Question about 2005 Pontiac Vibe

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How to replace license plate light bulb

How od you get to the bulb

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  • Anonymous Apr 16, 2009

    need details on how to remove the piece without cracking it

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Here's the part I think people are wanting to know-- it's what I was looking for and unable to find. The 'Trick' to removing that panel! :)

Here's what you need to know:

There are 3 clips holding the panel in place along the long edge nearest the window (top)-- one about an inch in on each end and one in the center. There are 3 more 'hinges' on the panel's long edge nearest the bumper (bottom) when the door is closed. There are no clips on the short sides.

To open the panel, simply use a utility knife to slide behind the panel on either short side near the 'top' and pry slightly. It may be good to have a flathead screwdriver to slip behind the panel and slowly pry along the top edge (nearest the window still!). Once you have those three clips loose, the panel will fold down like an oven door and the bottom 3 'hinges' will lift right out.

Took about 5 minutes to complete the lamp changes once I got in there! Oh, and I hope you have small hands or thin pliers! Not much room in there!

Posted on Nov 22, 2009

  • Rook616 Oct 09, 2010

    Brilliant! This is exactly the information I was looking for. The panel came off easily with the instructions provided. Thank you!

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Afhayes9399 solution was not to the problem at hand. If you want to replace your license plate bulbs then:

1.) You need to remove the rectangular plastic cover from the inside of the back of your vibe.

2.) Unplug the two bulbs.

3.) Now twist the gray light bulb thingie (I'm not sure what that piece is called) Counter Clockwise. It maybe be a little stiff but it should loosen and come apart from the lamp assembly.

4.) Change the bulbs

5.) Reverse the directions. And you are done!


Posted on May 31, 2009

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Great advice given however this is what I had to do. Once I got the cover off the back, unplug the two lights. Now.. I was unable to turn the grey light housing, so I pushed the light assembly to one side and removed the entire light assembly out through the outside of the hatch. Once the assembly was out of the lid turning the housing was much easier. Replace the bulbs and reinstall. Hope this helps.

Posted on Mar 18, 2010

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Open back hatch in the center there is a rectangle shaped piece of plastic pop it out and you will see the wire on the back of the bulbs

Posted on Dec 04, 2008

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1. Open the rear hatch and remove the small rectangular plastic access panel located in the center a few inches below the window. Pry with a thin bladed tool, like a putty knife, on the top of the panel. There are six clips, three along the top edge and three along the bottom which stick out further than the top ones.


2. From the inside, un-clip the wires from each light, a simple pinch and pull should do it. Then with a screwdriver depress the tabs on either end of the black plastic piece that is coming through the hatch from the outside. Push toward the outside of the hatch. (Two clips per light on either end.)

3. From the outside, up next to the handle, pivot the lights down and out. Twist the light bulb holder (light grey) counter clockwise, using a needle nose helps if it is too stiff. Remove from the black base and pull the old bulb out and push the new bulb in. Twist the holder back into the base.

4. Reassemble, making sure the words marked UP are actually up. Hold and pull lightly the grey light bulb holder from the inside while you push to engage the clips on the black base into the metal of the hatch from the outside. Plug the wires back in and replace the access cover.

Posted on Feb 14, 2013

  • emernal
    emernal Nov 30, 2013

    This is the method I would recommend. I tried the other method of reachig inside and twisting to removing the grey bulb holder and ended up breaking one of the two grey tabs off. When I tried to put the grey bulb holder back in it would not stay. So as Wigglebritches suggested, I pushed the black tab over and pushed the lense out to the outside of the rear hatch. I was then able to get the grey bulb holder to stay in place and reassembled. For the second bulb after removing the wire I again unclipped and pushed the lense assembly to the outside. Grey bulb holder was then easy to twist and remove.

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Best way to remove the sockets is to use a 1/4 flat screw driver put INSIDE the shaft of each and twist against the parts that are made to allow this. SUPER easy when you do it this way instead of trying to use your hand or a wrench or something. this is the best way to install them back also after putting the bulb inside each.

Posted on Jan 17, 2012

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