How to Replace a Tail Light Bulb in a 2003-2006 Honda CRV


Do-it-yourself maintenance of your vehicle can sometimes be a daunting task (especially with a newer model car) and you may want to leave the critical stuff to the professionals (brakes, etc.) However, you can save some money by doing the simple things yourself and you may even build up your confidence to start tackling some more difficult repairs.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Bulb (available at any auto parts store)
  • Determine which bulb is burned out. There are four bulbs in the rear taillight assembly. They are: (1) Turn Signal, (2) Brake Light, (3) Back Up Light, (4) Taillight.

  • Purchase a new bulb at any auto parts store. You will need to provide the counterperson with your make and model year. If you can, it is a good idea to bring the old bulb with you just to make sure that you are buying the correct one.

  • Open the tailgate.

  • If the burned out bulb is on the driver's side, locate the two (top and bottom) 1-inch-diameter plastic screw covers that conceal the screws that hold the taillight assembly to the body of the CRV.

  • If the burned out bulb is on the passenger side, locate one (top only) screw cover (the bottom screw does not have a cover).

  • Remove the screw covers carefully with the flat-head screwdriver.

  • Remove the mounting screws with the Phillips screwdriver. The bottom screw on the passenger side is fairly difficult to get to.

  • Carefully pull the taillight assembly from the rear pillar. Do not apply excessive side-to-side force, as this could damage the two clips that hold the assembly in place.

  • Remove the socket with the burned-out bulb by turning it a quarter turn counterclockwise.

  • Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push the new bulb straight into the socket until it is firmly seated.

  • Reinstall the socket into the taillight assembly by turning it clockwise until it locks.

  • Turn on the lights to make sure that the new bulb is working properly. It can save some time to perform this step now instead of waiting until you have reattached the taillight assembly.

  • Align the two clips that protrude from the taillight assembly with the holes in the rear pillar and push the assembly into place.

  • Reinstall the screws and screw covers.

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