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Replacing Your Taillight Bulbs and Assembly
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Taillight Bulbs and Assembly

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$4 to $375

Talent:

**

Tools:

10mm wrench

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

Taillight assembly, taillight bulbs, taillight bulb sockets

Hot Tip:

Clean the bulb holder contacts prior to installation of the bulb

Performance Gain:

Working taillamps

Complementary Modification:

Install new center brake light

The taillights on the Volkswagen GTI MkV are two parts and split into the hatch and the rear body of the car. While the bulbs for the reverse light in the hatch section can be replaced without removing the lens assembly, replacing the bulbs for the taillamp, turn signal and brake light located in the body section of the assembly require removing the assembly from the vehicle.

If you have a bulb that is out or are getting a bulb error message, always inspect the electrical connector and the taillight bulb socket before just replacing the bulb. The sockets can get corrosion in them over time, which can lead to a bulb not working. Make sure you clean all the sockets with a small wire brush or some Emory paper before installing new bulbs.

You will need to open the hatch to get access to both the hatch taillights and the body mounted taillights.
Figure 1

You will need to open the hatch to get access to both the hatch taillights and the body mounted taillights. Access to the hatch mounted lights are through the plastic covers on the rear of the hatch (yellow arrows) and the body mounted lights are accessed through the rear compartment (red arrows).

Hatch Assembly: Begin by removing the plastic access cover.
Figure 2

Hatch Assembly: Begin by removing the plastic access cover. Use a trim removal tool and pry the access cover from the panel (red arrow).

Hatch Assembly: You do not need to disconnect the wiring connection from the bulb holder to change bulbs, but if you want to remove it to check for corrosion simply squeeze the tabs (red arrow) and pull it out.
Figure 3

Hatch Assembly: You do not need to disconnect the wiring connection from the bulb holder to change bulbs, but if you want to remove it to check for corrosion simply squeeze the tabs (red arrow) and pull it out. To change the bulb, rotate the bulb holder upwards towards the top of the assembly (yellow arrow) and pull it out from the housing.

Hatch Assembly: You can now remove the bulb by pressing it in and rotating the bulb a quarter turn and removing it from the socket (red arrow).
Figure 4

Hatch Assembly: You can now remove the bulb by pressing it in and rotating the bulb a quarter turn and removing it from the socket (red arrow).

Hatch Assembly: To remove the assembly including the lens use a 10mm wrench and remove the two nuts.
Figure 5

Hatch Assembly: To remove the assembly including the lens use a 10mm wrench and remove the two nuts. One of the nuts is difficult to see as it is hidden behind the trim panel but is easily removable without removing the entire trim panel (red arrows).

Hatch Assembly -With the nuts removed you can pull the assembly straight out of the hatch.
Figure 6

Hatch Assembly 'With the nuts removed you can pull the assembly straight out of the hatch. This photo illustrates the two studs on the back of the assembly (yellow arrows) as well as the holes they go through in the hatch (red arrows).

Body Assembly: To replace the bulbs in or remove the body mounted taillight assembly, begin by pulling back the carpet in the rear corner of the hatch (red arrow).
Figure 7

Body Assembly: To replace the bulbs in or remove the body mounted taillight assembly, begin by pulling back the carpet in the rear corner of the hatch (red arrow). This will give you access to the wiring connection (yellow arrow).

Body Assembly -Pull the tab on the connector (red arrow) all the way towards the wires and pull the connection from the assembly.
Figure 8

Body Assembly 'Pull the tab on the connector (red arrow) all the way towards the wires and pull the connection from the assembly.

Body Assembly -Remove the two 10mm nuts from the studs in the taillight housing (red arrows).
Figure 9

Body Assembly 'Remove the two 10mm nuts from the studs in the taillight housing (red arrows). The top one is recessed. You may want to use a socket but it can be removed with a wrench.

Body Assembly: Pull the housing with the two studs (red arrows) straight out from the mounting holes in the body (yellow arrows).
Figure 10

Body Assembly: Pull the housing with the two studs (red arrows) straight out from the mounting holes in the body (yellow arrows).

Body Assembly: There is a 10mm adjusting bolt on the lower section of the body (red arrow).
Figure 11

Body Assembly: There is a 10mm adjusting bolt on the lower section of the body (red arrow). This allows you to adjust the housing until it is sitting flat against the body.

Body Assembly: With the housing removed there are three clips that hold the bulb holder to the housing (red arrows).
Figure 12

Body Assembly: With the housing removed there are three clips that hold the bulb holder to the housing (red arrows). These are only plastic and can be stubborn to get all three loose at the same time; do not use excessive force when prying these or you will damage them and may have to replace the housing.

Body Assembly -Here is the bulb housing plate out of the assembly.
Figure 13

Body Assembly 'Here is the bulb housing plate out of the assembly. Remove the taillight and brake bulbs by pushing and turning. The turn signal bulb goes in the center. Installation is the reverse of removal.



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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:37:45 AM