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Third Brake Light Bulb Change

Author: Madbrad
Date: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:45 pm

If you have a burnt out bulb in your centre high mount stop lamp(CHMSL) or if you want to change to a different type of bulb, you need to know how to safely remove the fixture from the liftgate. Here is the light in the first picture. It is held by tabs that are part of the red transparent casting. It has a foam gasget that will likely be "adhering" the light in place thanks to age and dirt etc.

Open the liftgate and observe the upper trim panel.

Remove the panel by pulling on it. It has 4 pop on metal retainers.
observe the back of the brakelight through holes in the liftgate sheetmetal.

Here are 2 shots through the large hole that show tabs that hold the light to the sheetmetal.

There are 8 tabs. You can access only the bottom 4, which are the top 4 when the liftgate is open because it is upside-down. gently, being careful not to break any tabs, press the tabs to clear the sheetmetal. It is difficult because you have to have all 4 pressed simultaneously and the preveiously mentioned adhesive property of the gasget. One or teo of the tabs need a screwdriver to press them because a finger does not fit in all the hole, plus you need to leave a couple screwdrivers in place to work on the rest. Try to hold the released ones out by pressing outward on the fixture so they don't return as you work on the rest. It is a tricky operation. It is easier the second time.

Here you can see a tab free of the sheetmetal. All 4 tabs are released and daylight can be seen between the light and the sheetmetal. Once you get the bottom of the light free and separated, gently close the liftgate.

A shot on the outside, showing the bottom of the light is free of the sheetmetal. To release the upper tabs, slide the light fixture downward.

Pull the light out.

pull out this electrical plug.

You may find the lens suface is dull. Shine it up with some kind of plastic polish.

Here is the back of the light and its 4 bulb holders. Twist the offending bulb holder counter clockwise and pull it out.

Closeup of holder with old bulb in it. Pull the bulb out of the holder.

Holder without bulb.

Push new 194 bulb into holder.

Put the holder with its new bulb into its hole and turn clocwise until it stops.
Wax the sheetmetal where the gasget touches it, and clean the foam gasget. This will prevent future removal difficulty.
Plug the electrical connector back in to the light.
Have an assistant press the brake pedal to test the bulbs.
Snap the light back into place in the liftgate.
Open the liftgate and snap the upper trim panel into place.
Close liftgate.
Check operation again.
Have another beer.
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