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Mazda Mazda3 Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out brake, turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail lights of a 2nd generation 2010 to 2013 Mazda3.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2012 Mazda3 Tail Light
Rear Corner of Trunk
Pry Out Center of Fastener
This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) Mazda Mazda3 in replacing a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light assemblies.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the Mazda2, Mazda5, Mazda6, MX-5 Miata, Mazdaspeed3, CX-5, CX-7, CX-9, MPV, Tribute, RX-8, Axela, Demio, Verisa, Premacy, and Atenza may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

Replacement tail light bulb part numbers are as follows: Brake # 7443, Turn Signal # 7440A or 7440NA and Reverse # 7440.

The only needed to replace the tail light bulbs is a small flathead screwdriver used to remove the trunk carpet fasteners.

You may also need a pair of needle nose pliers if you have trouble prying out the pop rivet fasteners.

Remove Pop Rivet Fastener
Pry Out Lower Fastener
Two Pop Rivets Removed
The first two steps are to pop open the trunk and then move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out tail light bulb.

Then locate the two black plastic pop rivet fasteners that hold the trunk carpet liner in place.

Pry up the round center piece of each fastener first with the small flathead screwdriver and then pull out the entire fastener.

Pull Back Trunk Carpet
Turn Signal Bulb Socket
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Once both fasteners have been removed, you can pull back back the trunk carpeting to reveal the two bulb sockets.

The light grey turn signal bulb socket is located closest to the center line of the vehicle.

Grasp the socket with your thumb and forefinger before rotating it 1/4 turn counter clockwise to unlock it.

Remove Bulb Socket
Pull Old 7440A Bulb Out
1/4 Turn Clockwise
Pull the turn signal bulb socket straight out of the tail light housing.

Pull the old turn signal bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new amber colored # 7440A or 7440NA bulb.

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

Turn Signal Bulb Installed
Brake Light Socket
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
The brake light bulb socket is located further in the trunk and near the outer edge of the tail light housing.

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


Remove Bulb Socket
Pull 7443 Bulb Straight Out
Re-Insert Brake Light
Pull the old brake / parking light bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new dual filament # 7443 bulb.

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

1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Push In Pop Rivets
Replace Carpet Fasteners
Replace the trunk carpet over the bulb sockets and insert the two pop rivet fasteners.

Press in the center piece of each fastener to lock them in place.

Carpeting Replaced
Test New Light Bulbs
Reverse Light In Trunk Lid
Test the new tail light bulbs by having someone turn on the parking lights, step on the brakes and activate the hazard signals.

The reverse light bulb is located in a separate housing at the edge of the trunk lid.

Trunk Lid Carpet Cover
Pry Out Center of Fastener
Remove Other Pop Rivet
To access the reverse light bulb, you'll need to remove three black plastic pop rivet fasteners that hold the carpet liner in place.

Pry out the round center piece first with the small flathead screwdriver and then pull out the entire fastener.

Pry Out 3rd Fastener
Pull Back Trunk Lid Liner
Reverse Bulb Socket
Pull back the trunk lid carpeting and locate the light grey reverse light bulb socket.
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Remove Reverse Socket
Pull Out # 7440 Bulb
Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise to unlock it and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 7440 bulb.

Push In New Reverse Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise
Push In Fastener
Re-insert the reverse bulb socket in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.
Push In Center Piece
Trunk Lid Liner Secured
Test New Reverse Bulb
Replace the trunk lid carpet liner and insert the three pop rivet fasteners.

Push in the center piece of each fastener to secure them in place.

Test the new reverse light bulb by having someone firmly press the brake pedal and place the transmission in reverse.

For more, check out my other 2010-2013 Mazda Mazda3 Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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