How To: Replacing a Tail Light Bulb

March 11, 2006 – 5:41 pm by Dan Volkens
Filed under Featured, How-Tos

Replacing a burnt out tail light bulb is very straightforward and simple. The hard part is knowing when one has burned out! Make a regular habit to check all of the exterior lights on your car and you’ll catch those dead bulbs as soon as possible. It just might help you avoid a frendly ($$) reminder from your local authorities. ;)

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Step 1 of 4

Today, we will be replacing th

e tail light bulb on the driver’s side. Open up your hatch/trunk. On the left side of the trunk, you will find a small door that hides the Monsoon amp (if installed). Turn the two clamps (circled in red) on the door to open it:




Step 2 of 4

With the door open, you now have access to the tray that holds all of the tail light bulbs. There are two tabs on each side of the tray that secure it to the tail light. Carefully reach inside of the tail light and lightly squeeze on the outside of each tab, releasing the tray from the tail light.



Step 3 of 4

The bulb that we are replacing is circled in red in the photo below. To remove it, first rotate it counterclockwise to release it from the tray. Then carefully remove that lil’ bugger. Notice the burntage circled in the dead bulb closeup.



Step 4 of 4

To insert the new bulb, simply reverse the previous steps. For your reference, the model number for this bulb is 5008 (or R10W) and make sure that it is single contact. Congratulations, you’re done! Now that was easy, wasn’t it?


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Dan Volkens

How To: Replacing a Tail Light Bulb
March 11, 2006 – 5:41 pm by Dan Volkens

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334 Responses to “How To: Replacing a Tail Light Bulb”

  1. WOW, my I just say that this was probobly the easiest thing I could have done myself! Thanks to my friend at the Local AutoZone for helping me find my bulbs with ease. It literally took about a minute to replace this. Now I won’t get pulled over for having a tail light out! Thanks!

  2. Dan Volkens

    Hey Jamie, glad the guide came in handy for you. :]

  3. Awesome instructions and pictures. Thanks for posting! Saved me a ton of time and money :c)

    By Melissa on Nov 27, 2006 | Reply
  4. Hey Dax, great tips – thanks. Any idea how to replace a rear bulb on a 2004 Passat Wagon?
    thx John

    By John on Dec 2, 2006 | Reply
  5. Dan Volkens

    Hey John, what year is your Passat? I think there is a slight difference between the B5, B5.5, and the new B6 generations. B5 is ’96-’99, B5.5 was that minor facelift that occured in ’00 – ’05. The B6 is the newest Passat available.

  6. These instructions are great. Isn’t tinternet great! Where would you recommend me buying the replacement bulbs from? Is there anywhere online?

    By Johnny on Feb 6, 2007 | Reply
  7. Dan Volkens

    Hey Johnny, thanks. Glad they’re coming in handy. You can find these bulbs at most of your local autoparts shops, like Autozone, Advance Autoparts, Napa, etc. Those are the ones in my area at least. Yours may differ.

    I haven’t looked into purchasing online, mainly because of having to pay shipping and the inconvenience of waiting for it to arrive versus hopping over to my local shop and picking them up.

    Be double sure that you pick up the correct bulb format/size for your application.

  8. Thanks for the great blog post – been looking all over for this. Nice one. Nice motor too!

    By Nigel Pepper on Feb 13, 2007 | Reply
  9. Ahhhh…..YES!!!!!! No longer dependent on the time-stealing money stripping condescending dealer………I Googled “replacing a bulb on a 2004 GTI” and I get a detailed description COMPLETE WITH PHOTO INSTRUCTIONS…….yesssssssssssss…. HURRAY!!!
    I already have the bulb in hand and am ready to run off to the auto store for replacement! No apt. necessary! I’m proud of myself….saved time and money and am TOTALLY grateful to you for providing the SUPER DUPER info.! Thanks….(call ahead to make sure they carry the bulb!)

    By Vivian on Feb 20, 2007 | Reply
  10. I have a 2003 Passat sadan and I need to replace the break light bulb on the driver’s side. These is an emergency storage area that is in the way to change the break lights. Any suggestions?

    By Steven Kalble on Feb 22, 2007 | Reply
  11. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, not sure Steven. Is that emergency kit removable in any way, like by unscrewing etc.?

  12. Dax,

    Your instructions are very well documented and great photos. I have a 2004 Jetta with a burnt out reverse light, is they installation similar to the GTI you described?



    By Edward on Feb 26, 2007 | Reply
  13. Dan Volkens

    Hey Ed, thanks. Yes, that bulb should be found on the bulb tray as well, so installation should be just about the same, though I don’t have my factory manual handy at the moment so I can’t tell you which exact bulb it is. Sorry! :] Let me know how it goes.

  14. Hi Dax,
    My ’03 Jetta TDI Wagon needs a new tail light/brake light on the driver’s side. Any tips on removing the plastic CD changer slot that happens to be totally in the way of accessing the light panel on that side? It would make life sooo much easier with that out of the way since I don’t use it anyhow.
    Thanks so much for this info.


    By Leslie on Mar 7, 2007 | Reply
  15. Dan Volkens

    Hey Leslie, you should be able to remove the changer slot temporarily while you make the bulb change. There will be five 10mm bolts that hold the changer slot to the body of the car.

    One major word of caution: when bolting the changer slot back on, be VERY careful of how much you tighten each bolt. If you tighten one too far, it can push against the body panel and create an outward dent on the outside of the panel which is pretty difficult to fix.

    I hope that gives you some direction! :]

  16. I just tried to do this with my 2002 Passat Wagon .. it is the driver’s side bulb. I found a couple of tabs similar to the tray tabs. The one next to tailgate seemed to move a fraction of an inch, but the one on the outer side did not move at all. Has anyone got a how to guide to replace a tail light on the Passat Wagon .. I am somewhat desperate, but long way from friendly expensive dealer since the Berkeley one closed a few months ago.

    By Roger Helbig on Mar 10, 2007 | Reply
  17. Dan Volkens

    Hi Roger, I’m sorry I don’t have any experience with the Passat Wagon taillights. They do differ a bit in design, so it’s very possible that the bulb tray removal is slightly different. Have you found anything else out since your post?

  18. I am trying to replace a headlight bulb in a 2003 passat,but i just cant seem to get the old bulb out

    Any suggestions

    By dermot on Mar 16, 2007 | Reply
  19. Dan Volkens

    Hey Dermot, have you gotten to the point where you have removed the plastic cover from off the back of the headlight? If so, you will need to reach in there, turn the bulb so that it unlocks from its position, and then simply remove the bulb.

    Now, a couple things may come into play that differ from my GTI headlights. First, do you have the HID Xenon headlights? If so, the removal process may be different. Also, Passat headlights in general may be slightly different in bulb removal versus the GTI, but I would assume all is the same basic principle.

    Let me know where you are in the process, and I might be able to offer more insight. :]

  20. This is great information! Thank you!

    If the tail light on the passenger side needs to be replaced, is it the same instructions?

    By Amy on Mar 27, 2007 | Reply
  21. Dan Volkens

    Hi Amy, yep, it should be virtually identical. You won’t have to worry about the stereo amp on that side. Apart from that, it should work out just about the same.

  22. Thanks for the quick reply!

    By Amy on Mar 27, 2007 | Reply
  23. Hi. I own a 2003 VW 1.8t wolfsburg and i dont know how to replace the front headlight bulbs. supposedly i need to remove the battery?! HELP this is out of my comfort zone (so is 50$ at the dealer)

    By Rick on Apr 15, 2007 | Reply
  24. Dan Volkens

    Hi Rick, if you are in need of removing the battery to replace the headlight, I assume it’s your front driver’s side light. If you’re lucky and have small hands, you can pull the swap off without removing the battery.

    The reason it’s recommended to remove is only because of the minimal space provided between the battery and the headlight housing. Before removing the entire battery, I would first try to remove the plastic battery cover. This’ll free up a bit of space for you to pull out the old bulb and replace the new. But be prepared for some scraped knuckles in the process. :)

    Do you know the rest of the process to replace a front headlight beyond the battery removal? It includes removing a plastic cover from the back of the headlight housing, unplugging the burnt headlight, then reaching inside to VERY carefully remove the bulb. To remove the bulb, you turn it (I can’t remember clockwise or counterclockwise, sorry) just a little bit, like a quarter-turn, and it will unlock from the housing. To insert the new bulb, just reverse the process.

    But remember, it’s a very tight fit. The passenger side is a cakewalk compared to the driver’s side. And it always seems to be that one that burns out. lol

    I’ll have to get around to a How-To for the fronts as well.

  25. I found your site VERY helpful. My tail light was out on the left side. I did have an authority politely tell me late one night. I went in and took out the lights and found 1 bulb missing on BOTH sides. A lower bulb on the exterior of the left and right side. I was confused why. So I bought what I thought would replace that bulb. Well it cause both the new tail light bulb and the old right side bulb to go out.

    There was a recall or repair that was due to the hazard lights causing one or more of the rear lights to go out. Is that interconnected to this problem? What purpose does that missing bulb serve?

    Have you heard of this issue before? If so what can I do- well other then remove the ‘unnecassry’ bulb.
    Please reply to my email if you can. THANKS again for a great site.

    By LIZ on Apr 15, 2007 | Reply
  26. Dan Volkens

    Hi Liz, I’m glad that Volksbloggin has been helpful to ya! That extra bulb socket in the rear bulb trays, I believe, is the rear fog lights which are only used from the factory in Eruope. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. (Just slap me on the head, haha)

    So you do not need to use those sockets. Did you replace the bulb that was out? I would also go ahead and schedule an appointment with your dealer to have the brake light problem checked out as well.

  27. I have a burned out brake light on the passenger side of an 02 Jetta 1.8Ltr. Does that panel in back of the light just pry away for access? Looked like it was glued on. Or is it secured in another fashion? Thought I’d check before I start ripping.

    By Rush on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply
  28. Dan Volkens

    Hi Rush, there should be a tab on each side of the tray (See the first pic in step 2) that when squeezed inwards should release the tray from the tail light housing. Do you have those on yours?

  29. No tabs to be seen. At least not on the access point in the trunk liner. I tried gently pulling on it and can see some flexible adhesive underneath. Figured I check here before yankin and destroying some sneaky spring clips.
    Very strange.
    Thanks in advance of your reply.

    By Rush on Apr 17, 2007 | Reply
  30. Dan Volkens

    Yeah, that’s very weird. Now, I haven’t taken a gander at the passenger side on mine, but I would assume they’re constructed the same. Could it be that the tabs were broken off at one time, and now it’s just glued in?

  31. I’m still talking about the access cover in the trunk. I haven’t made it to any wires yet. Not likely a repair job botched, since I’ve had the Jetta since new purchased at the dealer. I’ll run my hand around the access cover again, but didn’t feel any indentations or irregularities. I hope I don’t have to pull out the trunk liner…..ugh!

    By Rush on Apr 17, 2007 | Reply
  32. Mystery solved. Velco strips hold the access door shut. You really have to yank hard to make it open.
    Thanks for the insite!
    Rush out

    By Rush on Apr 17, 2007 | Reply
  33. Dan Volkens

    Interesting. I’m glad you got it figured out now. :) I’ll have to add some notes to the post.

  34. Thanks for the great tips. Also thanks to Liz’s post about the missing bulb, I thought that I knocked one loose when I was removing the bulb tray. The only problem I ran into was NAPA giving me the wrong bulb, but kinda my own fault since I didn’t take the old one in with me.

    Thanks for the great posts.

    By Shaun on Apr 22, 2007 | Reply
  35. Hi Dax… I own a 2004 Jetta and need help changing the driver’s side headlight bulb. From all the great tips I’ve been reading you’d be the one to ask for help. Thnx… Manuel

    By Manuel on Apr 24, 2007 | Reply
  36. Dan Volkens

    Hey Manuel, changing the headlight bulbs is relatively easy as well. Unfortunately, the driver’s side is the more difficult of the two!

    The first thing you’ll ned to do is remove the battery cover (and battery if you have very large hands, there’s hardly any room to perform this operation).

    Next, you will remove a plastic cover off of the back of the headlight assembly. There is a metal clip holding it on that you have to slide off of the cover to remove it.

    Once the cover is removed, you now have access to the bulbs inside of the assembly. Reach inside, unplug the appropriate bulb wiring, then twist the bulb in its socket (I’m sorry, I forget at the moment which direction, but it should move easily) and carefully remove the burnt out bulb.

    To replace the bulb, just reverse the steps above. Be SURE not to touch the bulb part of the new bulb. Oils from your skin can shorten the bulb life drastically.

    I’m going to be writing up a headlight bulb change how-to very soon to provide further detail and photos. I hope that helps a bit!

  37. You’re the man… Thank you much! You ‘re right it was pretty easy to change. Thnx again.

    By Manuel on Apr 24, 2007 | Reply
  38. Hi Dax: Thanks so very much for your generous posts! Let me throw my hat in the ring for a write up on changing headlights to an 03 Jetta TDI. Can I/we donate to you via paypal to help encourage your work? ;-)

    Also, if you’ve any insight on why both headlights went out at the same time, that would be great. I thought it was the fuse, changed it, and nothing. My high beams work fine, and interior lights are fine. Could it be that one went out before the other and I didn’t notice?

    Again, thank you, thank you for your time. My favorite mechanic is 3000 miles away in Rhode Island, and I’m in Oakland, California, land of expensive Audi/VW mechanics!

    By Alena on Apr 27, 2007 | Reply
  39. Dan Volkens

    Hahah rock on Alena, thank you so much. We’re just owners like you guys, trying to help out where we can. Actually, you could donate if you’d like to. :D There is a “Make a Donation” button on the right-hand side of the site on these pages, and on the left-hand side on the homepage. And Mrad and I have been kicking around the idea of reader-submitted posts. We may have that rolling after we redesign in the coming months.

    That’s really strange for both headlights to burn out at the same time. Pending no serious electrical problem (which unfortunately is very common on these buggers) it could have just been chance, or like you said, maybe you didn’t notice one of them at first.

  40. Hi,

    Can you tell me, with pictures if possible, how to change the brake lights on a passat 2002?!

    It seems as though I have to remove the whole inside panel. Please help..I don’t want to spend $200 bucks at a Oakland dealership.

    By L.M on May 6, 2007 | Reply
  41. Dan Volkens

    Hey L.M., is your Passat the wagon variety or the sedan? I will try to find a good writeup for ya for whichever it is, since we haven’t done a Passat change ourselves yet.

  42. thanks so much for posting this! i have a jetta, and this was SSOOOOO helpful!

    By carmen on May 12, 2007 | Reply
  43. Hi,

    I need to change both the brake light and tail light on my 2003 Jetta. The diagram above looks pretty much identical to my Jetta, but can you tell me which bulb is the brake light? I think its the top one, but want to be sure.


    By abby on May 15, 2007 | Reply
  44. Dan Volkens

    Hey Abby, the brake light bulb is the small one, which is the third bulb from the top of the bulb tray. You can see a photo of it in the first photo under Step 3 above.

  45. Thank you so much for this! I have GTI ’03 and need to change the brake lights but hate going to the garage where I feel like I get fleeced particularly for being female!

    You’re a star. :)

    By Rachel on May 25, 2007 | Reply
  46. hey Dax, im VERY inexperienced when it comes to physically dealing with cars. I dont know anything…. I asked about the 2003 Jetta 1.8T earlier about the headlights…have you did the how to section yet? are there any pictures you can assist me with? that would help much better than instructions since i’m a newbie at this stuff…thanks!

    By Rick on May 25, 2007 | Reply
  47. Dan Volkens

    Hey Rick, we’ve got your taken care of. :) Just yesterday, Mrad posted his how-to on changing out a passenger side headlight. You can find it here, or just go to the homepage and it’s our feature post right now. I hope that new how-to helps you out!

  48. Hi Dax, I just changed headlights in my 03 Jetta TDI, and I don’t know if it’s posted anywhere, but these headlight bulbs do not twist out of their sockets….they plug straight into the plastic enclosure. There is a twist locking ring (a seperate part) that locks the bulb in place. You remove this twist locking ring by turning it about 30 degrees, and the bulb pulls straight out. I don’t know if the Jetta is different from some of the other models you’ve been talking about where the bulb itself twists to unlock it for removal, but that may be why someone in an earlier post was having trouble removing his bulb….just a thought. The replacement was a pain (as is typical) on the driver’s side, and it was made more difficult by one of the wire clips for the back plate coming unhooked at it’s bottom end where you can’t see it, forcing you to work by braille. It’s always something.

    If folks have never done these headlights before, I’d recommend changing the passenger side first so you can get familiar with the assembly before tackling the driver’s side.

    Thanks for all the information on the website.

    By Steve on May 31, 2007 | Reply
  49. Dan Volkens

    Hey Steve, thank you so much for the further detail, and the correction! We’ll have to do much more in-depth research for all the other model types and do write-ups for each since these are so popular. And also to make sure that all the information is correct. ;]

  50. Gee, I’m just happy I had something to contribute. We all learn from forums like this one. No matter what your problem is, chances are good that somebody else has already “been there-done that”.

    Thanks again!

    By Steve on Jun 1, 2007 | Reply
  51. I found your site last week while trying to figure out how to replace a breaklight bulb in my 2002 Passat Wagon, one of the things you said you had no experience with. You did provide enough information, however, that got me on track. The key difference, it seems, between the Wagon light assembly cover and the others is that in addition to having to undo the two left and right clips, you also have to remove the gray plastic cover to the amber turn indicator, which is located on the upper outside corner of the assembly. Visually it appears to be unrelated to the large, black, main cover, but I was unable to remove the cover without first twisting out the aforementioned turn indicator.

    In truth, by local garage mechanic helped me figure out this last bit to the puzzle, and even replaced the bulb for me, all at no cost.

    Thanks again though, for some really good information.

    By John on Jun 4, 2007 | Reply
  52. Dan Volkens

    Awesome John, thanks for that added detail! I’m glad everything worked out.

  53. I have a 2003 Passat W8 with the factory HID Xenon headlights. The right-hand side has gone dead, and I want to replace it. I’ve located a replacement bulb, but after poking around under the hood for half an hour I can’t figure how to remove the old bulb. There’s just no room to get near it, let alone remove the weather seal from the rear. Any ideas? Anyone ever replaced a VW Xenon headlamp?

    By Warren on Jun 16, 2007 | Reply
  54. Thanks Dax! Love the pictorial instructions. Though for my 2001 Jetta, it was more difficult to get the bulb tray out from the driver side than the passenger side. The hard felt cover blocks the released tray from coming out.. ugh. After 20 mins struggling with 4 hands, my dad & I managed to pull the tray out while pushing the top felt upwards. We then replaced the brake light bulb (top one, part#P21W). $2/ea at Lordco or $5/pair at Canadian Tire.

    By Deb on Jun 17, 2007 | Reply
  55. Dan Volkens

    Hey Warren, can you tell what is in the way of the headlight assembly? Is it the windshield washer fluid Reservoir? You may need to remove whatever is in the way in order to get to the headlight unfortunately.

  56. How helpful! 2002 Passat brake light replacement was easy after reading your stuff. Found the four tabs and, though maneuvering the tray out was a little tricky, it worked!

    By Gina on Jun 19, 2007 | Reply
  57. Thanks for the great description!! I’m sure I’ll be able to do a bulb replacement….unfortunately, I need to replace the entire assembly…cover is busted on driver side tail light assembly of my 2002 passat wagon…looks like th emonsoon amp is in the way of the 4th screw…I’ve removed all the screws I can find holding in the monsoon amp, and it’s loose, but I can’t figure out how to get it out of the way so I can access that last screw holding the the tail light assembly. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    By Liz on Aug 11, 2007 | Reply
  58. Dan Volkens

    Hey Liz, I’m not sure why the amp bracket isn’t coming off for you. Check out this tail light removal how-to over at and see if maybe it will shed some light on the removal! :]

  59. Woo hoo! Just replaced my 2001 Passat wagon driver side rear brake light bulb. It’s easy, even with a disk changer. The space is a bit cramped so you may need a small set of hands to get to it. The bulb tray is accessable enough without removing anything. After you remove the panel in the back where the disk changer is located, look for a black plastic panel with wires coming out of it where the tailight is. Simply pinch the plastic clips together and it comes out. The bulbs are right there. There is just enough room to push the bulbs down and twist them out and back in. The bulbs look the same as the ones in the photos. When you go to the autostore, be sure to tell them whether you need a turn signal light or brake light, and give them the model and make of your car. The lights all have different prongs to hold them in so you can’t use the wrong ones. Saved myself 90 bucks today. Thanks for the start on the instructions, it gave me some idea of where to start looking. The instruction manual simply said to take it to the dealership.

    By Susan on Aug 22, 2007 | Reply
  60. Dan Volkens

    Rock on Susan! Glad we got you started, and thanks for the further detail for Passat wagon owners. :]

  61. I learned so much this morning reading your instructions and I’ve printed out several for future reference. What I have been looking for are instructions for changing the front passenger turn signal. I was in a fender bender and there is damage in that location. My side signal and rear signal work, but my front signal is out and the turn signal sound is very fast, which someone told me means the bulb is dead or broken. How can I get to it? Do you reach the bulb going under the hood, or is there a way to pop the yellow casing from the outside? Any suggestion would be appreciated since I don’t know how long it is going to take to get the insurance company of the other party to come through and pay for repairs. Thanks

    By Laura Gilmartin on Sep 2, 2007 | Reply
  62. Dan Volkens

    Hi Laura, I’m glad to hear our how-tos are helping. :D Which turn signal bulb are you referring to? Also, what model is your car? Jettas and Golfs/GTIs have three different turn signals. One on the side of the bumper, one on the fender, and one built into the headlight assembly.

    If it’s either the bumper or fender bulbs, to remove them push in on, I believe, the front side of the bulb assembly. This will cause the opposite end to stick out from the bumper/fender. Then you can slide the entire assembly out of the bumper/assembly and remove the bad bulb.

    If it’s the turn signal in the headlight assembly, you can follow Mrad’s instructions for the headlight bulb change. Once you have the back of the headlight assembly open, simply change out the turn signal bulb rather than the headlight bulb.

    Let me know if that helps!

  63. Thanks for your quick response. My car is actually a 2003 Passat 4 Mo Wagon. I’ll try your instructions and let you know how I make out. Thanks again.

    By Laura on Sep 3, 2007 | Reply
  64. dax, pleeeeease post a how-to on changing the batteries in the remote access key….this thing is some kind of mayan puzzle trap

    By mr. burns on Sep 10, 2007 | Reply
  65. Dan Volkens

    Hey Mr. Burns, that would be a good one to post up. I did find this one on that should help you out. It looks like the images aren’t loading on the first page, but there are pics on the second page.

  66. Dax
    I need to replace the brake light, drivers side, on a 03 Passat Saloon V6.
    It looks to me as thought the carpet covers the housing. Am I sadly mistaken or is there another way of getting to the light bulb housing??

    By Dave on Sep 26, 2007 | Reply
  67. Dan Volkens

    Hi Dave, try to GENTLY pull away the carpet from the body panel just a little bit to see if it’s glued down to the panel, or if it gives more easily as if it was velcroed or some other method of removal.

    I found a how-to on a sedan. This might help give you some more insight into the process. Let me know if it helps!

  68. Your instructions have been a tremendous help. Thank you so much!!!

    By Elke on Oct 6, 2007 | Reply
  69. I am agonizing over why my Brake Lights (2001 Jetta TDI) frequently are out. Today I noticed that the rear brake lights are out as well as both indicators. Is it the way I place the housing after I change the bulbs that causes them to come loose? It would be nice to have a picture to let me know exactly which bulb is which once I pull the panel out of the trunk, either side.
    Thanks for making life a little more affordable for us VW owners.

    By Johnny B on Oct 22, 2007 | Reply
  70. Warren, I have a 2002 W8, same problem, dealer wants $360 (200 bulb 160 labor) starting with ‘remove front bumper….’ so its (ahem intentionally) WAY more complicated than it ever was before, I cant find anything online on how to either but it sounds like we will need to take off half of the front the car
    not the fluid res. the problem (for the rest of ya) is that the HID bulb in the W8 is set under the fender, its not even under the hood at all, so getting at it from the engine compartment is as Warren has found, impossible.

    anyone with a how to would be greatly appreciated – really tired of getting pulled over and cant drop $400 bucks on a headlight til she’s paid off!

    By Dave on Nov 2, 2007 | Reply
  71. The left front turn signal bulb in my 2003 W8 burned out last evening and needs to be replaced. Like Dave, I am dreading what is to follow, including having to make an appointment with NYC area VW Service department (at least a 7 to 10 day wait) losing the vehicle for at least a day if not two, and then having to spend a relative fortune on a minor bulb replacement that one could easily accomplish in 5 minutes in most other cars.
    BTW: The “Certified Pre Owned Warranty” that I purchased when I bought the car off (my) lease seems only to cover parts that do not break. Does anyone know where I can find a list of parts/components that are excluded under the CPO Warranty? VW has not been forthcoming with an answer thus far.

    By Jeff on Nov 3, 2007 | Reply
  72. Dan Volkens

    Hi Jeff,

    I came across a PDF of a how-to on changing a bulb on your model Passat, if it’s not HID headlights:

  73. It’s taken seven years for me to finally find the ‘wow’ factor of the Web. Thanks step-by-step on replacing the tail light on the Jetta. Talk about 21th century! Especially after the owner’s manual gave no instruction other than to NOT attempt the replacement, yours is a site (ahem) for soar eyes.
    Of course, the companion explanation on the headlights was even better.

    Keep up the good work!

    By Timmer on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply
  74. Dan Volkens

    Hahah thanks Timmer. :]

  75. This site looks really helpful, so I am cossing my fingers :)

    I have a 2003 Golf and I noticed BOTH of my tail lights are out. My local Auto Store does not have any replacement bulbs and they are not planning on getting any more of the Sylvania 5008′s in :( I really don’t know what to do regarding that, but anyway,

    Since both tail lights are out, do you think this could be fuse related?

    If so, do you have any idea which fuse is the tail light? The symbols on the fuse diagram confuse me…

    Any feedback is really appreciated!

  76. Well, after deciding to mess with my tail lights one more time one of them they has miraculaously healed itself.

    I pulled it out and put it back in and I’ll be darned if it lit up. The other one is definatley burnt out through.

    On a side note, there proably is some kind of crazy electrical problem going on b/c yesterday, I also could not close my sun roof, and now it is working….so, if anyone knows what the problem may be, or has a explanation to the fuse diagram symbols I again would be extremely grateful :)

    By Jennifer on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply
  77. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, upon you having other electrical problems like the sunroof Jennifer, I would take it in and have the computer codes scanned at least. You can do this at any of your local auto parts shops for free, or take it to your favorite dealer.

    At first, I was going to suggest that both of your taillights happened to burn out around the same time, but if you’re have other problems unfortunately it doesn’t sound like that’s it.

  78. Hey thanks Dax, I really appreciate your help!

    By Jennifer on Nov 13, 2007 | Reply
  79. My girlfriend has a 2004 VW Jetta, Here tail light is out on the driver side. I’ve been looking all over the place to find the bulb size and how to take the light out to change the bulb. Do you know the bulb size and is it similiar to just pulling the carpet back?

    By Eric on Nov 15, 2007 | Reply
  80. Dan Volkens

    Hey Eric, if it’s the regular running taillight and not the brake light, it will be the same bulb as in the how-to here, which is the R10W or 5008, and replacing it should be just about the same as on my GTI. Let us know how it goes or if you have problems!

  81. Thanks so much for saving me $. It took me more time to read your directions than it did to change the bulb. BTW, mine is a 2001 Jetta Wagon, and it was the right tailight, but basically your directions easily translated. For the 2001 Jetta Wagon, though, the bulb is supposed to have two contacts (you can easily look up in your local auto parts store. Mine was a Kragen). Keep up the great job, Volksbloggers

    By Jen's Jetta on Nov 16, 2007 | Reply
  82. Dan Volkens

    Right on Jen. Glad we could help, and thanks for the extra tips on the wagon taillight!

  83. hi there! i’ve been reading through the postings and i have not seen one about the 2007 Rabbit…unless i missed it. my passenger side turn signal is out – i opened the velcro thing in the trunk and then there are these bolts. i can’t find the tool to take the bolts off..does the car come with one? or should i buy one and if so what size? i saw something about 10mm for passat. thanks! my light has been out for 2 weeks and i insist on fixing it myself.

    By gretchen on Nov 18, 2007 | Reply
  84. Dan Volkens

    Hey Gretchen, I was trying to find a how-to for your taillights, and was coming up empty as well. I would suggest you head over to and check out their forum for the MkV Golf and Jetta. Someone in there should be able to point you in the right direction. And sometime soon we hope to have a lot more ho-tos going up on Volksbloggin, including for the newest models!

  85. My rear bulb on the drivers side is out and after changing the bulb and checking the fuses, it’s still out!! Is it likely to be the tray itself at fault?

    Any help much appreciated.

    By Gino on Nov 22, 2007 | Reply
  86. Sorry, meant to say it’s a MkIII 3 door 1.6cl. Thanks again

    By Gino on Nov 22, 2007 | Reply
  87. 1996 P reg!! Got there in the end eh…..

    By Gino on Nov 22, 2007 | Reply
  88. Dan Volkens

    Hey Gino, if you’ve swapped in a new bulb, checked the fuses and all is well, it does sound like some kind of wiring problem. Those are the worst too. Could be a problem with the socket on the tray, which is prolly easier to fix than trying to track down a wire problem.

  89. Hey Dax,

    I just got a message on my dash saying that I’ve got a defective bulb in my 2006 Jetta. Apparently it’s one of my tail lights on my passenger side. It’s the bulb that lights up CLOSEST to the trunk.

    Any help?


    By Candace on Nov 29, 2007 | Reply
  90. Nevermind … figured it out!!! :)

    By Candace on Nov 29, 2007 | Reply
  91. Dan Volkens

    Awesome! I was just going to say that there should be instructions in your manual for the change, but also for further help ,you might find something over at Forums as well.

    Anywho, glad you got it fixed! :]

  92. My 2000 TDI Jetta rear driver light is out. Is it the same setup to remove that bulb? Does anyone know the part number of the bulb I need. Cheers

    By Chris Chan on Dec 15, 2007 | Reply
  93. Dan Volkens

    Hi Chris, it will work out the same way to replace that light. As a matter of fact, I just did mine as well recently. The bulb you want to purchase though seems to be slightly different according to this list. Scroll down and you’ll see the model numbers for the Jetta/Bora taillight.

  94. Dax,

    A few of the LED lights on the center rear tail light were ‘out’. When I tried to access the light fixture, I noticed that all the lights showed up if I just jiggled the power plug. Then when I shut the trunk, all the lights went out and won’t come back on.

    I can’t seem to find a detailed enough DIY to access the center tail light fixture. Do you know of any?

    By Barry on Dec 17, 2007 | Reply
  95. Dan Volkens

    Hey Barry, assuming you have a Jetta, here’s a how-to with photos on accessing the 3rd brake light.

  96. Dax,

    Thanks very much, I searched but couldn’t find anything on those forums. One last question, if the light strip is FUBAR, can you recommend a place to find a replacement either new, used, or aftermarket.

    By Barry on Dec 18, 2007 | Reply
  97. Dan Volkens

    Yeah, I was looking too and I couldn’t come across anything else. What model do you have? And as for parts websites, I would head over to either or I hope that helps! :]

  98. Dax,

    I had the european light switch put in my jetta, so, could I put bulbs into those empty spots in the tail light assembly and not “blow anything up”? I’m just wondering what my tail lights would like if there was something there…

    By Rob D. on Dec 18, 2007 | Reply
  99. Dan Volkens

    Hey Rob, the euro switch gets you part of the way there to what is called the “five brake light” mod, which makes use of that empty socket. You can see a DIY about it here. Though it’s a pretty involved mod, if you’re handy you can pull it off!

  100. thanks for posting, i’ll give it a try. much appreciated!

    By Rob on Dec 20, 2007 | Reply
  101. 2002 Passat Wagon rear turn signal problem – I had my Passat in for inspection a few days ago, they replaced the driver’s side rear brake bulb, but didn’t put things back together right and now the turn signal doesn’t work. I’ve removed the gray twist out housing, but I can’t get it to reseat properly. I looked at the passenger side for a clearer example, and that was trivial to remove and replace, but I can’t get it to work on the driver side. I’ve been trying to remove the brake light panel to get a better look, and I can find one quick release tab on the inboard side towards the mid-bottom of the panel, which loosens it – but the top is still held in somehow and I just can’t see or find another release tab.

    Help? Does anyone have any ideas on either how to get the turn signal assembly to reseat properly, or how to pop out the taillight panel? I’m getting desperate, and both of my hands are now bruised, cut, and bloody from trying to reach in that tight space….

    - Bill Holder

    By Bill Holder on Dec 29, 2007 | Reply
  102. I am wondering if the way u change a tail light on a 2002 jetta is the same as changing one on any other jetta? thanks

    By jbip on Jan 7, 2008 | Reply
  103. Dan Volkens

    Hey jbip, it would be the same in general for all Mk4 generation Jettas, meaning ’99-’05. The new Jetta’s are prolly a little different given that the tail lights are a new design.

  104. Dan Volkens

    Hey Bill, sorry, your comment slipped past me. Before you do anything else I would take it back to where you got it inspected and have them take a look at it, since it seems like they broke something. they should be responsible if they didn’t reassemble the tail light correctly.

  105. Thanks for a great post. We just bought a 2001 Passat Wagon(only 50k miles!) but it was having brake light issues. 2/4 were out. I decided to go ahead and replace all 4.

    After doing this the bottom passenger side bulb stays bright, as though the brakes were always applied. The others behave normally. Any thoughts to what may be off?

    If you can tell me where to send it to I will send you a picture of what the setup looks like in a Wagon. It is actually quite different from the ones you have here.

    Thanks again Dax!

    By Brady on Jan 10, 2008 | Reply
  106. Also, a note for Bill Holder, if you haven’t fixed yours yet. When I replaced my four bulbs the driver’s side gave me fits, especially replacing the blinker bulb.

    You shouldn’t have to remove the brake light panel to reseat the blinker bulb. Make sure that the contacts (two silver points on the grey stem attachment) line up with the contacts on the housing. Once I had it lined up fairly well I pushed (harder than I had been) to get everything to seat. I spent about 15 minutes just trying to get that one piece in place. Stay with it, or maybe have someone with tiny hands AND some strength give it a try.

    By Brady on Jan 10, 2008 | Reply
  107. Dan Volkens

    Hey Brady, thanks for the extra detail and help for Bill and congrats on the Passat. Sounds like an awesome deal with mileage that low. :D If the brake light is sticking on, you might need to have the brake light switch recall performed at your dealer. You can send a pic to me at: dan[at] ( [at] added to avoid spam harvesters, replace with @ symbol) Thanks!!

  108. Dan Volkens

    Oh, just after I posted this, I saw that the recall doesn’t seem to cover Passats. hmm, anyone else have thoughts why his light would stick on?

  109. I have a 2003 Passat. When I turn on the headlights I get no running lights. For a while I could turn the light switch farther to the right to get the running lights to come on but this trick no longer works. I checked with the dealer for a new switch $160.00 ouch! Any ideas what else could possibly be wrong? I just replaced the front headlight on the drivers side.

    By curt on Jan 12, 2008 | Reply
  110. Dan Volkens

    Hey Curt, I looked up the headlight switch part on a couple sites that offer great deals on OEM parts, and it looks like your dealer is quoting correctly. At, you can purchase the switch for $149.72.

    You could swing a much better deal and get the European version of the headlight switch at . They’re carrying the OEM Euro version for $49.99.

    Replacing the switch yourself is relatively simple. Here’s a Quick DIY image on removing the old switch. Let us know if that helps!

  111. very simple, but thanks for the tutorial. worked just as well on my 2001 Jetta GL

    By patrick on Jan 12, 2008 | Reply
  112. Over the weekend I tried reseating the bulb that was staying bright (see 1/10 post) and it resolved the problem. When I looked at it it seemed I may have had it in there a bit crooked.

    I will send pictures later this week of the wagon lights.

    Thanks Dax!

    By Brady on Jan 15, 2008 | Reply
  113. Dan Volkens

    Right on, glad it works now Brady!

  114. Some hints for replacing a brake light bulb for a 2006 Jetta 2.5L. The brake light is the outer circle on either side. There are flaps cut into the trunk lining, held down with Velcro. Open to reveal the bulb tray and tail light housing. Pull out the top (skinnier of the two) wire plugs. Then on the bulb tray, pull up the two tabs at the bottom of the bulb tray. These will release the bulb tray so you can pull it out to reveal the bulbs. To remove the burnt out bulb (and this where I had trouble which lead me to this site), push down on the bulb then turn it counterclockwise. To reinsert the bulb tray, the top has to go back in first, there are two prongs at the top that need to be fitted into white/gray slots at the top of the tail light housing. Get these lined up then push in the bottom of the tray. Note: I have the silver/white tail lights sold by VW opposed to the all red that are standard on the 2006 jetta but hopefully, the bulb tray is the same.

    By ST on Jan 16, 2008 | Reply
  115. Dan Volkens

    Thanks for the tips on the new Jettas ST!

  116. Dax, I just replaced the headlight switch and the directions you gave were perfect. All my running lights (very helpful at night) are working again. Since the new switch was working I had to open up the old switch to see what cost so much. There are four tabs that have to be lifted in order to remove the rear housing. Once this is removed, the contacts are exposed for inspection. I found that one of the contacts was discolored and not making good contact. I cleaned the contact throughly, removing all signs of carbon build up. Because these contacts have a spring tension set, I had to bend the contact to clean it and, of course, bend it back until it made contact like all of the others (roughly 12). I reassembled the switch and reinstalled it in the car, the running lights work again. These switches can be repaired and don’t necessarily need to be replaced. This whole job took me 10 minutes to do!

    By curt on Jan 16, 2008 | Reply
  117. Dan Volkens

    Awesome Curt, I’m glad everything worked out. Good job on figuring that out how to go about just cleaning the contacts! That could save many peeps some money on replacing the switch.

  118. I am trying to change the front turn signal on my 2002 Jetta. I removed the black cover held by the two metal brackets. I only see the headlight bulb. Where is the turn signal bulb? How do you replace it? Need help ASAP.

    By Vicky on Jan 26, 2008 | Reply
  119. Dan Volkens

    Hi Vicky, your question spurred me to write up a new How-To on replacing the turn signal bulb. You can find it on our homepage now, or at this link. I hope that helps you replace yours!

  120. Thanks Dax,

    I thought the turn signal was in the right small black Box. I pushed down on the black clip but the cover did not release. I was not sure if that would release the black cover for the turn signal without breaking it. I will give it another try. Thanks a lot.


    By Vicky on Jan 27, 2008 | Reply
  121. Dan Volkens

    Hi Vicky, yep, it’s behind there. But be careful! As I noted in the how-to. I broke mine off. lol It shouldn’t take much effort, and you may have to work it a bit around wiring or other parts that might be in the way.

  122. Thanks for the great tutorial and tips Dax. I have a 2004 Jetta Wagon and my driver-side brake light recently burnt-out. Unfortunately the access to the bulbs is really poor, but based on your pictures I was able to disengage the clips and with a little work, pull the old bulb and replace with a new one.

    For what it’s worth, my VW manual comments on how hard it is to get access to the bulbs and recommends taking it to the shop to have them replaced. Glad I found your site, saved me both money and time!

    By Dustan on Jan 30, 2008 | Reply
  123. Dan Volkens

    Great Dustan! Isn’t it strange that they would actually mention how hard it is to replace it and recommend the dealer? Gee, thanks Volkswagen for looking out for us customers. hahahah

  124. I have a 2001 jetta tdi and the drivers side tail light keeps burning out. A new one only lasts about 2-3 days. I am using the factory reccomended bulbs but I do not understand why this is happening. If anyone can halp it would be appreciated.

    By Dave on Feb 2, 2008 | Reply
  125. Dan Volkens

    Hi Dave, definitely sounds like some kind of wiring problem, or something wrong in the bulb tray. Have you had your Jetta in for the Brake Light Switch Recall? That has caused the lights to either stay on constantly, or not come on at all. That is, if this is your brake light, and not the regular night-time running tail light.

  126. I have a 2001 Jetta Wolfenstien – the right rear tail light is out. The bulb is good and the fuse is good any ideas?

    By Wade on Feb 15, 2008 | Reply
  127. Dan Volkens

    Hey Wade, have you tried removing the bulb and reseating it? Could be loose or something like that. If that isn’t the case, your bulb tray could have gone bad or that socket is bad. Very very rare for that to happen though.

  128. Dax – Great blog – thank you!

    The dealer suggests that the door switch on my ’05 Jetta TDi Wagon needs replacing. It appeeeaaars the door panel is three screws to remove, plus a couple of additional screws and a plug on the switch.

    Can I save myself the $300 in labor to do this myself, or is there additional computer or programming that’s required once the new switch is in?

    And is there any chance that the door switch is related to my window controls going spontaneously haywire?

    Thanks, bud. =D

    By Dave Gurley on Feb 21, 2008 | Reply
  129. Dan Volkens

    Thanks Dave! Hmmm, chances are it would be a relatively simple how-to, but I’m not sure on this one as far as reprogramming, etc. Let me consult our in-house tech guy, Tekmassa, and get back to you.

  130. Dan Volkens

    Hey Dave, which switch will you be replacing?

  131. After removing the outer panel on my 2006 Jetta sedan, as shown in the diagram, there is simply an empty space space behind it. I ran my fingers along the material and do not see any further opening. How do I get at the brake light?

    By Rich on Mar 5, 2008 | Reply
  132. Dan Volkens

    Hi rich, your 2006 jetta is probably different. It’s the newer model Jetta, correct? One of the other commenters posted some info on changing the bulb on those Jettas. Hopefully this will help!

    Some hints for replacing a brake light bulb for a 2006 Jetta 2.5L. The brake light is the outer circle on either side. There are flaps cut into the trunk lining, held down with Velcro. Open to reveal the bulb tray and tail light housing. Pull out the top (skinnier of the two) wire plugs. Then on the bulb tray, pull up the two tabs at the bottom of the bulb tray. These will release the bulb tray so you can pull it out to reveal the bulbs. To remove the burnt out bulb (and this where I had trouble which lead me to this site), push down on the bulb then turn it counterclockwise. To reinsert the bulb tray, the top has to go back in first, there are two prongs at the top that need to be fitted into white/gray slots at the top of the tail light housing. Get these lined up then push in the bottom of the tray. Note: I have the silver/white tail lights sold by VW opposed to the all red that are standard on the 2006 jetta but hopefully, the bulb tray is the same.

  133. Great instructions for a first-time light replacer like me. Instructions worked to perfection on my 2000 Golf (CD changer wasn’t in the way at all). Thanks!

    By Julian on Mar 9, 2008 | Reply
  134. Just wanted to write thanks from another happy reader. I just used this and Matt’s more recent how-to to fix both a taillight and a headlight. Cost a total of $16, just for a headlight bulb. It turned out the taillight wasn’t actually burned out, but had simply slipped out of its socket and was rattling around loose! I managed to fish it out through the panel hole with some needle-nose pliers. Worked fine after re-plugging. Even weirder, though, there was a *second* loose bulb in there that as far as I can tell isn’t used anywhere and must have been left accidentally by the factory. It’s the same size and the brake and turn lights, but has two filaments. Maybe one of those un-installed fog lamps? Doesn’t really matter though, I’ll just keep it as a souvenir of the $100 I just saved on labor. ;) Thanks again.

    By Ben on May 11, 2008 | Reply
  135. Dan Volkens

    Great Ben, glad it helped!

  136. Dax,

    I have a problem with my 2001 Jetta 1.8. The reverse lights went out a while back, after I had the brake switch fixed b/c of the recall. I checked the bulbs and they are fine. I’m trying to locate the fuse to check it, but I can’t decipher the little symbols and the owner’s manual is now help.

    Can you tell me what to look for or what to do?



    By Justin on Jun 2, 2008 | Reply
  137. Dan Volkens

    Hey Justin, Here’s a link to the fuse diagram. Let me know if that helps!

  138. Hello!

    My boyfriend has a 96 golf with after market tail lights… which kind, i forgot. But the previous owner left all of the wires to the tail light a mess, so my boyfriend kind of made them more organized. Now, it worked great for a while until one night, the running lights didn’t come on. So he had to move some wires around so at least the right running light went on the left side. He checked the bulbs and changed them, but it still never worked. He also noticed that it looked like something melted where the bulb was… He of course made sure to get the correct bulbs for that specific light. So, if he drives at night, the only running light is on the right side. Thankfully, his brake lights turn on… But he’s been pulled over for it already.. (it sucked… and he just can’t figure it out)

    Do you have any idea why the left tail light just won’t turn on? Maybe a melted fuse? Maybe he should just go back to the stock tail lights? I dont know- he’s hoping he doesn’t have to get it repaired at a shop of some sort… Thank you!

    By mimi on Jun 12, 2008 | Reply
  139. Dan Volkens

    Hey mimi, melted wiring is always a bad sign unfortunately. Sounds like the previous owner didn’t have something wired correctly, or too much current was flowing through that wire. Regardless, sounds like that could be the culprit. I am by no means a automotive wiring guru, so I would suggest he try to track down the cause of that meltage and replace the necessary items, for safety’s sake alone. Don’t want the ol’ Golf burning to the ground. :)

  140. 2003 Passat GLS with the drivers side rear side running light out. Do you know how to change that? I can feel it from underneath the car, but not sure how to get it out. TX !!

    By Jim on Jun 21, 2008 | Reply
  141. Dan Volkens

    Hey Jim, I searched as well and came up empty. I hope one of our readers can point you in the right direction. I suggest you also post your question in the B5 Passat Forums on

  142. I figured it out. You have to push on the one side from the outside. Once it pops in, you then slide it back and it pops out. $1.97 later for bulb from Walmart and I was good to go ! Thanks for the response though !!

    By Jim on Jun 25, 2008 | Reply
  143. Dan Volkens

    Right on, good job man. :) Glad you got it.

  144. Hi,
    I have a ’96 Golf and I have the driver’s side turnsignal and the passenger side headlight out – both in front. The headlight bulb doesn’t seem to be too difficult to replace (at first sight). But I’m not sure where to look for the turn signal bulb. Can you help?

    By Dominique on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply
  145. just wanted to thank you for the help. I had to replace a rear bulb on our 2006 Jetta and this was the only detailed HOW TO I could find.

    By ted on Jun 28, 2008 | Reply
  146. Dan Volkens

    Hey Dominique, I searched around as well and couldn’t find anything for ya. I suggest heading over to VWVortex’s MkIII Forum and posting your question there. They should be able to provide something for you.

  147. Dan Volkens

    No probs Ted, glad it helped.

  148. hi dax,
    I figured it out. It was just a matter of disconnecting the bulb socket and turning it – albeit, blindly since it was in a weird spot where I couldn’t see it. Perhaps I should check under the hood a bit more to prevent the “I wonder what I am touching now” feeling. ;) Thanks for your help!

    By Dominique on Jul 2, 2008 | Reply
  149. Dan Volkens

    Great Dominique! Glad you got it figured out.

  150. 03 passat wagon rear light changes… need to remove the signal light tab first before depressing tabs on light cluster, and removing. this stand alone signal light secures the cluster and the cluster will not come out until you take this light out first….

    By dwdave 2112 on Jul 19, 2008 | Reply
  151. man I hope I don’t have to replace a front light on this thing… the battery on my 1.8 T is behind the engine up by the dash (looks like that’s going to be fun to remove if required as well : ]), and there is still a load of stuff to move before getting access to the headlights…

    By dwdave 2112 on Jul 19, 2008 | Reply
  152. Dan Volkens

    Thanks for the 03 Passat wagon tips dwdave!

  153. Thank you! My 2006 Jetta is slightly different but I was able to figure it out from these pictures. Much appreciated… now I don’t have to ask anyone to do it for me!

    By Emily on Jul 20, 2008 | Reply
  154. Hey guys how can i replace both my headlight bulbs, 2004 Golf 4. Can i DIY without any headaches?

    By Tebogo on Jul 31, 2008 | Reply
  155. Dan Volkens

    Hey Tebogo, here’s a link to our how-to on the headlights. Hope that helps! Be aware that the passenger side is a lot easier to do just because the space around the back of the headlight isn’t as tight as the driver’s side. On the driver’s side, we recommend removing the battery cover to allow just a bit more room.

  156. OK so now that i know how to replace all the bulbs which is which, I’ve got a 2003 Jetta 1.8T sedan. i know the reverse lights, signal lights, brake lights, and running lights(or what ever the ones you can turn on and off at night are called) but what is the fourth one for?

    By Andrew on Aug 3, 2008 | Reply
  157. Dan Volkens

    Hey Andrew, that fourth light is most likely a rear fog that typically isn’t installed on U.S. spec VWs. Here’s a listing with photos of all the exterior lights on a Golf and Jetta.

  158. Thanks! now i’ve got another question, the reverse lights don’t work but the bubs and fuses are good i’ve checked and replaced them already. My car has an aftermarket shifter installed and i’ve heard that if the installer didn’t connect a “reverse switch” the lights won’t come on, any idea as to where that is and what it looks like?

    By Andrew on Aug 4, 2008 | Reply
  159. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, not sure on that one. I suggest you check out the Forums over at and see if someone can point you in the right direction there. :)

  160. Seems I’m burning through tail lights like their going out of fasion. the tail light thats mounted inside the car behind the back seats has gone out, any tips on how to get it out?

    By Andrew on Aug 13, 2008 | Reply
  161. Hi,
    I had to replace a drivers side brake light on my 2003 Passat W8. It was a huge amount of work, even with your great info! Seems like there should be an easier way but I don’t know what. I had to:
    Remove the trunk floor mat. Remove the door that covers the first aid kit/cd changer. (when this door is slightly open, it can be lifted up off the hinges) I found it not necessary to remove the cd changer itself.
    Remove the two chrome tie-downs from inside the rear of the trunk. Unscrew the two plastic nuts from the hard plastic cover that fits across the rear of the trunk and carefully pry this cover off, taking care not to break or lose the 8 christmas tree clips.
    Remove the plastic nut, big round christmas tree clip and several T8 screws from the left hand side trunk liner which can now be pulled away at the rear.
    Whew! Now the light assembly is accessible, and the earlier posts can be used to change the bulbs.

    By John H on Aug 13, 2008 | Reply
  162. Dan Volkens

    Hey Andrew, that one, I think, is made up of LEDs, which don’t typically go out. It could be that the wiring harness is loose. Or if it is a single bulb, then it could be burned out. Either way, check out this DIY on removing the Jetta rear package shelf. There are some photos in there that might get you pointed in the right direction. Looks like you can access the wiring for the 3rd brake light from the trunk.

  163. Dan Volkens

    Thanks for the extra info John, and congrats on figuring it out. :D

  164. Holy crap! This blog is AWESOME!!!!! I’ve had a 2003 Jetta for six have never stumbled into your site and I regret it, your wonderful! I had two tail lights go out about a month apart and your information made it so easy to fix, I love the pictures. My problem is that when I pulled the bulbs out only one of them was burned out. I checked the fuses and they were all fine so I’m not really sure what to do next. Any advise? If not I’m really appreciate the help you’ve already given me.

    By Erin on Aug 21, 2008 | Reply
  165. Dan Volkens

    Hahahah glad we can help, Erin. :D My wife’s Jetta is having the exact same problem right now. It could be a matter of the bulb wiggling loose, breaking its contact with the socket. Try removing the bulb and reinserting to see if it lights up again.

  166. I replaced the brake lights on driver side of 2005 passat TDI wagon. After I replaced the bulbs I had my wife turn on running lights, brake lights worked great (High Five) not quite. Now my directional singnal light does not work. Bulb is good but it acts like it burned out. I thought I may have roughed up the bulb housing trying to remove it. I removed the passenger side housing to try on driver side to isolate the problem, this did not work. I put the car back together. Now both directional singnals don’t work, fuses seem to be fine. My easy job turned out to be a hassel. I don’t want to take the car to a VW dealer to replace a light bulbs. Thanks, Tom

    By Tom on Sep 14, 2008 | Reply
  167. Dan Volkens

    Hmm, strange one there, Tom. Were you sure to double check any wiring and connections to those bulbs to make sure nothing has been disconnected and/or broken? Let’s see if another reader might be able to point you in the right direction. Also, in the meantime, I suggest posting your problem to the Lighting Forum as well.

  168. I have a 2003 Jetta GL Wagon. Needless to say, she is not my favorite right now. I have a 2 part question.
    I was wondering if the recall on the brake lights is still good. I have been in Europe for the last 14 months and just got to opening my Mound of what my mother noted as “non emergency mail.” UGH! Is it too late to get my brake light recall work done? If not, would the switch effect the high mount rear brake light “bar?”

    By siera on Sep 22, 2008 | Reply
  169. Dan Volkens

    Hey siera, the recall should still be available to you. Head over to a dealer to see if they’ll get it done for ya.

  170. Replacing taillight bulbs in a 2005 Jetta Sedan: Yes, I was able to dislocate the carrier for the bulbs and it is loose but the top bulb will not come out through the opening no matter what. Is there some trick to this? Thanks

    By Axxel Knutson on Oct 7, 2008 | Reply
  171. Dan Volkens

    Hey Axxel, Try lightly twisting the bulb in its socket first, then it should release. There are two little nubs on the sides of the bulb that lock it into the socket. To reinstall, stick it in and turn to lock in.

  172. Dan Volkens

    Ah, I think you mean to physically get the bulb carrier out so you can get to the top bulb? Yeah, it’s a reallly, really tight fit. You just have to kinda work it out very carefully by pushing down a bit so it clears the taillight area without breaking any tabs off or anything like that on the bottom of the carrier. :]

  173. Thanks for the instructions, worked out great.

    By John S on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply
  174. Hi there, I was wondering if anyone knew how to replace a tail light on a 2007 Touareg? thanks!

    By ib1999 on Oct 19, 2008 | Reply
  175. The left rear tail light has gone on my VW Golf ’02. I checked for burnage and there is no sign of it being severed. I replaced them and still its not working. Any suggestions?

    By Vanessa M on Oct 29, 2008 | Reply
  176. Dan Volkens

    Hey in1999, sorry for the extremely late reply. I don’t know of a how-to on that one, sorry. I suggest checking out the Touareg forums over at

  177. Dan Volkens

    That’s a strange one Vanessa. I hope that it isn’t the case, but it sounds like there may be a wiring problem. I don’t believe that a blown fuse would make only one light go out. If it were a fuse, I think all tail lights would go out. Unfortunately, sounds like a trip to a mechanic is in store. Does the bulb light if you wiggle it a bit while in the socket?

  178. Hello. I have a broken tail light that I need to replace. I see that after removing the access panel there appears to be 2-3 bolts holding the light in place but one of them is a far reach behind a bulky metal section which appears to be part of the car frame. Can anyone tell me (pictures if possible) how I can replace the whole tail light? Thanks in advance!

    By Chris on Nov 14, 2008 | Reply
  179. Dan Volkens

    Hey Chris, Here’s a how-to on removing the tail light on Jetta and Golf/GTIs. I hope that might get you the information you need!

  180. i need some help here … i have a 2006 passat 2.0T and both rear lights are out … the brakes light are working … i’ve taken out the light housing but can’t figure out how to get into the bulbs .. thanks

    By Marian on Nov 21, 2008 | Reply
  181. Dan Volkens

    Hey Marian, if both are out, your Passat could be a candidate for the brake light switch recall that is still out. If you can determine that the bulbs are not in fact burned out, then that is most definitely the problem you have. If so, you can take it in to get repaired for free.

    As far as accessing the bulbs, I’m not completely sure on the new Passats, but there is usually some sort of access panel inside of the trunk that will allow you to pull out the tray holding the bulbs.

  182. I need to replace a brake lightbut which of the three lights is it??

    By Britt on Nov 25, 2008 | Reply
  183. By the way I have a 2003 Jetta. Didnt know if that made a difference or not

    By Britt on Nov 25, 2008 | Reply
  184. Dan Volkens

    Hey Britt, I believe the brake light is the first bulb from the top in the bulb tray. Here’s a list of all the bulbs on both MkIV Golfs/GTIs and Jettas.

  185. Thanks Dan… I love this site by the way!!!

    By Britt on Nov 26, 2008 | Reply
  186. Did you remove the grey turn signal bulb housing before you removed the bulb assembly?
    The grey fixture is designed to be twisted into place after the light assembly is snapped in. You may have to remove the light bulb holder, twist out the grey turn signal bulb housing, replace the bulb holder, then replace the grey turn signal holder. Confused?

    You will find that the turn signal assembly has two small metal tabs that take place of a wire to the bulb. This has to be twisted into place for the contacts to work.

    By Ed on Dec 7, 2008 | Reply
  187. Sorry – my comment was a response to Tom, who lost their turn signal after changing the brake lights in a 2005.

    By Ed on Dec 7, 2008 | Reply
  188. Hey, it’s nice to see someone explain the simple things to help out. Easy to follow instructions for people. Well done.

    By Seen on Dec 15, 2008 | Reply
  189. Thank you for these instructions.

    Before I start changing bulbs, I thought I would ask if you have any ideas on this: my wife’s 2000 Golf – all the running lights have failed….and one rear brake light. The front lights work when turned on, both low and high beams, but the running lights don’t work (Cdn model), when the lights are off. Both rear running lights also have failed, and one brake light doesn’t work.

    Any thoughts/assistance would be appreciated.

    By Al on Dec 17, 2008 | Reply
  190. Dan Volkens

    Hey Al, that’s a strange one there. If you have already checked the bulbs themselves, the next couple things to look into would be fuses, then the lightswitch itself inside the car. Also, have you had the brake light switch recall completed? That could be causing some odd problems as well, albeit only with the rear.

  191. I just purchased a 2003 volkswagen jetta 1.8t and the trunk light doesn’t come on when the trunk is open. Where is the light located in the trunk and what is involved in changing the bulb?

    By Darryl on Dec 18, 2008 | Reply
  192. Dan Volkens

    Hey Darryl, I haven’t done this replacement myself, but this thread on is all I could find on it. It mentions that the light slides to the side and comes out of the housing. You should be able to access the bulb from there.

  193. Hello: I just discovered that the front running light bulb is HANGING down on the wire from where it’s supposed to go. I have a 2001 Jetta. I would love to know how to get it back where it belongs. My head won’t fit under the car without it being on a life. Any suggestions? THANKS! Your website is so wonderful!

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  194. sorry Dan…I meant a ‘lift’…BYT it’s the left front running light that is hanging down by the wire. Is it possible to approach it from the outside, by taking the lens cover off? Thanks again.

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  195. Dan Volkens

    Hey Betsy, thank you. We’re always glad to hear how it helps our readers. :) When you say that the bulb is hanging, is it hanging loose inside of the headlight assembly, or hanging out of the back of the headlight, inside of the engine bay? If it has somehow worked loose from it’s holder in the headlight assembly and is hanging in the engine bay, you can follow this how-to on changing the headlight bulb that Matt wrote to see if maybe that will give you some insight on fitting the bulb back into its holder.

    Now if it’s broken somehow, I imagine you will probably need to have the headlight assembly replaced.

  196. Thanks, Dan. Some more information for you. I am now told that it is the marker light and not the running light. It has an amber lens about 2×4, on the side of the front fender. Sorry. I can see the light bulb just hanging by the wire just beneath the front fender, in front of the left front tire wheel well. I can reach up inside there, but I can’t see anything. Do you think I should jack up the car and look around? I haven’t been able to find any info about how to fix it. Hope this helps.

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  197. Dan, do you think I should try removing the lens? I understand that it’s spring loaded. Thanks.

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  198. Dan Volkens

    Ah, that does help. In this case, the way to remove the sidemarker assembly is to push in on the side closest to the door (I think. :P If it doesn’t go in, try the side closest to the front). This will angle the opposite side of the assembly out of the bumper, allowing you to then remove it by sliding it out of the bumper. I don’t recall exactly, but I think you would slide it out toward the front of the car. In any case, don’t force it. :D

    Once the assembly is out, you should be able to mount the bulb properly inside of it. Hope that helps!

  199. Dan Volkens

    Yep, it is spring loaded or similar. Try what I mentioned above and see if you can get the bulb seated back into the assembly.

  200. Thank you! I’ll go outside and try that. Hopefully I can reach up and reinstall the bulb where it goes. I haven’t wanted to drive it because I knew it would bounce around and perhaps break off.
    Thank you for dealing with this on a Sunday…you are very thoughtful and kind!

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  201. Dan Volkens

    No problem at all. :D I’m just sitting here watching some football while browsing guitars on eBay. lol Just glad I was here online to help you out right away!

  202. Dan…Just wanted to follow-up…It was easy to remove the lens…and when I did I noticed that the plastic holder for the bulb had melted off! Which explains why the bulb was loose and hanging down. I was able to poke the bulb into the hole, and it seemed to hold, without the plastic holder. But now I am wondering if someone put the wrong bulb in there, so I think I’ll take out the one on the right side, and check the wattage to see what it should be. I might have to tape the bulb with duct tape to hold it in there, until I can replace the entire lens cover. Thanks again!

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  203. Dan Volkens

    So that’s how it came loose. :) Good call, first thing to check is if the bulb wattage was too high for that. You can find replacement parts pretty cheap at if you want to get a new cover.

  204. Dan: I looked at the Fred’s Tdi website and read this from someone with the same problem as me:
    It’s definitely a W3W. I was in a rush about a year and a half ago and put in a W5W by mistake. They are physically the same in looks. When it burned out I noticed that the part where the bulb enters the housing was all burned. I learned my lesson.

    ah ha! I have discovered the problem! BTW I looked at but was unable to find the lens cover.

    THANKS AGAIN! I hope these emails will help others in the future! :-)

    By Betsy on Dec 21, 2008 | Reply
  205. Dan Volkens

    Ah, good. I’m glad you found that. So that has to be what happened. Be sure to get the correct W3W bulb, and I searched around for another website to get a replacement cover. ECS Tuning has one here for $9.95 a piece. I can’t link directly to the product unfortunately, so just scroll down the page until you see the side markers. They’re about half-way down, give or take.

  206. Holy cow! I was about to take my car to the dealership to change a stupid bulb when I cam across your how-to. I had it done in 5 minutes. Thanks so much!

    By Krin on Dec 30, 2008 | Reply
  207. Dan,
    Any idea how to get the cover off of the turn signal mounted on the front of the mirror on a 2006 GLI?? There aren’t any screws on the outside of the lens and I turned the mirror all the way to the side to see if there were any clips or screws behind the mirror but couldn’t see anything. Any help is appreciated.

    By Damon on Jan 9, 2009 | Reply
  208. Dan Volkens

    Great Krin! Glad it helped. Hey Damon, here’s a how-to at on changing those turn signal bulbs housed in the rear view mirror assemblies. Hope that helps!

  209. Dan,
    Thanks, but that article was for replacing the entire signal assembly (the author had his cracked by a flying rock). Would I have to take the whole thing apart just to get at the bulb?? It looks like the outer clear plastic part may pop off, but I don’t want to force it and end up breaking it.

    By Damon on Jan 12, 2009 | Reply
  210. Dan Volkens

    Hey Damon, after doing a bit more research, it looks like that is the way to get to the bulbs, unfortunately. :D I would follow it up to the point where you can remove the bulb housing to replace the bulb, then reverse the steps.

  211. Hey Dax,
    First off, thanks for the post… great great great. I’ve got both tail lights and brake lights out on my 03 Jetta Sedan. I was able to check out the passenger side bulbs which all still seem to be intact. Wondering if maybe we are dealing with an electrical problem rather than burned out lights? Any tips on how to tell before I haul it into the shop?

    By Jenn on Jan 13, 2009 | Reply
  212. Dan Volkens

    Hey Jenn, no problem, thank you. :D It’s possible your Jetta may have a bad “brake light switch”, which is under recall as you can see in this post. If you haven’t had your Jetta in for this repair, I would have it checked out for that. Hopefully that’s it!

  213. hi again, i love you guys, any idea on how to replace the bulbs in the side markers of an 06′ 2.5 Jetta, both of mine have been dead for a while, fuses are good, Im just not sure how to remove the side markers. I want to try pulling em out with a Flat screwdriver but i dont want to brake anything!!!

  214. Dan Volkens

    Hey Fabian, no problem. :D This is a tricky one to figure out, but once you know it’s very simple. If you’re referring to the sidemarkers in the bumper (not on the fender), then to remove the cover, push in (toward the engine) on the side of the marker closest to the door. That will angle the other side of the cover out from the bumper. THen you should be able to slide it out of the bumper to gain access to the bulb. To reinstall, just reverse the steps. I hope you get what I mean there. It’s hard to explain without pictures! :D

  215. Hi there. I was in desperate need of some guidance in changing my 2003′s taillight. I just went and changed it and maybe it took me 8 minutes. Thank you very much for your pictures. Honestly I only looked at them. Thank you!

  216. I don’t see an answer to the question on replacing the driver side brake lamp on a 2004 Passat GLS. The emergency medical kit seems to be in the way. Plus the passenger side does not seem accessible either. Thank for your help.

    By Greg on Jan 27, 2009 | Reply
  217. Dan Volkens

    Great missjenn! Glad it helped you out. Hey Greg, I’m searching all over for a how-to on changing the brake lights and coming up empty. I haven’t done it myself, so I’m just assuming, but in the trunk there should be either small “doors” on each side of the trunk that open up to reveal access to the tail light area.

    As you mentioned on the driver’s side, usually there is a med kit or road hazard kit installed in that location, so you may need to remove that to gain access. If so, there might be two bolts holding it to the body. However it’s attached, one thing to be VERY CAREFUL with is when installing the med kit again, do not tighten those bolts down too much, as their ends can begin to poke into the side body panel, creating reverse dents on the outside. (Matt’s Golf came from the factory with this problem, go figure)

    Once you have access to the tail lights, I think there are two different panels inside the housing, one black and one gray. The gray one should house the turn signals, so you may not need to mess with that one. The black one will have the brake lights, but I don’t have a schematic of which bulb is which. You should be able to see which bulb is bad.

    I hope that might give you some tips! Let us know how it goes.

  218. Well, it turns out that you do not have to remove the first aid kit frame. There is a flap in the fabric just to the left of the first aid kit that has been cut almost all the way through. So, opening that flap provides access to the lamp fixture. The 4 snaps on the fixture are the same as you mentioned originally. You just have to be patient to wiggle the fixture out of the tight area around the tail light assembly. 3 bulbs, 2 stop and a turn signal are in the fixture. Getting the fixture back in is easier if you remember how you finally got it out. It took about 10 minutes to accomplish. Use a small flash light sitting on one of the shelves in the first aid kit for illumination. The dealer actually told us about the flap and how to do it. Thanks for your help.

    By Greg on Jan 29, 2009 | Reply
  219. Dan Volkens

    Right on! Glad you got it fixed. :) And thanks for that extra detail on how to do it.

  220. Dan, what a great vvebsite!
    I am struggling with the access hatch on the 99 Jetta for the drivers side tail light.

    First, all is as described but it is a real tight fit to get out.
    Thanks for the insight on the missing fourth bulb being the european fog light.
    Second I replaced all the lamps
    Next I turned on the headlights and – nothing.
    Either the tail light assembly needs to be back in contact with the metal frame or I must have pulled the socket loose. I will check tomorrow.

    Third : to check for complete circuit by snapping the assembly back in place I find it very difficult to get it back in the little access hatch. And I am an electrician…
    So I will try tomorrow in the sunlight.

    My question revolves around the circuit needing the tailight assembly to be snapped back in to complete the circuit or if all wires are in the harness/socket.

    Thanks! You are the man!!

    By paul on Jan 30, 2009 | Reply
  221. Dan Volkens

    Hey Paul! No problems, glad it’s helping you out. :) I don’t believe the assembly needs to be snapped in properly to complete the circuit, but I could be wrong. I know, I can’t stand how difficult it is to get those buggers in and out of the assembly. :D

  222. dan, your vvebsite really helped me!
    In my experience the socket has to be snapped in.
    The problem, after all that, was some wires got yanked out of the front wheel well of the car. I think we will go to a mechanic for that because it will be better on a lift.

    Anyway, thanks for all you do! the idea about opening the door to the cd changer really made it happen.


    By paul on Feb 3, 2009 | Reply
  223. The projector headlight on my 04 passat is out (passenger side) is this an easy fix and how?

    By william on Feb 7, 2009 | Reply
  224. Hey guys, I swapped out a tail light bulb on my 04 Golf and it looked exactly like the photos. I’ve done this before but for some reason, the new light isn’t coming on this time. I used a 5008 bulb and it fit in nicely. The old one was clearly burnt out, as the filament was distorted and broken. There’s nothing I can see wrong with the housing or wires and the other lights attached to the same housing work fine. The new bulb came in a package of 2 and I tried them both. Any ideas? Thanks

    By Kevin on Feb 7, 2009 | Reply
  225. I have a 2003 VW Golf and I replaced my tail light tonight with the 5008 bulb. It works great. However, for some odd reason my lights aren’t turning on inside my car anymore and my key won’t lock my car. Even when I locked my car manually instead of using the clicker, it would lock and then all the locks would unlock again. Do these two things have something in common with me changing the light bulb? I am so confused and desperately need to know what is going on. Thank you for your time.

    By Ryan Hugh on Feb 8, 2009 | Reply
  226. Dan Volkens

    Hey guys, sorry it’s taken me FOREVER to reply. Lots of things going on. I apologize.

    William: if you have the HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights, or Xenon style, it’s basically the same method. It might vary slightly since it’s a Passat headlight, but they’re relatively straightforward to replace. As with any bulb, make sure not to touch the bulb itself when installing. Wear latex/vinyl/rubber gloves if that’ll help.

    Kevin: very weird. First things to check are the fuses. If that’s not the problem, there’s also a brake light switch recall out, but I don’t think problems with that switch will cause anything to happen with the locks.

    Ryan: wow how strange! Sounds like you have almost the same problem as Kevin. Wish I knew exactly what was up so I could help you guys out. Have you made sure that the bulb is seated properly in the socket, and all parts have been put back into place in the housing?

  227. Thanks! It was so much easier than the front lights. How easy…great pix. The manual says to have the dealer do it!
    This saves time and money.
    We need more great instructions like these!

    By tino on Feb 13, 2009 | Reply
  228. Hi Dan,

    I have 2001 Jetta and the right rear (RR) lights are out. I removed the bulb housing form the inside and all but one bulb seen OK. I replaced three anyway. However, the metal lining of the housing has a crack in one of the prongs. The outer light fixture had a crack and some water got inside. I check the fuses on the left of the steering wheal they are ok. But, I still can;t gethe RR lights working. Do you have any suggestions? The blinker signal ion the instrument panel blinks really fast when switched to Right. I assume that’s because the RR lights are out.

    By Sergey on Feb 19, 2009 | Reply
  229. Dan Volkens

    Hey Sergey, is the break in the metal lining in part of the bulb assembly? If so, that could be creating a break in the bulb circuit or something like that. I’m not really sure. Yeah, the fast blinking is due to the bulb being out.

  230. Help! How do I know how many bulbs and which ones to buy for a left driver’s side rear tail light? I read on the blog how to change it ,b ut there is a bunch of little lamps in there. So, are they all the same size, or do I buy one of each just in case?

  231. Dan Volkens

    Hey Carmen, here’s a listing of bulbs for each tail light type and its designated code which should point you to which bulb to replace. What model do you have? And let me know if that link helps out!

  232. I’m convinced this is why God created the internet. Thanks for the help!

    By Shannon on Mar 21, 2009 | Reply
  233. I have a 2007 Rabbit and the “bulb burned out” indicator came on. I changed the rear turn signal and all my lights work but the idiot light on my dash won’t go out. Is there a fancy way to turn it off like the maintenance warning light (wrench symbol) or do I have to take it in and pay something ridiculous to have it turned off?
    Thanks for your help.
    Curt in Calgary

    By Curt on Mar 26, 2009 | Reply
  234. Dan Volkens

    Hey Curt, I haven’t heard specifically, but I would assume after changing the bulb that the computer can recognize that and turn off the indicator. Let’s hope. Otherwise the dealership, or someone with a VAG-COM could disable it.

    I hope they didn’t design it that way though. Give it a few days or something and let us know if it goes out!

  235. Lots of good info on your site. We are moving to Belgium and we’re told we need rear a fog light(s). Do you have any experience installing a rear fog light for a 2004 Passat Stationwagon? You’ve mentioned that there is a location for a rear fog light that isn’t used…have you every tried to install one? Do you think the rear fog light will turn on when you turn on front fog lights?
    Thanks, Rob

    By Rob on Mar 30, 2009 | Reply
  236. Dan Volkens

    Hey Rob, here are a few threads that should get you pointed in the right direction. Yeah, Europe has far stricter lighting requirements than the States. :)

    Rear Fog Lights Photos

    Passat Rear Fog Story

    Let us know if it helps!

  237. Dan,
    Thanks for the quick response. I will look at this more this weekend when I have more time. Luckily we don’t move for several months. I will let you know how it turns out. Take care,

    By Rob on Mar 30, 2009 | Reply
  238. My husband is a mechanic so he changes my oil for me, but I can not get the blinking wrench symbol in my instrument panel to go off. The manual says a dealership has to turn it off. Do you know of a way to do it myself?

    By RJ on Apr 10, 2009 | Reply
  239. I forgot to mention that my VW is a 2008 Jetta. Thanks

    By RJ on Apr 10, 2009 | Reply
  240. Dan Volkens

    Hey RJ, the only way to remove codes from the computer, which would turn off the light, is if you have a VAG-COM cable and the required software so you can “plug into” the car and change it, unfortunately. It could be possible for a local auto parts shop to do it for you as well. Good luck!

  241. Thank you!

    By RJ on Apr 10, 2009 | Reply
  242. I have a 2006 Passat. 2 questions. How do I change the sideview mirror turn signal light bulb? My driver side vanity mirrors do not light up. Is that a fuse issue or a light bulb issue?

    By Rainier on Apr 13, 2009 | Reply
  243. Thanks so much! Just changed the rear driver’s brake light on my 2003 Passat. Your photos were a huge help!

    By Tanya on Apr 18, 2009 | Reply
  244. Thanks for the great info! I’m not good with cars, but the pictures and directions were really helpful. I have a 2003 Jetta and changing the tail light was a breeze. It would have cost a fortune to have it done at the dealership.

    By Jon on Apr 20, 2009 | Reply
  245. You just saved me a chunk of cash. Thank you! 2001 Jetta no longer violating the law.

  246. All by bulbs are working and the dash idiot light still won’t go out telling me I have a burned out bulb. Believe me, they are all working. I guess I’ll have to take it in and get the dealership to turn it off.

    By Curt on Apr 29, 2009 | Reply
  247. Dan Volkens

    Hey Curt, yeah if the computer has thrown a code and the CEL is on, you’ll need to have it cleared from the computer to remove the light.

  248. ok my parking light is out but the bulb is fine do you think it would be wiring, or just a bad socket on tail light assembly?? plz email me back, [email protected]

    By mike VW golf gti on May 13, 2009 | Reply
  249. Dan Volkens

    Hey Mike, yep, could be either of those things. Have you checked fuses as well? Lets hope it’s not the wiring!

  250. Dan,
    Thanks for the great info! After reading your how-to and read comments, I decided to save $50 and replace one of the right rear, duel filament, clear bulbs on my wife’s 2001 Passat.
    The trunk liner in that area is secured with a small plastic, rounded nut. The stiff, formed trunk liner folds away and just as pictured above there’s the plastic assembly that easily de-latches and reveals two clear and one orange bud. Twisted out the burned out bulb, replaced it with a good one and snapped the assemble back in place. Truck liner folded back to cover the area and the nut went on as easily as it came off! It took moments! (I could take a few pictures, if anyone needs them….)
    Thanks to you and all who contribute/comment on this great site!!
    Best wishes,
    RL Atlanta, GA USA

    By Roy Lewis on May 26, 2009 | Reply
  251. Dan – Great Blog!!! I just replaced the rear stop and night illumination lights in my Passat’s rear driver’s side bulb tray and wanted to pass on the information. I have pictures too, but could not post to blog – I’d be more than happy to send them to you.

    1. Remove side panel cover. Unscrew (1/16 turn ccw) turn signal bulb housing (which is light grey) and remove. Disconnect upper and lower electrical connectors (the top one is Brown Wire, lower is Green Wire). I did not remove the main connector next to lower Green Wire connector (it looked too difficult to remove, and I didn’t want to damage it). Move CD Changer wire bundle out of the way of main connector wire connector (there was plenty of slack in CD Changer wire bundle to slip above CD Changer tray until Main Bulb tray could be removed.

    2. Squeeze slots on upper right and lower left of bulb assembly black tray and gently wiggle until released. GENTLY maneuver black tray out of space. I used Sylvania Long Life bulbs; two 7506 bulbs for stop lights, one 7225 for night illumination.

    Reverse sequence to reinstall tray. Total cost, $10.02. Not having to deal with Der Workman’s VW Shoppe, PRICELESS!!!

    By Jeff on Jun 1, 2009 | Reply
  252. Deb,

    Thank you so much for your additional instructions for the 2001 Jetta driver side taillight tray removal. That %#@&! “fancy” felt cover needs to be placed or cut WAY differently for it to work as intended.

    I was extra POed because I’m not a very manly guy, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to replace this bulb on my own. I got all the way to the point where that stupid cover was in the way, and couldn’t go on. I had everything else I needed, figured it all out on my own, then had to go to the internet to figure out this last step, because of their crummy design.

    Shame on you, VW, for only saying “have an authorized dealer replace all of your bulbs” and then compounding this idiocy with your poor design. You will show me diagrams of lift points in the manual, but you won’t show me how to navigate around your dumb felt lininng to get my taillight out and avoid a ticket? Hellooooo! I don’t own a lift! I just need to replace my taillight, you morons! LOL! :-D

    Ahem. Anyway, thanks for helping to restore my sanity, a modicum of my manliness, and my vehicle.

    By dfazman on Jun 12, 2009 | Reply
  253. Dan Volkens

    Thanks for the extra information guys. :D If you’d like, you can email the photos to me at dan “at”

  254. Hey VW Guys-

    I have an ’01 Jetta GLS and I have been having the classic problem with my brake light burning out again & again…And Yes, I have taken “Joan” to the dealer at least TWICE since the recall and supposedly they replaced the faulty switch. Since then I have even taken it a VW specialist who also assured me that I have the latest “Non Faulty” version of the brake light switch and like everyone else I have taken it to, politely replaced my bulb. Anyone have any ideas for me?
    I’m tired of worrying about whether I will get pulled over or get rear ended because of this problem.

    By Candace on Jun 18, 2009 | Reply
  255. Dan Volkens

    Hey Candace, if the bulbs are continually burning out, there could be a wiring problem but this is very difficult to diagnose. How much time passes between the bulbs burning out? Within months?

  256. Dan–Great Blog! Very helpful information. I have a 2008 GTI and the dash tells me my rear left brake light is out. Turns out that only half of the circle brake light is out. Is each half a light of its own? If so how do I replace it?

    By Leeron on Oct 17, 2009 | Reply
  257. Dan Volkens

    Hey Leeron, not sure about how the new rears work, but I believe the half of the circle that would be out could be the brake light. What I suggest is grab a brick, stone, or some kind of heavy object (if you don’t have someone to help you out :) ) and use it to push the brakes down while you check the tail lights to see what bulb is actually out. If it’s the brakes, you’ll see right away. Otherwise, just flip your headlights on and see if it’s just your rear running lights. Good luck!

  258. hi, i just bought a 2003 VW jetta.. the brake lights work, reverse, ect.. BUTT… the tail lights dont turn on.. like when you turn on your headlights and the back ones automatically come on.. they dont… the fuse was fine. what else can we check? is there anything you would do before going to firestone and having them charge 150 to LOOK at the lights? (i hate hawaii!)

    By kay on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply
  259. The tail light holder on the 2003 Jetta sedan is just like the one shown, but I am having a terrible time getting the holder past the trim. Any suggestions?

    By Mike on Nov 4, 2009 | Reply
  260. Dan Volkens

    Hey Kay, your Jetta may need to have the “brake light switch” recall completed. The switch affects the brakes as well as the regular tail lights, and this should be done free of charge at a dealer.

    Yeah Mike, it’s pretty tough getting the thing out of there without breaking something. You’ll just have to carefully work it out. :) Good luck!

  261. Thanks for the clear and concise directions and photos. I looked this task up in our Passat car manual and it directs one to VW service to perform this ‘difficult’ bulb replacement. Like you have to be kidding me VW, take the car in for service to replace a bulb!!! Anyway, didn’t see the clips for removing the tail light assembly and was stumped on how one gets to the bulb, but with a quick internet search and with a little luck in stumbling across these excellent directions I was able to complete the bulb remove-replace in a few minutes. Though I must admit there was a few moments of gentle but firm push, shove, tilt, adjust, etc to get the assembly out of the confined space (on the 04 pasat there’s built in shelf providing an obstruction) and then back into place.

    Bottom line; $2.50 and a total of 20 minutes (had to drive over to the car parts store) to do owner replace vs. a trip to VW for service….
    Thanks once again.

    regards, Bob

    By Bob on Nov 25, 2009 | Reply
  262. Candice, we have the “same” problem etc. Find any solution?

    By Nick Oshana on Nov 25, 2009 | Reply
  263. Dan Volkens

    Glad it helped Bob! :)

  264. Thanks for the detailed info. Although it was a son of a gun getting the drivers side out, I finally wedged it loose and was able to replace the lights. Someone may have suggested this, but I don’t have time to read ALL of the comments; in a 2003 b5.5 wagon, remove the wires to the tail light housing first. It creates more room, albeit centimeters, to help remove the housing.

    thanks again,
    Todd S
    Hernando MS

    By Todd S on Dec 1, 2009 | Reply
  265. Dan Volkens

    Yeah Todd, they didn’t make it exactly plug-n-play to get the bulb tray in and out. One could easily break something, but glad you got it! And thanks for the extra tip. :]

  266. Hi,

    Our 2003 VW Jetta TDI has the driver’s side tail light out. The bulb is not burned out, though. It is only the driver’s side, too–the passenger side tail light works fine.

    Any ideas what to do? We have already been warned by the local authorities that if we don’t get it fixed, “[his] guys will write us a ticket larger than life.” :-) Thanks!

    By Rochelle on Dec 23, 2009 | Reply
  267. Does anyone have pictures of how to do this on a 2001 Jetta VR6? It seems like it must be really easy, but I’m not finding easy access to the bulb tray as seen in the pictures above. I’m guessing that my issue of the infamous felt patch trunk liner that people are talking about, so I’m headed back into the Minnesota cold with a knife to try to pop it off, but I wish VW would just tell me how to do it since I don’t like pushing/prying/popping without knowing how things go back together (though I’m guessing the dealer/mechanic would just do the same thing). Can anyone confirm that pulling/prying off the panel is the way to go? I opened the panel on the left side that’s held in there with the two circular plugs and that just looks like a storage compartment, so I think the enemy is indeed this hard felt panel on the back of the trunk. Am I right? And do I just pry away?

    Great blog here, btw. Very helpful!

    By Jon on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply
  268. Thanks! Just used this extremely helpful guide to change out the driver-side, back – turn signal in my 2000 vr6 Jetta.

    So easy! Thanks for saving me time and money.

  269. Dan Volkens

    Hey Rochelle, hmmm. Could be a wiring problem. Have you had the “brake light switch” recall done at a dealer yet?

  270. Dan Volkens

    Hey Jon, you’re right. It’s the same process as above, but some of the trunk liner and other parts really get in the way of pulling out the bulb tray. Try to be as careful as you can while working it out so you can replace the bulb. :)

  271. Dan Volkens

    Great, glad it helped deb! :)

  272. how to change brake light in Jetta sportswagen 2009? thank you, Duran

    By Duran Yetkinler on Jan 9, 2010 | Reply
  273. Dan Volkens

    Hey Duran, changing the bulb on the Sportwagen should be very similar, if not the same as this how-to. Do you see a compartment that opens behind each tail light area? Once you have that little door open, you should have access to the bulb tray to change out the bulb.

  274. Thanks for the detailed pictures and easy steps. The last time I had to have a tail light replaced, it cost $40 at the dealership. Today, I’ll be spending just a couple bucks for the bulbs!

    By Bryan Holcomb on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply
  275. Hey Dan, I have a 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit. My 3rd brake light went out a week ago and I just went to the store to buy a bulb figuring it would be easy like the tail lights. But it’s not. Apparently I have to take the spoiler off and reattach it. And I’m told that it usually breaks. Any idea’s/suggestions?

    By ShawnJames on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply
  276. Thank you for the excellent instructions. They were great!

    By Fred Follis on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply
  277. Hi !
    My 2002 Passat Hazard lights have stopped working. Left and right indicators work fine and all indicators flash once when locking the vehicle.
    Any ideas.
    Many thanks

    By Richie Rich on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply
  278. Dan Volkens

    Hey Shawn, I just did a bit of research, and it looks like it needs to go to the dealer (bleueegh) to have it replaced. I hadn’t heard of this myself, and that sucks. But, they should do it under warranty.

  279. Dan Volkens

    Interesting Richie. As you said, if the bulbs work when locking, then they’re obviously ok. Next things to check are maybe the hazard switch itself, or related wiring.

  280. Thanks Dax. your tips for the 2006 and up Jetta 2.5L are great. I replaced a rear bulb on the driver side of my 2008 Jetta with little difficulty once I realized (thanks to your tip)that the top wire connection had to be removed. My car had a very small access opening on the drivers side because the opening hadn’t been completely cut at the factory. I carefully cut it completely through with an exacto knife so I had full access to the bulb tray. Thanks for your help.

    By Greg on Jan 30, 2010 | Reply
  281. I have a2004 passat wagon. I need to replace the driver side tailight. Can only find taillight for passat sedan. Are they the same? Dealer won’t give any info. I am able to get all screws and nuts off except bottm one near monsoon unit…any suggestions? Also I need to replace the climate control light. I got it out but am having trouble finding one. Do you happen to know the part number. Again dealer is of no help. They want me to bring it in and pay the….No Thanks!

    Thanks for help!!

    By Peter on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply
  282. Dan Volkens

    Nice Greg!

    Peter, that’s very rude, and stupid that a dealer wouldn’t give you information. I’d find a new dealer to work with in the future. Not sure whether the bulbs are the same, but I would assume they are. Here’s a thread that might give you some insight into it. Also a good Passat forum in general.

    About the climate control light, do you mean the light behind the center circular dial? I’ve been meaning to do a how-to on that since I had to replace it in my wife’s Jetta. Gotta get that one on here! But the bulb is “Instrument/Courtesy” 2721.

    Actually, I’m thinking out loud here, you should be able to view the photos for the how-to on my Flickr account. There’s a photo of the bulb packaging on there as well. Good luck!

  283. Hey Dan, good info. I thought I had a bad tail light but the bulb doesn’t seem to be burnt out. Any other trouble shooting thoughts about a possible issue: fuse (if so I do I tell)?

    By Tojo on Feb 14, 2010 | Reply
  284. Dan Volkens

    Hey Tojo, you may have the bad brake light switch, which is under recall, or it could be a fuse/wiring problem. I’d have the brake switch recall done at a dealer since that’ll be free and see if that fixes the problem. Good luck!

  285. Dax,

    I have a 2004 passat wagon, 1.8T. The driver side tail light fixture has moisture in it. I’m not sure how it got in there, but how can I remove the fixture to wipe it out? I have had to replace the bulbs a few times, I assume that they were affected by the moisture.
    Any help is much appreciated.



    By J. Skinner on Feb 28, 2010 | Reply
  286. The changing of the tail light was wery well described. However, I have a 2009 Jetta Sportwagen. Can you provide information for that?

    By Paul Boucek on Mar 6, 2010 | Reply
  287. Dax,

    I have a 2008 Beetle and i have a busted driver side tail light. Now this is the whole assembly not just the bulb. How would i go about replacing it myself? I found the tail light assembly on Ebay for much cheaper than what they were going to charge me at the dealership.

    By P. Physco on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  288. Dan Volkens

    Hey J.Skinner, moisture in a light housing usually means you’ve got a crack in it somewhere which is letting the moisture in. One way to find out is to cover the outside of the housing with very soapy water, and blow air from the inside into the tail light, like with a hair dryer or similar. You should get bubbles forming around any cracks that may not be visible to the naked eye. Another possibility is a bad seal around the housing. Let me know what you find out, and hopefully that’ll give you enough to make an informed decision on repair!

  289. Dan Volkens

    Hey Paul, I was just searching high and wide for info/pics on this, and got nothing. Sorry man. :( Let’s see if anyone else can point us in the right direction here. I assume it would very similar to earlier models, where there’s an access door to the back of the tail light assembly where you can pull out the bulb tray, or the bulb itself, to replace.

  290. Dan Volkens

    Hey P., you’re in luck. :) Here’s a how-to on changing the tail light. That site is also an excellent resource on all things New Beetle related. Good luck with the change!

  291. How do i get to the rear bumper light bulb on a 2002 Passat. Do i have to go under the car?

    By Miguel on Mar 31, 2010 | Reply
  292. Hi, I have a 2003 Passat that I need to replace the left brake light bulb. While the pics at the begining are helpful they aren’t what I see when opening up that area of my trunk. It does indeed have a rack( stero, I assume) behind the door, a bunch of screws that surround that, but after removing all & even a big one holding in the liner, nothing moves & the taillight can’t be reached.
    Any suggestions from anyone.

    By gary Pugh on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply
  293. Hi Dan,

    I’m trying to figure out how to replace the tail light lens assembly on my 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T sedan. Here is an example of the part:

    The lights all work fine, but somehow (I suspect my son’s lacrosse ball :-) the lens itself is broken. Any suggestions for how to replace it?


    By Strom Thacker on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply
  294. Hi,
    I need to replace the trunk light bulb in my VW golf 2006.
    please advice

    By avi on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply
  295. Hi ST, thanks too for the help on the taillight. I was having trouble disconnecting the small connector but was able to pop the assembly and replace the inboard bulb without disconnecting it. Works like a charm!

  296. Hi. I have a 1999 VW golf Mk4
    i just changed the rear right tail lamp and the driver side low beam headlight
    and now my car will not start. the keyless lock/unlock will not work either.
    I put the key in the ignition and all the power works except for starting the engine.
    what can I do?!

    By Justin on May 4, 2010 | Reply
  297. Hi, I need help trying to replace a rear side marker bulb on a 2005 New Jetta. I can’t find anything on the internet and the dealer wanted $100 to replace it. Thank you!

    By Heidi on May 6, 2010 | Reply
  298. Hi
    I need to replace the rear tail lense on my 2004 passat , would you have any information or pics on how to do this ?!!

    By Norm on May 18, 2010 | Reply
  299. Hi,
    I have a 2002 Golf, i saw that the passenger side tail light was out and went ahead and replaced the bulb, but even with the new bulb in, it still won’t light up. And on top of that now my reverse light on the passenger side won’t light up either. The brake light only works. Do you have any idea what’s going on?

    By Junior on May 27, 2010 | Reply
  300. In the last month, I have used this blog to replace a front head light, and a rear tail light. Both sets of instructions were insanely easy to follow.


  301. The third brake light in the hatch of my 2003 GTI has quit working. How can I get at it to replace and who has the replacement part?

    By David on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply
  302. Hi Everyone,

    I just came across this site after some Internet searches following my failed attempt at replacing the driver side brake light bulb on a 2004 Jetta Wagon TDI. I’ve replaced the same bulb on the passenger side before but the driver side is a different story. I couldn’t get the bulb tray out because of the hard foam bracket that’s in the way (for what I assume is where the 6-disc changer would be installed if I had one – also holds the VW/Audi warning triangle). I removed the two visible screws holding that to the body in hopes that it would come right out but there must be another screw behind the carpeted panel closer to the back seat. I have the Bentley Service Manual for this car, which inexplicably does not provide instructions for how to remove the driver side luggage compartment panels (just the passenger side), which is what I’m afraid is required in order to be able to replace this bulb, hence the owner’s manual suggestion you take it to a shop. Ugh.

    Dustan posted on Jan 30, 2008 that he was able to replace the brake light bulb on the same car, but I can’t imagine how he did it. I suppose it would be *possible* to maneuver the tray while still in the confines of the brake compartment/body cavity such that you could unseat the old bulb, pull it out, and replace with a new one, but the chances of dropping a bulb or breaking a bulb from applying too much force is too great. In fact, I was able to remove the burnt out bulb in this way, though not before breaking it during the aforementioned bulb tray maneuvering.

    Does anyone have any tips or ideas? Dustan, are you out there? Any help would be sincerely appreciated!

    By James on Jun 6, 2010 | Reply
  303. I picked up a brake light bulb for a 2000 Passat and installed it no problem in the passenger side. Now whenever the brake is applied the brake lights come on but the dashboard lights also come on (along with the driving lights I believe). Any suggestions how to stop that from happening?

    By PMan on Jun 17, 2010 | Reply
  304. Thanks for providing such clear instructions and enabling non-mechanically gifted folks as myself the ability to take care of such a simple matter on my 2004 Golf TDI (long live biodiesel!)

    By paderick on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply
  305. My passenger tail light went out (not brake light) after water got into the assembly (seal just inside trunk lip did not work properly, letting rain water in when I opened the trunk lid). After looking online and not getting a good answer, I took out the entire assembly. The brake/ tail lights are led… not an easy fix/replace. I just found a replacement tail light assembly on for $93.00. It looks like a viable option, since replacing the entire LED panel seems above my paygrade. Also, I don’t want to damage the brake light, since it is still working. Best of luck, and hopefully someone will have a less expensive answer for me.

    By Hadley on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply
  306. I neglected to mention… I am driving a 2006 passat.

    By Hadley on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply
  307. Hi , I have an 03 gti, I’ve looked to see if there was a post about the bulbs not coming out once the cover is removed. It seems like the bulb is too big to fit through the opening so i cannot remove it. I tried to fit even one of the other bulbs in the whole and it didn’t fit either. What do I do?
    It’s the ream tail light I’m dealing with

    Thanks in advance

    By Evan on Jul 17, 2010 | Reply
  308. Hey, you guys are amazing! Thanks for this. I was going crazy trying to figure out which bulb to replace! Of note, I discovered that the the R10W LED-xenon bulbs burn a LOT brighter and longer and are very useful for side/rear-view parking maneuvers.
    Thanks again.

    By DocWeedyBud on Jul 21, 2010 | Reply
  309. Have 2009 VW Jetta, the side tail lamp drivers side (small lamp on side of tail light housing) that is burnt out. I have the tail lamp assemble out of vehivle and in my hane but I’m not able to opn the assemble to get at this small side lamp? looking for siggestions?.

  310. Have a 2009 Jetta Sportwagen with burned out rear driver side brake light. Are there any pitctorials that show how I can change it? I don’t see how to removed the rear interior panels to get to the bulb. Any/all help appreciated.


    By Jim on Aug 18, 2010 | Reply
  311. Does anyone know how to chage the rear turn light bulb of a 2006 Jetta? I looked at the instructions to change in a 2003 but my 2006 Jetta does not have that little door in the trunk to get access to the burnt bulb.

    Can someone help? Thanks


    By Juan on Aug 21, 2010 | Reply
  312. i have a goft 2002 2.0 and i change my parking light back right and my doors wont work and inside light, i chaeck all my fuse they all ok….anyone know what the fuck happend

    By seb on Nov 13, 2010 | Reply
  313. This is a later update/response to replacing a driver’s side brake light on a 2003 Passat 1.8T. I, too, had an issue with the emergency kit box and at first, wasn’t surre I could get at the white bulb tray holding the bulbs. First, I pulled back the carpet, wrestled with my options on removing this tray and felt defeated i.e. thinking I needed a dealer to do this. But after 4 or 5 attempts here’s what worked for me. Not paying a dealer to replace bulbs was a big motivator!! First after seeing DAX’ procedure I released the tabs for the tray, I felt I could be somewhat rough with the tray to find the right twists and turns. What was successful for me was to release the tabs, work the top of the tray first, tilting it toward the front of the car, next pull the bottom of the tray free. If the tray is loose in the space available, you are almost there. Next I rotated the bottom of tray toward the outside of the quarter panel to give me room (the tray is now able to tilt) to bring it straight out into the trunk area.

    After doing it once, I repeated this process 4 times and was able to easily remove the light bulb tray. So just don’t give up!

  314. To the person who could not find 5008 bulbs…. I used 5007 bulbs and they work fine…. so far anyway…

    By Jon Melusky on Dec 23, 2010 | Reply
  315. Excellent! Been almost two weeks with my rear light out and the husband saying, “he’ll fixi it”….i looked up changing it and found this sight and did it myself!!! Reminds of back in my single days when I did this stuff myself!!

    Thank you!

    By Colette on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply
  316. Great instructions. Took me hardly no time to find this blog. Appreciate your effort.

    By Justin on Jan 28, 2011 | Reply
  317. When I turn on the headlights on my 2005 Passat wagon I get headlights and dash lights, but no running lights front or back. I doubt if all the bulbs went out at once. I have checked fuses and all seem to be fine. Is there any way to troubleshoot the circuit, or is it some high-priced computer chip or other electronic part that I need?

    By Gino Panepinto on Jan 29, 2011 | Reply
  318. Thanks, helped me a lot.

    By Latv on Jan 30, 2011 | Reply
  319. Hi Dan,

    I have a 1999 Jetta ( New Jetta body style). I tried to fix the rear left driving light. I put a new bulb in and still nto working. What can I do here??

    Mike in CA

    By Mike on Feb 23, 2011 | Reply
  320. Hello: Someone broke all of the plastic/glass on the lights for the rear drivers side of my 2002 Volkswagen Jetta wagon. They smashed all the glass/plastic and took all of the bulbs. So, now I need to replace the whole thing from top to bottom. Is this something I can do myself and do you know where I can gt replacement parts that are not so expensive?

    Thank you so much!

    By Melissa on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply
  321. Helllooo Dan,

    my son has a 1999 first one signal light was not working. when i was checking the bulb i realized The rear indicator lights,and brake lights are not working…i checked the fuse box and they are not burnt out.. can i fix it myself?!

    By terri on Apr 15, 2011 | Reply
  322. I want to thank you all so much, I have 2002 Passat Wagon, and last right I was a cursing at that darn light. Then I went and google and found this site and within 10 minutes had it all out, replaced the bulb and back in.

    Amazing, thanks you all

    By Chrissard on Jun 15, 2011 | Reply
  323. So my tail lights went out (brake, turn and reverse work) so i checked the fuse and its good….. i check the bulbs and they both poped the filament but werent discolored. the driver side socket had no power going to it and the passenger side did when i put the new bulbs in….. so i took a 12v tester, ground it, and test both sockets, then i accicently short the passenger side which was the only one working!

    I checked the fuse and it was good, but i have no tail lights!!!! someone please help me!

  324. Thanks so much for these instructions! Over the past couple of months, I had both tail lights on my ’04 Passat Wagon burn out on me. I’ve been putting off heading to a mechanic to get them fixed because I knew it would be a rip-off, but I had assumed from older (non VW) cars that I owned that it would be too much of a hassle to do it myself.

    Well, I finally got a fix-it ticket last week which forced me to take action.. and after 2 mins of internet searching I found this site and saw just how simple it was. I feel like an idiot for waiting all this time, but am very thankful that I was able to do it myself in about 10 mins.

    The only trick worth noting for a Passat Waon like mine is that the driver side compartment is very, very tight. I had to disconnect the wires from the assembly in order to fully get it in & out. But aside from that, it couldn’t have been a simpler thing to do… thanks again!

    By Scott on Jun 27, 2011 | Reply
  325. I have a 2004 Jetta, may I inquire when releasing the tray from the tail light to replace bulb. How do I replace the tray, securing it back to the tail light?

    By Sean on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply
  326. Thank you so much for this! It helped us replace the tail light bulb on our 08 Jetta!

    By Chris on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply
  327. Hi, I couldn’t have time to read through all comments, so I’ll just ask you right away….I have one of the bulbs not working on the left side tail light of my ’02 Jetta, the one not working is the one of the “lights on”…I have checked the bulb and replaced it with the new and it still does not work. Is there some way that you know of for me to fix this, without taking it to the repair shop? If not, I will have to, but I want to avoid beeing with a car and paying extra for something that I might do myself. Thanks

    By Cesar on Sep 5, 2011 | Reply
  328. How do you change the brake light on a 2010 Golf? I can’t find an easy way to get into the casing and I really don’t want to have to pay labour to get it done….

    By Tom on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply
  329. Hi –

    I have a 2002 VW Golf. brake lights in tail light housings don’t work, screen brake light DOES work. Fuse 13 is not burned out and since the screen light is working, I don’t think it can be a brake light switch (in brake cluster) issue, can it? Please help!


    By Zach on Oct 3, 2011 | Reply
  330. thanks, helped me. don’t know why they gave me such a thick owner’s manual, when every entry says “see a volkswagon dealer”

    By apple j. kiss on Oct 10, 2011 | Reply
  331. Hey!
    So I have a 2002 VW Jetta Wagon with both tail lights out. I thought I had all down by the photos but when I went to change the bottom light (that’s the one right), I think I had the wrong bulbs. The end didn’t fit in right. So tomorrow I am getting the correct bulbs. But my problems continue — first of all how do I do the bulbs on the drivers side? there is a Styrofoam block there (I think for a first aid kit) and I can’t get to the light area. Secondly. what about the top third break light — that one has one of the lights out too! Please help! THANK YOU!

    By Jourdan on Dec 5, 2011 | Reply
  332. hey there, i just did this fix to my vw 2003 gti and managed to replace the bulb successfully and get the taillight working again. unfortunately, however, now my power windows, sunroof, dome lights, remote key entry, etc. no longer work… help? thanks.

    By nade on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply
  333. Thanks for the post. I feel special that I was able to change my light on my own.

    By Bridgette on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply
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