Sunday, March 12, 2006

How to change a taillight on a New Beetle

This isn't a computer tip, but after searching online for hours on how to change the light in my beetle I decided once I found out how to do it I would put it online to help someone else. Our Beetle is a 2003 model convertible, but you may find that these instructions will work with any beetle from '98 to 2005.

1. to remove the tail light you must first unscrew the wingnut on the backside of the light. This is located behind what appears to be a plastic ventcover inside the trunk.



2. to remove the cover take an ordinary butter knife and slip it between the car body and the rubber lining at 4 or 5 o'clock (driver's side) and pry open enough to get your finger underneath. Pull the cover up diagonally toward the side of the car, it is only held in by a simple spring catch.



3. rotate the light socket 1/4 turn to remove from the cover, and ta-da you're done! Take the bulb to Pep Boys (or your auto parts store of choice) and ask them to match it for a replacement.

Two bulbs cost $5 but VW service wanted to charge me $45 for just the one.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, and thanks for this tip. It worked great and saved me several $.

Took me only about 2 min. to complete the bulb change on my 2000 beetle.

Headlights are just as easy and my bug just EATS these. I change about 4-5 a year, but VW says there is no problem with their lights. How many bugs do you see on the streets with just ONE headlight???

Anonymous said...

This worked great for me...my husband just laughs because I love to figure things out when things go wrong on my 1999 Beetle!

Thanks much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. Hard to believe the manual won't even tell you how to change a tailight any more. Worked great on my 2002 Turbo Diesel Beetle. Great tip on exactly where to pry the lens.

CabanaJack said...

You sir are my hero. After lecturing my wife on how trivial a task it is to change a tail-light, I opened up the trunk of her 2005 New Beetle and stared bewildered.
She got a kick out of that.

I'm glad she wasn't around to see me take a butter knife to her baby. The job was done in seconds.

Thanx!

-CJack

Joshua said...

If the trouble isn't your tail light but you're having trouble finding other sites to help you, here are two other useful sites:

MyVWLemon.com

and

VWvortex.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tech tip worked great. I took it to the body shop they said they were going to pull the fender off, of course I said no way. So I went to the mechanics shop the two top mechanics said I would have to leave the car so they could have time to figure it out. Your little tip saved me lots of money. I can't believe they don't put this info in owners manual which is first place I looked. I used a rag around the butter knife so not to scratch paint just an extra pecaution.

Joshua said...

That is hilarious! I can just hear it, "Uh, just leave the car with us and we'll have it figured it out by morning." How much do you think they would've charged you in labor costs?

I finally figured out how to remove the light cover when I read that a guy stuck a plunger to the thing to pull it out. VW's used to be such great cars to tinker with. I guess now they're great for puzzle lovers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip but know that having the pics along with the text is all the difference. I wish you had the headlight info. as well. I am changing headlights today---hopefully, haha.

Anonymous said...

thanx for the site, saved me lots of time and money

Anonymous said...

thank you for the tip, i will try on my car

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add my "thanks" for posting this info. Although, when I consider how hard it was to find this info, "thanks" isn't enough to express how valuable this info is to us.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for the tip. It saved me alot of time and frozen fingers. It was snowing like crazy and I needed to fix the tail light on my daughters car. Thank You again.

Greggi T said...

Thanks for the advice! The only place I could find it on the internet. And it worked in a few seconds!

Anonymous said...

You Rock!!!
My husband hates it that I drive a car he can't easily fix. And like many say there is nothing in the manual...I called VW today and their new policy is I'm not allowed to talk to their techs!!
What a racket they have going on!
Love my VW but think I'll buy American next go round!
Thanks for the sites!
Amy in Texas

Anonymous said...

Unbelievably simple! We were struggling with this for about 20 minutes, trying to get it from the back like the vw parts guy suggested. Thanks for the tip; like everyone else, this little tidbit saved us time and money.

Anonymous said...

thanks this works great and saved me a total headache. I have a 1999 beetle.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you. We have a 2007 and this information was just what we needed!

Anonymous said...

thanks loads, really helped!!!!!

Jim said...

Thank you...great info...my problem turned out to be not a burned out bulb, but a sloppy fitting light socket.
Thanks again
Blklab

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you the bulb was easy to replace however the light on the brake would still not come on after trying to establish where the short was I found that manuevering the bulb in the socket and gently re-installing made a go of it....I think the gentleman is right about prob's with vw's wiring.....thanks again

Magdalaine said...

I am a total noob when it comes to cars. I have never changed my oil, a flat or anything else. But this tutorial made it so easy! It worked great on my '99. Took me less than five minutes to do all on my own. Thank you so much for the simple instructions. The pictures helped a lot too. You are a lifesaver!

Anonymous said...

Awesome..I used a letter opener, and gently lift up and off it came. Great post. Jeeves in AZ.

The Running Baker said...

Thank you so much for this post! It took me longer than others who've posted about it (because I didn't print the instructions so I kept having to come back in to look at it) but I did it! It was actually a LOT easier than I thought! People make things look so easy on their blogs and in their pictures but this was REALLY easy to do. And it saved me labor charges as well! :D Thank you again for the great post!

Anonymous said...

Thank You!! My bug is a '99 I bought used with no owners manual but, from the looks of previous comments, the manual didn't help much anyway. I noticed this was originally posted back in 2006 and here we all are 6 years later and you have helped so many people. Just had to thank you.

Anonymous said...

Worked great, but once replaced (it works) I am still getting the "fast" blinking on that side. Any ideas?

Lucky Valenti said...

Great stuff,thanks very much man...i was laughing at myself when i found out how easy was to do this,since i was doing it wrong.

Lucky Valenti said...

Great stuff,thanks very much man...i was laughing at myself when i found out how easy was to do this,since i was doing it wrong.