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Toyota Tacoma Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a brake, rear turn signal or reverse light bulb in a 3rd generation 2016 to 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

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2020 Tacoma Tail Lights
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Open Tailgate
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Lower Bolt (Red Arrow)
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and probably also the 2022 and 2023 model years) Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in changing a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light housings.

Owners of other Toyota or Lexus vehicles such as the Tundra, 4Runner, Hilux, Highlander, C-HR, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Supra, Land Cruiser, Prius, RAV4, Mirai, Sequoia, Sienna, Yaris, CT 200h, ES 300h, RX 350, GX 460, LX 570, NX 300, RX 450h, UX 200 and UX 250h may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

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

If you would like to have brighter tail lights, install some 7443 LED and 921 LED bulbs.

The tools needed to access and replace the light bulbs include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet and possibly also a plastic pry bar tool.

The first two steps are to lower the tailgate and move to the side of the truck with the burnt out light bulb.

The tail light housing is held in place to the rear corner of the vehicle by two bolts and two pegs that act as friction fasteners inserted into plastic grommets.

If you look at Picture # 3 above, you'll see the correct lower bolt that needs to be removed marked with a red arrow.



 

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Remove Lower Bolt
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Bottom Bolt Removed
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Loosen Top Bolt
Remove the lower bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Then remove the upper 10mm bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

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Top Bolt Removed
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Two Bolts Removed
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Pull Off Tail Light Housing
Spin out the two bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull the tail light housing straight off the rear corner of the truck.

The housing is still held in place by two metal pegs or "spikes" on the back side of the tail light assembly inserted into plastic grommets on the rear corner of the vehicle.

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Gently Pry Outer Edge
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Light Housing Detached
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Top - Turn Signal Socket
If you have trouble pulling the tail light housing off the truck, use a plastic pry bar tool to gently loosen the two friction fasteners.

Avoid using excessive force to prevent from cracking the plastic housing.

Carefully turn over the housing to reveal the bulb sockets.

The rear turn signal bulb socket is situated at the top of the housing.

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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Light Bulb
Rotate the bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Carefully pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push the new clear number 7443 light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter rear turn signal lights that will also last much longer before burning out, install some compatible replacement 7443 LED bulbs.

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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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Middle - Brake Light Bulb
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it into place.

The brake light bulb is situated at the center of the housing.

Rotate the bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the assembly.

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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Light Bulb
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Bottom - Reverse Light
Pull the old brake light bulb straight out of the socket.

If you have trouble removing a stubborn old bulb due to debris or corrosion (rust), try gently wiggling the old light bulb back and forth while pulling it straight out.

Avoid putting excessive pressure on the old bulb to prevent it from popping into pieces and cutting your fingers.

Push a new wedge base number 7443 light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter and longer lasting brake lights, install some 7443 LED light bulbs.

The reverse light bulb socket is situated at the bottom of the housing.

Rotate the small reverse bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Light Bulb
Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push a new miniature wedge base number 921 light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter reverse (back-up) lights, install some 921 LED bulbs.

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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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Metal Pegs On Housing
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Plastic Grommets - Truck
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it in place.

Line up the metal pegs or "spikes" on the back side of the housing with their corresponding plastic grommets on the rear corner of the truck's cargo bed.

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Slide On Tail Light Housing
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Spin In Lower Bolt
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Spin In Upper Bolt
Slide the tail light assembly back into place.

Make sure the plastic housing is flush with the painted metal body panel.

Spin in the two bolts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to make sure they don't become cross threaded.

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Tighten Clockwise
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Tighten Second Bolt
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Test New Tail Light Bulbs
Tighten the two bolts in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the bolts to prevent from cracking the plastic tail light housing.

To test the new light bulbs, have an assistant step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and shift the transmission into reverse.

Tip - If you installed LED bulbs and they don't work, try pulling them out of the socket, rotating them 180 degrees and pushing them back into the socket. Some LED bulbs are polarized and will only work when the "+" positive and "-" negative electrical contacts are in the correct orientation.

Be sure to write down the bulb change in your truck's service records.

Please check out all of the 2016-2021 Toyota Tacoma DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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