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DIY: How to replace rear tail light bulb (B7)

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DIY: How to replace rear tail light bulb (B7)

Old 11-23-2009, 02:00 PM
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Default DIY: How to replace rear tail light bulb (B7)

Who said you canít teach an Old Dog new tricks? This Old Dog turned 60 this year. When I heard and read what Audi dealers were charging to replace a burnt rear bulb, as much as $80 US in some cases, I decided to tackle this myself after my Canadian dealer wanted $40+ CDN.

First I checked this Forum to see what may already be written up. I didnít find anything specific to my B7 - 2007 Audi A4 Quattro. Did find some pics and a write-up related to an Avant that at least gave me an idea what to expect.





So, I decided to provide pics and a detailed description for novices like me of how I changed my LEFT brake light bulb. Here goes:



Pic #1 below shows the round carpeted plug. To open take a flat screwdriver and insert at the top of the plug (12 oíclock) and gently pry it open. This plug is attached at the bottom so donít pry there.





Pic #2 below shows the plug opened with the head of the retaining bolt.



Pic #3 below shows the retaining bolt after removal. To remove, insert a standard flat screwdriver with a narrow blade, the only tool required, into the slot at the bottom of the retaining bolt and turn counter-clockwise until it comes out completely. No worry here about dropping any bolt inside the body like on some other models.




The next step, getting the taillight assembly out, is the most delicate portion of the whole operation I think. The reason is: there are two plastic posts (see Pic #4 below) on the taillight assembly that fit into two holes with rubber grommets (see Pic #5 below). You definitely do not want to snap either or both off or your whole savings on this DIY project will be wiped out plus some!








Gently start pulling evenly on the right side of the taillight assembly where the moulded part fits into the trunk drain channel. I repeatedly did this until it slowly started to come away from the body, about a ľĒ max initially on the right side. Then I was able to get a grip on the bottom of the taillight assembly and pulled straight out, again, slowly and carefully. Eventually the rubber grommets let the plastic posts go. The key is not to get the right side of the assembly out too far risking bending and snapping the plastic posts. Pic #4 above shows the taillight assembly just after it was removed.

Or, as an alternative you could try what dwdesign suggests in post #18 dated 17 March 2013 copied in part here:

Originally Posted by dwdesign View Post
According to the Bentley manual all you need to do is gently pull the tailight unit out holding the inner edge (side with the rubber gasket) and swing it outward like opening a door. It will pivot and release at the plastic post location easily. I tried that and it worked easier for me. In short, in stead of stopping at 1/4 inch, just keep going for about 3 inches and it'll release.




Pic #6 above shows the light housing removed from the taillight assembly. To remove: there are two plastic clips that hold the light housing to the taillight assembly (see Pic #4 above). Simply release by carefully pressing the tabs towards the inside of the lense. Once both are released the lense will separate from the taillight housing. Careful not to let the lense slip. I put a piece of soft foam on the garage floor just in case.





Pic #7 above shows the four bulbs in the light housing. To remove the old bulb, push the bulb in slightly and turn counter-clockwise. To install the new bulb, push the bulb in slightly and turn clockwise. TIP: Before going any further, try the bulb(s) to make sure everything is working ok.

Re-installing

1. Insert the light housing into the taillight assembly until the tabs lock together as in Pic #4 above.
2. Align the plastic posts in the taillight assembly (see Pic #4 above) with the holes in the car body (see Pic #5 above) and push evenly. Make sure the left side of the lense is nice and flush with the body.
3. Screw in the retaining bolt and tighten.
4. Push back the round cover into place.
5. Done.

I know this was a long written procedure, and I apologize, but I wanted to be as explicit as possible to give those, who may think changing a bulb is beyond their capabilities, the confidence to give it a shot. I am no mechanic, but donít mind some basic challenges once in a while, it keeps me young. Also, the chance to save $40+ CDN bucks was a good incentive too! Total cost: $3.38 CDN Ė the bulb. Time: less than 30 minutes.

Have Fun!!!

Last edited by Old Dog; 09-04-2017 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:52 PM
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Default Thank you!

It helped save me $35 + a trip to the dealership.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by anicca View Post
It helped save me $35 + a trip to the dealership.
You are very welcome . Here they wanted $40CDN which I thought was outrageous for a $3 bulb.

All the best in 2011.

Last edited by Old Dog; 01-01-2011 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:52 PM
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Great Write up, and awesome pictures. Checkout ALLDATAdiy when you go to replace those headlamps for the first time!
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:21 PM
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Thanks for the awesome do-it-yourself on this. I know its an old post but definitely worth the bump.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:43 PM
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Great post!! Does anyone have this for the front bulbs (halogen) by chance??
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:06 PM
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Had my dealer replace a burned-out bulb and there was no labor charge just the cost of the bulb. Bulb went out about 2 weeks later stopped by dealership and the service writer replaced in under 2 minutes. Amazing that they wanted to charge $35!
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by parquenord View Post
Had my dealer replace a burned-out bulb and there was no labor charge just the cost of the bulb. Bulb went out about 2 weeks later stopped by dealership and the service writer replaced in under 2 minutes. Amazing that they wanted to charge $35!
Just a cash grab and simply taking advantage. I guess there are still some nice guys out there . Good for you!
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:21 AM
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Nice work - Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:29 AM
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Nice write up, that was super easy to do.
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