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Subaru Forester License Plate Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out license plate light bulb in the tailgate of a 4th generation 2014-2018 Subaru Forester.

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2017 Forester License Plate
Left License Plate Light
Push In Towards Middle

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Subaru Forester SUV in changing a burnt out license plate light bulb located in the tailgate.

Owners of other Subaru vehicles such as the Outback, Impreza, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, SVX, Tribeca, Exiga, Trezia, Levorg and Baja may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement miniature wedge base light bulb is part number 2825 (also known as # W5W).

If you would like to have brighter license plate lights, you can choose to install some compatible LED bulbs.

No tools are needed to access and replace the two light bulbs.

Pull Away From Car
Gently Remove Housing
Light Housing Removed
The steps are the same to remove either the driver side housing (on the left) or the passenger side housing (on the right).

Push the license plate light bulb housing in towards the center line of the SUV to release the retaining clip.

Then while still applying pressure towards the middle of the car, gently pull out the light housing.

Try to avoid using excessive force to prevent from damaging the plastic retaining clip.

The light housings should pop out relatively easily.

Right Side Housing - Push In
Push In Towards Center
Pull Out Light Housing
Repeat the process for the housing on the other side if you plan on replacing both bulbs with brighter LED units.

Push on the outer edge of the housing towards the center of the license plate. Then lift out the inner edge to release the retaining clip.

Right Side Light Removed
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Bulb Socket Removed
Rotate the white / tan plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.


Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Old Light Bulb Removed
Push In New Light Bulb
Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push a new number 2825 miniature wedge base light bulb straight into the socket.

You can also choose to install some brighter LED bulbs.

1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Opening In Tailgate
Re-Insert Wires First
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

First, re-insert the wires and the outer edge of the light housing back into the opening in the underside of the tailgate.

Replace Light Housing
Pop In Retaining Clip
Test New Light Bulbs
Then swing the inner edge of the housing back into place and gently snap in the plastic retaining clip.

Double check that the light housings are securely in place.

To test the new license plate light bulbs, turn on the headlights or press the "Unlock" button on the key fob to activate the exterior lights.

For more, please check out all of my 2014-2018 Subaru Forester DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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