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Kia Sportage License Plate Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out license plate light bulb in the tailgate of a 4th generation 2017 to 2022 Kia Sportage.

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2018 Sportage License Plate
Left Light Housing
Right Light Housing
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2017, 2018, 2019 and possibly also the refreshed 2020, 2021 and 2022) Kia Sportage SUV in changing a burnt out license plate light bulb located in the tailgate (rear cargo area door) or upgrade both bulbs to brighter LED bulbs.

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

The compatible replacement miniature wedge base light bulb part number is 2825 (also known as W5W).

If you would like to have brighter license plate lights, install some 2825 LED bulbs.

The only tool needed to access and replace the light bulbs is a small flathead screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool.


Insert Flathead Screwdriver
Pull Out Light Assembly
Pry Out Right Side Housing
To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, you can either cover the tip of your screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth or instead use a plastic pry bar tool.

Carefully insert the blade of your flathead screwdriver in between the edge of the light housing and the underside of the tailgate.

I found it easiest to pry out the light housing at the left (driver) side edge on both housings.

Gently pry out the light housing.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The light housing should pop out relatively easily.

Tan Plastic Bulb Socket
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Bulb Socket Removed
Rotate the tan plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction.

Pull the bulb socket straight out of the housing.

Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Old Light Bulb Removed
Push In New Light Bulb
Gently pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

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

You may also want to wear gloves just in case the old bulb shatters while you are trying to pull it out of the socket.

Push a new number 2825 miniature wedge base light bulb straight into the socket.

Wipe off the new bulb with a paper towel or an alcohol swab to remove any oil or dirt from your fingers.

If you would like to have brighter license plate lights, install some compatible replacement 2825 LED bulbs.


1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Line Up Light Housing
Gently Pop In Assembly
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it into place.

Line up the bulb housing with the opening in the underside of the tailgate.

Gently snap the light housing back into the tailgate.

Retaining Clip Secured
Light Housing Replaced
Test New Light Bulbs
Double check that the light housing is securely attached.

You should have felt or heard the two retaining clips "click" into place.

To test the new license plate light bulbs, turn on the parking lights or the headlights. You could also press the "Unlock" button on the key fob to re-activate the exterior lights.

Tip - If you installed LED bulbs and they don't work, try removing them from the socket, rotating them 180 degrees and pushing them back into the socket.

Some LED bulbs are polarized so they will only work when the "+" positive and "-" negative electrical contacts are in the correct orientation.

Be sure to record the bulb change in your vehicle's service records.

Please check out all of my 2017-2022 Kia Sportage 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!
(Note: I am not a registered charity. Donations are not tax deductible.)


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