1998 Ford Escort SE: Changing a rear tail light

I learned something today. It seems I\’m the first person who\’s needed to change a bulb in the rear tail light of my particular vehicle\’s model year.

It\’s actually quite remarkably easy to do with few tools available, assuming you have a spare bulb. Your local Ford dealership can help you with that; I bought a spare bulb at Courtesy Ford for $2.66. Here\’s how to change it:

  1. Pop the trunk
  2. Remove the two Phillips-head screws holding the cover on
  3. Using a slotted screwdriver, pry the cover away from the side of the vehicle (carefully!)
  4. Twist the bulb seat away from the cover, a 1/3 turn counterclockwise.
  5. Pull the old bulb out; discard according to any local laws
  6. Push new bulb in
  7. Test both your turn signal functions and brake light functions!!!!!
  8. Return bulb assembly to cover; twist 1/3 turn clockwise to reattach it
  9. Push tail light assembly clips into the seats on the side of the vehicle
  10. Replace the two Phillips-head screws holding the cover on
  11. Close the trunk; clean up

As you can see, it is quite easy; performing this operation takes less than 15 minutes if executed properly and you have an idea of what you need to do. In my case, it took slightly longer, because there is no material available on the internet. Therefore, I hope this page can become a useful guide to anyone who needs to change the turn signal/brake bulb on their 1998 Ford Escort SE.

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