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Replace 2008 Versa Hatchback high (center) brake light

The high (center) brake light on our 2008 Nissan Versa hatchback stopped working. We originally thought that it contained standard light bulbs that were replaceable as on most vehicles. But as I have found, the Versa hatchback is *not* most vehicles when it comes to replacing bulbs. It turns out that the hatch high brake light contains no replaceable bulbs. Its LED and the entire assemble must be replaced! So instead of spending a few dollars for replaceable bulbs, one must instead spend upwards of $200 for the part. Sigh.

The first problem was figuring out how to remove the high brake light. The Versa owners manual was totally useless. Scouring the web turned out to be futile. I stumbled onto the solution and thought I would share it for anyone else who has an original version (e.g., not the "Note") Versa hatch.

Even though its not apparent, the high brake light is held in place by 2 nuts. The problem is that those nuts are not visible from inside or outside. The "secret" is to open the hatch and simply remove the interior molding at the top of the glass. Just use your fingers and it will snap right off. After removing the molding you will see that there are two 10mm nuts. Remove those nuts. But the brake light may still not come off because over time the rubber seal may have melted around the assembly. I just used the handle side of a screwdriver to push up on the nuts until the seal came loose and the assembly was able to be removed. BTW, you also have to unhook the electrical connector.

After you order and receive the new assembly, its just a matter of putting it back into the mounting holes, screwing on the nuts, connecting the electrical wiring, and then snapping the molding back into place.

I suspect that Nissan thought using LEDs meant that this light would never need to be replaced and hence no directions on how it was to be done. Likewise, no local dealers stocked the part although I was told it could be obtained in a day or two.

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