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Hyundai Elantra Reverse & Parking Light Bulb Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse or parking light bulb in a sixth generation 2017 to 2020 Hyundai Elantra sedan.

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2018 Elantra Tail Lights
Parking Light & Reverse
Open Trunk Lid
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 6th generation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and maybe also the 2021 model year) Hyundai Elantra sedan in changing a burnt out reverse (back-up) or inner parking light bulb located in the separate secondary tail light housing attached to the trunk lid.

Owners of other Hyundai, Genesis or Kia vehicles such as the Sonata, Accent, Veloster, Ioniq, Kona, Nexo, Venue, Tucson, Santa Fe, Palisade, G70, G80, G90, Soul, Sportage, Niro, Sorento, Telluride, Rio, Forte, Optima, Stinger, Cadenza, K900, Sedona and Seltos may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement light bulb part numbers are as follows: Reverse # 921 and Inner Parking Light # P21/5W.

If you would like to have brighter lights, install some 921 LED and P21/5W LED bulbs.

The tools needed to access and replace the bulbs include a flat head screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool, a Phillips head screwdriver or an 8mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet and a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

The first two steps are to open the trunk lid and move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out light bulb.

For this guide, I replaced the bulbs in the passenger side light housing since it requires more steps to detach the fasteners for the black plastic pull handle.


Pry Open Plastic Cover
Access Cover Opened
Loosen Two Screws
Locate the small notch on the bottom edge of the trunk lid's "PULL" handle.

Insert the blade of a flat head screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool into the notch.

Gently pry open the black plastic access cover.

Once the trim cover is open, you'll see the two black metal screws.

Phillips or 8mm Socket
Two Screws Removed
Release Pop Rivets
Loosen the two screws by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver or an 8mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

Use a flat head screwdriver to pry out the smaller round center button on the pop rivet fasteners.

Once the fastener has been unlocked, you can pry out the base of the pop rivets.

Pry Out Base of Fastener
Removing Pop Rivets
Continue removing the pop rivets all around the tail light housing with the burnt out bulb.
Plastic Fasteners Removed
Pull Back Trunk Lid Liner
Parking Light Bulb Socket
Set the pop rivets aside in a safe place.

Gently pull back the fabric trunk lid liner to access the back side of the inner tail light housing.

1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Push Down & 1/4 Turn CC
Push In & 1/4 Turn CW
The inner parking light bulb socket is easily accessed with out any additional work.

Just rotate the red / orange colored plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

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

Push a new number P21/5W bayonet style parking light bulb down into the socket and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it into place.

If you would like to have brighter inner parking lights, install some compatible replacement P21/5W LED bulbs.

Opening In Light Housing
Remove Three Nuts
3 Nuts Removed
If you need to change a burnt out reverse light bulb, you'll have to detach the light housing from the trunk lid.

Loosen the three black metal nuts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" turn ratchet.

Set the three nuts aside in a safe place.

Disconnect Power Plug
Pull Off Tail Light Housing
Access Reverse Socket
Push in the release tab on the white plastic electrical connector before sliding it straight out of its socket.

Carefully pull the light housing off the trunk lid.

Set the housing down on a soft surface such as the cargo area mat to avoid scratching the lens.

1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Old Light Bulb Removed
Rotate the white plastic reverse light bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push In New Light Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Line Up Threaded Rods
Push a new miniature wedge base number 921 light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights, install some compatible replacement 921 LED light bulbs.

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

Line up the three threaded rods on the back side of the light housing with their corresponding holes in the trunk lid.

Push On Light Housing
Spin On Three Nuts
Three 10mm Nuts
Push the tail light housing back into place.

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

Tighten the three nuts in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until they are snug.

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

Push Liner Over Latch
Tighten Two Screws
Pop In Plastic Cover
Carefully push the trunk lid carpeted liner back over the electronic latch mechanism.

Replace the two screws into the "PULL" handle by turning them in the clockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver or an 8mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Close the plastic cover and snap it back into place.

Replace Pop Rivets
Trunk Lid Liner Secured
Test New Reverse Light
Make sure that the small round button head on the pop rivets are in the fully up and released position.

Then push the pop rivet into their holes in the trunk liner and through to the trunk lid.

Push in the button on the pop rivet to lock the fastener into place.

Repeat the process to secure all of the pop rivets.

To test the new light bulbs, have an assistant step on the brake pedal, turn on the parking lights (or headlights) and shift the transmission into reverse.

Tip - If you installed any LED bulbs and they don't work, try removing them from the sockets, rotating them 180 degrees and then pushing them back into place. 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 vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2017-2020 Hyundai Elantra DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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