How to Replace a 2005 Toyota 4Runner Brake Light


Toyota released its pickup-based utility vehicle, the 4Runner, in the 1985 model year. As the 4Runner aged, it became a more refined and comfortable SUV. By the 2005 model year, the 4Runner was completely separated from any Toyota pickup and was a high-end SUV. The 2005 4Runner included smooth body-lines, elongated and angled headlights, as well as vertical taillights that wrapped partially around the quarter panel. Replacing the brake light bulb in these taillight assemblies involved removing a small access panel in the cargo area.

Things You'll Need

  • Style 7443 brake light bulb
  • Open the 4Runner's rear hatch and locate the access panel near the rear or the side trim panel in the cargo area.

  • Insert the blade of a flat-head screwdriver under the upper part of the access panel on the side of the 4Runner with the burnt-out brake light. Pry the access panel from the cargo area side trim panel.

  • Look behind the panel, toward the rear of the 4Runner and locate the three sets of wires and sockets plugged into the rear of the taillight assembly.

  • Grab the lowermost socket on the taillight assembly -- the taillight socket -- and turn it counterclockwise to unlock it. Pull the socket and bulb out of the taillight assembly and out through the access panel.

  • Take hold of the burnt-out bulb and pull it from the socket with a slight wiggling motion. Grab a new 7443 taillight bulb using a clean, lint-free cloth, and press it into the socket. Don't touch the bulb with your bare hands, as the oils from your hands may cause premature bulb failure.

  • Insert the socket and new bulb into the rear of the taillight assembly and twist it clockwise to lock it into place.

  • Insert the tabs on the bottom of the access panel into the notches in the cargo side trim and press the top of the panel until it seats into place.

  • Close the 4runner's rear hatch.


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