4 DIY Steps on How To Change Rear Turn Signal Bulb

If you’ve ever been faced with having to know how to change rear turn signal bulb of your car and having no clue on how to actually do it, this article is a must-read for you.

Life can be unexpected at times, and you can find yourself in an unfamiliar situation that requires you to increase your knowledge.

Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven world, most information you need is just a quick search away.

The Steps of Changing Rear Turn Signal Bulb

You’ve prepped everything you need, and now it is time to proceed with actually changing your rear turn signal bulb.

Even if you’ve never done it before and you are not particularly skilled when it comes to car maintenance, this step-by-step guide will surely help you perform this seemingly daunting task with ease.

So here is how to do this most easily and efficiently, following the steps mentioned above:

01. Figuring Out Which Bulb is Not Working

First and foremost, you need to figure out which turn signal bulb is not functioning properly to know which of them needs changing.

To do so, you need to park your car, make sure to engage the parking brake, and then simply turn on the turn signals one side at a time and get out of the vehicle to check if the lights are working.

After this test, make sure you turn off the turn signals and ignition to avoid your battery losing its charge!

We advise you to try to make a routine out of testing your light bulbs once in a while to ensure all are functioning correctly and avoid finding it out in traffic in an unfavorable situation.

02. Removing The Tail Light Lens

After you’ve worked out which signal bulb is not working and it turns out to be one of the rear ones, you now have to remove the tail light lens to access the actual bulb.

If you have your car’s owner manual, your task becomes much easier as you can find all the specific instructions you need for your car model inside it.

Don’t worry if you don’t have it, though; you can still handle this on your own following our instructions.

This step may vary depending on the car type, but it shouldn’t be complicated at all, no matter your car’s manufacturer.

First, you need to get a screwdriver, then open the hatch door and find the screws that are keeping the tail light lens in place and unscrew them; or remove the wingnuts that are keeping the lens in place if that is the case for your car.

03. Removing The Electrical Connector From The Old Bulb

This step might be a little different as well, depending on your car type, but it is very similar for any model.

Every electrical connector should have a locking tab; you need to find it, press down on it, and slide it back to disconnect it from the bulb.

04. Removing The Burnt Bulb

After disconnecting the old bulb from the electrical connector, all you have to do is turn the bulb counterclockwise and take it out.

If simply turning in doesn’t do the trick, then try to also push down on the bulb while turning, and you should be able to take it out; some car models require you to do that as well.

05. Inserting The New Bulb

After taking the old bulb out, your work is almost done.

What is left to do is for you to insert the new bulb in the old one’s place, this time turning in clockwise.

06. Reassembling The Turn Light

Now that you have successfully replaced the old turn light bulb, all you have to do is put everything back together in the reverse way that you disassembled them, and you will be done with everything.

Be careful to put everything back together as you took them out, and don’t forget any screws.

Also, make sure you connect the electrical connector to the new bulb, or else your light will not work!

What is Rear Turn Signal?

The rear turn signal bulb is one of any automobile’s most essential bulbs.

The bulb helps the other traffic participants know what you are planning to do.

It is located at the back end of your car next to the brakes bulb, and it flickers on the left side when you signal to go left and on the right side when you signal to go to the right.

When/Why Should You Change Rear Turn Signal Bulb?

Given the importance of a car’s rear turn signal bulb, it is crucial to change it at even the slightest malfunction.

Because it can be very serious if it ceases to work while you are on the road and it may even cause an accident.

So, why should you change your rear turn signal bulb?

  • To avoid it malfunctioning in traffic
  • To make sure other traffic participants know your intentions
  • To prevent a possible accident
  • To avoid getting a fine

When is it Necessary To Change The Rear Turn Signal Bulb

  • When the light intensity diminishes or its color changes
  • When it stops lighting all together
  • How To Change Rear Turn Signal Bulb And What You Need

So now comes the question of how to change the rear turn signal bulb after you figured out where it is and that it is not functioning correctly.

Essential Outlook And Difficulty of The Procedure

Changing the rear turn signal bulb may seem harder at first than it is.

It is quite a basic procedure that may slightly differ from car model to model but follows the same principle.

Here are the steps that you will have to follow:

  • Figure out which bulb is not working
  • Remove the tail light lens
  • Remove the electrical connector from the bulb
  • Remove the burnt bulb
  • Insert the new bulb
  • Reassemble the turn light

To be able to do this, you will need a few basic tools such as:

  • Protective gloves
  • A screwdriver
  • A new bulb
  • Your car’s instruction manual (optional)

The whole process is relatively quick and should not take you more than half an hour at max, from start to finish.

It is also quite low-cost as a new bulb is somewhere between $5 – $10.

Doing it by yourself is a great way to save up some money as a professional may charge you up to $35 – $40.

Tail Light & Brake Light Differences With Rear Turn Signal

The rear end of your car contains one globe with different light bulbs, each with its attributes.

These lights are usually in a number of four, as follows:

  • the tail light
  • the brake light
  • the back up lights
  • the rear turn signal lights

In most vehicles, the tail, brake, and back up lights are located under the same globe, along with the rear turn signal bulb.

While your car can be unique and have different globes, this is the general rule for most automobiles.

To better understand the difference between these lights, let us first start with the most similar ones, the tail and brake light.

These may be powered by the same bulb in some vehicles or by separate bulbs in others.

They have the same red color, only the brake lights are a brighter red.

The back up lights are most easily set apart from the rest as their color is white when they light up.

The color is the most significant difference between a car’s tail and brake lights and the rear turn signal lights. While the tail and brake lights are red, the turn signal lights are orange in most cases.

There are a few exceptions where the turn signal lights are red as well, but that is usually in the case of trailers.

The other difference is that the rear turn signal lights only turn on when you signal a change of direction, and they do so in a flickering manner, unlike the other bulbs, which turn on and stay on until the action is finished.

Types of Rear Turn Signal Lights and How Long Do They Last

The rear turn signal lights come in various shapes, sizes, and voltage depending on the car’s manufacturer and model.

The most commonly used types of bulbs for the rear turn signal lights include:

  • T20 bulb
  • T25 bulb
  • BA15 bulb

While most of them are orange in color, there are still some that have a not-so-practical amber color.

The amber color is not ideal as it can be easily confused with the tail or brake lights.

There are also two main, important types of rear turn signal lights bulbs:

  • traditional lights
  • LED lights

For quite some time, the traditional light bulbs have been losing ground in favor of LED lights, and for a good reason.

LED lights are more technologically advanced, brighter, more efficient, and they last a lot longer than traditional ones.

To get an idea of what a substantial difference there is between the two types of lights, here is a comparison between the lifespan of traditional incandescent bulbs versus LED light bulbs:

  • traditional bulbs – from 700 to 2,000 hours
  • LEDs – from 35,000 to 50,000 hours

Related Questions

Even after reading this informative article up to this point, you may still have some unanswered questions on the matter, so we have put together a short FAQ list of the most common questions people usually have on this topic.

01. Which LED Color is Better For The Rear Turn Signal Bulbs?

Orange is the best choice of color for the rear turn signal bulbs as it is a lot easier to differentiate from the red color of the brake and tail lights.

02. How Do I Know Which Type of Rear Turn Signal Bulb is Best For My Car?

Since there are different types of bulbs used for the rear turn signal light, you must first find out the type of bulb you need before heading on to replacing a potentially burnt one.

This can either be found in your car’s manual or, if the manual is not accessible to you, you can also call an authorized service or car parts store to have them check this for you based on your car’s model.

03. Why Do The Turn Lights Hyper Flash If You Switch To LED Bulbs From Traditional Ones?

If your car was initially equipped with traditional light bulbs and you wish to upgrade to LED lights, you may experience a phenomenon called hyper flashing.

In the case of hyper flashing, the rate that your signals blink is roughly twice as fast as the normal flash rate.

This is due to the LEDs’ lower power draw.

The power that is coming to the bulbs is more than enough to power them, so the excess power speeds up the flashing process.

This does not affect your car or the light bulb in any way, but it may be distracting to some.

If this is the case for you, you need to install some load resistors to regulate the power that comes to the bulb.

04. Where is The Switch To LED Bulbs Instead of Traditional Ones Recommended?

Even though LED lights are significantly better than traditional ones, in some cases, it is still best to keep the traditional bulbs in place.

As is the case for tail lights, for example.

Since tail lights have a red lens covering them, the benefits of LED light are substantially decreased.

They work a lot better under clear lens, as is the case for the reverse backup lights and rear turn signal lights.

05. Where Can I Buy a New Light Bulb To Change My Rear Turn Signal Bulb?

You can find these light bulbs at any car parts shop and, depending on the type you need; you may also find them at any regular gas station.

06. Is There Any Risk in Changing My Rear Turn Signal Bulb on My Own?

No. As long as you don’t force anything out of place to break any hinges, there is no risk in changing a burnt rear turn signal bulb on your own.

07. Can I Accidentally Install The Wrong Type of Bulb?

No. Every type of bulb fits only in a particular socket, so even if you purchased the wrong type of bulb, you wouldn’t be able to fit it in the socket.


Hopefully, this article has been informative enough to shine a light upon any questions you might have had regarding rear turn signal lights and how to change a bulb in case of malfunctioning.

If you need any further assistance or you find it easier to follow video instructions, I invite you to check out these very informative videos on how to change tail light bulbs and rear turn signal bulbs on a Toyota Camry or how to change the rear turn signal light bulb on a 2010 Ford Focus.

Leave a Comment