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  #1  
Old 08-29-2012, 01:25 PM
jaddingtonii jaddingtonii is offline
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Default How on earth do you change the bulb in the third brake light?

How on earth do you change the bulb in the third brake light? I cannot pass VA state inspection with it out, and it looks to be some kind of puzzle piece that you have to get in the right order.

Sidebar-does anyone know if the third brake light was an after thought? I looked at the deck lid and it looks like it was designed well before the need for a third brake light in the rear window.

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:27 PM
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Rallyman Rallyman is offline
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I doubt it was an afterthought but I've always felt that they may have planned on it being an LED unit and therefore should not require any routine access and then changed it as a cost-cutting measure. The previous generation Sonata had an LED centre brake light.

I have changed mine once and found it easiest to lie on my back in the trunk looking up at the area where the light is. There are two screws holding the unit in place. One of them is obscured by a foam pad which covers the hole that the screw can be accessed through. If you remove these two screws the unit can be pulled out from inside the car and then the bulb holder twisted out of the housing. The bulb holder has quite a long tab on the bottom. Some have found that if they cut down the length of that tab it is much easier to reinstall the housing into the rear deck after changing the bulb. I chose not to do that.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:08 PM
jaddingtonii jaddingtonii is offline
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Thank you for the advice. No problems!
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:57 AM
crhodes325 crhodes325 is offline
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I'm getting ready to undertake this task tomorrow. I've already picked up a replacement Sylvania 921 LL bulb. Read a couple of written instructions online and also found a cool video, not sure how accurate it is.

Here is the link: http://www.carcarekiosk.com/video/20...er_brake_light

After watching the video, looks straight forward, except for using a flat head screw driver to loosen the bulb housing. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:10 PM
crhodes325 crhodes325 is offline
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Easier than expected, 20 minutes at most. The video was a big help. I had to be extra carefull not to lose the small gold screw on the passenger side, the hole in the underside of the rear trunk deck is very small. Felt like I was playing a game of "Operation" from when I was a kid. I needed to use that flat head screw driver to loosen the bulb housing once all the screws were removed. It makes it very easy to remove the third brake light fixture from the back window.

Good luck for those trying to tackle this on your own. I heard the dealers charge between $60 and $100 to do this! Don't forget a flashlight!

Last edited by crhodes325; 01-05-2013 at 01:29 AM.
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