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Jeep Cherokee Reverse Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse bulb in the tail light housings of a 5th generation 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee SUV.

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2015 Cherokee Tail Lights
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Open Tailgate Door
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Pry Out Access Panel

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fifth generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and probably also the refreshed 2018 model year) Jeep Cherokee in changing a burnt out reverse bulb in the tail light housings or upgrading them to brighter LED units.

Owners of other Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat and RAM vehicles such as the Compass, Renegade, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, 500, Town & Country, 200, 300, Pacifica, Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Journey, Grand Caravan, RAM 1500, C/V Tradesman and ProMaster Van may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement light bulb part number is 921 (also known as W16W). For brighter lights, buy 921 LED bulbs.

The tools needed to access and replace the bulbs include a plastic pry bar tool (or a flathead screwdriver) and a Torx T27 star bit screwdriver.

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Access Panel Removed
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Move Insulation Sheet
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
The Jeep Cherokee is equipped with a total of four reverse light bulbs with two on each side of the vehicle.

There are reverse lights in both of the main tail light housings (located in the middle of the brake and rear turn signal LED lights).

Plus there are two reverse lights in the tailgate cargo door.

The first two steps are to open the tailgate door and then move to the side of the car with the burnt out bulb.

Locate the square shaped plastic access cover on the plastic interior tailgate panel.

To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, I recommend using a plastic pry bar tool or you can cover your flathead screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth.

Insert the blade of the pry bar tool in to the top edge of the access cover (closest to the glass window) and gently pry it out.

Set the access cover aside in a safe place.

Move the white fabric sound dampening insulation out of the way.

Rotate the grey plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

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Bulb Socket Removed
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Old # W16W (921) Bulb
Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

The OEM light bulb was marked as part number W16W.

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Push In New # 921 Bulb
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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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Replace Sound Dampener
Push a new number 921 light bulb straight in to the socket.

Re-insert the bulb socket in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to lock it in place.

Move the white insulation sheet back in to place.

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Re-Insert Plastic Tabs
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Pop In Access Cover
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Outer Reverse Light
Line up the two plastic tabs on the bottom edge of the access cover and re-insert them in to the tailgate panel.

Gently snap in the top edge of the access cover.

To access the other reverse light located in the primary tail light housing, you'll need a Torx T-27 star bit screwdriver.



 

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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Remove Upper Screw
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Two Torx T-27 Screws
There are two screws located along the inner edge of the tail light housing that were hidden by the tailgate door.

Remove the two screws by turning them counterclockwise with the Torx T27 screwdriver.

Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

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Pull Off Tail Light Housing
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Turn Over Assembly
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Pull the tail light assembly straight off the rear corner of the vehicle.

Turn over the tail light housing to access the bulb socket.

(The brake and rear turn signal lights are LED bulbs that should last the life time of the vehicle.)

Rotate the grey plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

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2nd Reverse Bulb Socket
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New # 921 Bulb
Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push a new # 921 or a compatible LED bulb straight in to the socket.

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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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Metal Pegs & Grommets
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Push On Tail Light Housing
Re-insert the bulb socket in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Line up the two metal pegs or "spikes" on the back side of the housing with their corresponding plastic grommets on the rear corner of the SUV.

Push the tail light housing back in to place.

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Tighten Clockwise
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Replace Two T27 Screws
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Test New Reverse Bulbs
Re-insert the two screws and tighten them in the clockwise direction with the Torx T27 screwdriver until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic inner edge of the housing.

To test the new light bulbs, have someone step on the brake pedal and place the transmission in reverse.

For more, check out all of my Jeep Cherokee DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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