How to Fix a Tail Light on a Solara

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The Toyota Camry Solara, more commonly known as the Toyota Solara, is a mid-sized coupe and convertible made by Toyota. Both body styles have been discontinued. Toyota has an excellent reputation for quality, and the Solara is no exception, but still, regular maintenance on the Solara is necessary to keep it looking (and driving) like new. One of the most common--and basic--maintenance procedures is fixing a tail light when it burns out.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench and socket set
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Have an assistant stand behind the vehicle while you press on the brake pedal. If the tail lights do not illuminate, you may have a blown light bulb. Turn on the headlights and turn signals to confirm that they work. If they do, this will help to confirm that the brake lights have blown and that there is not a larger problem with the Solara's exterior lights.

  • Open the trunk and pull up the trunk lining. You will see several screw bolts that you must remove for each tail light assembly. Use either a screwdriver or a socket wrench to remove these. Turn the screw bolts counterclockwise to remove.

  • Pull the tail light cover off.

  • Unplug the electrical wiring running to the tail light ballast. This is a plug-style connector that you must squeeze the release tab on, and pull the connector out.

  • Turn the bulb counterclockwise to remove. Inspect the filament for damage. Once you have confirmed that the filament is broken or burnt, replace the bulb with a new one. Bulbs are sold at any auto parts store. The part number you will need is located on the base of the old bulb and is the only number printed on the bulb.

  • Insert the new bulb and turn clockwise to lock it in the housing. Reassemble the tail light assembly; installation of the new bulb is the reverse of the removal of the old bulb.

  • Verify that the new bulb is working properly by pressing on the brake pedal and having an assistant stand behind the Solara to confirm that the tail light lights up.

References

  • Toyota Camry, Avalon, Solara, Lexus ES300/330 Repair Manual 2002-2006; Jay Storer, John H. Haynes; 2009
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