Paul's Travel Pictures

Ford Explorer Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail lights of a 5th generation 2011 to 2015 Ford Explorer.

Main Menu            Home           Digital Cameras

Misc. Pictures            Articles            My Blog

2014 Explorer Tail Light
Open Cargo Tail Gate
Pry Out Plastic Screw Cover
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 rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light housings.

Owners of other Ford or Lincoln SUV, crossover or hatchback vehicles with similar tail light assemblies such as the Escape, Edge, Flex, Expedition, Focus, C-MAX, MKC, MKX, MKT and Navigator may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

Replacement bulbs with their part numbers are as follows: Rear Turn Signal # WY21W (also 7440NA or 7440A) and Reverse Light # W21W or 7440.

The tools needed to remove the housing and replace the bulbs include a small flathead screwdriver, an 8mm socket, an extension bar and a ratcheting wrench.

Pry Off Lower Screw Cover
2 Screw Covers Removed
8mm Screw
The first two steps are to open the tail gate and then move to the side of the SUV with the burnt out tail light bulb.

Use a small flathead screwdriver to gently pop out the two round plastic screw covers located on the inner edge of the tail light housing.

Set the two screw covers aside in a safe place.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Loosen Lower 8mm Screw
2 Screws & 2 Covers
Loosen the two screws by turning them counterclockwise with the 8mm socket attached to a short extension bar and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the two screws aside with the plastic covers.

Pull Off Tail Light Housing
Peg & Grommet
Turn Signal Bulb Socket
The tail light is still held in place to the SUV by two friction fasteners which are a slot attached to the top of a pop rivet and a metal peg or "spike" inserted in to a plastic grommet

Carefully pull the tail light assembly straight off the rear of the vehicle.

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

If you still can't remove the tail light, use a plastic automotive panel removal tool or a screwdriver covered with a micro fiber cloth to pry it off at the outer edge.

1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Remove Bulb Socket
Old # WY21W Bulb
The Turn Signal light bulb socket is located near the bottom of the housing.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out.

Pull the old turn signal bulb straight out of the socket.


Push In New Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise
Reverse Bulb Socket
Push a new amber colored # WY21W bulb straight in to the socket.

(You should also be able to use the 7440NA or 7440A bulbs.)

I recommend buying the Sylvania 7440A LL long life light bulbs since they tend to last for many years.

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

1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Pull Out Old Reverse Bulb
Reverse # W21W Bulb
The Reverse bulb socket is located above the turn signal and closer to the top of the assembly.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket.

Push In New Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Line Up Fastener & Slot
Push a new # W21W bulb straight in to the socket.

You can also use the # 7440 bulb.

I recommend buying the Sylvania 7440 LL long life light bulbs.

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

Metal Spike & Hole
Push On Tail Light Housing
Tighten 8mm Clockwise
Line up the slot on the back of the housing by the narrow tip closest to the front with its corresponding plastic pop rivet on the corner of the SUV.

Line up the metal peg or "spike" on the rear of the housing with its corresponding plastic grommet.

Carefully push the tail light back in to place.

Tighten Upper Screw
Line Up Plastic Screw Cover
Pop In Screw Covers
Tighten the two screws by turning them in the clockwise direction with the 8mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Do not over tighten the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic inner edge of the housing.

Pop in the two plastic covers over the screws.

Tail Light Re-Installed
Test Turn Signal
Test Reverse Bulb
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 Ford Explorer 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.)

Main Menu       Home       Digital Cameras

Misc. Pictures       Articles       My Blog


Copyright 2021
 All Rights Reserved

Paul's Travel Pictures is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Privacy Policy     About Paul & Author Contact Info