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Volkswagen Beetle Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse light bulb in a 2nd generation 2012-2016 "New" VW Beetle.

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2015 VW Beetle Tail Lights
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Fabric Access Cover
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Pull Open Carpet Panel

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and probably also the 2016 model year) "New" VW Beetle in changing a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light housings.

Owners of other Volkswagen Group vehicles such as the Passat, CC, Tiguan, Golf, Touareg, Jetta, GTI, SportWagen, Eos, Rabbit, Bora, Vento, Lavida, Coccinelle, Maggiolino, Fusca, Audi A3, A4, S4, A6, S6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, A5, S5, and TT may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The replacement light bulb part numbers are as follows: Brake # W21/5W or 7443, Rear Turn Signal # GE 1057 (also P21W or 7506) and Reverse # 921 or W16W.

The only tool needed to access and replace the tail light bulbs is a Phillips head screwdriver.

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Long Plastic Thumb Screw
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Remove Spring Loaded Screw
The first two steps are to open the rear hatchback door and then move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out tail light bulb.

Look inside the cargo area and locate the rectangular shaped access door attached to the carpeted trunk liner.

Pull open the access panel and remove it from the carpeted cargo area liner. Set the cover aside in a safe place.

Rotate the long white plastic thumb screw in the counterclockwise direction to loosen it.

Pull out the spring loaded plastic thumb screw and set it aside in a safe place.

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Electrical Connector
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Slide Out Red Locking Tab
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Press Release Button
Pry out the red plastic lock tab on the electrical connector with your finger nail or use a small flathead screwdriver.

Press in the release tab on the power plug before pulling it straight out of the socket.

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Gently Pull Off Housing
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Turn Over Tail Light Assembly
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Plastic Cover Over Bulbs
Gently pull the tail light assembly straight off the rear corner of the vehicle.

If you have trouble removing the housing, try gently wiggling it back and forth while pulling.

Turn over the tail light housing and locate the Phillips head screws.

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Phillips Head Screws
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Six Screws Removed
Loosen the six Phillips head screws on the bulb socket panel by turning them counterclockwise.

Set the Phillips head screws aside in a safe place.

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Pull Off Bulb Socket Plate
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Turn Over Plastic Panel
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Pull Out Old Reverse Bulb
Carefully pull the bulb socket plate off the back of the tail light housing.

Turn it over to access the light bulb sockets.

The Reverse light bulb is located at the top inner edge of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 921 or W16W bulb.



 

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Pull Out Old Brake Light Bulb
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Push Down & 1/4 Turn CC
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Push On Bulb Socket Plate
The Brake light bulb is located at the outer edge of the tail light assembly.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 7443 or W21/5W bulb.

The Rear Turn Signal light bulb is located at the bottom inner corner of the tail light housing.

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

Push a new # GE 1057, P21W or 7506 bulb down in to the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Carefully push the bulb socket bracket back on to the rear of the tail light housing.

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Tighten Screws Clockwise
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Replace 6 Phillips Screws
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Push On Tail Light Housing
Re-insert the six screws and tighten them in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic bulb socket panel or the tail light housing.

Gently push the tail light assembly straight on to the rear corner of the vehicle.

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Tail Light Assembly Flush
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Plastic Thumb Screw
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Hole In Corner of Trunk
Make sure that the tail light housing is flush with the painted metal body panels on the car.
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Tighten Clockwise
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Thumb Screw Secured
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Push In Power Plug
Spin in the white plastic thumb screw in the clockwise direction and tighten it until it is snug.

Push the electrical connector straight in to its socket.

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Slide In Red Lock Tab
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Close Access Cover
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Test New Tail Light Bulbs
Slide in the red locking tab to secure the power plug in place.

Re-insert the carpeted access cover in to the trunk liner.

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

For more, check out my other 2012-2016 VW Beetle DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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