installation is the reverse of removal.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Rush Comments: I need a rear window brake light on my 300 87td wagon.Polamino color new or used as long as it is in good shape.Thanks
October 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ed2001z Comments: I need a saffron 3rd brake light assembly for w124 wagon
September 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rorie Comments: Help,
do you have replacement 3rd break light for '07 Passat Wagon? Do you have instructions on how to replace it?
thanks,
Rorie
March 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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