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Ford Explorer License Plate Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out license plate light bulb in the tail gate of a 5th generation 2011 to 2015 Ford Explorer.

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2014 Explorer License Lights
Right Side Light Housing
Push In Release Tab
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fifth generation (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015) Ford Explorer SUV in changing a burnt out license plate light bulb in the rear cargo tail gate door.

Owners of other Ford or Lincoln vehicles with similar license plate light housings such as the Fusion, Mustang, Taurus, Escape, Edge, Flex, Expedition, F-150, Focus, C-MAX, MKC, MKZ, MKX, MKS, MKT and Navigator may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A replacement bulb is part number 168, which is available from various manufacturers such as GE, Sylvania, PIAA and Eiko.

If necessary, you may also use any other miniature wedge base bulbs such as the # 158, W5W, 194, 2825 or a compatible LED unit.

The only tool needed to change the bulb is a small flathead screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool used to pry out the light housing.

Pull Down Light Housing
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Remove Bulb Socket
Carefully press in the black plastic release tab on the right side of the license plate light bulb housing with the small flathead screwdriver.

Pull the housing down out of the tail gate.

Rotate the round black plastic bulb socket on the left side of the housing 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out.

Pull Out Old # 168 Bulb
Push In New # 168 Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 168 bulb.

If necessary, you can also use any other miniature wedge base bulbs such as the # 158, 194, W5W, 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.

Re-Insert Wires First
Snap In Retaining Clip
Test New License Bulb
Re-insert the wires on the left side of the housing in to the tail gate first and then gently snap in the retaining clip on the right side.

Test the new bulb by turning on the headlights or by pressing the "Unlock" button on the key fob.

For more, check out my other Ford Explorer DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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