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How to Replace Tail Lights 97-05 Lexus GS300

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How to Replace Tail Lights 97-05 Lexus GS300

Created on: 2019-04-25

Check out how to replace the broken or hazed tail light lens assembly on your 97-05 Lexus GS300. The 1A Auto experts will show you how to do it right.

  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 :Installing the Rail 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

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions


  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

Installation Video
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Hey, everyone. Sue here from 1A Auto, and today we have a 2001 Lexus GS300 in the shop, and I'm going to show you how to remove and replace your rear tail light. Either side is the same, just left or 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. Just throw it at your friend. The only tools you need are a flat head 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 a 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. Kind of beat up a little bit. So there's two cut out holes. 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 book can be pulled out with the lens, so I'm going to stop 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. 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. Nice. 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 with the plastic; picks up the plastic distance.

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.

So now to reassemble your lens tail lamp, you're going to put the wiring harness right through that hole, right up to the rubber grommet, and I'm going to line up bolts on the backside 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 grove. I want it to be waterproof. There we go.

Now, 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've 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 get the two. The flat piece was down on the bottom. You've got the two ear tabs. 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 it's a 10 millimeter socket, just like the top outside one. We're just going to snug it down. Let's not forgetting 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:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

2001 - 2005  Lexus  GS300
2001 - 2005  Lexus  GS430
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