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morx300

2003 Es Tail Light Assembly Removal

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When replacing the brake/tail light lamp on my wife's 2003 ES, the bulb somehow came out of the socket and fell into the tail light lens. Yeah, I'm embarrassed so nowI'm looking for help on the procedure for removing the tail light lens so I can recover the bulb. Did a search but couldn't find this in the forum. Perhaps I'm using the wrong key words. Thanks in advance for any help you might give me

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Tail light lenses are glued to the housings. They aren't removable like tail light lenses on cars of decades past. If you want to remove the tail light housing ("rear combination lamp"), per the attached diagrams, it looks like they are held in by bolts inside the trunk -- it's not unusual to have to remove trunk trim panels in cars to get access to bolts/screws holding the lamp assemblies in place.

I'd try using a telescoping magnet before I tried removing the lamp assemblies to shake the bulb out. I have one that looks like a small automobile radio antenna and collapses to the length of a writing pen ... even has a pocket clip like a pen -- cost about $4.

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Tail light lenses are glued to the housings. They aren't removable like tail light lenses on cars of decades past. If you want to remove the tail light housing ("rear combination lamp"), per the attached diagrams, it looks like they are held in by bolts inside the trunk -- it's not unusual to have to remove trunk trim panels in cars to get access to bolts/screws holding the lamp assemblies in place.

I'd try using a telescoping magnet before I tried removing the lamp assemblies to shake the bulb out. I have one that looks like a small automobile radio antenna and collapses to the length of a writing pen ... even has a pocket clip like a pen -- cost about $4.

Thanks for the diagrams. They are very helpful. I looked at the trim pieces and they seem to be attached with a plastic fastener of some kind. Do those just pull out? Any tips on how to remove them without damage so they can be reused or do I need to plan on replacing them?

Thank you very much.

morx300

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Yes, the plastic trim fasteners usually pull out. I use a trim removal tool with a "Y" shaped metal end that I insert under the fastener head but a flat blade screw driver can be used if you are careful. If you break one -- and I have broken quite a few over the years -- replacements are fairly inexpensive.

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Thanks Jim. I think I can get it done now. Really appreciate your generosity in sharing your knowledge and resources.

morx300

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