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Third tail light replacement

I have a 2007 Honda Civic DX. You can’t replace a tail light bulb in the third (or high) tail light - you have to replace the whole unit! The part alone is $120 - this is crazy!

Is there a non-standard replacement option?

How to Change a Honda Civic Tail Light

The process is the same in all generation seven and eight (2001 to 2005, 2006 to 2010) Civics

Things You’ll Need:

* Gloves
* Phillips screwdriver (sedan and coupe)
* Flat head screwdriver (hatchback)
* Replacement bulb

  Changing the Tail Light on a Civic Sedan or Coupe
  1. Wear gloves before getting started. The Civic’s replacement tail light bulbs reuse the old socket. You’ll be touching the glass part of the bulb to replace it. Doing so with your hands can cause damage to the bulb.
  2. Open the trunk and access the corner for the tail light you need to replace. In the rear corner (closest to the tail light), you’ll find a Phillips screw within plastic fasteners. Remove the Phillips screw from the fastener.
  3. Pull the fastener out of its mount to free the corner trunk lining. Pull the lining back to access the tail light.
  4. Remove the bulb socket by turning it counterclockwise. Pull the old bulb out of the socket with your hand. Fully insert the replacement bulb into the socket.
  5. Reinsert the socket in its place. Turn it clockwise. Push the corner trunk lining back into position. Push the plastic fastener into its mount, and then replace and tighten the Phillips screw.

I’m kinda bleary-eyed right now, but these helpful instructions look like they are for teh rear corner tail lights. OP’s problem is with the high-mounted third tail light.

You COULD go with an aftermarket set of tail lights…they are less than 120 for sure and u will have access to all the bulbs so it is never an issue again.

If you have a light colored car you can go with smoked lenses…or just go with the much nicer looking European light styles…Euro lights use white lenses in the assy because they look better and match more paint schemes than a traditional light that has Yellow and RED lenses…the clear look matches all paint colors…look them up on ebay and you will be floored with the vast array of light choices…I’d go that route for sure…forget a lens where you cant change a simple bulb…no way.

I have used Euro lights on most of my import cars…they look much better than tock and are of high quality…For a Honda Civic there will be a dizzying array of choices for you. Thats what I would do in a minute.

so far I’ve not found aftermarket that is any different than the original. So its maybe $109 instead of $120 but the same issue in the future. Replace the whole thing if a lamp burns out. Any suggestions on the aftermarket that would help?

Have you looked on ebay and then sort your results from highest to lowest… YOu will def find them there and should be able to do better than 109…but even at 109 they should have clear lenses and access to all bulbs… Also 109 is for a PAIR of lights… I will search around for you a bit and see what I come up with.

I am not sure I understand the question. Does this car have 3 tail lights on each side or does it have a tail light in the center brake light?

This is the 3’rd or sometimes called the high tail light. It sits in the back window on top of the speakers. The “real” tail lights are accesable via the trunk. This one you actually have to take out the back seat and remove the deck that sits on top of the speakers and remove the whole assemply and replace it.

Who told you the whole thing needs replaced? I would verify that with the dealer if they aren’t the ones who told you that.

Yep dealer told me that. I confirmed it. I know it sounds silly (and expensive). I have a “you mush be kidding” letter prepared to send to Honda. Probably won’t do any good but I just can’t bring myself to spend $120 for a tail light.
thanks anyway

It’s an LED assembly. Yes, the whole unit needs to be replaced if it has failed.

That looks like an opportunity. Me being the cheap techno wizard I am would look at the backyard mechanics of replacing the failing parts, probably readily available at a good electronics store. Similar example, we had a bunch of dell computers with failing mother boards. It was due to capacitors on the board failing. Long story some manufacturer stole the recipe, manufactured and sold them for less, but missed one key ingredient that led to widespread failure. I went to order a new motherboard from dell, but they were no longer available. I found the capacitors at the electronic shop for $1 plus change. I have replaced 6 so far, and have saved the money of replacing 3 computers that performed their function once repaired. If you want to send me the failed part I can see about refurbishing it. It would be fun for me, and chances are you and others will need another in the future.

It’s an LED assembly, and for one to fail within 4 years of service is highly unusual. Better check the circuit before you drop money on a replacement. It could be out due to a $20 switch. or a shaky connector.