Question about 2003 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

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I cant get the tail light out to change the bulb

Tail light is burned out and need to change the bulb but dont know how to remove the taillight

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No tools needed.

Beetles: Round plug inside trunk pops out.
Beetle Convts: Grille-looking rectangular panel pops out.

Reach in and you'll feel a large finger-grip able nut, back it off (DON'T DROP
IT) and place it somewhere retrievable. Take a small-flat-bladed screwdriver and wrap it in cloth so you don't scratch the paint. Poke said protected blade between the inside body joint and the tail light, gently pry tail light out. Remove offending bulb, replace with new. Installation is, as they say, the reverse of removal.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

How can I remove tail light lens?


David, Taillight bulb replacement: this is an involved procedure that you will probably want to let your dealer do. I do NOT have the steps listed here but here is a tool that you will find very helpful if you decide to do it yourself:
  • "A # 12 Snap On nut driver shortened about an inch will get the hard to reach nut. Snap On is the only one I found that was hollow & would slide over the 4" stud." quote from TBN member
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remove the nuts that hold the tail lamp in place and gently pull from bracket.
Check the attached links,
"I hope this helped you out, if so let me know by pressing the helpful button. Check out some of my other posts if you need more tips and info."

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Open the trunk lid.

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Brake Lights/Taillights: 21/5 W

Rear Turn Signal Light: 21 W

Back-up Light: 21 W

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Turn the bulb sockets 45 º counterclockwise to remove the bulbs.


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If you are still looking for the resolution, it's really pretty simple. It is highly recommended that you remove one light assembly at a time, thus allowing you to have a good guide when repositioning the assembly back on the vehicle body. Yes, the only way to get to the burned out bulb in the taillight is to remove the whole darn thing! The bulb burns out every 4-5 months, so I have become good at it...Here goes:

1. Open trunk. Look for small (3" diameter) cutouts in the fabric panel in the trunk liner. They are identical and appear next to the taillight assemblies, on the side, not behind the taillight.
2. Gently use a flat blade screwdriver and pry them open. These cutouts are attached to the inner trunk liner fabric, so be gentle.
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4. Place soft towel on the outside of the car under the taillight assembly, to prevent scratching the car bumper.
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9. Snap the trunk liner caps back in place and voila, you have done it.

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