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Replacing Rear Light Bulbs 2009 Vibe

The drop down buttons are not working for me, at this time; well, Firefox comes with an excellent feature, no response at times. Ugh!

I was informed that the driver’s side brake light was out on my car, so I purchased turn signal, brake, and back up bulbs for both sides. 7443 LL, 7440 ALL, 921 WFM.

The passenger side was a piece of cake to replace, but the driver’s side is whack, only a tiny access panel to remove, and the only bulb that comes into view, is the back up bulb.
The manual says to “remove that panel to access the bulbs.” So they say. Yes I replaced all 3 bulbs without issue. I also turned on the lights, and hazard lights to make sure they are working. The issue I have is making sure they are all secure. The back up bulb is secure, the the other 2 are not so secure; I can wiggle the brake light, and I’m not confident the turn signal bulb is in there properly. Again, all working, but not all secured properly. Is there a trick to this? When I replaced the bulbs, I pushed in the bulb sockets, just as the manual says. I tried securing them by feel because I can’t see all of them. Should I do something else?

Never replaced bulbs on that particular vehicle, but I had a problem on my truck last summer that required filing the bulb tip (bayonet style) a little, and using a little silicone grease to make it easier to twist the bulb into place in the socket. I recently replaced the brake light bulb on my Corolla (center one) and the instruction said to remove the access panel & twist the bulb out, but that was impossible to do on a bulb that had been in place for 7 or 8 years. Stuck. I had to take more stuff apart to free up enough space to fit my fingers onto the bulb so I could twist on it. Is there a reason you are replacing bulbs that are still working? Maybe your best bet is to just replace the bulb’s that’s out and leave the rest in place until you actually need to change them. Good idea to purchase all the replacement bulbs now though, so you’ll have them on hand. Do what you need to do to make more room to work when you run into access problems like this. Double che k he new bulbs are the same dimensions as the old too, I’ve purchased replacement bulbs that didn’t actually match the dimensions of the old bulbs. They were either mismarked or in the wrong package, etc.

Oh yes, I purchased 6 bulbs (3 per side). 5 were still good, at 9 years old. Honestly, I’d like LED bulbs, but their cost was too high for the cash I had on-hand yesterday. Besides, LED bulbs would probably outlast the car for me. I enjoy this car, but when it starts to fall apart, I’ll want a 4WD for these harsh winters.

Thanks very much

Ah, I finally received a decent answer to the question of “Whether, or not the brake lights were properly installed?” My neighbor said they were both working, an acquaintance said, today, “Both were out.” Hmmm, I drove to the auto parts store, and backed towards the plate glass windows–they were both working, as were the turn signals, and reverse lights. Someone must be on drugs. It took a long time for this check because the weather, and road conditions kept me inside my cave for a long time.