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1999 Toyata camry rear taillight assembly bulb replacement

The right side marker bulb needs replaced and its access seems difficult. Is there a trick to replacement? The manual shows easty removal but it is not shown.

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  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

    can easily replace brake bulbs but not sure how to replace side markers. Dealership said its difficult and you can break the whole taillight.

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Just did this "easy fix" on my 1999 Camry.
Lift trunk lid and pull away carpet covering the tail light. Retain plastic pins that hold carpet in place. Be prepared to have your knuckles scraped by the carpet as you work.
On the 1999 Camry, this was NOT a tool-less fix. You could reach in, turn the tail light socket a quarter turn and them remove it without tools. You then simply pulled the bulb straight out (it was bulb size 904 on my 1999) and plug the new bulb straight in.
NOW... the rub. Although the bulb/socket came out easily, we found it impossible to get the correct angle to replace the bulb and socket without smashing the bulb. Two intelligent adults tried for 30 minutes.
So... step 3. Easy but requires tools. Get your socket set (I couldn't find the right socket, so I used a pair of needlenose vice grips--worked fine). There are two threaded bolts with nuts in the interior access area for all of the light sockets. Unscrew nuts, retain. Now look on the exterior edge of the tail light. There will be one more solid grey nut. Remove and retain.
Step 4: You can now loosen the tail light cover and pull it out enough to allow you to safely insert the bulb/socket assembly. Gently turn it until you can insert the socket, and then give it a quarter turn to lock it in place.
Step 5: Push tail light cover back into place making sure the two interior bolts are in place.
Step 6. Replace and tighten the three nuts.
So, not a 30 second fix. More like 10 minutes. Easy, but a pain, and requires a tool, but truly, if this clumsy 6 months pregnant woman can do it outside in the dark... so can you.

Posted on Feb 09, 2010

  • Marc Ciampi
    Marc Ciampi Nov 27, 2011

    Haven't seen any bulb designation. The bulb(s) must be slender to fit through/into the socket. The backup lamp bulb is single element, the brake/turn signal/running lamp bulb is double element. The 1157 bulb is much too fat to fit into either socket.

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