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You go through the trunk and on either side is the light housing unit that you remove 4 nuts from, pull out and there will be the individual bulbs to be replaced.


In order to replace the light bulbs you will have to remove the entire rear light housing unit. In order to do this you must do the following:

  1. Pop the trunk.
  2. Loosen the trunk lining in order to reach the 4 nuts that are located on the right or left side and hold the light housing in place.
  3. You loosen the trunk lining fabric by removing two small, black plastic fasteners that anchor the trunk lining fabric. These either screw loose or you will need to pop off using a blunt- nosed pliers ( a flat head screwdriver works in a pinch) by first pulling the square bit out (towards the direction of the back seat,) followed by the circular components.
  4. Pull the fabric loose on either the left or right side to expose the 4 nuts holding the light assembly in place.
  5. Now, look for the four gold colored washer and nut assemblies surrounding the tail-light assembly. Find yourself a 7/16 socket and remove those bad boys. The tail-light itself should be able to pop- out, otherwise you've missed a washer- nut.
  6. Ease the tail- light assembly off of it's perch on the car and hold it red- side down. This will expose the wiring and "turn- locks" for the blinker and tail- light.
  7. Remove the bulbs from the assembly by turning the turn- locks in the direction (counter- clockwise) indicated by the plastic molding, and pulling upwards, off of the tail- light assembly.
  8. Pull the bulb from the turn- lock with a moderate tug of the hand.

She's out! Success!

And don't forget to put the other one in before you close everything back up

- 2000-2005

These procedures are well detailed and illustrated in the Owners Manual - See "Related Questions"

The tail light, brake light, turn signal and backup light bulbs are located in the same tail lamp / lens assembly. Follow the same steps to replace either bulb.


  1. Open trunk and remove two plastic mushroom nuts, five push pins and the plastic cover from inside the trunk to get at the lens mounting nuts

    The nuts are likely 10mm - and a deep-well socket will handy to speed removal

  2. Remove three nuts and washers and the lens will pull away making it easy to get at the bulb sockets. Turn counter-clockwise to release the socket


  1. Open the liftgate to remove the 2 lens assemblies mounting screws -
  2. Pull the lens assembly from the tailgate
  3. Twist the bulb socket counterclockwise to release
  4. Pull the bulb straight out of the socket and push in the new bulb.

Tip: the old adage if one goes, the other is likely to follow shortly is true in my experience. While you've got the tools out, and typically you get 2 bulbs in the package, just do the bulbs on both sides of the car - you'll be back out there real soon anyways.

It's done from inside the trunk -- there are 5 11mm nuts behind the lens assembly area. The upper three nuts remove the tail lamp assembly.

There are two bulbs..running light and break light bulbs. The bulb to the red glass compartment / portion of the lens is the brake light bulb. Takes about 5 minutes unscrewing the nuts, replacing the bulb, screwing the nuts back on and finally replacing the liner.

You have to remove the 'carpeted' panel behind it in the trunk and then remove all of the bolts that holds the brake light assembly in place. The assembly will pull out and then you remove the light socket from the assembly, replace the bulb and reverse this process to re install. The clips to remove the carpeted panel require a flat screwdriver to 'pry' them out and then they pull straight out. Whole process takes about 10 minutes if you know what you're doing (I didn't the first time, took about 30 minutes)

Additional Information1996-2005

Bulb Numbers:

  • FRONT Turn-signal - 3457 AK (amber)
  • Headlamp - 9007 QL (9007LL optional)
  • Tail lamp/brake/turn lamp 3157
  • Tail lamp/brake lamp (wagon) 3157
  • Rear turn lamp (wagon) 3456K
  • Backup lamp 921
  • Backup lamp (wagon) 3156
  • License plate lamp (2) 168
  • High-mount brake lamp (2) 912
  • Rear side marker lamp (wagon) (2) 168

The above information extracted from the Owners Manuals(see below)

tail light 2000 Taurus

Open the trunk and pull the carpet away from the back of the tail lights and then all you have to do is twist and pull out old bulb

As answer above except. I own a 2000 Ford Taurus SES and I found when you pull the sides over inside the trunk there you'll find three (3) nuts. Take the three nuts off, then carefully pull on the light cover. Once you have the tail light off the car, turn it over. Ya'll see the back of the light socket. Carefully turn the light socket and pull it out. Now you can change your balb.

To remove the tail light lens on a 2003 Taurus you open the trunk. Inside the truck below the opening on the left and right side are black knobs. Remove the knob on the side of the truck that you wish to remove the tail light lens. This knob is on a stud with a nut that needs to be removed as well as the interior insulation. The insulation right behind the tail light lens needs to be pulled away to expose the nuts that attach the tail light lens.Remove these nuts/washer and carefully pull the lens away from the car. To remove the two bulbs/wire assemblies from the back of the lens turn the bulb socket 1/4 turn counter-clockwise. The lens is now free of the vehicle.

You will need to remove two trim clips, the first one is on the edge of the hard plastic trim and the second one is right behind the light. you then should be able to pull back the carpet trim, you should be now able to see the three bolts that hold the light assembly in place. You may see five bolts, but only three need to be removed. The lower one on the outside and the lower one on the inside do not need to be removed. you will need a 7/16 nut driver or socket, and once the three nuts are removed the assembly should just pull off. you may have to unclip the power cord so that you can turn the socket a 1/4 turn and it should just pull out. the replacement bulb is a 3157. good luck.

You can fix it on your own but another pair of hands will make this fix alot easier. Open the trunk, remove the inside panel, the side that you want to change, that's right behind the tail light. Use a flat tip screw driver to remove the plastic anchors locate at the face of the panel(s), usually black. You will see hex nuts that are holding in the light assembly. Use a deep socket, it works better. Once the nuts are removed the light assembly will slide out and you can rotate the light holder assembly and then change the bulds. When putting it back together, make sure the rubber around the light assembly is placed correctly, if not, water my come into the trunk compartment. You can email me if this helped you out at Bob Blaze

After pulling up the lining in the trunk, you must remove all the nuts, including the one behind the knob for the cargo netting. Twist off the cargo netting knob and then remove the nut behind there and the whole taillight assembly will be removable.


In order to get to the rear turn signal, you will first need to remove the center panel located below the opening of the trunk lid. This is held in place by three push rivets. They are about 3 inches long and will come out with some tugging. Now, lift up on the panel to remove it. Once the center panel is out, all you need to do now is unscrew the mushroom hook located at the edge of the side panel. The light assembly is located behind this panel. The light bulb socket will loosen by twisting it approx. 1/4 turn counterclockwise.

Since the plastic "rivets" are difficult to remove, I recommend replacing them with screw type push rivets for the next time you do this. I found some a NAPA that works pretty well. The part number for these is 665-2114.

Check the bulbs. If one isn't flashing, replace the bulb by turning it counterclockwise in the rear of the light . Sometimes you have to remove the light from the car to get to the back of the light. If they all burn but still blink fast it is a sign of a partially grounded circuit which will have to be manually traced or an incorrect bulb in the circuit.

open the trunk and usually there is screws there. on the top as well as the bottom. unscrew those and pull out.

Open the trunk and remove the lining on the side you are changing. There are some plastic pins that hold the lining in place. You can pull those out with a flat screwdriver and pliers. You will see usually three large black wing shaped nuts that you can unscrew by hand. Sometimes a little tight so you may use pliers to get them started. Once they are off you can pull the whole tailight out. Hold the receptacle that holds the bulb you are changing turn it counter clockwise till it stops then pull it straight out. Pull bulb straight out of the socket push new bulb in and replace everything in reverse order. Test lights before you put it all back together.

Open the trunk. REmove the trunk liner from around the tail lights. That will expose the retaining nuts that hold the tail light assembly in place. Remove the nuts. Remove the tail light. Twist the bulb socket 1/4 turn and pull out. Reverse to install.

first open the trunk then remove the plastic panel on the rear trunk wall this is done by removing the two cargo net hooks or round nob looking things unscrews by hand no tool needed and two push clip. once plastic is removed then carefully pull the corner carpeting back on the side you want to replace. finely locate the four mounting studs just behind ware the lens is on the inside trunk area.remove the 10mm nuts with a deep well socket.

You must first remove the plastic cover directly inside the rear of the trunk. Then you mush remove the trunk lining from what ever side you need access. There are 3 nuts on the back side of the cover inside the trunk area. You must revove these e nuts, and they push the assembly out from inside the trunk. You may have to use something to pry the assembly away from the body. Once removed, you have access to the lamp socket. You muse turn the socket counter clockwise and remove the socket and bulb. Change the bulb and reverse the process.

Tail-light 98 Taurus

When you first open the trunk, you will see the grey lining being held with multiple black fasteners. Depending on what side the bulb is on, you need only remove two or three of the fasteners on the desired side. Once you locate and remove the fasteners, pull the lining back and you will see the multiple stud/nuts that hold the tail-light assembly in place. I believe it is a 3/8 deep socket that will remove those nuts. The assembly will pull out as a whole so take caution not to use extra force removing it from the vehicle.

Open trunk. Remove trunk liner. Remove bolts that hold light assembly in place. Pull light assembly out. Rotate socket 1/4 turn and entire socket will come out.

I own a 2000 Taurus SE and was surprised to see how much trouble it was to change a tail light. On my Taurus, I have to remove the interior panel on the inside, back of the trunk. You have to pop the plastic round clips off---which means you may have to go buy replacments. Once you get the panel off, the light is right there. Simply twist to remove the socket and then twist out the bulb.

open trunk, pull back trim (after removing nuts), remove nuts securing lens to body, twist connector and gently pull back, pull bulb out. reverse to install

In the trunk pull back the trunk lining. There will be plastic wing nuts. remove the wing nuts and pull out the brake light housing. You can change the bulb when you pull out the tail light assembly

open the trunk, remove the inside trim panel closest to the tailight assembly you are trying to service. Remove the three of four 7/16 nuts that hold the tailight in, and remove the assembly to access and replace the bulbs.

Open trunk.

Remove carpet on the side that the the bad bulb is on. Use kitchen fork to remove the plastic buttons that hold carpet if you don't have a puller.

Remove plastic twist nuts that bsecure tail light.

Pull out tail light and you are at the bulb.

Look in the trunk pull back the fabrick and youll see the back of the light plug twist it and pull out take the bad bulb to auto store and replace with new one

Be sure to review the "Related Questions" below for much more about Taurus lights

Turn the bulb holder counter-clockwise to remove it from the taillight assembly. Remove the bulb and install new one.

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