I need to buy a drivers side quarter panel taillight for a 2005 Lexus ES330. Dealer price is $192. I found many web sites where I can purchase one for $70, specifically a brand called Replacement. I know this is not an orginal equipment or genuine Lexus part but they all claim they are just as good and will fit with out any problem. Most have a one year warranty. Anyone out there have experience replacing tail lights with after market parts? Any reason to expect the part will not fit or be just as good as OEM?
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I have not worked on a LEXUS, but every car tail light I have seen was accessible from the trunk. You usually have to pull out some panels to get to it, but once you get your hand on the socket, it usually twists out CCW (about 20-30 degrees twist) but may just pull straight out. Take out the old bulb, replace, and reinstall the socket in the lens.
Look in the trunk, Pull back the carpet where the light would be. The carpet may be held in place by 2-3 big wing nuts. Once you remove these and pull the carpet back, you will see where your tail light assembly is bolted. The whole assembly will come out, take out the bulbs/harness. Then re-install your new assembly. It really takes about 3-5 min to do and no special tools.
Traced the problem to the Lamp Outage Module located in the rear left quarter access panel behind the spare tire. Arcing had occurred on the left taillight line. Fortunately this part is readily available at your local Jeep recovery yard (none available in the U.S. from dealers). Recommend J& W Auto Wreckers in Antelope, CA (web site available). Massive number of Jeeps and fair prices. If you don't want to replace the LOM then you can join the two connectors that go into the LOM (LOM is optional) but you'll always show a lamp failure on your console.
Replacing a bulb on a Lexus is rather easy but a little involve. You can actually locate the wiring harness by removing the trim panels within your trunk. There are typically two cargo hooks that screw out found on either side of the trunk opening. Also, there are Christmas tree push pins found on the trim panels located on the the trunk sides and the upper part of the trunk. Furthermore, there is a plastic trim panel along the inside front of the trunk that may need to be removed. Bottom line, remove as much as you need to in order to gain access to the tail light wiring harness.
All that is next is to find the appropriate light socket that holds the light that needs to be replaced. Carefully twist the light socket to the left and pull the light out of taillight. Then pull the light out of the socket and place the light back into the appropriate hole and twist to the right about a 1/2 to lock the socket in place.
Then, replace the trim panels, push pins and screws.
In most cases, you will only need to pull the trim panels back far enough to reach you hand in to replace the light.
if it's a tail light housing that broke, and not the bulb that simply burnt out, i'm afraid your solution isn't that simple. you have to at least loosen the bumper on the side that the tail light need be replaced. which will include removing the mud flap on that side of the car, removing all the clips on the bottom of the bumper, and removing the two bolts behind the quarter sized plastic covers just inside the trunk lid.