Brake light bulb replacement

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Brake light bulb replacement

    This might sound like a dumb question for you, but here it is:

    How can I change my brake light bulb?

    It seems pretty crazy to take the car to the dealer for such a minor thing.
    As you might have figured, I am not an expert mechanic, but I think I could relace a bulb myself! It is not obvious how to do it, and I don't want to brake anything just by pulling the wrong part.

    I have seen the how-to on the headlight bulb replacement, but didn't find anything for the taillights.

    In case anybody wants to know I have a 2001 Passat - I guess I wouldn't be on this forum otherwise...


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  3. #2
    1st Gear
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Fort Riley, KS

    Re: Brake light bulb replacement

    I think it comes out from inside the trunk.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Lawrence, KS USA
    In the newer style Passats (01 1/2+), open the trunk. Pull the trunk liner down/back from the corner near the light assembly. The whole light assembly has three or four plastic spring clips which hold it in. Just release the clips and it sort of tilts out. Make sure to take the old bulb to your local parts depot with you. There are two styles of bulbs, one with two little nubs at noon and six, and the other with two nubs, one at noon and one at about 4:30 or so, and they are not interchangeable. Bulbs are about three dollars each, IIRC. Just pop the new one in and reverse the process. Not sure how to get to the one on the drivers side, with the CD changer/First aid kit holder in the way, but I suspect it isn't very hard either. I suspect that an 01 is very similar to the newer ones. Best of luck!! And remember, the only dumb question is the one that you don't ask :wink: Why pay the dealer all that money for something you can do yourself in 10 or 15 minutes!!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Re: Brake light bulb replacement

    The brake lights; signal and reverse lights exist in the trunk, right and left. I have a '99 Passat, the driver side light fixture existed in the CD compartment. The passenger under the trunk material.

    Unclip the fixture, remember how the fixture is oriented. You may need to twist and fiddle with it when you place the fixture back into the clips.

    The light bulb is a 2-element fixture. Basically, twist(not sure right/left)and lift.

    I live in Canada and I was able to buy the light bulb at a Canadian Tires store. Make sure the light bulb you replace is the correct element or you will short and burn a fuse.

    Vito Pedota
    '99 VW Passat GLS
    Toronto, Ontario

  6. #5
    1st Gear
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Vancouver, Canada
    Here's what the bulb tray looks like on the B5. You can see the two clips on the side that hold it in position.

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