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Thread: HOWTO: license plate lights Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-29-2016 01:24 PM
777-300ER Anyone know what size of bulb this is? Looking to replace both bulbs with LED's.

Answered own question. 39mm Festoon.
03-25-2016 08:15 PM
HPinOhio
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesusz View Post
okay, a simple task but a bit of an enigma. here it is explained, pictures from my (very dirty) 2001 ZX3, but the process was the same with my wife's 2001 SE as well.

1. open the trunk or hatch, get it up to eye/hand level. it's a lot easier.

2. remove your license plate (otherwise it gets wedged in once you free it from it's socket)

3. pry gently at the right (passenger) side of the light lens. i used an old keychain, but anything wide and flat should do well. (pictures 1 & 2 & 3)

4. the light will shift to the left as you pry, then it will move downward with the pry lever and pop out of it's hole. (picture 4)

5. the light is out, (picture 5) now remove the bulb from it's copper contacts and (gently) snap in the new bulb. i gave the bulb a bit of a twist in the holder, just to remove any oxidation on the contacts.

6. gently snap it back into it's hole, inserting the left side first.

7. test it out - turn on your parking lights (the license plate lights should come on even if you don't have the engine running or keys in the ignition)

8. replace your license plate and close your trunk before you drive away

that's it. note: the lights are not symmetrical; the spring is still on the left side for the passenger-side light (picture 6). this was a bit of a surprise.

On step #5, use a plastic dish cleaning pad [like a brillo pad, only plastic] to clean the contacts, then use a small dab of dielectric grease on the contact points of the new bulb, before inserting. the grease will keep water from the contact points, and allow the bulb to last much longer. you can get a very small tube of the grease at the auto parts place. enough to cover the average thumb nail will do both lights, it doesn't take much.
hope that helps
03-25-2016 05:47 PM
Threeeight FWIW, my lamps opened the opposite direction on my '06 ST sedan. Otherwise, thanks for the awesome tut - that was easy!
03-10-2015 07:29 PM
sailor Search over in General Tech Chat for "hatch wiring" issues.

You'll find plenty of info/pictures of damaged wires from repeated flexing in the umbilical to the hatch.

Cruise works with the brake light circuit, wrong/bad bulbs/bad wiring will make that stop working.
03-10-2015 06:03 PM
ghowitt Thank you for the information on the license plate light replacement. I have another problem and am not sure if it is related to the burnt out license bulbs. My brake lights stay on in any gear, but when I open the hatch back on my 2000 focus wagon the brake lights than go out, when I close it again the brake lights go back on. Also my cruise control suddenly does not work anymore. Any help on this would be appreciated.
09-07-2014 03:07 PM
rtaustin316
Great tutorial

Thanks for posting a great tutorial.

I used a plastic tool for opening ipod's to access the license plate bulbs. They are cheap on eBay and worked perfectly.
01-29-2014 05:45 PM
StephanieM My car was just rejected for inspection because of this and a torn wiper blade. I decided to try to fix the issues myself and take it back. I had new blades, bulb in hand, but I couldn't figure out how to get the part off. The guy at the store said that I'd have to have the hatch door dismantled to get to it. So glad that that was not the case. I agree that this is an excellent write up. Thank you!
12-23-2013 03:43 PM
BIMMERKID2 I have a 2012 sel. auto store gave me bulbs. i got home, took the inside lining of the hatch apart. still couldnt get to light. i finally pryed it out. (not like the pics above) it was in there with what seemed like a one direction clip. (once poped in not meant to come out.) After removing it i had to pry the lenz off because it was glued. it had a circuit board in it with a very tint circuit board light. dont know eher ill get one. cops pulled me over because light isnt working. i have done some searches including ford dealer and they say dont know when part will become available. what a crock of ship.
09-18-2013 07:13 PM
Gumbydammit just in case anyone is wondering, the factory ford lamp kit - 2 lens assemblies, with factory style bulbs is part # YS4Z-13550-A . This is good for those that have a corrosion issue or have broken lenses. About $30. Also comes with self adhesive insulation to keep the connection from contacting the metal parts in the hatch causing blown fuses.
12-19-2012 11:26 AM
berto43 Hi The problem was a broken wire but thanks for the help. Al
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