How to Change the Brake Lights on a Honda Civic

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Ensuring that your Honda Civic's brake lights are in working condition at all times is important to your safety, as well as the safety of others. These simple bulbs signal that you are intending to decelerate or stop, allowing other motorists to react and slow down in response. If the brake-light bulb burns out, nothing is left to alert other drivers of your intentions, a situation that can quickly become dangerous. Luckily, replacing damaged brake-light bulbs is as simple as opening your Civic's trunk or hatch.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement bulb
  • Have an assistant turn the car's ignition on and press down on the brake pedal. Stand behind the car and observe the brake lights to identify which brake light is not working. Turn the ignition switch off once you have identified that faulty bulb.

  • Open the car's trunk or hatch. Locate the affected tail-light assembly on the inside of the trunk. Grasp the rubber dust boot on the rear of the tail-light assembly and twist counterclockwise half of a turn. Pull the tail light's wiring harness away from the tail light. Locate the faulty brake-light bulb in the center of the harness and pull it out.

  • Press the wedge-shaped base of the new brake-light bulb into the wiring harness. Insert the harness into the tail-light assembly and twist the rubber dust boot clockwise half of a turn to lock it in place.

  • Have an assistant turn the car's ignition on, pressing down on the brake pedal again to activate the brake lights. Stand behind the car and observe the brake lights to confirm that the brake lights are working properly. If the brake light does not activate, check that the bulb is inserted completely into the wiring harness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most auto-parts stores will replace the brake-light bulbs for you if you need assistance.

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References

  • "1996-1998 Honda Civic Service Manual"; Honda Motor Company; 1997
  • Photo Credit The image of the car in movement image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com
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