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How to Replace Tail Light Bulbs 97-05 Lexus GS300

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How to Replace Tail Light Bulbs 97-05 Lexus GS300

Created on: 2019-04-25

Watch here to find out how to replace the brake, reverse, and turn signal light bulbs in the tail light assembly on a 97-05 Lexus GS300.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Tail Light Assembly
    • The following steps apply for both driver and passenger side tail lights
    • Open the trunk
    • Pull away trunk lining
    • Pry off the two outside bolt covers with the flat blade screwdriver
    • Remove the two outside 10 mm bolts
    • Apply rust penetrant from the inside if necessary
    • Remove the two inside 10 mm nuts
    • Disconnect the tail light electrical connector inside the trunk
    • Pull the light assembly away
  2. step 2 :Replacing the Tail Light Bulbs
    • On the rear of the tail light assembly, the bulb orientation is clockwise from bottom right: reverse, turn signal, running light, and brake light
    • For each light:
    • Twist the socket counter clockwise to remove.
    • Remove the bulb from the socket
    • Take note of the bulb type number printed on the bulb
    • Install the new same model numbered bulb into the socket
    • Insert the socket and twist clockwise to lock it in
  3. step 3 :Replacing the Tail Light Assembly
    • Insert the wiring harness through the hole fitting the grommet in the hole
    • Set the bottom lip of the assembly into the bumper, then set the assembly in place
    • Replace the two outside 10 mm bolts
    • Replace the two outside bolt covers
    • Replace the two inside 10 mm nuts
    • Reconnect the electrical connector
    • Replace the trunk lining

Tools needed for replacement

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Rust Penetrant

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions


  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

Installation Video
Watch video

Hey, everyone. Sue here from 1A Auto, and today we have a 2001 Lexus GS-300 in the shop. And I'm going to show you how to remove and replace your rear taillight. Either side is the same, just a left or a right.

So the first thing we're going to do is open the trunk. And you have two covers right here. You're going to take a flat head screwdriver. The only tools you need--drop it on the floor and just throw it at your friend. The only tools you need are a flathead screwdriver and a 10 millimeter socket. So you're going to grab your 10 millimeter socket. Locate it in there. And these are pretty rusty, so let's hope they don't snap off. I don't think I can. Oh, I can get to the threads on the inside, here. So if you feel that happening like that, pull back the cover and definitely lube up the actual holes where the bolts are. The last thing you want to do is have to drill and tap. Let that soak in for little bit.

So while I'm letting those two soak, I can come right in here. Lexus is nice enough that you can see that they have little covers. So actually, if I had to leave this on, there's these two little covers right here. Our liner is not in great shape--that's the way we got it. It's kind of beat up a little bit. So there's two cut out holes, and you can put your 10 millimeter wrench right in there, 10 millimeter socket, not a wrench. And loosen those nuts right up. Now we know where the two holes are.

I'm just going to pull that back so you can see I loosened those up. And you're going to see the harness right here by my arm and it's got a rubber boot on it. So we're going to make sure that this boot can be pulled out with a lens. So I'm going to start pushing that boot in like that, perfect. And disconnect it here. You'll see the little tab. Push down on that tab and pull that out.

Now let's go out to the front and let's see if they soaked long enough. I really like that stuff. That worked really fast on that bolt. That wasn't any TV magic. See how rusted that is, wow. So when it's stuck like that, I'm going to take a little tap to it, take it out of my socket. It's got a seat. See that round seat, that goes for the plastic, picks up the plastic distance.

Alright, now here comes the fun part. This is going to fall out. Sometimes they don't fall out, sometimes they're really in there. Now you can pull the harness out and you're ready to go. So here's your lens assembly. If you get a new lens assembly, you're just going to reverse procedure. You'll watch that soon. Now we can talk about the bulbs.

Here we have our tail lamp assembly for our Lexus GS-300, it's a 2001. We're going to turn it around. There are all the bulbs. So we have, I do believe, backup, turn, brake, and running. They're both two running lights and then the center one is the brake. So that would be your brake light, also running light, and the illumination out here is a running light, backup or reverse, and your turn. So if we bring it back around--I was right.

So to take the bulbs out, you're just going to take that butterflies and turn it counter-clockwise, pull it out. This should be a 7443 bulb. Socket looks in good shape, always look and make sure there's no burnt marks. And yep, 7443. If you need a bulb, replace it, push it back in, and hear that click. And then turn it clockwise once you line those ears up. Same bulb here. Connector's in good shape.

You can see the black soot on this. That is because the brake light bulb is on it--the filament. I can see from here it is ready to go. That's going to burn right out real soon. I like to make a practice that if I'm changing bulbs, I'll check all of them, especially if it's an assembly like this and you had to take it out. And if you see one of the bulbs starting to turn black like that on the filament on the side, just replace it. They go by hours, not by life.

That's a single filament. And that says 7440. So the difference between a 7441, 7443, or a 7440 would be how many filaments are inside. Same here, we're going to line up the notches, turn it clockwise til it clicks. Now we have our reverse light. She's just a little one, looks like a 921. Yep, 921. Single filament, that's just for the reverse. Same thing, always check the connector. Looks good. If you need to replace the bulb, line it up. Line up those notches. As you can see, I had a difficult time because I turned it. There is a larger notch and a smaller notch. So you can't go in wrong, you have to find the right one, turn it clockwise.

So now to reassemble your lens, tail lamp, you're going to put the wiring harness right through that hole, right up to the grommet, the rubber grommet. And I'm going to line up my bolts on the slap back side here, on the side. I don't want to scrape the paint, so that's why I want to make sure that everything's lined up.

So once I put my harness through, I can push that grommet into place better from here than on the other side. I want it to sit in that groove. I want it to be waterproof. There we go. It has a bottom lip, so I have to bring it into the bumper, and then these studs will line up into that hole. You got two of them on that side. They fall right into place easily. Just by holding it, I'm going to start the outside ones. Once I get one on there, I don't have to hold the lamp.

Everything's plastic, so you don't need to rank on it, just bottom it out. Put that bottom one in. I'm going to put the caps on before I go inside for those two nuts on the inside because sometimes I can be forgetful. So you got the two, the flat piece was down on the bottom. You've got the two ears tabs and you're going to line those up. Snap it in.

Now with the carpet out of the way, I'm going to put the two nuts back on the little studs, there. And that's a 10 millimeter socket, just like the outside one. We're just going to snug it down. Now let's not forget to click it into place, snap it right in there. Now I'm going to try to do the best I can with this carpet because it has been mangled. And if you chose to do it by just pulling the plastic tabs, here, just line those back up into the carpet hole, place it in there.

Thanks for watching. Visit for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

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