Paul's Travel Pictures

Kia Optima Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out brake, turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail lights of a 3rd generation 2011 to 2015 Kia Optima.

Main Menu                 Home                Digital Cameras                Misc. Pictures                 Articles                 My Blog

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-001
2013 Optima Tail Light
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-002
Open Trunk Lid
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-003
Access Cover In Liner

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015) Kia Optima in changing a burnt out brake, rear turn signal, side marker, parking or reverse bulb in the tail light assemblies.

Owners of other Kia and Hyundai vehicles with similar tail light assemblies such as the Forte, Cadenza, Rio, Soul, Sedona, Sorento, Sportage, Sonata, Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe and Genesis may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

Replacement bulbs with their part numbers are as follows: Brake # 1157, Turn Signal # 1156 or 2357A, Side Marker # 168, Parking Light # 1156 or 2357A and Reverse # 921.

The bulbs vary depending on the model year. Please check your OEM bulbs or the Amazon Part Finder website.

No tools are needed to change a standard incandescent brake, rear turn signal or side marker bulb.

To replace the parking light and reverse bulbs inside the inner tail light housing, you'll need a Phillips head screwdriver, a 10mm socket and a ratcheting wrench.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-004
Pull Off Access Door
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-005
White Plastic Connector
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-006
Pull Off Connector
The first two steps are to open the trunk lid and move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out tail light bulb.

This 2013 Optima LX has all standard incandescent tail light bulbs except for the LED third brake light.

The outer tail light housings on each rear corner of the vehicle contain the brake, rear turn signal and rear side marker bulbs.

Move to the inside corner of the trunk and pull off the rectangular access cover on the carpeted liner.

Pull the white plastic power connector off its mounting peg and move it out of the way.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-007
Move Plug Away
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-008
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-009
Pull Out Brake Light Socket
Grasp the brake light bulb socket with your thumb and forefinger before rotating it 1/4 turn counter clockwise.

Pull the brake light socket straight out of the housing.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-010
Push Down & 1/4 Turn CC
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-011
Replace 1/4 Turn Clockwise
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-012
Turn Signal Bulb Socket
Push the old bulb down in to the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn counter clockwise before pulling it straight out.

Push a new # 1157 dual filament brake light bulb down in to the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-013
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-014
Push Down & 1/4 Turn CC
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-015
Re-Install 1/4 Turn Clockwise
Just below the brake light is the rear turn signal bulb socket.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Push the old bulb down in to the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn counter clockwise before pulling it straight out.

Push a new clear # 1156 bulb or amber colored # 2357A bulb (depending on your car's model year and trim level) down in to the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

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

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-016
Side Marker Bulb Socket
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-017
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-018
Old # 168 Side Marker Bulb
To replace the side marker bulb, rotate the small socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 168 bulb.

If necessary, you may also use any other miniature wedge base bulbs including part numbers W5W, 194, 158, 2825 or a brighter LED unit.

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



 

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-019
Replace White Connector
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-020
Replace Access Cover
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-021
Parking & Reverse Lights
Push the white plastic electrical wiring harness back in to place and replace the access cover.

The inner light housing on the trunk lid contains the reverse and parking light bulbs.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-022
Open Trunk Lid
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-023
Loosen Plastic Phillips Screw
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-024
Pull Out Plastic Fasteners
Open the trunk lid and locate the black plastic fasteners that hold the carpeted liner in place.

Loosen the black plastic screws by turning them counter clockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver. Then pull out the entire black plastic fastener.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-025
Pull Off Rubber Bumper
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-026
Pull Back Trunk Lid Liner
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-027
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Remove a few of the fasteners closest to the light housing and also the rubber bumper pieces.

I removed four black plastic fasteners and two rubber bumpers.

Pull back the carpeted trunk lid liner and locate the parking light bulb socket.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-028
Pull Out Bulb Socket
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-029
Push Down & 1/4 Turn CC
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-030
Trunk Lid Liner Fasteners
Push down on the old bulb and rotate it 1/4 turn counter clockwise before pulling it straight out of the socket.

Push a new # 1156 bulb down in to the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-031
Re-Insert Parking Light Socket
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-032
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-033
Loosen 10mm Nuts
Re-insert the parking light socket back in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to lock it in place.

To access the reverse light bulb socket, you'll have to remove 3 nuts on the underside of the housing.

There are two nuts on the outer edge of the housing and one more near the inner edge.

Loosen the two outer nuts in the counter clockwise direction with a 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-034
3rd 10mm Nut
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-035
Loosen Counter Clockwise
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-036
3 10mm Nuts Removed
Then remove the 3rd 10mm nut on the underside of the trunk lid near the inner edge of the housing and next to a white plastic electrical connector.

Set the three nuts aside in a safe place.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-037
Pull Off Light Housing
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-038
Parking & Reverse Sockets
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-039
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Carefully pull the light housing straight off the rear of the trunk lid.

If you have trouble removing the housing, lightly tap on the screw ends with the handle of a screwdriver.

Rotate the small light gray reverse bulb socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-040
Pull Out Reverse Socket
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-041
Pull Out Old # 921 Bulb
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-042
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Pull the old reverse bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 921 bulb.

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

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-043
Push On Light Housing
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-044
Tighten Outer 10mm Nuts
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-045
Tighten Clockwise - 3rd Nut
Line up the three screw ends on the rear of the housing with their corresponding holes in the trunk lid.

Carefully push the housing back in to place.

Spin on the 3 nuts in the clockwise direction a few turns by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the three nuts by turning them clockwise with the 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench until they are snug.

Do not over tighten the nuts to avoid cracking the plastic housing.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-046
Replace Trunk Lid Carpet
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-047
Push In Fasteners
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-048
Replace the trunk lid liner and push in the black plastic fasteners.

Then push in the black plastic screws at the center of each fastener to secure them in place.

Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-049 Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-050
Push In Rubber Bumper
Kia-Optima-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Replacement-Guide-051
Test New Tail Light Bulbs
Push the rubber bumper pieces back in to place.

Test the new tail light bulbs by turning on the headlights, having someone step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and place the transmission in reverse.

For more, check out my other Kia Optima Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the PayPal.com "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
(Note: I am not a registered charity. Donations are not tax deductible.)

Please help support this website by shopping at Amazon.com. Thank You! 

Main Menu            Home            My Digital Cameras            Misc. Pictures            Articles            My Blog

 

Google

Copyright 2016 © PaulsTravelPictures.com
 All Rights Reserved